Author Topic: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.  (Read 5194 times)

Offline loveddeals

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Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« on: January 07, 2016, 12:42:58 PM »
Daughter wants to visit Europe before she goes to college (Fall 2016), so I am planning a trip to Europe with my wife and 18 year old yr old in June - August 2016 time frame. She would like to visit Rome, Paris, Berlin, and London (may be Venice, Sicily too, if possible) in around 15-20 days. :). Dont know if it is possible to cover these places since we will only have 2-3 days at each place then. I would love to visit Greece Mykonos island if it doesn't add too much cost, but that can be for some other time, hopefully. This might be probably rushing it, but these cities are somewhat of a bucket list for the daughter and this is our only chance before she gets busy with college. This will be our first time in Europe and likely only time at least in these cities, so it is fine to see just a little bit here and there (at least cover the main things, time permitting) in each city.

Looking for your thoughts, suggestions, and of course, frugal ways to travel and deals you're aware of.   ;)

Flying out of the Sacramento, CA area, SFO/SJC are the closest big airports.

I currently have about 204,000 United miles, wife & daughter each have 19,500 United miles, 280,000 Southwest miles, 136,000 UR (wife's name), 75,900 AA, 157900 AMEX MRs, and about 278,000 IHG points. I will also be getting one free IHG night in Feb. Wife also has an offer for 50,000 United miles with new card. Till 2 months ago I was doing Serve and GoBank to earn miles (about 14,000 points per month for both of us).

Don't really care about flying business/first class, but it will be nice to have at least one-way trip in either of these 2 classes (of course would like to make best use of the miles).   

I guess first priority should be to make flight reservations. I checked earlier today, and from SMF - LHR, I can get for about 30K miles on both United & AA (for June/July, but the problem is the return flights, almost nothing available till late August (I was only looking from London/Paris).

Looking forward to all ideas and suggestions for this long-time waiting trip. Would be great to stay in nice hotels. Have been staying in Holiday Inn (if available) whenever we travel, and we are fine with that. But, may be couple of nights in a really nice hotel, just to surprise the family  :) :)

Anyhow, here I am seeking advice and suggestions, so I can start work on making it one of our best vacations.

Anything that I should be aware of, and how much should we budget per day/trip.

Offline shwarmabob

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2016, 12:50:33 PM »
The flying part is definitely doable :) Not sure if your points would cover the hotels for 3 weeks.

Offline Emkay

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2016, 12:52:54 PM »
Just pointing out that you most def can do 2-3 nights in each place. If you aren't trying to utterly immerse yourself in the local surroundings its enough time to see the basics

Offline Emkay

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2016, 12:55:36 PM »




I guess first priority should be to make flight reservations. I checked earlier today, and from SMF - LHR, I can get for about 30K miles on both United & AA (for June/July, but the problem is the return flights, almost nothing available till late August (I was only looking from London/Paris).
why would you make the inbound and outbound the same destination? Waste of time. Search from all other cities that you want to visit and schedule based off that


Offline benjie1305

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2016, 12:59:37 PM »
I thought I had seen this already. Turns out, I was right.

http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=50020.msg1072333#msg1072333
Work hard, Play harder!

Offline loveddeals

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2016, 01:23:42 PM »
I thought I had seen this already. Turns out, I was right.

http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=50020.msg1072333#msg1072333

Damn it, you are good buddy :)

That was posted last year, and I was told it is too soon. I just started a new thread as I had some updates for the miles.

Offline loveddeals

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2016, 01:24:46 PM »
why would you make the inbound and outbound the same destination? Waste of time. Search from all other cities that you want to visit and schedule based off that

You are Right, that is a waste of time. I will search from other cities too. But just wanted to post what I had found and hopefully get some obvious answers that I was missing :)

Offline loveddeals

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2016, 01:25:44 PM »
Just pointing out that you most def can do 2-3 nights in each place. If you aren't trying to utterly immerse yourself in the local surroundings its enough time to see the basics

Great. Just covering the major points should be good enough. We do understand that 2-3 days is not much.

Offline loveddeals

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2016, 01:26:42 PM »
The flying part is definitely doable :) Not sure if your points would cover the hotels for 3 weeks.

Well, lets first get the flying part done. Hotels we can do later. Ideal would be to find flights that cost 30K miles one way :)

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2016, 01:59:31 PM »
Sorry I never responded to your last post in your other thread. I must have missed it. I'm not sure about other round-the-world tickets that are available. But If you're goal is to see 4-5 cities, I'm not sure you'll need it.

Search Star Alliance and OneWorld options from all the cities you want to visit back to SFO (perhaps also consider other cities in USA like NYC, ORD, LAX and then connect easily back to SFO). Once you have the main outbound and inbound flight, you should be able to easily piece together the intra-europe flights - either with BA (should be 4500-7500 for more routes). But keep in mind that there will be taxes on those BA flights that might just make it better to fly something like Ryanair for cash.

Offline shwarmabob

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2016, 02:00:45 PM »
Look at using United points with stopovers and open jaws. for 60K per person you have your tickets. You could fly SFO-London, London-Rome, fly home Berlin-SFO
take a train from Rome-Venice, rent a car and drive from Venice to Berlin or use Avios or  low-cost airlines to travel.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 02:12:12 PM by shwarmabob »

Offline Emkay

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2016, 02:25:17 PM »


I guess first priority should be to make flight reservations. I checked earlier today, and from SMF - LHR, I can get for about 30K miles on both United & AA (for June/July, but the problem is the return flights, almost nothing available till late August (I was only looking from London/Paris).


not sure where or what your looking at but plenty of availability from LHR-SFO the whole summer

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2016, 02:25:30 PM »
Sorry I never responded to your last post in your other thread. I must have missed it. I'm not sure about other round-the-world tickets that are available. But If you're goal is to see 4-5 cities, I'm not sure you'll need it.

Search Star Alliance and OneWorld options from all the cities you want to visit back to SFO (perhaps also consider other cities in USA like NYC, ORD, LAX and then connect easily back to SFO). Once you have the main outbound and inbound flight, you should be able to easily piece together the intra-europe flights - either with BA (should be 4500-7500 for more routes). But keep in mind that there will be taxes on those BA flights that might just make it better to fly something like Ryanair for cash.

Thanks Yehuda. I will look into flying back to other cities. If that works, preference would be to fly on SW so we can use miles and companion pass.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2016, 02:27:00 PM »
Thanks Yehuda. I will look into flying back to other cities. If that works, preference would be to fly on SW so we can use miles and companion pass.
SW doesn't fly to Europe. You could use SW to fly from let's say NYC back to SFO. But yeah, that's the easy stuff. Work on the transatlantic stuff first.

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2016, 02:27:59 PM »
Great. Just covering the major points should be good enough. We do understand that 2-3 days is not much.
its really enough, spend two days in each city cramming everything in, full days of activities and then spend the last day roaming around and just chilling, it will make the whole vacation feel way more relaxed and less rushed.