Possible trip 2: Europe

Saint Petersburg Mosque

Yes, The Bronze Horseman is the main reason I want to see St Petersburg. Image by Peer.Gynt via Flickr

The unpopular option, as voted by y’all. Still, it deserves a post of its own. Luckily – I think – it’s a trip which would be in many ways a smaller headache to organise (eliminating the road trip and vehicle rental issue entirely).

But first, I quickly wanted to say a humongous THANKS – I am so overwhelmed, both for all your tips and advice, and psyched to hopefully put some faces to bloggers. You’ve given me lots to think about, including possibly going straight from Vegas over to New Orleans and skipping the rest of the west/south. I guess that would mean organising two separate car rentals (eek!) and as Me in Millions suggested, doing public transit on the east coast – from DC up to NY and Boston. And yes, we will definitely be driving the Big Sur, for sure.

And perhaps we need to add Florida in there so I can meet Stephany (I wouldn’t mind being dazzled by Miami while down there). And possibly starting in Vancouver and taking the Amtrak down – unfortunately Vancouver can be an expensive flight and international Grabaseat deals are usually very last minute (as are car relocation deals). Last month I saw both SF and Vancouver flights for $999…for travel this month. On the flip side, hopefully early planning will help us save some moolah as well.

But back to Europe.

Like 99% of the world, Western Europe is what we’re interested in. In fact there are so many places we want to go,  I reckon we won’t make all of them this time around. These include:

  • London (and maybe Ireland)
  • France
  • The Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Greece
  • Maybe Spain
  • Russia (well, just for St Petersburg)

We’d almost certainly land in London (possibly staying with my cousin), then Eurail it around.

We’d be hitting up the museums, galleries, ancient sites, and eating tons of fresh local food. /drool

What time of year is best – maybe autumn, again? We don’t want to go in peak season. Also, I’ve always wanted to see a white Christmas…maybe we could go in winter or is that just insane?

Thoughts on how much to budget daily, or hidden gems we must visit, or advice on finding and booking accommodation ahead on line…? I must say I envy those of you in the US – it’s just a jaunt across one ocean for you, but from here, it’s all the way around the other side of the world.

14 thoughts on “Possible trip 2: Europe

  • Reply Amber from Girl with the Red Hair December 22, 2010 at 16:29

    I LOVED my Europe trip! I cannot rave about it enough! It was absolutely, 100% the most amazing time of my life!!

    Let’s see – tips. Ask friends about hostels. We stayed in this GREAT hostel in Paris in a killer location that was SO CHEAP because a blog friend had recommended it. In fact, about 90% of the hostels we stayed in while there were friend recommended.

    Our entire trip (flights, food, accommodation, souvenirs, sightseeing etc.) cost us almost exactly $10,000. It could be done cheaper than that – we definitely splurged on food more than we needed too, but I still don’t regret a thing about it. It was money well spent for an amazing experience.

    I highly recommend Italy – of all the places we went, Italy was definitely my favourite. The food, the wine, the people, the culture – all so amazing!

    I’m excited you guys are planning a big trip – if there is one thing that’s worth spending a large sum of money on, it’s that! Such an amazing experience, especially when you do it as a couple!

  • Reply Melissa December 23, 2010 at 05:30

    Did I mention that I’ll drive you from Vancouver to Seattle? Just sayin’…

  • Reply LindyMint December 23, 2010 at 08:09

    I traveled there from the end of January to the beginning of April. It was definitely cold, but it was worth it to be able to walk into any hostel and not have to worry about crowding. And we got to stay in the snow-filled Swiss Alps!

    As spring approached, it definitely became more busy, harder to find places to stay, and longer lines to attractions, but we may have been spoiled by the earlier winter months.

    We started in the north, where it’s colder, then went further south to the warmer areas. But had we started in the south and went north, we may have avoided some of the cold. I hope this helps!

  • Reply Reverb 10: Travel « Musings of an Abstract Aucklander December 23, 2010 at 11:32

    […] But as I’ve said, the current plan is to focus more on one of the two big trips, America and Europe. We agree the South Island can be done anytime, really, and will be much cheaper than, er, a 20+ […]

  • Reply fabulouslyfrugirl December 23, 2010 at 15:20

    This is super exciting. When I visited France, we went to see Paris for a few days (beautiful!), but we went around July and a lot of the businesses are closed for the summer, so it’s good to keep in mind. We also rented an apartment by the beach for a week (~500USD) in a small town in Normandy and it was beautiful and relaxing.

    I’ve heard that the best time to see Greece is during May when their tourist season starts up. Everyone is eager to please and well rested. By the time September/October comes along, it’s the end of the tourist season, people are tired of working and may not be as helpful.

    Hope this helps!

  • Reply Aloysa December 23, 2010 at 16:35

    Russia is beautiful You will be awed by St. Petersburg. I promise. I love France too. In fact, anywhere you go in Europe, you will love it.

  • Reply The Everyday Minimalist December 24, 2010 at 01:40

    London England is one of my favourite cities. Not for the food, but it’s amazing.

    France.. I thought was okay. I didn’t love it. I was pretty disappointed to be honest. I had high expectations. Being at the Eiffel tower at night IS magical however.

  • Reply The Asian Pear December 25, 2010 at 19:00

    Wait. Why is Europe an unpopular trip?
    I LOVE EUROPE. Seriously, I would totally live there if I could. I am so enchanted by London & Paris, it’s nuts. The citizens of Nice and Monaco were so nice and friendly. Venice was gorgeous. Florence is really beautiful with their orange rooftops. Rome is a bit overrated I must admit but is really a must-go kind of city.

    Don’t worry, you’ll get to see it all eventually though. 🙂

    • Reply eemusings December 27, 2010 at 12:43

      “as voted by y’all” – You all want me to do the US trip first.

  • Reply Rachael December 26, 2010 at 08:51

    For England the best time to visit is September/October, still warm, maybe a bit rainy but far less busy than the Summer, especially for London!

  • Reply Going forward « Musings of an Abstract Aucklander December 30, 2010 at 19:25

    […] I’m angling to go overseas for my birthday, and hopefully take a big trip towards the end of the year…or possibly in 2012. I also want to score a travel writing […]

  • Reply Money, money, money… | Musings of an Abstract Aucklander March 29, 2011 at 10:22

    […] back till next Aug/Sep (that’s the season I’m aiming for). Or maybe we’ll do Europe, or do a bit of a round-the-world […]

  • Reply Resisting travel temptations: Self control and keeping my eye on the goal | Musings of an Abstract Aucklander April 29, 2011 at 10:02

    […] Yes, Aussie destinations are CHEAP, and can be done in a relatively short span of time – and, most importantly can be done when we’re older. Now is the time to focus on saving like a maniac while we have cheap rent, no mortgage, and are still young enough to stomach the idea of a month-long road trip or backpacking around Europe. […]

  • Reply A rough stab at a 7-year plan | Musings of an Abstract Aucklander October 14, 2011 at 17:38

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