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Question

European Trip May 2013

29 Oct 2012 Kaiowas asked

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Hello guys and girls.

A friend and I are planning a trip to a lot of different countries in Europe next year. Looking to go in mid May. Despite all the different trips offered by Contiki, none of them cross off all the countries we want in the time span we want (was hoping for under 3 weeks, as i think any more than that i'd get home sick, and probably grow tired of all the suitcase living). So instead we were thinking of doing two different ones. Starting with the London and Paris plus Amderstam for 9 days, then perhaps the Berlin to Budapest for 11 days. My mate also wanted to travel to Spain at the end, but i think i'd be too tired to enjoy it after 20 days of touring in 7 different countries.
Is anyone else interested in either of these two packages around the same time? Or can recommend any other packages?

Cheers

Kai

  • 6 Nov 2012 Jess said

    Jess

    Hey Kai,

    I’m also wanting to go over in May 2013… your post has pretty much summed up what I’m looking into right now! I love the idea of Contiki, but I don’t like the idea of stopping in one of the cities at the top of my list for only one night (and I also can’t find a tour that visits everywhere I was to see: Berlin and Prague seem to be missed from a lot of the longer tours because they’re a little out of the way I guess).

    I think the London, Paris & Amsterdam trip sounds good. I was thinking of doing that followed by the Eastern Road (seems like the Berlin to Budapest tour + Poland)… I really want to see Switzerland as well, even if it’s on my own after the tours. I think the 2 shorter trips could be good because they guarantee you 2 nights everywhere, and the trips between cities will also be shorter. Buuuttttt…. I’ve heard so many stories of people making amazing friends, so the shorter trips obviously give you less time with those people! Not so bad for you because you’re travelling with a friend, but I’ll be going solo so it’s a bit nerve-wracking!

    I’m in the ‘too confused to make concrete plans’ phase… So let me know what you end up deciding and hopefully I’ll eventually make my mind up!
    Jess :)

  • 6 Nov 2012 Jess said

    Jess

    I found this blog on another Contiki discussion: http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/hms1987/2/1310129180/tpod.html

    This girl (Hayley) did the Berlin to Budapest last year and runs you through it all. Hope it helps! :)

  • 7 Nov 2012 Kaiowas said

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    Hi jess.

    Thanks for the info. It looks like my friend and i might branch off on our own after contiki and make our way down from berlin to budapest. As there is about a 6 day gap between the two tours which we would be on our own anyway. Which we could make our through berlin and prague by then. Travelling via train which is pretty cheap for 5 countries and much faster than coach with contiki. So we can choose to spend more time in some countries than others, with not too much more cost than the contiki tour. We also looked at a numbr of other tours if you’d like some more info let me know as i have a few options that went thru switzerland, but they also spend a lot of time in italy…

  • 7 Nov 2012 Kaiowas said

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    Hmm looks like i may be a lone traveller as well. My friend ian may have a problem with funds as airlines are booking now and want full cost of the plane ticket upfront, which he cant afford. Am now in the apprehensive boat, much like you…

  • 7 Nov 2012 Jess said

    Jess

    Hey Kai,
    Oh no, that’s not good. That’s strange for an airline to ask for full payment upfront, although it depends on which airline you’re flying with I guess and if the sale is ending on the day you’re booking. At the same time there’s a lot of expenses on top of the airline ticket! You’ll be fine by yoursefl!! (Here’s me saying that while freaking out about my solo plans!) But seriously, I think it would be a completely different experience travelling solo and rewarding in different respects.

    I think the London, Paris & Amsterdam tour would be good to start off with. I think I’d rather be with a fun group for those sorts of cities than Eastern Europe where I don’t want to be rushed and will be interested in other things. I’m considering making my way from Amsterdam > Berlin > Prague > Vienna by myself now… And then if I can figure it out, maybe down to Lucerne and Florence.

    So many decisions…. Keep me updated on your plans! It’s good to sort of be at the same planning stage as someone else. And I just saw you’re from Perth! Small world :)

  • 7 Nov 2012 Kaiowas said

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    Lol thanks Jess. Well your plans sound almost identical to mine, aside from the Lucerne and Florence part :-p, as I’ll be heading to Budapest after Vienna as well. I’d say look at the Eurail website for travel through Eastern Europe, very good prices for travelling 5 countries in first class in 5 days is like $400 australian, and most trips aren’t that much longer than some flights.

    We were going to book through Emirates as they have some great prices atm with a good reputation for full service and minimal stopovers (Qatar airwars had a 30hr stop over, while emirates had 2hrs, almost the exact same price as well around 1700 including tax and 30kg luggage allowance). I told Ian to contact the travel agent to see what other airways we can look at, but he wants to pay in full in January (cashing out his annual leave for money, hence why he doesn’t have the money now) but I don’t want to wait that long in case tours, hotels and flights are booked out. So am looking to cover what i can atm and just deposit the rest if possible. A lot of stuff to think about you’re right. When we were planning where to go and how to get ther Ian and I just pulled up the map of europe on google and the Eurail map to see what goes where, how long it takes etc. Really helpful.

    Anyway I’m still in the maybe boat atm, as i had all this planned with Ian, very excited to see all the cities and cultures, but kinda scared to do it alone. I think starting with contiki will be good (despite being a bit old, I’m 25 and have been told Contiki is more for 18yr olds). Those three cities are very big and probably very expensive to do alone, while contiki offers good value and still ticks off the major sights without too much rushing and not having to travel in smelly coaches with 50 other people. Whilst Eastern Europe is a bit cheaper and has more things I want to see (Prague looks absolutely amazing!!! and Berlin has some very nice attractions as with Vienna’s and Budapests museums and monuments) and easier to get around.

    Wow, I figured everyone on this site would be from the U.S. and Canada, it’s a small word after all. Send me a PM if you want to chat about plans etc.

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