Cerebral Shangrila

Friday, June 11, 2010

Europe Travel Diary - Part One

I intend to write a series of posts on my Europe trip with an intention of helping fellow travelers undertake this exciting journey. I did meticulous planning , learnt a lot of lessons on the ground and hope these lessons would benefit the future travelers to Europe.

Planning an Europe trip isn't an easy task. Three questions pop up immediately " Where, When and How". Let me explain my thought process on this:

a) Where : It is completely an individual decision. Europe is an exciting destination and needs at least 5-6 trips ( each lasting at least 2 weeks) in a lifetime. Ever since my childhood, Italy has fascinated me as a country ( Venice in particular). So with a Child like enthusiasm, I decided that Italy had to be part of the Itinerary, come what may. Having already visited France & UK earlier, I decided to skip these two countries ( Which are the most visited by tourists in Europe). If Italy comes ; can Swiss be far behind ? Delightfully perched close to Italy and a paradise for tourists ( for the eyes definitely not for the wallet), Switzerland self-invited itself.

Being a huge Western Classical music fan, Austria too invited itself to the Itinerary. Romantic vision of caressing the violin that Mozart used and attending an Opera in Vienna, led me to include that as the final country in my Itinerary.The fact that it was right next to both Italy & Swiss certainly helped.

b) When: I definitely decided not to go there in the peak season ( Mid June to Late August). Peak season is a bad time to travel for multiple reasons. Europe tends to be crowded, the weather is quite hot ( Places like Italy can be stifling at 35c+) and the room rates are very expensive.

I decided that the shoulder season ( When the temperature is pleasant switching from spring to summer) was the best. In my opinion , Mid-May to Mid-June is a great time to travel - weather is fantastic, it is less crowded and room rates are reasonable.

c) How: Should I do a arranged tour ( Cox & Kings, SITA and their ilk) or do it on my own? This was never a question to ponder because as an independent traveler ,I would never fit into a arranged tour schedule. I also decided to learn the art of planning a long trip and thus decided to do it on my own ( In hindsight, no regrets, would do it any day).

So, What next? coming up soon.

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  • Looking forward to the blog and pics as well...


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:32 PM  

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