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Travel from Missouri to Germany to visit son at US Military base

Excited to begin trying to plan a trip from St Louis to Germany. So many questions! Best time for most affordable travel, and some have suggested flying to France and taking the train the remainder of the trip to get to see more of the countryside.
Any advice would be most welcome, this will be our first international travel experience.

Posted by
389 posts

Which base is your son stationed at? Some of the US bases are near Frankfurt, which has Germany's biggest international airport. The big training base at Grafenwoehr is near Nuremberg, which has a small airport that you could get a connecting flight into.

Posted by
6538 posts

I wouldn't go to France first - get to where you need to be. No need to complicate things when its your first time. What's affordable mean to you? Its almost impossible to predict airfares these days - not like it used to be. I would pick a time based on son's availability, and the weather. Spring or Fall would be good.

Posted by
5507 posts

Taking the train is a good way to see the countryside without cars and asphalt all around you - but you don't need to start in France for that! Some countryside not far from Frankfurt...

Many factors impact affordable travel - as for the calendar, it's mostly a matter of specific dates for big events that draw many visitors - conventions, Oktoberfest, etc. - when room prices are driven sky high.

Posted by
655 posts

This site will show cheapest daily fares for a 31-day period. You should be able to check prices for several months in just a few minutes. That site does not check rates at the discount airlines (like WOW or Norwegian) , as far as I know.

Posted by
20844 posts

There are many threads in the Germany forum that detail dozens if not hundreds of charming German towns all over the country. Visiting some of those along with a few of the major cities/historical sights would make for a great trip. The German rail service is very good, and there are great deals on regional train tickets.

Plan as much time as you can in Europe, because you'll be very sorry about having to miss a lot of great places if you have made the trip shorter than it needs to be. There are wonderful places to see in neighboring countries as well as in Germany, but there's a lot of variety within Germany alone in terms of both scenery and towns/cities.

Recognize that the day you arrive in Germany you may well be severely sleep-deprived and jetlagged, so that's a day to plan to do things like walking around outdoors, not heavy-duty sightseeing. It's also fine to hop right on a train to get to your first stop.

Depending on what places you want to visit in Germany, it may make sense to fly into and out of different cities. That is a "multi-city" trip when you're looking at the flight websites like Google Flights. Fares will vary by date and your German gateways. You can probably get an idea by checking now from your origin to "Germany" on GoogleFlights. See what cities are cheapest and which are more expensive. For me, Frankfurt and Munich are usually cheaper than Berlin, but it might be different for you.