Please sign in to post.

Istanbul, Italy, France, Holland

I don't know where to start. My son and daughter-in-law want to meet me in Europe, they live in Sydney, Australia, I am in North Carolina, US. Considering Turkey is closest to Australia and we would like to spend a few days there, is it best to meet there and how many days would be appropriate and where could we lodge? Then going to Italy - via ferry, plane or train? to Palermo, or Rome and spending a couple days in Rome, definitely want to go to Cinque Terra for 3 days or more if necessary. We could go to France or would you suggest south of Spain first and heading North, we would like to make it to Amsterdam and have friends in Germany by Heidelberg. I just don't know how to put this together. I would return to the US from Frankfurt and my son and daughter in law from either Amsterdam or Frankfurt. Can you please help with some suggestions. Thank you so much
Barbara

Posted by
1814 posts

Before any of us can give suggestions, can you tell us what time of year this trip is planned for, and how many days do you have?

Posted by
3696 posts

If you answer the questions above I would move this request over to the General Europe and think you might get more answers, since you are not only going to the East.

Posted by
14 posts

We are planning to meet the last week of September and my son and daughter in law have 2 weeks to vacation. They can return from Frankfurt or Amsterdam.

Posted by
14326 posts

Once you're on a long-haul flight, does it really matter if you have to fly another hour or two? You'll end up losing nearly a whole day flying from Istanbul to somewhere else (not only the flight time, but the time getting to the airport, being at the airport a couple of hours before the flight, waiting for luggage at the other end, then getting from the airport to the town and then to your hotel). And for that reason, it's usually not advisable - especially on a short trip, and 2 weeks is a short one - to have a lot of destinations, especially if they are far from each other. Even with a 2-3 hour train ride, you lose 1/2 day, and flying eats up even more time. I suggest you each choose your 3 highest priority destinations, then plot them on a map and see what's most feasible. Use the German train website bahn.de to find out how long train journeys are - it works even when you aren't traveling in Germany. I'd drop Spain because it's far and you'd have to fly in and out. Lastly, why are you so keen on spending 3 days or more in the Cinque Terre?

Posted by
14 posts

I have heard so often how beautiful it is in Cinque Terra, And after Istanbul I thought the country side Would be a nice change. Do you have any suggestions?
Barbara

Posted by
11263 posts

"Do you have any suggestions? " Please heed Chani's advice. Don't try to see so many places that are so geographically dispersed in such a short time. If someone was coming to the US for 2 weeks and was trying to see New York City, Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, San Francisco, and New Orleans - just because they had heard these were all wonderful "must sees" - what would you say? Probably something like, "Stop trying to put 10 pounds of sugar into a 5 pound bag. Pick a few places and really enjoy them, instead of spending your whole trip getting from one place to another, just to say you 'saw' it." With only two weeks, you will have to be ruthlessly selec-tive. We all understand the pain of cutting down a trip (we all have to do it too). Instead of just making a list of places that seem nice (or even sound amazing), sit with a map, and pick places that connect well. How do you find out about connections? Use Rick's advice for finding train schedules: http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/db_tips.htm. And for flights, use http://www.skyscanner.com/ For instance, since you don't have 2 or 3 days to go from Istanbul to Italy, you'll have to fly. And if you have friends in Heidelberg, go there and see places near there, rather than jumping to Holland or Spain. In Rick's sage words, "assume you will return." Even if you won't, you'll have a better trip by planning as if you will.

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you for your advise, it makes a lot of sense and I think we will Choose 2 countries for the 2 weeks. Foresure Turkey and any advise I am open to.
Thanks Barbara

Posted by
1814 posts

I think the question is, what do you really want to do. It sounds like you need to end up in Germany, as that is where your friends are and you all can easily fly home from Frankfurt. So thaT's settled. Now, for the beginning of your trip.... if you all would really like to see Istanbul, you can meet there and spend 3 or 4 nights. If you'd like, you could then visit somewhere else in Turkey for 2 or 3 nights (perhaps Cappadocia or Ephesus), make your way back to Istanbul and fly to Germany. Or, you could meet in Istanbul, spend 3 or 4 nights, then fly to some other city (Rome? Paris? What appeals to you?) for 3 or 4 nights, then fly to Germany. Or instead of Istanbul, you could all meet in Rome, spend 3 or 4 nights, take a train to the Cinque Terre for 2 or 3 nights, then another train perhaps to Milan for a night or two, and from there you could train to Germany. There are so many options that it sounds like you're a bit overwhelmed right now. You & your son & daughter-in-law will have to decide together which 3 or 4 places you would really want to see, and organize your trip from that. Once you start making some of these decisions, you'll feel much better. When you have the framework determined, come back to the Helpline and post more specific questions either in the General Europe section or the specific section you're interested in (i.e. To The Boot for Italy or To The West for Germany). Have fun planning!