Me and my girlfriend are travelling overseas on September 5th and we are staying at my grandparents in Scotland, but thats all we have really organised at this point in time.
whats some of the things we should be planning now as far as catching flights to a few different places around Europe like Netherlands, Germany and Spain etc? Should we do it now or can we organise that when we are in Scotland? We are only there for 3 weeks however.
What about accom?
We can relax in Scotland, but i'm just wondering if we should fully organise the trip now, or just wait til we get overseas and jump on the net and book a small trip to some of the countries i mentioned when there (like the accom, flights etc).
what are your thoughts?
My missus has never been overseas before, but loves animals and wants to check out a zoo or 2, which are some of the better ones around Europe?
If you want to have a low fare for the tickets, I suggest you search the net already. For example at the website of easyjet or ryanair.
There are loads of flights to the Netherlands or Germany, among other countries.
Regarding zoos: check out the one in Antwerp or visit one in the Netherlands, but not Artis in Amsterdam or Blijdorp in Rotterdam, they are sh*t. Better ones are Burgers Zoo in Arnhem or the zoos in Amersfoort, Rhenen or Emmen.
personally I would book flights (or trains) and leave the rest to fate, I would have thought septmber onwards you wont have too much trouble finding accom, tell me if I'm wrong! as its not peak season as such...
good luck and happy planning
Personally, I'd see 1 or two more places, tops. Schedule about 4 days in every place you want to visit, in order to really enjoy everything there is to see. The few times I've waited till the last minute, I was left with less choice and less flexibility (preferred flight full, have to take a later train) - but the upside is that you can stay flexible about where you want to go. It's just a matter of preference. Haver you thought about just sticking to the UK...?
I'd say pick a few places you'd really like to see, research them, and whittle down from there. The only zoo I"ve seen in Europe is the one in Belfast - nice, but definitely not worth a side trip for the zoo alone!
@Utrecht: I know in Australia flights are a hell of a lot cheaper if you book outside 21 days. Does the same apply in and around Europe? The Flights do look reasonably cheap from around the time we are in Europe, do they fluctuate in price much and whats the availability like if we leave it til we are over in the UK? We pretty much want to leave as much of the holiday open as possible. But if you definately don't recomend that we can look into setting actual dates aside and booking flights now.
@mim: We are not too fussy where we stay to be honest! We'd be more than happy not to stay in the central areas of main cities, but as long as we are within walking distance of train stations i think we'd be ok about it so we can commute to the central area of cities. I hope you are right on the accom though. :D There will be plenty of selection available out of the low budget hotels?
@tway: Yeah, we would like to see as much as we can, but it just depends on how we are feeling i guess. I understand what you are saying now. And that's why we would like to have an open mind and not book anything until we get over there. We aren't too picky at the moment about destinations. I guess we are planning to head over there, jump on the net, see whats available and go from there. The only priorites at the moment, is i would like to visit the Netherlands again and visit Anfield to see a game and my gf wants to check out a zoo.
Not too sure yet about sticking to the UK, will probably end up travelling up to the north of Scotland eventually and perhaps to places like London and Liverpool as well.
But if it is definately advisable to book to go to certain places, please let me know and we'll research and book in advance.
Another question, what are the trains like? Expensive? Plenty of selection available?
[ Edit: Edited on Jul 26, 2007, at 8:58 AM by BillyPyro ]
Trains in the UK are VERY expensive if you don't book far in advance, but I've found most of Europe's train travel to be quite cheap in comparison. I would book flights in advance but leave everything else until you get there (I'm a bit nervous saying this in case you get there and it doesn't work out for you so bear in mind this is just what I would do).
A good website for flights is www.travelsupermarket.com to compare loads of airlines including the budget ones. For places to stay www.hostelworld.com is often quite good.
Have a good trip.
hostelworld.com will come in handy no doubt.
Just wanted to ask another question, my girlfriend is eligable for a British passport since both her parents were born in England and i told her it would be a good thing to get for when we travel, but since this trip has come about she got her Australian one and her mother insisted she doesn't need the British one at all. Will my gf encounter any problems travelling through countries like Spain, France, Germany or Netherlands on the Australian passport?
If all she has is her Aussie one, it is no problem. But she should really get the British one if at all possible, as it allows her a lot more privileges. Like the right to work in the EU without getting a work or residency permit first or being eligible for the dole in the UK.
It will not matter if you only intend to stay for 3 weeks, but you can sure see how a British passport can come handy if the shit hits the fan or if the job offer of her live comes by.
I also highly recommend booking flights as soon as possible. The otherwise so cheap and convenient budget flights sell out very far in advance for July, August and September and you'll have to take what you get now if you want to travel around. See www.skyscanner.net - very handy for looking for the cheapest available flights across Europe. Bus and train tickets should also be taken care of in advance. In Germany train tickets can be up to 50 % cheaper if you buy 2 weeks in advance over the internet. Bus tickets need to be bought 3 days in advance. Accomodation can usually be found by searching for "hostel + city" - use the internet before you get somewhere, maybe call ahead the day before and make a reservation and you'll be fine.
Due to advice we have decided to plan it all out, well just the flights and hotel/hostel bookings, we'll leave what we will do until we get there?
6th - Arrive 6pm London
7th - London
8th - London ---> Glasgow
9th - Glasgow (see family)
10th - Glasgow (see family)
11th - Glasgow (see family/travel highlands)
12th - Scotland (travel highlands)
13th - Glasgow ---> Netherlands
14th - Netherlands
15th - Netherlands ---> ??
16th - ??
17th - ?? ---> Spain
18th - Spain
19th - Spain ---> Scotland
20th - Scotland
21st - Scotland ---> Liverpool, ENG
22nd - Liverpool ---> London
23rd - Depart London 8pm
I know, the trip isn't long enough
For the question marks, we are still trying to decide on a country to visit. France? Germany? Austria? Any suggestions anyone?
The last part of the trip to Liverpool is subject to change depending on whether or not i can get my hands on tickets to a match at Anfield
Any comments or suggestions welcome. We will be looking to book everything within the next 2 days or so, i did look on easyjet and/or skyscanner and seen a few cheap flights on the days we have planned out, so we are keen to get it all booked before they are gone.
[ Edit: Edited on Aug 5, 2007, at 5:44 AM by BillyPyro ]
I think it would be a better idea to go somewhere in France or Germany rather than austria in this case, as budget airlines fly cheaper to spain leaving from these 2 countries.
From germany you got plenty of airlines to choose from, such as air berlin, germanwings and ryanair, with ryanair being the cheapest of these 3. But bear in mind some budget airlines fly to secondary airports, further from the cities than the main ones. If you're okay with taking buses, I think it's a good way to travel, and paying for a Bus ticket doesn't make it more expensive than taking a flight to a big airport.
Another reason why I think France and Germany would be a better choice than austria, is that depending on where you go from austria you really need a car. If you go to the Alpes, you can travel around and see plenty by train or bus I guess, but I always had the feeling going to the alpes involves driving a car. Unless you go to Vienna area, which would also allow you tot ake a daytrip to Bratislava.
Where in Spain would you like to go?
Most pouplar choices are probably Barcelona and the mediterranean coast followed by Madrid. Any of these would be a good choice. Madrid is a nice city, a big capital, and you can take a daytrip to Toledo. On the other hand Barcelona is a city that could be a capital, that wonce was a capital, but it's not as big, easier to get around and you could take a daytrip to Girona, Tarragona, or the Costa Brava.