Author Topic: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.  (Read 5272 times)

Offline loveddeals

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2016, 12:48:37 PM »
Ok, did some search for the flights. Availability is there, but I am not able to use stopover/open jaw properly, and I am sure I am doing something wrong.

Searched United only.

Basically, SFO - LHR is available for almost all of June/July/August for 30K.

ZRH - SFO available almost all June for 30K.

ATH - SFO available on June 21,24,28 and July 11/12 for 30K.

Daughter would love to do London - Paris on train (even I want to travel).

Mykonos island in Greece if we can do on this trip would be loved by all 3 of us.

So, is it possible to fly SFO - LHR, then CDG - TXL, TXL - ZRH and finally ATH - SFO back? Is this what is meant by 2 open-jaws and 1 stopover that United allows??

We will use internal flights (paid in cash) for Rome, JMK and foing to ATH??

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2016, 05:25:18 PM »
Am I doing something really stupid that no replies?? Guys please advise!!

Offline Emkay

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2016, 11:38:40 AM »
Am I doing something really stupid that no replies?? Guys please advise!!
Midday Friday through Saturday are typically slow days, give it some time.
Also I can imagine you getting better answers if you use this thread as a basic idea of your plans and then go to each individual thread- in this case "airline routing rules"- to ask more specific questions

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2016, 06:14:57 PM »
Midday Friday through Saturday are typically slow days, give it some time.
Also I can imagine you getting better answers if you use this thread as a basic idea of your plans and then go to each individual thread- in this case "airline routing rules"- to ask more specific questions

Thanks for the reply Embay. I was worried that may be I pissed off people and that is why no one is responding :)

I will ask my next question in other thread, and hope to get some advice. But for now, I have been able to price SFO-LHR, FCO-ATH, ATH-SFO on United.com for 3 tickets for 180,000 miles + $531.78 (taxes). Funny thing is tax from SFO - LHR is $18 for all 3, and other 2 flights add over $500 in taxes. Is it possible to lower the taxes somehow?

Possible to add another open jaw in this route somewhere? I only have one open jaw right now.


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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2016, 02:02:36 AM »




 other 2 flights add over $500 in taxes. Is it possible to lower the taxes somehow?


What is the routing of the return flight?

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2016, 09:43:41 PM »
What is the routing of the return flight?

Returning from LHR..I think that is the trouble spot. Will check again to see if I can route from other airports.

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2016, 10:20:15 PM »
Jun 7 San Francisco - London, GB
Jun 15 Zurich - Athens, GR
Jun 21 Athens - San Francisco, CA

Got this schedule for 180,000 miles + $418.68.

Is it possible to add another leg from Zurich - Rome? That would make it awesome :)

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #52 on: February 09, 2016, 01:45:34 PM »
Something came up and so I was not able to work out the details earlier. Now, I am back. Just checked the flight availability, and found the following:

Jun 5 San Francisco - London, GB
Jun 15 Rome - Athens, GR (found a flight with almost 10 hours connection in Vienna. Will try to make the most of it).
Jun 18 Athens - San Francisco, CA

Got this schedule for 180,000 miles + $564.18.

Just did a quick search on IHG for hotels (have over 275,000 IHG points). Hotels seem to be running over $200 for most of these places. I understand that it is summer time and things will be expensive. Is this normal or we can expect to find better rates with time?

Thanks.

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #53 on: May 02, 2016, 05:04:32 PM »
I am back with details of the trip. Hoping that experts here say that I got a decent trip :)

Flying out (United economy award ticket for 3) from Sacramento in early June to London (reaching LHR early morning). Staying at Holiday Inn London Mayfair for 2 nights.

Taking overnight bus from London - Brussels (reserved seats the day schedule opened at got it for 33.5 Euros. Immediately after that, tickets went up to 47.5, so proud of myself :) ). Reaching Brussels early in the morning, and staying at Holiday Inn Brussels for one night.

Next day, take early morning bus from Brussels -  Paris (reaching Paris around 11 AM) for 18 euros. Staying 3 nights in Paris (2 nights in Radisson & one night in Inter Continental). Booked Eiffel tower tickets for late evening as kid wants to see the sunset from the top).

Then, take TGV train from Paris - Zurich (booked using no FTF card, dont remember the exact fare, but it was cheap). Reaching Zurich around 3:0 PM. Staying for 2 nights in Zurich in Crown Plaza. From my other thread, know that there is not much to do in Zurich, so still trying to figure out what to do on one full day there. Any suggestions/advice?

Then, take Bernia Express train early morning from Zurich - Tirano (Italy). From there, take a train to Milan and then to Pisa (hopefully, trains will be on time and schedule will work out). Still need to make Milan - Pisa reservation (schedule not available yet). Tirano - Milan is local train, where advanced booking is not possible. Overnight in Marriott Pisa (booked using points).

Next morning, after clicking a few pictures at Leaning Tower, on our way to Florence (by train). Staying at AirBnb (my first stay), close to main train station (host has very good reviews), booked for $120 or so. Should be in Florence by 11 AM or so.

Next morning, leave for Rome (by train, seats reserved), reach Rome around 11 AM. Stay in Hotel Indigo for one night, and next night, staying at Holiday Inn Rome (close to airport).
Need to book Colosseum tour.

Next, we use Open Jaw ticket Rome - Athens (reaching Athens at 8:45 PM). Take Ryan Air flight (Athens - Santorini, 3 adults, $142), reaching Santorini at midnight. Booked a hotel for 2 nights (including when we reach there overnight) for $167. It has free cancellation till mid-June. , keep checking if anything else opens up.

Then, we take ferry (need to make reservation) to Mykonos island. Reach there around 2 PM. Stay 2 nights there (AirBnB, $231).

Then, we take Ryan Air again from Mykonos - Athens ($102 for 3 adults), reaching Athens around 9 AM. Staying 2 nights in Inter Continental Athens (using points from IHG promo where we had to mail cards; made 2 separate reservations to use 2 accounts).

Finally, we fly back from Athens - LAX (reaching LAX around midnight).

From LAX, we are flying back to SMF on SouthWest (used miles & companion pass).

Initially, I had booked trans-atlantic flights from LAX - LHR - FCO - ATH - LAX. Then, one day SMF - LHR reward flight opened up, I called United, and agent switched it from SMF - LHR (everything else being the same). So, now we are flying out from SMF, but returning to LAX (on United reward flight). Hoping that ATH - SMF reward availability opens up, so I can cancel SW and save my points :)

Flying out of SMF helps with car parking fees too, as we can work at work, and take public transportation to the airport.

Mostly staying in IHG properties as I had accumulated over 270,000 points over the years (IHG CC sign-up, and bought Daily getaway IHG points earlier).

Now, need advice with things to do, what to eat (vegetarians).

Let me know how I did with flights, bus/train & hotels. Feeling proud of myself, but need to hear from experts.

Offline Emkay

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #54 on: May 02, 2016, 05:18:51 PM »
I am back with details of the trip. Hoping that experts here say that I got a decent trip :)

Flying out (United economy award ticket for 3) from Sacramento in early June to London (reaching LHR early morning). Staying at Holiday Inn London Mayfair for 2 nights.

Taking overnight bus from London - Brussels (reserved seats the day schedule opened at got it for 33.5 Euros. Immediately after that, tickets went up to 47.5, so proud of myself :) ). Reaching Brussels early in the morning, and staying at Holiday Inn Brussels for one night.

Next day, take early morning bus from Brussels -  Paris (reaching Paris around 11 AM) for 18 euros. Staying 3 nights in Paris (2 nights in Radisson & one night in Inter Continental). Booked Eiffel tower tickets for late evening as kid wants to see the sunset from the top).

Then, take TGV train from Paris - Zurich (booked using no FTF card, dont remember the exact fare, but it was cheap). Reaching Zurich around 3:0 PM. Staying for 2 nights in Zurich in Crown Plaza. From my other thread, know that there is not much to do in Zurich, so still trying to figure out what to do on one full day there. Any suggestions/advice?

Then, take Bernia Express train early morning from Zurich - Tirano (Italy). From there, take a train to Milan and then to Pisa (hopefully, trains will be on time and schedule will work out). Still need to make Milan - Pisa reservation (schedule not available yet). Tirano - Milan is local train, where advanced booking is not possible. Overnight in Marriott Pisa (booked using points).

Next morning, after clicking a few pictures at Leaning Tower, on our way to Florence (by train). Staying at AirBnb (my first stay), close to main train station (host has very good reviews), booked for $120 or so. Should be in Florence by 11 AM or so.

Next morning, leave for Rome (by train, seats reserved), reach Rome around 11 AM. Stay in Hotel Indigo for one night, and next night, staying at Holiday Inn Rome (close to airport).
Need to book Colosseum tour.

Next, we use Open Jaw ticket Rome - Athens (reaching Athens at 8:45 PM). Take Ryan Air flight (Athens - Santorini, 3 adults, $142), reaching Santorini at midnight. Booked a hotel for 2 nights (including when we reach there overnight) for $167. It has free cancellation till mid-June. , keep checking if anything else opens up.

Then, we take ferry (need to make reservation) to Mykonos island. Reach there around 2 PM. Stay 2 nights there (AirBnB, $231).

Then, we take Ryan Air again from Mykonos - Athens ($102 for 3 adults), reaching Athens around 9 AM. Staying 2 nights in Inter Continental Athens (using points from IHG promo where we had to mail cards; made 2 separate reservations to use 2 accounts).

Finally, we fly back from Athens - LAX (reaching LAX around midnight).

From LAX, we are flying back to SMF on SouthWest (used miles & companion pass).

Initially, I had booked trans-atlantic flights from LAX - LHR - FCO - ATH - LAX. Then, one day SMF - LHR reward flight opened up, I called United, and agent switched it from SMF - LHR (everything else being the same). So, now we are flying out from SMF, but returning to LAX (on United reward flight). Hoping that ATH - SMF reward availability opens up, so I can cancel SW and save my points :)

Flying out of SMF helps with car parking fees too, as we can work at work, and take public transportation to the airport.

Mostly staying in IHG properties as I had accumulated over 270,000 points over the years (IHG CC sign-up, and bought Daily getaway IHG points earlier).

Now, need advice with things to do, what to eat (vegetarians).

Let me know how I did with flights, bus/train & hotels. Feeling proud of myself, but need to hear from experts.
Its Alot of travel which is very tiring. Your likely going to end up ditching a bunch of activities you planned.

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #55 on: May 02, 2016, 05:28:11 PM »
Its Alot of travel which is very tiring. Your likely going to end up ditching a bunch of activities you planned.

I agree it is a lot of travel. But, just wanted to see some main spots when all 3 of us can go. Kid is going to college, so this might be the last trip together :(

Santorini & Mykonos should be all relaxing, at least that is what I am hoping for. Day traveling from Zurich - Pisa (though a long day, but mostly sitting in train, enjoying the views, should take some stress out). We will see how it goes.

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #56 on: May 02, 2016, 05:41:08 PM »
I agree it is a lot of travel. But, just wanted to see some main spots when all 3 of us can go. Kid is going to college, so this might be the last trip together :(

Santorini & Mykonos should be all relaxing, at least that is what I am hoping for.
Im assuming its too late to change anything but I would knock out one of those, they arent different enough to want to rush around having only one full day in each, rather have 3 full days in one.

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #57 on: May 02, 2016, 06:27:39 PM »
Im assuming its too late to change anything but I would knock out one of those, they arent different enough to want to rush around having only one full day in each, rather have 3 full days in one.

It is too late to change anything now. I completely agree with you on just spending one day in these places. But, we are already onto 3 weeks of vacation, can't extend it anymore. And who knows, we might be back in these places in future if we just have so much fun :)

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #58 on: May 03, 2016, 12:10:54 AM »
Its Alot of travel which is very tiring. Your likely going to end up ditching a bunch of activities you planned.

You start with 3 nights not sleeping in a bed. Kudos to you if you can manage it, especially as you seems to be budgeting. I personally would probably fall asleep while walking, although I never tried it.

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Re: Help!! Europe vacation Summer 2016.
« Reply #59 on: May 03, 2016, 01:58:26 AM »
It is too late to change anything now. I completely agree with you on just spending one day in these places. But, we are already onto 3 weeks of vacation, can't extend it anymore. And who knows, we might be back in these places in future if we just have so much fun :)
I wasn't saying to extend the trip, I was saying to forget about one of those islands the whole time and not take the boat/flight to the other.