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Really Stupid Travel Question...

(10 Posts)
TheWoollybacksWife Sat 18-Jan-14 21:15:24

DH and I are looking to book a fab trip though Europe in the early autumn. We want to travel by train I hate planes Looking at sleeper from Paris to Verona, staying in Lake Garda and exploring Verona/Venice then travelling to Vienna, Munich and Brussels before coming home to the UK. 10 days max.

Can we ask a travel agent to make these arrangements for us or are we better off doing it ourselves? Any tips from seasoned European travellers? I'm just a bit worried that if we book things ourselves we might make a big mistake with timings.

TIA

SantanaLopez Sat 18-Jan-14 22:31:40

Definitely don't pay a middle man!

I'd get the adult 5 journeys in 10 days inter railing pass here. 2nd class is £281 and 1st class is £441. It'll cover all the European trains.

Use this website's interactive map to plan. If you take the 5 in 10 you could add somewhere else to your route!

MillyMollyMama Sun 19-Jan-14 00:13:22

10 days! You are not planning to actually see anything in these cities then! I would stay in one of the Lake Garda resort towns and commute by train to Verona and Venice. This would take me 10 days in itself! I would seriously cut out one or two of the other destinations. You will be sick of the sight of trains, timetables and stations!

PortofinoRevisited Sun 19-Jan-14 14:57:29

seat61.com is a fab website explaining the main routes and how to plan/buy tickets. I think the route you have chosen will be really expensive and difficult to do though. I would skip Vienna and Brussels this trip certainly.

TheWoollybacksWife Sun 19-Jan-14 15:40:55

Thank you all for your replies. We have now booked a week at a Lake Garda hotel and will book a sleeper down from Paris to get there. On reflection we have decided to go for quality rather than quantity so our return journey is likely to be either return to Paris or a spend a couple of days in Munich - it is Octoberfest and it would be rude not to go grin

I'm a bit edgy about the travel element as the websites say that I can't book trains until 120 days before departure. The sleeper train bit is important as DH and I met on a sleeper train. Does anyone know if there is any way of booking earlier?

PortofinoRevisited Sun 19-Jan-14 16:40:02

I fear not - it's annoying isn't it? I would make a note in your diary and get straight in there to get the best pricing. I don't think availability will be a problem. How romantic about meeting on a sleeper train!

And I live in Brussels - well just outside - so if you ever fancy a visit let me know grin You just need to bring lots of sausages.....

TheWoollybacksWife Sun 19-Jan-14 17:24:04

Porto we visited Brussels for our wedding anniversary 12 years ago and I fell in love with it. I was blown away by the charm of the city and I have fond memories of sitting in the Grand Place sipping kriek and watching the world go by.

Seat61 is a great website - perfect for travel numpties like me grin I'm fairly confident that as we are travelling outside of school holidays we shouldn't have any problems with availability but I do like a good panic!

nickymanchester Mon 20-Jan-14 20:18:55

As PortofinoRevisited said above, seat61 is by far the best English language resource for train travel in Europe. This is what it says about the train from Paris to Verona along with some photos of the interior of the train and what the food looks like:-

www.seat61.com/thello-train-from-paris-to-italy.htm#.Ut2Ef9JFDGg

Janek Sat 22-Feb-14 16:19:15

We have regularly got an overnight train from paris to milan when visiting italy, it is annoying that you can only buy the tickets 120 days in advance, but no one else can either, so you should be okay. Fri and sat nights do seem to sell out more quickly and so do the cheaper tickets. There is no advantage in buying a return however, so what we usually do is buy our outbound ticket 120 in advance and the return a week later, iyswim.

One word of warning - eurostar usually go on sale 120 days in advance too (it's 90 days for most other trains in europe), but this summer they went on sale 6 months in advance. As an experiment. Without telling anyone. So we went to buy our tickets only to discover they'd already been on sale for two months. Gutted doesn't cover it. We almost had to cancel our trip as the eurostar was so expensive (we are stuck with school holidays).

And i've bought tickets for the summer with no guarantee there will be the connecting Train to limoges that i need at all. It's like train roulette!

Bunbaker Sat 22-Feb-14 16:27:00

Whereabouts in Lake Garda are you staying?

We have had two holidays there and adore the place.

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