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Solo traveler Europe itinerary

Charlotte, North...
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Solo traveler Europe itinerary

Hi again all,

I am not sure where to post this question as I don't see a general Europe board. If anyone cares to direct me to a better place I'll take it! So since I am a solo traveler I thought I would start here. I have a list of countries in Europe I plan to visit, but no matter how many times I look at the map and try to plan it out I feel like there's a smarter route, so I am hoping to get some help or people to put these in a logical order. Here goes:

Start in France (this is set...the rest is completely flexible)

Switzerland

Slovenia

England

Ireland

Spain (side trip to Morocco)

Portugal

Italy

Greece

Then onto SE Asia.

Thanks for any help or direction!!

Somerset
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1. Re: Solo traveler Europe itinerary

A lot to deal with Rebecca. Have you a reason for the order? Is it cheaper or more convenient?

I think a lot will have to do with your method of travel between the countries. Also whether budget is a consideration.

I would check flights for instance to see if that was the most ecconomical or efficient order. Seems like a lot of work unless you're good at that sort of thing. It might be worth posting on the Air Travel Forum too to see if there is anything untoward or beneficial about your sequence. If you are planning train then the Train Travel Forum.

Sounds like a great trip.

Edit: I put Europe Itinerary in the main search box at the top and although not specifically yours there were a few threads. Might be worth a read.

Edited: 31 August 2013, 23:44
Charlotte, North...
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2. Re: Solo traveler Europe itinerary

Thanks for the reply Sue! I really have no order "to the madness"...just have time to spend traveling and these are the places I'd like to see in Europe this time around. Like I said I am hoping someone can help me put them in some sort of order and hopefully tell me based upon experience the best way to get from point A to B taking budget and time into consideration (I dont mind paying a little more if it will save a lot of time). I have been looking into flights however its difficult when I'm not sure which order to do things. Once I know the order, or a least am closer to figuring it out, I can price transportation. Too many options is very overwhelming!! :)

San Diego
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3. Re: Solo traveler Europe itinerary

This is certainly not in any logical geographical order.

I take it you have lots of time for this trip??

It also may depend on the time of year that you start.

For example depending on the season you start you might be better off going from north to south or the reverse? Do you want to be in Switzerland for skiing or for milder temps?

The logical groupings of countries would be England/Ireland together--France/Spain,Portugal/Morocco--

Italy/Greece It does sound like an awful lot to plan out.

When my son was doing his serious traveling he just picked a place to start and then went along as the spirit took him depending on who he met along the way and what looked interesting.

It is hard to plan a detailed trip that encompasses so many countries!

kent
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4. Re: Solo traveler Europe itinerary

I'd suggest you start with flights. As you must start in France, you'll need to consider if you want the same airport for arriving and then departing. If you are flying from Europe to then onto Asia, does the French departing airport have the best routes etc to Asia. If not you may have to pick a bigger/better European hub airport for your Asia leg. Paris ( CDG) gets terrible airport reviews, but Amsterdam and London have excellent routes to Asia. So you may need an "open jaw" flight, where you fly into and out of two seperate airports.

Once you know which airport you'll be flying into and out of, you can frame you European leg of the trip.

It makes sense to use the train network to cover Europe. The major advantage to using the trains is that they arrive directly in the major cities and can be as fast as taking an internal flight ( especially when factoring getting to an airport and the immigration/security/customs queues) .

From France you could either turn north east for Switzerland, Itally, Greece and perhaps Slovenia.

Or, again from France you could go west and get to Spain and Portugal. Is Morrocco a "must do"? While you are geographically close when in Spain, getting return flights/accommopdation etc may make it just one destination too much.

For the UK and Ireland, you'd have to choose whether to use the Eurostar from Paris to London, and a further internal flight from London to Ireland.

Or.... if you have arrived in Spain/Portugal/Greece, you can use the cheap no frills carriers for flights to the UK/Ireland. The south Med airports are well served for flights to the UK and Ireland, but they have strict restrictions on carry on luggage, so you'll need to pay extra for any hold luggage. This can sometimes work out more expensive than using regular scheduled carriers, who don't charge for checked luggage.

For Greece... you have so many island groups to chose from, that it's almost a seperate trip in itself. Most of the major island groups can be reached by ferry, so in order to frame this leg of your trip, it makes sense to fly into Athens and then takes ferries from Piraeus, which is the main ferry port near Athens. Some of the more southerly Greek islands may take much loinger by ferry, so again, you may need to consider flights from Athens instead.

Weather.... Riff M has has made a valid point about the weather. Spring comes earlier to the Sothern Med, but the summers can be uncomfortably hot for travelling, and the flight prices shoot up dramatically when the European school holidays begin.

I'd also question your list. Switzerland is extremely expensive, while Slovenia, Morrocco and even Portugal may be just too much to try and fit in.

I know it's not me doing this trip ( sigh... I wish!!) but if I were planning this, I'd take the train from France to Spain, (and perhaps Portugal) then take a train ( or fly) to southern France for the French Med, and Italy. From Italy, the next stop on my imaginary route would be Greece, followed by a flight to the UK and/or Ireland. From the UK... a flight to Asia.

I am very jealous!!!

For information and planning, you may want to post a question in the Train travel forum.

Raymond Terrace...
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5. Re: Solo traveler Europe itinerary

Hi Rebecca,

I'm doing much the same as you, doing some solo travel in the UK and Europe in November/December this year. I'm visiting England, France, Spain, Austria and Italy as well as Jordan. I'm flying from/returning to Australia.

My itinerary was dictated by flight prices. I looked at the cities I wanted to visit, then went to Skyscanner and started looking at the cost of flights to get from one place to the next. Some air routes in Europe are definitely more popular than others (ie, Paris to Rome, for example) so I looked at all the variables, and decided on a route that had the cheapest fares. Thus I'm flying Manchester-Paris-Barcelona-Vienna-Rome-London. I booked all the flights as separate sectors, as it worked out much cheaper that way. I also booked all my flights directly with the airlines. Once I had an itinerary worked out, the rest (accommodation, transfers, tours etc) was easy.

Hope this helps.

Hong Kong, China
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6. Re: Solo traveler Europe itinerary

You will also want to find out how much time you are allowed to stay in the Shenghen Region and other countries as per your nationality. I believe most are allowed to stay in the Schengen area for a maximum period of 90 days within 180 days. This is worth baring in mind if you don't carry a European passport.

Denver, Colorado
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7. Re: Solo traveler Europe itinerary

Rebecca,

I had a look at your profile. If you are planning on putting all of this into two months, then you'll be spending half or more of your time 'en route.' Also, as you are apparently a teacher, it's going to be summer in Europe, and likely to be very hot in Southern Europe. With the exception of Switzerland, the UK and Ireland, and parts of France, It's going to be sweltering,

In addition, if this is July and August, then that's the major 'high season' and expensive. What is your budget?

I'd certainly save SE Asia for another trip.

In summary, you are looking at far too much in a period that I guess is only 2 months, looking at places that are going to be unpleasantly hot, and looking at the most costly time of year for many of them.

Edited: 03 September 2013, 13:21
San Diego
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8. Re: Solo traveler Europe itinerary

My goodness!! DO tell us how much time you actually have for this trip?

IF you are only planning on a 2month summer vacation then it is waaaaaay to much in such a short time!

I thought you were spending a year or so traveling around the world!

Charlotte, North...
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9. Re: Solo traveler Europe itinerary

Hi all and thank you for your replies!! I am on a leave from my teaching job at the present time. I have allotted about 4 months to cover Europe beginning mid-October. I can travel for 90 days out of 180 on my passport in the Schengen region, so I'll need to be in the UK or Ireland by the end of those 90 days.

Here is the order I have most recently thought about:

France

Switzerland

Slovenia

Greece (probably only Athens, Meteora, and two islands)

Italy

Spain

Morocco (?)

Portugal

UK/Ireland

Then head to SE Asia from London.

I am planning to take trains/ferries for most of this travel. The only flights I had really thought of were obviously in and out of Europe, from Portugal to London and maybe from Athens to the islands. I have been trying to plan this out with dates, etc. but as Riff said I'm wondering if I'm better off being a little more go with the flow? Thoughts??

Thanks again! :)

Delphi,Greece
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10. Re: Solo traveler Europe itinerary

I would start by thinking specific cities/islands/locations/areas rather than countries. You really allocate less than 10 days/country including transit time which does not makes much sense to me and does not help to advice. You may easily spend a week, 10 days or more alone on cities like Paris or London or islands like Crete and Rhodes, so you get what I mean... Logistics differs on where exactly on each country you want to go, for example there are a few ferry connections Greece to/from Italy but this makes sense only if by "islands" you mean the Ionian ones or you are interested on Western mainland in Greece , and of course depends where exactly you want to be in Italy. There are currently no international train connections to/from Greece and I am not sure how you may connect to/from Slovenia on the ground...