I am Planning on taking some of my Pathfinders on an international trip. Starting in the UK at Pax Lodge which is a world center of Girl Guides, or WWAGGGS, I do believe we will be looking at taking 2 adults and 5 girls, first question would be would it be more expencive to stay in England or less if we travel to the continent and see some more of Europe? I was thinking maybe Paris, Spain, Alps, Austria, maybe Italy? any tips Rick? Anyone?
England will be more expensive than the continent, just because of the poor exchange rate between the dollar and the pound (2USD per pound). To top it off, London, which is where a lot of the tourist sights are, is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Having said that, I think it would still be worth it to stay in London for at least a few days. There is just so much to see. As to your other cities, you don't say how long you're planning to be in Europe, but that's an extensive itinerary. To give you an idea, we had no problems filling up 2 weeks with a second trip to London combined with a first trip to Paris. More than 3 countries for a 2-week trip is to aggressive. More than that, your strongest memories will be the hotel check-in desks and the train stations.
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Hi Susan, as pointed out, the pound hits us hard ,so I found England very expensive. It is worth starting with a few days in London though not having to fight jet lag and language/culture issues all at once.
Then I suggest you take the Eurostar to Paris. I booked this for my 14 yr old and I, book 89 days out( the soonest you can online) and book travel for mid week mid day, cheapest travel. I paid only 45 euros return two years ago for August travel. When you go online Eurostar put the London address down, and pick up tickets at station.
Paris is worth at least 5 days( hey the girls will want to see Versailles and there is one day there) and and after that you will only have time for one other country( this assumes about 2 weeks), remember you have to figure in travel days. The girls should acutally get involved in choosing, I made my son research and come up with three sites he wanted to see.
PS How old are pathfinders.
Oh I forgot,if you can arrange it the girls will love Warwick Castle, it is not cheap, but it does an incredible jousting show,,and the castle itself is exactly what they would expect to see.
Susan, having gone to Europe on Scout/Guides vacations twice now, there are some great deals. Staying at scout/guide places is cheap compared to transiting, so think about staying in 1-2 places, vice touring around. Pax Lodge is superb, really inexpensive (compared to the rest of London), and easy to get to the rest of the city. We also spent a couple of nights at Baden-Powell house in Kensington, just for a change. I've heard that scouts can stay cheap on HMS Belfast on the Thames, but don't have details. Our Chalet in Switzerland is a nice place, but hard to get to-- we stayed at the International Scout Center in Kandersteg, about an hour away-- which is very close to the main train line between Bern and Italy. Lots of other Scout/Guide places to stay-- it just depends on how much travel you'd want to do. Check out this link for some ideas (Boy Scouts, mind you..) http://www.troop111.org/swissdiary.html
Good luck and happy Guiding! John H.