I plan our VERY first trip to Europe for a family of 4 from mid July to mid August, 2016 with the following itinerary. I haven't bought any train or flight tickets within Europe as of today May 13 except for our flight tickets between USA and Berlin. I booked most of the hotels (cancelable) using rewards points or Cash.
We have travelled extensively in Americas and Asia, so our objectives of this trip is to visit as many places as we can within reasonable expenses.
We will fly to Berlin then stay in Berlin to visit relatives for a few days so our trip only counts (or starts) when we leave Berlin. I have a full 4 weeks excluding time in Berlin.
Day1-3:train travel from Berlin to Prague stay in Prague for 3 nights
Day 4: train travel to Budapest stay for 2 nights
Day6: train travel to Vienna stay for 2 nights
Day8: fly from Vienna to Venice or may take a train to Venice, stay in Venice for 2 nights
Day10: train to Florence stay for 3 nights
Day13: train to Rome stay in Rome for 4 nights
Day17: fly to Paris and stay in Paris for 4 nights
Day21: train to Brussels and stay in Brussels for 3 nights (will have a friend to provide day trip to Bruges)
Day24: train to Amsterdam and stay for 3 nights
Day27: train to Berlin spend 1 night in Berlin before flying back to US
I was wondering if anyone can help to comment on the above itinerary on
- Should we buy a Eurail Global Pass with 10-day flexible? (Kids below 12 years old are free but need to pay for each reservation) Or should we buy a shorter and fewer countries pass at a much lower cost then combine with point to point train tickets in certain countries where the train tickets are low to save cost.
- We kind of prefer to fly from Rome to Paris and from Budapest to Rome as Ryan air tickets are inexpensive and these are longer distances to travel by train (overnight train costs more than flight tickets plus hotel) but we are open to any suggestion on what is the best combination of tickets and routes to save time and cost? Again, other than the 4-week window, we are flexible to adjust the length of stay at each location.
- I wanted to add one night in Luxembourg. Is it possible and is it worth to visit using Eurail pass?
- There are reservation fees (from $18 to almost $100/per person, kids pay these fees too) on every single trip I mentioned above with Eurail pass except for Brussels to Amsterdam (free with Eurail pass).
I am open to modify my itinerary to visit more location (if doable) and to book the best combination of train pass/flight/other means of transportation so save cost and best utilize our time in Europe.