Julie is planning on a visit to the UK and, while she’s in the neighbourhood, thought she’d enjoy a short stint in Europe. She’s asked Lee Mylne for some advice on the best way plan her adventure.
I am planning to head to the UK to visit some family I have dotted around the country and while I’m there, I thought I would pop over to Europe and see some of the sites. I’m not sure how long I will be away for or even where I want to go in Europe. I was planning on booking a one-way flight and just booking everything else on the hop. Is this the best way to do it, or should I be more settled on a plan?
A. I really can empathise with your dilemma, Julie, as I’m in a similar situation myself right now. With one reason to go to Europe at the end of the year, I’m looking at building on that and planning to see a bit more while I’m there. After all, why pay the airfare and then not make the most of it?
But what to see and do? There’s so much to choose from, it’s almost impossible to advise you but if it’s your first trip to Europe, then of course you must see the highlights – and for me, that means Paris and Rome at the very least. So many great cities and places to choose from make it a fabulous task to sort out what appeals to you or what has always been on your ‘one day’ list.
I’d also consider Austria (if you’re going during the European winter, where the Christmas markets are fabulous), Spain (Barcelona is one of the best cities in the world), Amsterdam for the canals and flower markets … oh I could go on and on! You might also want to consider Scandinavia or Eastern Europe, I’ve got Poland and Russia on my potential list, and can’t recommend Finland highly enough after a visit there last year.
Booking ‘on the hop’ in Europe is not a bad idea. You can get some great deals with low-cost airlines and it gives you the flexibility to change your plans once you are there. Sometimes serendipity is the thing that makes our travels so interesting, as long as you are prepared to be flexible and to go with the flow.
Of course, if you prefer more certainty, then you might want to book ahead and even do an organised tour of the European highlights. There are plenty of tour companies to choose from!
Once you’ve done a bit more planning in terms of time frames, you might have a better idea of what you will prioritise. Whatever you end up doing, Julie, I’m sure you’ll have a fabulous time and you’ll come home with many great memories!
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