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Need Advice how and where to book solo trip

Los Angeles...
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Need Advice how and where to book solo trip

Hello to all fellow travel lovers out there :)

I'm new to the site and excited to get any feedback anyone can offer.

I have decided to go ahead and plan a trip trip to London, Rome and Barcelona all by myself!

Unfortunately, I have been very discouraged recently. I found a great deal that I was just about to book through europeandestinations.com and started doing some research and discovered that the site may be too good to be true. I'm very dissapointed about it :(((

I know most people here on trip adviser plan their own trips, and that's awesome! But I do not have experience in planning trips (aside from using Expedia twice for cancun) so I feel lost totally lost and o not have a clue where to begin :/

My questions are:

How much realistically will my trip cost including flight, hotels?

Where is the best places to find tickets and hotels?

Is there anywhere at all that I can go to but a real package for something like this without it being a disappointing or being charged tons more money?

I am so excited about this trip and have my heart set on it, but I can be impulsive sometimes and I don't want to get myself into trouble with a deal that wont pan out the way I expect it to.So I am trying to do my due diligence as best I can!!

My budget for the whole trip is $3500.00-$4000.00 with everything..activities, flight, hotels..etc.

I appreciate anyone's advice or input. Thank you so much in advance.!

Terra

Boston...
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1. Re: Need Advice how and where to book solo trip

i suggest there is a good adventure experience in planning your own trip. Book your flight, select a hotel close to a tube stop (for London), and buy a London Pass with Travel Card http://www.londonpass.com/. My wife and I returned from London week before last and the London Pass with Travelcard was a great deal for us. It provides a nice guidebook for the main attractions, includes admission, and covers your tube fare. The tube fare can add up if you buy separately at 4.5 BP per ride.

The same applies to Rome - choose a hotel close to a subway stop and use a guidebook to see the sites you want to see. My wife and I really enjoyed seeing Rome by Segway http://www.romebysegway.com/site/ for example. The Vatican/Sistine Chapel is a must of course.

I actually returned from Barcelona earlier this week but did not spend much time in the city. My buddies and I were on a motorcycle cruise through the Pyrenees and were only in the city for the first and last day.

Good luck - the planning and research is part of the fun. It's nice NOT to have a booked tour because it provides the freedom to go at your own pace and have your own discovery - definitely part of the experience!

Los Angeles...
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2. Re: Need Advice how and where to book solo trip

Thank you for your reply. DO you have any other feedback in response to some of the other questions I asked? Thank you so much Matt!

Stanley, Falkland...
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3. Re: Need Advice how and where to book solo trip

How much realistically will my trip cost including flight, hotels?

>>> WHY not go to a site like Kayak and plug in your cities and see what flights cost? THEN go to sites like expedia, bookers, tripadvisor, etc, etc, and see what hotels cost. THEN check what the cost of your favourite burger or coffeee might be in those cities.... It's not difficult, but YOU have to do it.

Where is the best places to find tickets and hotels?

>>> THERE is no "best". You need to check various places and decide which suits your needs.

Is there anywhere at all that I can go to but a real package for something like this without it being a disappointing or being charged tons more money?

>>> Sorry to be blunt, but you are being lazy, and expect someone else to do the legwork without wishing to pay them for helping you.

London
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4. Re: Need Advice how and where to book solo trip

Unless I overlooked it, you don't say how much time you have available for your trip. Depending on this will be the decision over whether you can manage London, Rome & Barcelona within your time limit while still doing justice to each place (for instance anything below 5 days on the ground in London would mean missing a lot). and factoring in travel time between the cities

Only after this can you assess your budget adequacy

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Need Advice how and where to book solo trip

Yes you might be right! I am being a little lazy even though I'm doing tons of research and checking different places. I'm planning to go in give weeks around the first week of November for 12 days. I guess I'm worried I don't have enough time to look as extensively as I should.

It's just more of convenience to go through a package website deal it seems. But I take a good 5 hours at night each day to look and explore the options! I have found it to be rather expensive the plan it ourself way, however:-/

Maybe I'm just great at tracking down good deals?!

Bluemont, Virginia
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6. Re: Need Advice how and where to book solo trip

With only 12 days, I would choose just one or two cities as a base. Too much time will be lost in travel between the 3 cities if you figure that you will likely spend the better part of a day each time you travel to a new destination. London is great for a solo trip. I typically book flight, hotel, etc on my own, but did book a package through Virgin once...just happened to come across an excellent deal when I wasn't even looking to book a trip and could not pass it up.

london
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7. Re: Need Advice how and where to book solo trip

Matt in #1 says << buy a London Pass with Travel Card >>

if you research the posts on this forum you'll find that none of the London experts recommend this ... all the major museums in London are free and the 2-for-1 deals that come with a paper travelcard bought from a national rail station are great ... look at the sticky on the top of the London forum web page

Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: Need Advice how and where to book solo trip

I have used ED and I've been very pleased with their services, it really helped me to get what I wanted for my package and combine cities. All the sites and travel agencies have good and bad reviews depending on each experience. I suggest you can book flight and hotels with them, also if you want sightseeing tours, you may check the reviews of the hotels also here on tripadvisor it will really help you. You can purchase train tickets on your own also because I heard they can be cheaper that way. Hope this helps and god luck on your choice

Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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9. Re: Need Advice how and where to book solo trip

Are you travelling in November this year, as in about six weeks away? If so you need to book *now* as flights and hotels will get more expensive as time goes by.

British Airways have a sale on for flights from LAX to LHR (London Heathrow) and beyond; fares are reduced until 8 October. Their sale fares for travel within Europe end today, but if you book an open jaw ticket from LAX to LHR then to fly home from FCO or BCN and add point to point flights in between.

Unless you have 14 clear days, your 12 days of holiday time will reduce to 10 with arrival and departure days removed from the equation. Trying to visit three cities in that time, with one day lost to travel between them, may mean you will see plenty of airports but not much on the ground. Consider reducing your holiday time to two cities.

Early November is the time for the World Travel Market in London, and hotel rates are sky high as many have been booked for months. Barcelona and Rome are perennially popular and will be busy as well. Please let us know your budget in pounds for a London hotel - use www.xe.com for the conversion - and let us know approxiimately when you plan to travel. There are some bargain rates at good Travelodge and Ibis Budget properties, but you'll need to book sharpish.

If you'd rather not fly with BA then choose an airline with which you *do* want to fly and look to making an open jaw / multi city booking with that carrier. At the BA website you could book LAX to LHR, LHR to FCO / BCN then FCO / BCN to LAX (which would include a change of plane at LHR); you should be able to do much the same with other airlines, but change of plane might include stops at FRA, AMS or CDG.

Please ensure you allow sufficient time for the connections at airports. The minimum connection time is just that, calculated on a very good day when everything goes smoothly. Allow at least half again as much as the MCT, as there are very few days when things go smoothly.

Book directly with the airlines, not with a third party online booking agent. Direct booking will mean you will deal with the airline should anything go wrong, instead of having to go through the third party. Most airlines guarantee lowest fares with direct bookings, so remove the middleman and save money.

Last of all, do *not* buy a Londonpass, nor should you buy the travel option that goes with it even if you do decide to splurge on the pass. The travel option is overpriced for nearly all travellers - there are other ways to pay for transport in London - and the pass does not provide >free< admission, simply pre-pays it.

You have a great deal of real work to do now. Please start thinking in £ and € rather than dollars, as that latter currency is not accepted (nor will prices be shown in it) in London, Rome or Barcelona. Consider your dates, the airline with which you'd like to fly, how long you can realistically spend in each city, and let us know more.

Honolulu
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10. Re: Need Advice how and where to book solo trip

I am also planning a trip to London (including Dublin, maybe) in December and have also received advice from London experts that the London Pass is NOT the way to go. But I will deifnitely try out cazinatutu's suggestion on the travelcard from the national rail station.

good luck with your trip, Terra M!