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Author Topic: European Tours Thread 3  (Read 53947 times)

little_princess

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2012, 07:40:57 PM »
haha ginawing tao ako eh so i'm not really sure. parang the weather is a bit off for me :( i'm used to tropical weather or extremely cold like below 15C :(

d_zialcita

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2012, 08:50:19 PM »
hi mama squeak, sorry i don't know how to quote.. and am thinking it might be too long din to quote...  ;D
hope okay lang.

thank you for the itinerary!!  :)

have questions though:

1. from manila, what flight best to get?
cheapest sana and alis ng late friday night, or early saturday morning.

2. my husband is insisting now na bawasan the days in italy, kc he wants to pass by switzerland. (nanggagaya lang sya kc his bestfriend yan ginawa:italy, switzerland then france) but of course, i might as well let him have something na din kc now lang sya nagka idea.

if ever, i am ok with removing -day 4: san gimignano and voltera. is switzerland ok lang na 1 night?
or do i need to give up a night in paris too?

3. if we skip switzerland and do italy-paris, we'll probably fly nalang kc easier un kesa train diba?

4. if we do switzerland, train un right? how hassle will it be kaya?


thanks again mama squeak and for anyone else who will reply.

melodymedley, rereading your blog again, grabe wish we had your energy and the time to do what you did! :)
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 10:34:37 PM by d_zialcita »

melodymedley

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2012, 10:56:47 PM »
@sis Maddy_girl: Thanks for that info. Might consider that one. But at this moment, KLM's open jaw tix for next year looks cheaper. And they have a morning flight arriving in Prague, as early as 6am.

I've been semi-lurking thread. Planning a bit, but I am focusing on other itineraries for my other destinations this year. I am loving the Prague suggestions. Might really include that next time.

Thanks sis d_zialcita! :) If I may give some comments:
1) Cheapest - depends who gives the better seat sale. I actively check the websites of CX and KLM. You can also sign-up for their mailing list (I didn't). Schedule: You can do mock bookings to see which airlines fit your sked.

2) The train from Florence to Milan takes around 4 hours (If I recall correctly  :o). I think the train from Milan to Geneva (?) takes 4 hours also. I did some mock bookings when I was drafting my itinerary. I concluded na di kaya ng oras ko mag-Switzerland so I scrapped that country. It depends of course, if you really want to push through.

For me, I won't reduce my time in Paris. I love that city.  ;D Mama squeak gave a pretty detailed itinerary in the Paris thread. With the 16 days, I'd do 10 days ako sa Italy (same itinerary that I did) then I will fly to Paris for the 4 days (flight dates yung 2 remaining days). Pero, it depends kasi sa type nyong gawin sa honeymoon nyo. More places, more nakakapagod.   

3) Better to fly. Cheaper and faster too. You can check the low cost carriers like Easyjet and Ryanair. Lots of info about these two airlines in the first two threads.

4) You can fly, but I think it is not that far from Italy (depends on which city you will come from) so a train would do - also more convenient.

During the itinerary planning, I was bombarded with suggestions too. I wanted to do this and that. Because this city is closer to this by train, some people did this route, etc.etc. . In the end, I took mama squeak's suggestion to heart: patience and careful planning talaga. And yes, budget some time for shopping!

d_zialcita

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2012, 02:17:59 PM »
hi melody medley thanks for your inputs..


nasad naman ako, if ganun kc kahassle si switzerland... parang di ko na feel.

but like kc ng husband ko... what could we replace it with if ever, that's easy to go to?
i think feel nya kc na 3 counties eh. but i'll still try to convince to do the 2 countries nalang para relaxed.


:)

btw, which one is the paris thread? is that the same as the "how much does a trip to paris cost"? or may iba pa?
thanks
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 04:24:36 PM by d_zialcita »

mama squeak!

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2012, 05:17:22 PM »
^Yup, that was the original title of the thread so Paris for short na lang. Try to back read on that thread to give you an idea of your Paris trip. I gave din mga IT samples there. I'm bias so I will agree with melodymedley. Paris is one of my favorite cities in Europe. That was also one of the reasons I took up French as my major back in college  :D

About Switzerland, well, it is your trip. You do what you want to do. That's the beauty of DIYing a trip!  It won't be a relaxed trip though if you will squeeze in Switzerland. Teka, what city in Switzerland ang gusto puntahan ni hubby mo? Maraming magagandang city din dun! Better sit down with him and discuss what you really want your trip to be. Relaxed mode or Amazing race mode?  ;D

Or if he will insist on seeing other countries another option is to check out packaged tours. At least di ka na ma-stress sa planning because everything will be taken cared of. Yun lang di mo na hawak oras mo.

 :)

d_zialcita

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2012, 10:32:15 PM »
thank you mama squeak and melody medley

have talked already and discussed our options, we'll still with 2 countries, unless we can extend his vacation leave.

 ;D

my grandmother will be joining us, but she will stay in italy with my aunt for the whole 2 weeks.


will try to book our airline tickets on the travel expo on the 21st.


since our first stop will be in my aunt's house... in tuscany, what airport should i choose in italy?

will fly nalang din from venice to paris. which airport is better in paris?

will stay in Marais area since mamasqueak said ok dun kahit late na. we sleep late, so that's perfect.

thank you!

 :-*

mooncake and leaves

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2012, 01:14:46 AM »
To borrow melodymedley's term, Europe is in my 2015-2017 timeline. This is the leg I'm considering: Paris-Rome-Athens with trips to the Ionian islands-Pamukkale

Questions:
1. How many days should we allot for this kind of trip? I only have a max of 21 vacation days per year. Would that be enough?
2. I'm thinking of going either in April, May or September. How's the weather? Since I want to do island-hopping, I want a warmer, sunny weather that's not as bad as the summer months.
3. I checked the one way airfare from Paris to Rome. Currently, cheapest is $77. How does it compare to the Eurail? If we take the train, how long will the trip take?
4. Are there ferries from Rome to Athens or the Ionian islands? 

Thanks :)

mama squeak!

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2012, 09:07:32 AM »
^^sis, if your travel plans are for second quarter of 2013 I'd hold off on buying or booking tickets this early. Unless super promo like less than USD1,000 all-in ha. Pag ganyan ang fare grab mo na! Otherwise wait until late this year or Jan-Feb 2013 to get your tickets. Also there is an annual international travel expo held every Feb. Kung makaka-antay ka that long you might be able to buy super cheap tickets.

The nearest international airport to Pistoia is Firenze or Florence airport. Depende na lang which airline you will be taking if they have flights there. For me the most convenient and faster connections from Manila are KLM and CX. With the Middle East carriers kasi medyo mahaba ang transit time nila.

When I did a mock booking on KLM they have flights to Pisa airport then you take a 30-45 minute train ride with transfers to Pistoia. While CX has gateways to Milan and Rome then train ride to Pistoia. If I remember correctly from Milan it's a 4 hour train ride while from Rome 3-3.5 hours naman.

As to the airports in Paris, depende na lang yan sa makukuha mo na flight out of Venice. With Easyjet they fly direct to both Orly (ORY) and Charles De Gaulle-Roissy(CDG). No worries ka here because both airports have good transportation links into central Paris. Tip lang, since this airline is an LCC they offer very cheap fares if you buy tickets way in advance. Right now their fares VCE-ORY or CDG is at EUR35/pax. The nearer to your departure date the more expensive the fares will be. Also be reminded that you will have to pay extra for your checked-in bags.

Back read ka on this thread for a more detailed discussion on Paris:

http://www.femalenetwork.com/girltalk/index.php/topic,216556.20.html

 :)


d_zialcita

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2012, 03:02:23 PM »
^
Thank you again and again mamasqueak.
I'll go to the expo just in case super cheap.
but if not, i guess we can wait for a seat sale.
i don't think i can wait for the february expo though cause we plan to go first week of april.
(we need a booked flight when we apply for the visa right? since it's 3 months before departure, we need to apply on january?)

if we take the plane to rome, maybe we could stay a night in rome then?
what are the must see places, that we could do in an over night?

will follow the itinerary you gave me. :)

so that's florence, lucca and pisa, siena and cinque terre, then verona and venice. then fly to paris.
will skip san gimignano cause am sure i'll have to meet family since my grandmother will be with us.

around how much is renting a car in tuscany?
been trying to check online, but no cars are available for april. i guess too early pa kasi.
but just to give me an idea on our budget, around how much would that be?
would need a car to go from my aunt's place to florence, lucca and pisa, siena and to la spezia (to go to cinque terre)
so that's 3 days. hope it's not so expensive. but if ever, is it possible to commute there?

last question, (for now) how many hours and how much will it be to go from venice to paris by train?
i know it would be cheaper if we fly, but my husband and i might want to experience the sleeper train.

also, am so happy to share that I already found options for our accommodations in verona, venice and paris.

am really excited! really appreciate this thread and of course mama squeak and melody medley!

thanks again!

melodymedley

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2012, 07:45:32 PM »
@mama squeak - thanks for the info. I was considering booking the tix for EU 2013 para wala nang atrasan - do they offer seat sales kaya on open jaw tix? . KLM offers a $1,500 fare for MNL-PRG and LIS-MNL. KLM will refund the tix naman if I will have visa problems (again) - I hope not.

@sis d-zialcita: Hope you find good deals in the expo. Yeap, mga January yung earliest that you can apply. I believe the cities in Italy that you mentioned are all commutable. You just have to check the skeds. Since April is not the peak season, you can afford to buy the tix on the day of the tour itself - para rin flexible kayo sa sked.

Here's a good link for Italy http://www.italylogue.com/. Just click the city na gusto mo puntahan sa right side for more info.

@sis mooncake and leaves: tama! Plan and read about it early. It keeps the dream alive. Kahit matagal pa yung travel dates, the dream will not fade. :)

1) Wow! Andami, Kainggit. :D Considering weekends, you can have one month. Probably one week in Paris, 4 days in Rome, 10+ days in greece, ummm... and then choose other cities in Italy. Yung future Greece IT ko, 5-6 days - Athens and Santorini lang. Someday na yung ibang islands...when I go to Turkey perhaps. (wish wish wish!)

2) I guess May - para transition from Spring to Summer. When I was there in September, saksakan din ng init. Toward the end of my trip, malamig na (the cold part was in northern parts, AMS and Paris)

3) Cheaper to fly if you book earlier - 4-5 months before. I booked my flight from Rome to Paris (ORLY) via Easyjet which cost me 60 euros. 35 euros  base fare + taxes + 1 check in baggage (20kg, 15 euros). Note that these tix are non-refundable. There's an overnight train from Rome to Paris which costs around 100+ euros when I did my mock booking during the planning stage.

4) I recall one roommate who mentioned you can take a train from Sicily to ... basta yung northern point sa Greece. From what I understood, part of the train breaks off and rides ferry. Mala-RORO effect. Ngayon ko lang naalala. I haven't checked how true is that.

Based on my research, a fast boat from Athens to Santorini takes 5 hours. Slow boat, 8 hours.
I use this website as my primer for Greece. Lots of really useful info. Ansaya mag-daydream. :)
http://www.greecelogue.com/

With the dollar now at the 41-42 range, and the Euro playing at 51-52, we can afford more. Yay! More budget for shopping. I guess there's an upside to the demise of the Euro.  ::)

mooncake and leaves

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2012, 10:53:31 PM »
^ thanks! :) Sorry, my bad, 21 days including weekends na siya because technically I only get 15 days of vacation per year. I made a draft-3-4 days in Paris, 3 days in Rome, 2 days in Kefalonia, 2 days in Zante, 2 days in Athens and 3-4 days in Pamukkale. Pamukkale is my top priority kasi. Iniisip ko pa anong puwedeng isama sa Pamukkale kasi anlayo ng Cappadocia and ng Istanbul sa kanya though there's a beautiful cave system there ata and some Roman ruins and a biblical site. Ok lang ba yung pace?

For Paris, I'm thinking of packing all the touristy stuff in 2 days and spend the next 2 days just wandering around. Would that be alright or kulang ang 2 days to see the city's highlights? I want to see catacombs sana. Where to go for that?

I decided to just fly. Though ang mahal. My est. total of the airfare for September of this year is between $1,600 and $1,800 including taxes and other charges. Ok lang ba yun?

Thanks ulit! :)

m_lim

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2012, 09:02:21 AM »
sa mga nagpplan pumunta sa Greece, include Mykonos in your iti. ang ganda! parang venice of greece

mama squeak!

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2012, 10:23:21 AM »
@d_zialcita, the rental fee will depend on the following: class/type of car and the length/duration of the rental. It is cheaper to rent by the week compared to renting by the days. Plus renting automatic cars in Europe is more expensive compared to manual transmissions. Standard kasi ang MT sa Europe. Minsan wala ka pang makuha na automatic. Opposite naman in the US where mahirap makakuha ng MT cars.

Basing on your IT it would be more cost effective to take the train since central naman yung location nyo. Just ask your aunt to direct you to the nearest train station. All the towns you intend to visit have convenient train schedules, you just have to plan carefully. Here's the Italian rail website where you can check the schedules and fares:

 http://www.trenitalia.com

Of course if you want flexibility, then rent a car. Just be reminded that you will have to find parking outside of town since you can't enter the historic centers like Florence, Lucca, Siena, etc.

Re Venice to Paris, since your time is limited best to fly there. The plane fare may come out cheaper compared to booking train sleeper cabins because you will need one since it's going to be a 13-14 hour train ride. Estimate cost for 2 passengers in a double sleeper cabin is EUR350.

Re Rome, pwede naman kaya lang bitin if overnight. Better save it for another trip.   :)

@melody_medley, sis usually promos are for RT tickets. Bihira yung multi-desti or open jaw routings. If you have already decided to get open jaw tickets for your next trip, PM me so I can refer you to our  ticketing supervisor. She can make a booking for you so you don't have to buy the tickets yet until you get your visa. Then you can compare na rin the fare with KLM.

 :)

@mooncake and leaves, Les catacombs de Paris is located on the 14eme arrondissement (vicinity of Montparnasse). Take the metro or RER B and get off at Denfert-Rochereau. After the catacombs you can then go to the Tour Montparnasse to get an alternate city view of Paris.

 :)

kreez

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2012, 07:58:14 PM »
I'm planning to bring my sister here in Europe from Manila, gift ko sa kanya (claiming na she will pass the Medical boards in August).  Kasabay na namin sya babalik dito.... haay nako ang dami namang requirements pag tourist...

mga sis, san ba kayo kumuha ng medical insurance (yung for schengen visa application)?  ok ba yung sa blue cross? any other suggestions?  kung bakit naman kasi yung health insurance nya dyan sa pinas hindi pa pwede for this purpose eh, haaayyy...

at saka pala pahingi naman ng contact for travel agency para, kasi di ba you have to show your ticket reservation.  I was planning to buy her ticket online kasi parang mas mura but then di ba hindi naman advisable to buy the ticket before the visa is granted. 

TIA!
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 08:02:26 PM by kreez »
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mama squeak!

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2012, 08:02:41 PM »
^sis, please back read on the two Schengen visa threads for the requirements. Na-discuss na extensively yung mga Q mo dun.

http://www.femalenetwork.com/girltalk/index.php/topic,250928.0.html

 :)

kreez

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2012, 08:39:29 PM »
^thanks sis!
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foxymom

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #36 on: July 12, 2012, 08:40:43 AM »
@kreez, blue cross is the best! my parents trip was cancelled because my dad suffered a heart attack 3 weeks before departure (super sad but happy he survived). we were able to refund 100% of the ticket cost and accom paid :D


foxymom

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #37 on: July 12, 2012, 09:12:21 AM »
okay change of plans -- need help again!

hubby has decided we will celebrate new year in london (yey!)

so just like last year (we celebrated new year in paris :) ) we will leave for london right after christmas, then prague, then ??? ---> what city would you recommend? we are eyeing cathay pacific as our airline because of the good rates :D

plan is to stay

7 days in london
3 days in prague
3 days in either milan, frankfurt, vienna, barcelona, zurich, or other suggestions?

im so confused on what 3rd city we should squeeze into our itenerary :D

d_zialcita

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #38 on: July 12, 2012, 02:30:47 PM »
thank you mama squeak

we can drive manula cars, so that would be fine.

but doing it by train is alright too.

i guess it would depend on how much things compare.

wow, mahal pala ng train. :(

mama squeak, help again.

i tried to mockbook in cathaypacific.

USD 4,328.00 is for manila-pisa-paris-manila.

why so expensive?

i did the multicountry thing.

thanks

d_zialcita

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Re: European Tours Thread 3
« Reply #39 on: July 12, 2012, 02:35:57 PM »
mama squeak, i tried KLM naman

manila-pisa-paris-manila is at USD 1,459.38  per person, though travel time is more than 24 hours and it has a lot of stopvers.

what do you recommend to save time?


thanks

 

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