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1st Europe Trip, Help Needed- Post 1 of 2

Hi Everyone,
Warning: This was too long for one post, sorry! See post 2 also please.

My husband and I are going to Europe to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. It is his first time to Europe and my second,but I've only been to France. Below is our itinerary. I know it is a lot in a small amount of time, but we picked what we most wanted to see and 18 days is the max we can take off work. (We're lucky to have that much!) We're young, 24 and 25, and we'll be sleeping in hostels, cheap hotels and on trains. We're looking for any advice on how to make our schedule easier/faster/cheaper/better. I'm struggling with making out train schedule work without spending long days on the trains.

Dates of trip: June 17-July 5
Where we want to go: Paris, Carcassonne, Cinque Terre, Rome, Venice, Gimmelwald, Munich/Rothenburg, London

Posted by
2000 posts

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I personally would do London, Venice, Paris. Enjoy these cities thoroughly, which will take some time --- and do the other ones on another trip.

Posted by
18 posts

I've been in your shoes before. My husband and I tried to pack SO much into our first European itinerary. But, having done it myself, I would highly recommend refocusing your time on a shorter list of destinations. If it goes well, you'll be back.

We now live in London so I could offer some advice there, but would generally recommend nixing it in favor of having more time on the continent. If you, I would include:

Gimmelwald (though I would recommend staying in Murren instead--it's right next door and there are more dinner options and transportation connections are easier)
Lake Como (it's on the way from Switzerland)
Cinque Terre
Venice
Munich/Rothenburg/Romantic Road

While this itinerary is still packed, it would allow you a bit more time on the ground without so much train travel interspersed.

Then, you can plan a second trip to include Paris & London--traveling between the two via the EuroStar.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you so much everyone. We're taking in everyone's advice and will likely shave a bit of destinations off. I really appreciate your advice.

Posted by
6898 posts

Unfortunately, your train schedule is quite long. Paris to the CT is 11hrs-13hrs with 2-3 train changes. Rome to Venice isn't too bad at 5.0hrs. Venice to Gimmelwald is 8.0hrs-9.0hr with 3 train changes. Gimmelwald to Munich takes 8.5hrs and up to 7 train changes. Munich to London takes 10.5hrs and 4-5 train changes. That's about 2 days of your trip on a train, changing trains or waiting for a train. Your youth will get you cheaper train fares and the ability to do a lot on less sleep.

You are wise to fly into one location and fly out of another. This will help. I would suggest trimming London off of your trip and possibly Munich. You can do the rest of the trip and fly out of Zurich.

Also, as a senior citizen, I can tell you that there is no such thing as a "trip of a lifetime". I have had such wonderful travel experiences and I haven't found one yet. Slow it down a bit. You'll have time ahead if you plan for it.

Posted by
27 posts

I'll "ditto" Steve's comment re: trip of a lifetime---My husband and I are in the "over 60" crowd, have been to Europe several times(generally with a rail pass)and EACH trip has been the trip of a lifetime. Trust me, IF y'all enjoy traveling you will return many times and see many different places! I would also bag London and Munich mainly because of the time constraints and maybe Gimmelwald, too. I don't think that you would enjoy an "If it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium trip" and I KNOW you're too young to remember that movie! Save travels!!!