two possible itinerary...which one to choose...

we have narrow it down to two possible routes..what do you think.. 31 july - travel PR to London 1-3 august London 3-6 Paris 6-9 Alps 9-11 Florence 11-16 Rome 16-19 Munich 19-22 Amsterdam 22- flight back home second route.. Puerto Rico to London July 31st London (1st - 3rd) Amsterdam (3rd - 6th) Paris (6th - 9th) Alps (9th - 12th) Venice (12th - 14th) Florence (14th - 16th) Rome (16th - 22nd)
Back home 22 august What do you guys think... thanks for your help

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
2893 posts

Shira, The places on both itineraries are obviously the most important places to you:
London, Paris, Amsterdam, Alps, Florence, and Rome. My suggestion to you would be to limit your trip to these 6 places (leaving out Venice and Munich for a later trip) - still a lot for 3 weeks but doable. With these as your destinations, your second itinerary makes a lot of sense in that it is pretty much in a straight line flying into London-Amsterdam-Paris-Alps-Florence-flying out of Rome, with more time to actually see these places. Just my humble opinion. This way it sounds like a wonderful trip. Enjoy.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
6030 posts

It was mentioned that listing two places for one day is confusing and it misrepresents your real time in the location. I find it much easier to plan each destination by how many nights I will be there. That makes it clearer how much time I have. I'm also confused by your reference to Puerto Rico - London July 31st. Do you leave Puerto Rico that day or do you arrive in London that day? You can't count the day you leave home or the day you fly home as actual days that you can do anything. It appears that you only really have August 1st - August 21st to actually be in Europe with the ability to see anything. Your second route involves less backtracking. Where exactly in the Alps are you wanting to go? In France? Switzerland? Italy? Germany? Austria? That can make a big difference.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
3399 posts

Shira: Remember that your first day in London and your last day in Rome will be wasted days. You'll also be losing a day every time you move from city to city. You are wanting to see the Great European cities, and each city on your itinerary is worth substantially more time than you have allocated. I assume you're wanting to travel by train from city to city. Your trip might be better if you scrubbed Amsterdam and split those days between London and Paris. Paris to Venice is best done by budget air carrier You can get your mountain thrills by renting a car in Venice and driving 2 hrs. north of Venice into the Italian Alps (Dolomites).
If you will change your itinerary and slow down a little, you'll have a much better trip.

Posted by Matt
Washington, DC, USA
571 posts

About six countries in 20 days? Sounds exhausting! Without knowing your means of travel (air? train?) I don't think I can give you a definitive answer. I guess option two is slightly more linear with possibly less back tracking. Might I suggest not duplicating listing days when you are splitting them between cities? As written it gives you the sense of more time in each than you really have. Think of each day at two parts (morning/afternoon) and cross off anything other than travel for one part on days you're moving. So, Aug 1 is really "Morning: arrival and check in. Afternoon: light tourism and jet lag. " Aug 3 is probably "Morning: one quick site in London. Afternoon: transport to Paris." Seen this way, you have about one good day in London, two in Paris, one in the Alps (where?), one day in Florence, etc. You'll spend more time in airports and train stations than you will in tourist sites. Just my opinion, but do you really want to tackle this much in so little time?

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
892 posts

Hi Shira You've created a very ambitious itinerary but that does not mean it can not be done. Some folks can't imagine traveling at that pace and that is fine for them. If you are a warrior traveler then this travel style will work - I have done a few like this - wanting to pack as much in as possible. It appears you will arrive in London the morning of the 1st - not a wasted day at all. Jetlag Schmetlag I say! I'll sleep when I'm dead! Sleep as much as you can on the plane, have a good breakfast upon arriving (if you don't get sleep you must have food for energy) and hit London running! Try to stay awake til an almost normal bedtime. Set a wake up call for the next morning so you do not over sleep. Not all tval days are wasted - depends on the distance and your departure times - an early train (8am ish) can arrive by noon or 2ish for most treks - Still plenty of time to drop your bags at your hotel and do a little exploring - visit something, have a nice meal and soak up some local. Will you see EVERYTHING in each place - of course not - my DH & I call that a reason to return! Pick the things most important for you to see, relax, and have a ball. A little taste of many cities can be a lot of fun - its a great way to figure out where you may want to return for an extended visit. Or some folks here don't realize that this may actually be a once in a lifetime trip and it is very understandable a person would want to see as much as possible. Different strokes for different folks! Oh - the 2nd itinerary seems to be in a little better order. I would be happy to share more if you would like to PM me.

Posted by Toni
Charlotte, NC, USA
3134 posts

I agree that you are still trying to do too much. Amsterdam and Munich are the 'outliers' on these 2 possibilities. Cut them out and you have a much more workable strategy. Something like: (note-I also 'eliminated' the Alps, as you still haven't defined that very well. You could cut a day here or there to work in a stop in Innsbruck or the Italian Alps perhaps.) July 31- overnight flight PR to London Aug. 1 - arrive London Aug. 1-5- tour London Aug 6 train London to Paris Aug. 6-10 Paris Aug. 11 Flight Paris to Venice Aug. 11-13 Venice Aug. 13 train Venice to Florence Aug. 13-16 Florence Aug. 16 train Florence to Rome Aug. 16-21 Rome
Aug. 22 Fly home Rome to PR

Posted by Philip
London, United Kingdom
2877 posts

Munich-Amsterdam is a long trip and I'd definitely do it by air. Maybe you could also do the first itinerary with Amsterdam between London and Paris and flying home from Munich, maybe if necessary with a flight connection in the US?

Posted by Charles
Austin, Texas, USA
325 posts

I would go with the second route because it is more of a straight line. The first one doubling back from Rome would be tougher and more expensive. Good luck!!

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
892 posts

OK - so I kinda had nothin' to do for a while so I took a stab at Shira's itinerary. Fly from London LTN to AMS - either 6:30, 7:00 0r 7:30 - be in AMS by 9:00 or 9:30 am - or sleep in a bit take the 11:45 be there by 13:55 Schipol Airport is a 20 min train ride to city center Flight is about $87 pp AMS to PAR Thalys High Speed #9322 dep AMS 8:19 arr Par Nord 1:44 $71 pp PAR to ALPS - very broad here are a couple of scenarios Par to MUnich - TGV 9575 dep Par 15:19 arr MUN 21:36 stay in MUN the night and head to Garmisch or Mittenwald or Fussen in the am This TGV is surprisingly cheap - $71 You could fly PAR to Munich for about $170 pp dep PAR 10:50 arr MUN 15:40 and continue on to somewhere the same day and not spend
the night in Munich Munich to Garmisch about 1.5 hours about $40 Garmisch to Venice dep 8:04 am arr Venice 1:56pm $138 pp Venice to Florence - 2 hr train ride $31 pp Florence to Rome - 1.5 hours about $30 pp Total fare about $468/pp - $568 if you fly the PAR to MUN leg. You can arrive at most destinations by early afternoon - not a loss of a whole day in my book at all. We can generally get from the train station to our hotel, check-in, drop our bags and be on our way in less than an hour. This itinerary you will spend three 1/2 days, 1 pretty much full day (PAR to Alps) and 2 mornings out of 21 days. We also do consider the time spent on a train as "lost" - we enjoy the countryside & scenery, plan what to do in the next destination, nap, chat, etc... Shira - don't let the nay sayers get to you. To get the best point to point ticket prices plan your itinerary and purchase the tickets as far in advance as you can. This style of travel is not for everyone but we enjoy packing as much as we can into a trip as well! Have a ball!

Posted by Adam
2925 posts

I think Nancy has it about right. You are spending more time enroute than at any one place. Top European destination: Inside of a train car. As a variation on Nancy's suggestion, you could travel London > Paris > Amsterdam > Alps if you are willing to take a night train on the A'dam > Alps leg.

Posted by Denise
Lake Forest, CA, USA
1546 posts

I like your second itinerary best. By not doubling back, you will have more time in each location. Where in the Alps are you planning on going? Switzerland, Austria? Yes, you will be on the go a lot, but I actually like your itinerary. If you want to add more days to some destinations, you could eliminate Amsterdam. However, your itinerary is doable and Amsterdam can be seen in two days. I love Amsterdam. You currently have 5 days in Rome. Are you planning on day trips from Rome? Check your train schedules carefully and have a great trip!

Posted by Joan
Gettysburg, PA, USA
399 posts

In general, I agree with those who tell you not to try to do too much in such a short period of time. However, I also remember having only one afternoon in Venice. Most everyone said that if that was all the time I had, it wasn't worth doing. Oh, but it was!
I sat in St. Mark's Square, had a brief but fulfilling visit to the Accademia, a boat ride down the Grand Canal and I could say--I have been to Venice. Lovely experience and I've been back six times since.