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Help Needed to Plan for a Free & Easy trip to UK and Paris

Kuala Lumpur...
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Help Needed to Plan for a Free & Easy trip to UK and Paris

Hi all,

I'm from Malaysia and planning a trip to UK and Paris with my boyfriend next year, somewhere during May 2014. The places we intend to visit are Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle, Sunderland, London and last stop in Paris over a period of 11 days (do you think it is feasible?).

For mode of transport, was considering renting a car from London and driving around UK. But have absolutely no idea about the cost of things as this would be my first time there. Planning to end the road trip in London before taking a train to Paris (2D/1N) and flying back to Malaysia from there. That would mean I would have about a week or so in UK to travel.

Few concerns/questions that I have:

1) Would it be too expensive to rent a car or taking a train would be better to travel within UK? Would it be too tiring with my bf being the only driver as I read in other forums, it is better to have 2 drivers to alternate. Roughly how much does it cost for a day to rent a car with GPS and one without GPS?

2) It is better to make bookings of the hotel from here, in Malaysia or to book as and when we decide to stop in each city? Where would be a good and reasonable place to stay in each city?

3) How about local tours. Can we book it from Malaysia or to go there and to only buy it.

My concerns are mainly on moving about within UK and the cost that would entail and to find a reasonable place to stay. We are more on a budget trip this time round.

Would appreciate some advice/ opinion/ feedback on traveling within UK.

If it is too difficult, might consider taking a full tour package from Malaysia. Downside is, we wouldn't be able to choose the exact locations we would like to visit.

Thanks.

Edited: 10 September 2013, 06:07
england
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1. Re: Help Needed to Plan for a Free & Easy trip to UK and Paris

You seem only to be interested in major cities so I would suggest using the trains, a car is an asset in the countryside but a liability in cities

Dunfermline, United...
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2. Re: Help Needed to Plan for a Free & Easy trip to UK and Paris

Bear in mind petrol is around £1.38 per litre and the roads between those cities can get terribly busy. For example, it can take 4 hours to drive between London and York but only 2 hours on the train. York to Edinburgh is a tortuous 4-5 hour drive compared to 2.5 hours on the train.

Check train fares at www.nationalrail.co.uk and book advance tickets if possible as they are the best value

All those cities in 11 days is a bit ambitious. I would knock Manchester and Glasgow off the list.

Oakham, United...
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3. Re: Help Needed to Plan for a Free & Easy trip to UK and Paris

Indeed.. do you really want to only see big cities? One of the best things about the UK is that we haev some beautiful bits of countryside, whre you can relax a bit, enjoy the view, maybe walk, adn find some nice pubs to sit in. See if you can spend a few days outside the cities!

Rutland, UK
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4. Re: Help Needed to Plan for a Free & Easy trip to UK and Paris

I don't think your plan is feasible. A sizeable chunk of your 'sightseeing' time will be spent driving, mostly on boring motorways and potentially stuck in traffic jams. Then there'll be the stress of navigating through crowded inner cities looking for your hotel which might well not have its own car park. Constant hotel changes means constant packing and unpacking and more time taken from your sightseeing time budget.

Another problem I have with your plan is your choice of cities to visit. I'm sure Newcastle, Sunderland, Manchester and Glasgow have their local advocates but they are not high on most people's lists of 'must see' places in Britain. I very much doubt that you'll find an organised tour that has them all (and quite possibly any) in their itineraries. Perhaps, though, you have particular reasons for wanting to go there.

In short: do more research on what you want to see, select fewer places or give yourself more time, and travel by train if you are visiting cities.

Edited: 10 September 2013, 08:22
Southampton
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5. Re: Help Needed to Plan for a Free & Easy trip to UK and Paris

Does the phrase "free and easy" have some different meaning in the far east compared to the UK? I only ask because I have seen this phrase used repeatedly on this board by tourists from the Singapore and Malaysia area who intend on manic planned-to-the-second epic driving trips.

I am wondering if perhaps you want to visit either football grounds/teams or universities in the UK. Otherwise I am at a loss to explain your itinerary. It is very unusual. What is the attraction of Sunderland? Can you explain to us what you want to see? You route is physically possible but will involve a lot of driving and almost no typical tourist sights. Is this what you want?

UK
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6. Re: Help Needed to Plan for a Free & Easy trip to UK and Paris

I agree with Beauchamp, your plan isn't feasible, whether by car or train you will pretty much end up spending an afternoon in each place and then move on the next morning, so most of your time is spent traveling and not seeing anything.

Your choice of locations is very unusual, would I be right in thinking its football related? You certainly wont find a coach tour that has this itinerary so you will have to self-organise.

Beauchamp summarised it well, "select fewer places or give yourself more time, and travel by train if you are visiting cities."

UK
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7. Re: Help Needed to Plan for a Free & Easy trip to UK and Paris

p.s. Akkarin makes a good point, there is nothing "Free and easy" about your itinerary as it will require rushing from one place to the next on a strict schedule ! FWIW to do your itinerary I'd suggest triple the time.

London
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8. Re: Help Needed to Plan for a Free & Easy trip to UK and Paris

I think "Free and Easy" when used by Far Eastern tourists simply means 'not an organised excursion'.

9. Re: Help Needed to Plan for a Free & Easy trip to UK and Paris

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