Plan Your Europe Trip

by - June 13, 2015

Summer has come. Yey!! What do you plan for this summer? I always like to travel on summer. There's no rain, and i have a longer time to walk. Last year, i spent my summer time to go to Hong Kong. And this year, i'll go to Europe :)

Barceloneta Beach, Source : www.google.com
Actually i've prepared this trip since last year. There's a lot of things to prepare since i'll be travel to 5 countries, for 16 days. I need to find the flight tickets, train tickets, and accommodation during my trip.

At this blog, i'll write about the preparation for my Europe Trip. Hope it can helps you..

Itinerary 
The first thing i did was make a trip itinerary. I find about which country i want to go. I'm not going to many country because it only makes you tired to travel between 1 country to another country. You will not enjoy your trip. Actually i only want to go to Paris (shopping heaven) and Italy, which known for their beautiful building and touristic places.
However, i read about another beautiful place in summer, Barcelona. They have a famous beach, called Barceloneta. Beach in summer??? It's a must!!
And there's another city that peoples said "place must to go" if it's your first trip to Europe. It's Amsterdam. Following their advice, i decided to go to Amsterdam.
I think it's enough for my first Europe Trip. But i found 1 city that we can walk around at the short time, and the location is not far, Brussels. It's located between Amsterdam and Paris. Mostly people walk in Brussels, just as a stopover when they travel from Paris to Amsterdam, or vice versa.
Well, at my first Europe trip, i'll go to Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Barcelona, Italy (Milan, Venice, Rome). I counted how many days that i need to explore at each city, then i'll know the exact date for my trip.

Flight tickets 
After finished with my itinerary, i started to find the flight to tickets from Jakarta to Europe. I decided to go to Amsterdam from Jakarta, and going back to Jakarta from Rome (Rome to Jakarta has the cheapest ticket  than another city). I read so many blogs and travel tips to find the cheap flight to Europe.  Most of them said that Qatar Airways, Emirates Airways, and China Southern Airlines have cheap tickets. I tried to find on their website  and make a call to travel agent. Luckily , i got a ticket promo from Lufthansa which only cost USD 1006 pp. It's really cheap, even it's cheaper than China Southern Airlines. Lufthansa is a Germany based airlines. So i need to transit at Frankfurt International Airport.

Accommodation
Accommodation in Europe is very expensive. For standard hotel (3 stars), it will cost about €150 / night (including breakfast). It might be cheaper if the location is not at the city centre. But, considering we always take a train during my trip, i always looking for hotel, which the location near with Metro and Train station. Example : at Amsterdam, i choose to stay at IBIS Amsterdam Centre Hotel, which the location next to Amsterdam Centraal Station.
How can we know the location?
You can see that by looking "Google Maps". This application really helpful for me to planning my trip. You can start with search the location of the station, and look around the station. Which hotel has the nearest location with the station. Make a list. You also can see how far from hotel to the station. Under 500m? It's not far. You can put that hotel on a list. Don't forget to see the "street view" to make sure the location.
Where to booked?
When your list is done, start to open the hotel's official website. You can compare the price with Booking.com or Hotels.com . As long as i know, they have the cheapest rate.
Another option for the accommodation are B&B, or apartment. Sometimes they have a cheaper rate than hotel. If you travel alone, you also can stay at hostel. It only costs about €20 / night (no breakfast). But you have to share  the room with another people.

Train & Flight Ticket
To travel between city / country in Europe, people will take the express train such as : Thalys, Trenitalia, etc. I also booked the tickets 3 months in advance, so i got a cheaper price for the tickets. I booked the tickets at www.raileurope-asean.com . But you also can booked the tickets at their official website.
However, there's some routes that you can't use train. You have to take a flight to go to that place. In my trip, i take a flight from Paris to Barcelona, and Barcelona to Milan. There's some people choose to take a train or bus to go to Barcelona from Paris. Actually you can do that, but it will take 24 hours. I don't want to spent a whole day to ride a train.
There's some budget airlines who offer cheap flights to travel between country in Europe such as EasyJet , RyanAir , Vueling . For trip to Barcelona from Paris, it only costs about €68 (one way) using EasyJet. If you see RyanAir tickets price, it must be cheaper than another flight. But they charge lil bit pricey for luggage (€25 each). They also landing at different airport with another Airlines, which the location is further to the city.

Museum Tickets 
Europe has very beautiful building, the museum, church, shopping mall, even the train station has amazing building design. Even though you're not an art lover, but there's some places that you have to go inside when you're there, such as Vatican Museum in Rome, or Casa Batlló in Barcelona. They have a very beautiful interior design which can't be missed when you're there. However, the ticket price is quite expensive, about €15 pp. If you really want to go inside, you need to book the tickets in advance, by online through their official website. If you're not buy it in advance, you'll be queue for almost 1 hour to buy ticket and go inside the museum. But you have to make sure that your itinerary will not change again. Because you need to give the fixed time when you buy the ticket.

Food 
It will not become an important things to planned if you're not a foodies. But, if you're a foodies, you really need to plan about what to eat every single day, for lunch and dinner. There's a lot of delicious foods in Europe, and you must be don't want to missed it. It's not always expensive to eat delicious food in Europe, but most of them are little bit pricey. In Europe, you'll spend €5 - €8 for simple food such as sandwich, "cheap" pasta, etc. If you want to eat at restaurant, you'll spend €15 - €20 (without drink). And don't forget to count their service charge ( €2 - €3 pp).
There's some famous restaurant in Europe, and you need to booked the restaurant at least 2 months in advance, such as Tickets Bar in Barcelona, Le Jules Verne in Paris. But be careful with the "tourist trap" restaurant. They only offer a good place and a good view, but the food is just so so. The price also not cheap. So, if you really want to eat a good food with reasonable price, you can read the reviews first at TripAdvisor . They have complete information and reviews about restaurant.

So, that's a few important things that I have planned for my Europe Trip. Beside that, i also find out about the Metro line and memorized the street that i have to go (in case if i get lost :P). One more important thing that you have to remember during your Europe Trip. Every Sunday, almost all of the restaurants and shops in Europe closed. You need to have a "plan B" by searching about the place that open on Sunday in Europe.

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