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Travel Plans - London, Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome

San Francisco...
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Travel Plans - London, Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome

I am guessing I will have to post this in the 5 different cities, so here goes:

Traveling this July for 3 weeks from the USA:

Landing in London - 3 nights

Stay - Morgan Hotel

To do - still planning

Paris - 4 nights

Travel via rail from London to Paris - starting research on train travel

Stay - TBD, have emails out for confirmation

To do - mostly sightseeing in Paris: Lourve, Eiffel Tower, etc., day tour to Versailles, looking into Loire Valley

Paris to Venice - sleeper train

Venice - 3 nights

Stay - TBD, emails out for confirmation

To do - walk around, sightseeing

Florence - 3 nights

Stay - Amorino Suite

To do - various sightseeing, day trip to Tuscany

Rome - 5 nights

Stay - TBD, emails out for confirmation

To do - Vatican and Sistine Chapel, Coliseum, etc.

Flight from Rome back to home.

I'm looking into rail passes of sorts - quite expensive! Tickets to Louvre and Vatican/Sistine Chapel. Looking into various SIMS, and Google voice and Skype are set up.

Is there anything I need to know, warned about? I have picked up a 3 day travel sightseeing itinerary from this site for London, have purchased several Paris and Italy books. Also have a Rick Steves Backdoor 2013 book.

We are three experienced travelers but my first to Europe. I have been strongly advised by my husband and brother to pack only what I can fit in a carry-on! Really, I've packed more going to Asia - this part of the trip I am not looking forward to. Guess it's just one pair of shoes, a slack, a dress, one shirt, underwears, socks. Not much in makeup or bath items, either. I will bring my computer, camera, and ipad. So at each new city, buy what is needed and throw away? Is Europe harder to travel?

Thanks.

San Francisco...
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11. Re: Travel Plans - London, Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome

anyone go shopping in used clothing stores in Europe? We have tons of stores here in the Bay Area - just wondered if this is common.

Can't recall, are pills allowed in your carry-ons? Just being lazy - I'll google it. :D

Illinois
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12. Re: Travel Plans - London, Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome

If you like shopping, there are a bunch of used clothing stores in London. Mainly operated by charities. I'm not sure about the other cities.

I always take pills in my carry on in case my checked bag gets lost. I'm not sure of the best way to arrange it (especially since you're reworking your itinerary) but I would try to put a longer stay in the middle of the trip and either go to a laundromat or find somewhere that will do your laundry once in the middle of the trip. I usually am ok for less than 2 weeks without doing laundry but for 2 weeks or more I try to do laundry every 1-1.5 weeks. That way I can get by with a 22" suitcase (carry on size but so far I've always checked it, I may try carry on next time with my daughter as then I'd have help to get it in the overhead bins - it's not that heavy usually but I'm short).

San Francisco...
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13. Re: Travel Plans - London, Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome

Thanks btmg!

California
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14. Re: Travel Plans - London, Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome

There are lots of thrift stores in Paris. Here a thread that will give you some info

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g187147-i14-k437176…

San Francisco...
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15. Re: Travel Plans - London, Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome

Thanks, AnnetteCinCa! This is great!

Saratoga Springs, NY
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16. Re: Travel Plans - London, Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome

Are you seriously talking about not bringing clothes, just buying some and throwing them out before you leave for hte next city?

Just read about packing light - it's not hard!

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187147-i14-k53274…

or

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187147-i14-k64102…

If you get a generously sized 21" bag, you can really fit a lot into it, especially if you roll your clothing. If you really must go larger, get a 24" bag (a medium bag). Try to find one or two hotels that have either laundry facilities or are near a laundromat and that will definitely help a lot with how much you have to bring. There are some cute t-shirts at Target now, made with rayon, which you can easily handwash in a sink and they'll be dry by morning. I absolutely would not buy clothes in a thrift shop and wear them without washing them -- Ew!!!

Seriously consider dropping London from this trip if you are going next year. You have a lot of cities and a lot of running around. London is going to be much cooler than Rome and you'll need more clothes/more layers than you will in Italy. This way you can have a few more days in Paris!

ETA I think Diane Von Furstenburg's bags seem to hold a bit more - you can get them at TJ maxx pretty cheaply. But look at the shapes of bags, including the inside, and you'll see some 21 inch bags hold a lot more than others. Don't go over with your bag expanded - you are going to need that extra room for your souvenirs!

Edited: 03 May 2013, 14:14
Santa Rosa, CA
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17. Re: Travel Plans - London, Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome

Great looking trip! Did this in reverse just 4 years ago. Took the chunnel express train from London to Paris in about 3 hours - a breeze. But I flew from Paris to Rome, (about 3 hours) and then went to Florence and Venice. Here's a suggestion for your trip -- I had to get back to Paris from Venice to fly home. I stopped at Montreux, SW on Lake Geneva and spent a night. The train ride from Venice through the lake country into the Alps is spectacular. Chillon castle is a must but the natural beauty of the lake steals the show. Enjoy!

New York City, New...
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18. Re: Travel Plans - London, Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome

I agree packing light is not as difficult as you think it will be, especially with summer clothes (though you will need to bring layers because it will probably be cooler in Paris & for sure in London).

Good call about removing the overnight trains. They sound like a lot of fun and "an adventure" but the reality is it's a bumpy ride, the toilets are usually nasty and you rarely get any sleep. I did many of these in my college days but that was before the low cost airlines were around.

I've never flown the Paris to Venice route but I would check vueling.com and easyjet.com. Just like with Eurostar, book early for the best deal. I booked last month for July from Rome to Paris & flight was about €70 pp. Enjoy, planning is half the fun!

San Francisco...
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19. Re: Travel Plans - London, Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome

Will pack light - just like to see what is considered "used clothing" overseas. If there is such a thing as a "good find".

So far, I am having a difficult time finding a place to stay in Paris. Seems we might have to go above $200/night. July is always a popular travel time - just the best time for us to go.

I've looked at a lot of booking sites - so it seems the better prices are getting grabbed quickly.

Saratoga Springs, NY
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20. Re: Travel Plans - London, Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome

I stayed at www.balmoral-paris-hotel.com/uk/index.php and their rates were good. It's not an ideal location, being a block from the Arc de Triomphe, but the metro is right there and very convenient.

$200 is low - it would be hard to find something in San Francisco for that in July. But you will probably find something. Is that for two or for three?

Other highly recommended/reasonably priced hotels people like are Hotel Diana and Hotel Europe Saint Severin. They are in much more convenient neighborhoods, so they probably book up a lot more quickly.