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Old 11-01-2015, 01:24 PM   #41
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We have plans to visit Berlin, Dresden, and Leipzig next summer--have not seen Dresden and spent only a couple of nights in the other two cities, so we are really looking forward to seeing them all. I think we are staying in each place, not doing day trips among them (we are just going along for the ride on this trip and not involved in the planning).

The distance between cities in Europe and the trains make traveling among them so easy that so many could be hubs for day trips. Maybe the OP could figure out first what to see and then plot the sites on a map to find a place to stay in the center.
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Old 11-02-2015, 12:43 AM   #42
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Ed...we did Malta and Sicily together. Good ferry connections or you can grab an inexpensive flight to Catania. Air from Sicily to Rome on Vueling can be had for less than half the price of rail. Air Malta has really good fares from Various European cities. The fares are low, the prices all inclusive, and the service/equipment is very good.
Hmmm. Sounds good, brett. Much obliged.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:00 AM   #43
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I can't add to all the great suggestions for European cities since my exposure to Europe is mainly a day or two in a handful of cities. However, we did spend 2 weeks in Scotland and there was not anywhere near enough time to see everything we wanted. We like being outdoors and enjoyed some walks through beautiful highlands, stopping for afternoon tea and crumpets, riding the "Harry Potter" train, sampling single malts and beers, visiting numerous castles and other historic sites, enjoying the sites in Edinburgh, etc. I wouldn't mind a month or longer there. You will need to drive on the other side of the road in GB.

Although not Europe but pretty much like GB is New Zealand. Now there is a place I could easily live especially South Island. In our experience the people are so friendly as we also found in Scotland. If you are active outdoors there are so many things to do the 2 weeks will need to be revisited again the next year. You have the big city of Christchurch (which is as British as anything in England) and then the smaller towns and activities to enjoy branching out from there.

Cheers!
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:08 AM   #44
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Pre-apologies for the thread hijacking, I'll try and limit it.

Badger: how would you compare Wellington and Christchurch? In addition, have you been there since the earthquake?

Background: I'll go there on travel in a few weeks with a side thought of evaluating NZ as potential place to go and live.

Love to hear any thoughts.
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:56 AM   #45
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Pre-apologies for the thread hijacking, I'll try and limit it.

Badger: how would you compare Wellington and Christchurch? In addition, have you been there since the earthquake?

Background: I'll go there on travel in a few weeks with a side thought of evaluating NZ as potential place to go and live.

Love to hear any thoughts.
I can't help you with Wellington since we spent all our time on the South Island because it had all the activities we wanted. We spent about 2 weeks in a camper van circumventing the island starting and ending in Christchurch. This was all before the earthquake so I don't know how extensive the damage was. There are areas that are very "British" in architecture and general appeal and still there are more modern areas with lots of sports fields throughout the city being used by the local teams. As we flew out of Christchurch we were already thinking about moving to NZ either before or after we retired. Then grandchildren came along.

Have a great trip. Maybe check out a few travel videos from the library before you go.

Cheers!
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Old 11-03-2015, 02:00 PM   #46
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Old 11-04-2015, 08:43 AM   #47
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As I've mentioned here- we spent the summer with (mostly) 1 week stays in cities around Europe. Cities that left me wanting for more:
- Bologna - great food, architecture, and just a great city - easy train rides to Venice and Florence.
- Nice - as mentioned, easy bus and train rides along the riviera. Great market on Cours Saleya. Amazing food. We stayed in Nice Vieux (old part) and loved the pedestrian, cobblestone streets.
- Barcelona - architecture, food, ambiance.
All good choices. When in Nice, take in Cap Ferrat, Antibes, St Paul de Vence.
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Ed...we did Malta and Sicily together. Good ferry connections or you can grab an inexpensive flight to Catania. Air from Sicily to Rome on Vueling can be had for less than half the price of rail. Air Malta has really good fares from Various European cities. The fares are low, the prices all inclusive, and the service/equipment is very good.
We were in Capri and found the quickest and cheapest way to get to Catania was returning to Rome and taking Vueling (60 euros all in for a 55 minute flight).
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:08 AM   #48
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+1 on Florence. I could spend a lifetime there.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:18 AM   #49
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+1 on Florence. I could spend a lifetime there.
Spent a week in a rented penthouse in Lucca and did 3 days trips to Florence (2nd trip) and one to Siena et all.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:27 AM   #50
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Ed...we did Malta and Sicily together. Good ferry connections or you can grab an inexpensive flight to Catania. Air from Sicily to Rome on Vueling can be had for less than half the price of rail. Air Malta has really good fares from Various European cities. The fares are low, the prices all inclusive, and the service/equipment is very good.
Totally agree with the bolded. Caveat - be careful checking your luggage. Vueling lost one of our bags for 5 days on our trip this past summer.
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:32 PM   #51
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Totally agree with the bolded. Caveat - be careful checking your luggage. Vueling lost one of our bags for 5 days on our trip this past summer.
After our bag didn't leave Prague with us last year, we had to stay in an Atlanta Airport hotel 2 days waiting on our checked bag. My car keys were in the bag.

We now live by the 22" carry on and 1 small backpack rule. Carry it on and you'll never have any problems. Rick Steve's suggested packing list does work.
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:48 PM   #52
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After our bag didn't leave Prague with us last year, we had to stay in an Atlanta Airport hotel 2 days waiting on our checked bag. My car keys were in the bag.
And make sure your partner has an extra set of car and house keys.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:50 AM   #53
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I always carry on keys and chargers. In my checklist, I have to remember to pack the corkscrew! I have lost of few of them at airports.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:38 AM   #54
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Several years ago we started travelling with carry on only. Now we both use 20 in rollers no matter how long we are gone or where we go.

We got tired of carrying things that we really did not need, lifting luggage on to trains, into rental, across cobbles, etc. It was challenging at first for DW but now we find it very liberating.

When we return from a trip we always check to see what we did not use or use very often. When we shop for clothes it is usually with an eye to 'how will the garment travel, will it wrinkle, will wash/dry easily, and will it complement other clothing items that we usually take.

Never had a problem with any of the European discounts (though we have not done this on Ryanair or Easyjet). We were warned that Aegean Air enforced strict weight limits so we jammed as much weight into one bag, things that we could loose with little regret, and checked/paid for it. We need not have bothered. Our concern was that CDG was our destination. It has a terrible reputation for lost luggage and thefts from luggage.

It is not about the cost, if any, of checking a bag for us. We find it so liberating to pack less, no issue about lost luggage, and it arrives when we do with the highest degree of certainty.


The other benefit that we have realized once is the ability to switch to alternate connecting flights quickly if our first flight is delayed. The first question that gets asked by customer service is 'do you have checked bags' on that late/delayed/cancelled flight.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:21 AM   #55
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I always carry on keys and chargers. In my checklist, I have to remember to pack the corkscrew! I have lost of few of them at airports.
Same here. And yes, I also carry a corkscrew and am sure to check it.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:23 AM   #56
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I have neighbors that do international travel with carry on only. I don't know how they do it! They aren't carrying a laptop or a DSLR camera either, so I'm sure that helps.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:32 AM   #57
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My son and I did a 3 week eurail trip a few years ago with just backpacks. It wasn't so much the flying, although that was a nice bonus to not have to check, but rather catching a train every 1-3 days and not wanting to haul a lot of luggage around all the time. We just had to do laundry 2 or 3 times. One of the hostels we stayed at had cheap laundry service, and once we just ate time at a laundromat early one evening at a multiday stop. Might've been another place we stayed that had access to a washer/dryer. It was summer, so lightweight clothes helped, as did zip-off pants that doubled as shorts. I carried one of those real small laptop things that were popular for about 2 years before tablets came out.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:43 AM   #58
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Ironically - we had carry on size luggage. But we also wanted to bring >3oz toiletry items, and since we were travelling internationally, checking was free. Our main reason for travelling light was it was a train oriented trip - and the smaller the bag - the easier it is to get on/off trains, stow them overhead- vs fighting for space in the luggage racks at the end of the car., etc.

We were fine with our Vuelling flight - but their handling of our lost luggage was less than optimal. I used a lot of Italian sim-car minutes sitting on hold to try and track the luggage each day.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:50 AM   #59
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We have used the same carry for a six month trip as we do for a six week trip.

Came back recently from a five/six week trip to Greece. Reviewed my things when we unpacked. Apart from what I wore on the plane, next time I will not take an extra pair of walking shoes, I will reduce my shirts and underwear from 5 to three, socks from two to one. I took three pairs of shorts-one pair was beige. Mistake. Next time two pairs of shorts-navy only. Plus I will take one less book.

My new, light weight waterproof Teva sandals were are great replacement for my heavier Clarks sandals. Also know which shirts will get knocked off the list based on ease of washing and how much they show marks, etc.

DW did the same. I think that she will ditch the hair dryer next time since most places, even the small ones, seem to provide them now. If not, she is OK to 'rough it' for a day or two. But I highly suspect that the room and weight in my carry on will be replaced by something of hers! That's OK as well as long as it is not something like a heavy pair of shoes.


The only items that we take, seldom or never use, are a light weight waterproof jacket each and a small amount of medication for just in case.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:22 PM   #60
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I have neighbors that do international travel with carry on only. I don't know how they do it! They aren't carrying a laptop or a DSLR camera either, so I'm sure that helps.
Yeah for now, I'm taking tech stuff on trips. Maybe I'll get tired of doing so some day.

But that means dedicating most of the carry on space for laptop, accessories, camera gear.

So if I have to check a bag (only check one big suitcase), I overpack, because I don't want to spend time doing laundry (even hand washing in the hotel), don't want to spend time hunting down stuff that I already have, etc.

I've gone on trains and boats with a big suitcase, a carryon roller and a couple of shoulder bags for camera and electronics. It is a hassle but for trips of over a week, I don't see how else to do it.
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