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Topic # 240121 21-Aug-2018 21:49
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My wife and I will be making our first trip to Europe in about 18 months or so and I want to start thinking about where to go and what to see so we can set some financial constraints early on... otherwise we'll blow those credit card limits to smithereens... 

 

It's for a wedding in London, then we have friends who live in Oslo who we want to see, but otherwise have no plans. I've never been north of the equator so want to make the trip last for over a month or so but we have two small boys so don't want to be rampaging through as many countries as possible like all the automated journey planning apps try and do. 

 

I'm after a website preferably that can simply show me a pretty map that I can populate with destinations, arrival/departure dates, and maybe a note or two on things to see. I'll then show it to my wife so will say something like 'uhm hmm looks great' or 'ahh yep, it would be good to stay somewhere nice' in an attempt to vindicate my use of technology where her scraps of paper with sandscrit scrawl seems to suffice for her.

 

So really it's just for me to visualise the trip and get a feel for whether we'll be flying from A to C, or hiring a car and driving from A, having a few nights in B, and then on to C, based on the approximate costs of each option. I can do costing outside of the planner so don't need it to integrate with a flight service or the like. 

 

Anyone used something they recommend? 


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  Reply # 2077094 21-Aug-2018 21:49
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Allow me to introduce you folks to our new travel community: TravelTalk NZ.

 

We hope to see you there!

 





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  Reply # 2077150 22-Aug-2018 00:03
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I used TripAdvisor in the past to record key information.

 

I still rely on Tripadvisor to recommendations , etc but I now record these details into my google email & diary. With access via my phone I always have the information available.


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  Reply # 2077228 22-Aug-2018 09:00
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We did a month going through Europe in May (also first time there).

 

I was looking for some sort of planning app like you, and couldn't really find anything great (I did use TripIt for storing bookings/flight times/itinerary, and it is pretty good).

 

We leased a car (Peugeot Eurolease) and apart from having our first three nights booked in Paris, and last five in London, we had nothing else booked when we arrived.

 

What we did was have an idea where we wanted to head, and the 'must sees' listed. In our case we were meeting a friend in Lake Como/Milan 5 days after leaving Paris, and we had to be back in Paris for the Eurostar 20 days after leaving Paris. We set a route from Paris, to Reims for a couple of nights (Champagne) then 3 more nights to get to Milan/Como (Which we took in Dijon, Avignon and Monaco, but stayed just out of those places). From Como, we stayed with friend for five nights and trained to Venice for a day (enough) and Rome for three nights. After that we wound our way to Germany, Holland and back through Belgium to Paris.

 

 

 

Had a great holiday, and mostly used AirBnB, which was fantastic. A couple of places (Rome, and Frankfurt) we used Booking.com and got great deals on apartments and a hotel.

 

I was a little nervous before leaving that we might not find acommodation, or we would miss something, but neither happened, and I would do it again.

 

 

 

What you have to accept is that in one month, you are never going to see everything, so just be happy and aim for a few 'big' things and take in the atmosphere and enjoy the time. Make sure you aren't city hopping one day to the next, as most of your time will be travelling. Spend two to three nights in each place, and plan one or two things each day while there. Remember too, that Europeans eat at different times to us. Breakfast isn't a major meal there (you will struggle outside of Hotels/Maccas etc to find a cooked breakfast, especially in smaller cities). Lunch is a major meal, then a lot of restaurants (outside of tourist areas) close in the afternoon, then don't really re-open until after 7-8PM. Took us a week or so to get used to. We were lucky that we had a car the whole time, so got a chilly bag and went to supermarkets (which are bloody awesome!)

 

 

 

Have fun planning!


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  Reply # 2077239 22-Aug-2018 09:16
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+1 for TripIt (multi-platform free app) - I use it mainly on iPad and it syncs to iPhone, laptop etc. Have been using it for years for some reasonably complex trips and it’s brilliant for recording and sharing flight/train/ship and accommodation details. Also any day tours, sports events, shows etc you may plan. All you need to do is forward to TripIt each booking confirmation email ‘as-is’ and it populates the booking into the TripIt system, trip by trip. Records booking code number, seat numbers etc.

It’s a great paperless system with everything in one place. It does show maps and directions to/from airport/rail station/hotel etc - but doesn’t actually give recommendations of places to visit in each location. TripAdviser is for that.

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  Reply # 2077337 22-Aug-2018 12:11
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Mrs Floyd and I are heading off week after next (damn, it feels good typing that after booking flights 10 months ago) for a 2.5 week road trip of the UK, 5 days in Madeira, and a two-day stop-over in Hong Kong each way.

 

Mrs is also one for lots of bits of paper everywhere. My planning consists of spreadsheets, a Google MyMaps for the roadtrip part (covers all the sights we want to go and see) and Google itself has been pretty good at automatically populating calendars etc. for things that were booked through my Gmail account.

 

Accommodation for HK stop-over and first couple of nights in UK has been prebooked and the Madeira gig is essentially a British Airways package deal.  For our time on the road we're mostly juts going to see where we end up at the end of the day and find a pub or B&B.





Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. (T.S. Eliot)


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  Reply # 2077402 22-Aug-2018 13:35
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We have used BatchGeo with success before. Its a way to map out things you want to do on a map.

 

TripAdvisor have been a great help in finding good places to eat and also for some things to see. But be aware that people try to game it.





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  Reply # 2077430 22-Aug-2018 14:05
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Have used TripCase ios app previously for a 3 week holiday. 


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  Reply # 2077449 22-Aug-2018 14:27
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Ive used citymapper heaps, while i am in certain countries for getting around with public transport, the app store suggests its just for Melbourne and Sydney, but it does heaps of European cities.

 

 https://citymapper.com/





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  Reply # 2077451 22-Aug-2018 14:35
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We found Google Maps really good for public transport in cities. Just input your destination, and it would tell you what station/platform/train or bus number and departure times.


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  Reply # 2080423 28-Aug-2018 20:15
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Why not use a professional Travel Agent such as HelloWorld or House Of Travel? Or even Fine Travel?

 

So much cheaper in terms of "Return on Investigation".

 

It may cost you only a couple of hundred more than the cheapest internet price, but you will save much more than the base cost in terms of time, effort and potentially wasting your time on a mistake. 

 

Importantly, you may get to talk to a professional rather than an opinion on the internet.


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  Reply # 2080424 28-Aug-2018 20:19
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Once we have our trips planned, we input everything into tripit, I have found it very useful for keeping flight details, booking reference numbers, restaurant bookings etc into. It's been fantastic. 

 

 


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  Reply # 2080533 29-Aug-2018 07:21
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DaveB:

 

Why not use a professional Travel Agent such as HelloWorld or House Of Travel? Or even Fine Travel?

 

So much cheaper in terms of "Return on Investigation".

 

It may cost you only a couple of hundred more than the cheapest internet price, but you will save much more than the base cost in terms of time, effort and potentially wasting your time on a mistake. 

 

Importantly, you may get to talk to a professional rather than an opinion on the internet.

 

 

Interesting perspective.  To me the planning and research is part of the whole holiday experience, I really enjoy it.

 

(If that makes me a sad b***erd, so be it tongue-out)

 

I'm also a bit cynical about 'professional'.  I would expect the more upmarket travel agencies to be more selective in recruiting their staff than say, Flight Centre, but in the end you're at the whim of the experience and opinion of the individual.





Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. (T.S. Eliot)


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  Reply # 2080591 29-Aug-2018 08:43
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Personally I just use Excel/Google Sheets. Put the date in a column, then details for the day, car hire, flights etc. 


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  Reply # 2080596 29-Aug-2018 08:51
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Try Google Trips - https://get.google.com/trips/

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2080609 29-Aug-2018 09:10
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eracode: +1 for TripIt (multi-platform free app) - I use it mainly on iPad and it syncs to iPhone, laptop etc. Have been using it for years for some reasonably complex trips and it’s brilliant for recording and sharing flight/train/ship and accommodation details. Also any day tours, sports events, shows etc you may plan. All you need to do is forward to TripIt each booking confirmation email ‘as-is’ and it populates the booking into the TripIt system, trip by trip. Records booking code number, seat numbers etc.

It’s a great paperless system with everything in one place. It does show maps and directions to/from airport/rail station/hotel etc - but doesn’t actually give recommendations of places to visit in each location. TripAdviser is for that.

 

Like the look of this. Have created an account and forwarded a couple of flight confirmations to it but nothing seems to be happening. Is there usually a delay? I have not enabled it to look in my email - assume that's not necessary when forwarding emails to plans@dev.tripit.com ?

 

 


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