It’s coming! Another 2 months and I’ll be in London! A big round of applause to our budget airline AirAsia, which had encouraged me to travel to Europe again after 12 years. I’ve booked my air tickets 3 months ago and I finally have my first Western Europe tour itinerary drafted recently. The whole idea of the trip is to visit some of the top cities in Western Europe in a short period of only 14 days. Reasons why being such a short period off course includes budget, my work and also my children. So 14 days is all we (initially I’m going with my wife only but eventually we are going in a group of 5 including Jean, her siste, my brother in law and a friend of mine) have in Europe. And my role has also changed from a husband and lover to a tour leader and organiser of this small tour group! Ha ha!
If you know where I’m coming from, I’m the advocate for budget travel. It would be my biggest pleasure to have saved more in my travel! Since budget is our next biggest constraint other than time, how and which cities to cover in Europe is a challenge to me. Since none of them have been to Europe before, I thought we better concentrate on those my Top 5 Cities in Europe. To be less ambitious, I’ve opted out Prague. Since we have only 14 days, I decided we travel only the Western European coutries, start from and end in London (the only European destination Air Asia X covers).
In order to plan out our preliminary itinerary of the Western Europe trip, I needed to consider these following factors in advance:
- Transportation cost. I would say transportation cost is the biggest expense of our trip, contribute no less than 50% of the total cost. Though we have bought low fare air tickets to London, we still need to move domestically from London to other cities and countries. We have 2 options here: by plane of train. Different route has different pricing at different timing. In other words, it affects my itinerary planning with tight budget!
- Number of places of interest. Firstly, transportation cost would increase if we travel more. Secondly, less time we are going to have at each destination if we travel more. Thirdly, which travel destinations we would die for visiting it once? These are the factors to consider.
- Season or Festival? Since we have confirmed our return flight tickets, we couldn’t change the season when we will be there. I prefer travelling Europe in May because it’s end of Spring. I love vibrancy of Spring and Jean scared of coldness, that’s it. It’s already my perfect traveling period to Europe. Festival? Ok, I’m searching for the period of any festival going on there during May, so we could pop by if possible (or we could avoid for extremely high crowd). Also the day of weekly open flea market might be our consideration as well;
- Accommodation cost. Budget hotel in Paris would not cost the same with either Venice or London. So planning our itinerary would also depends on the cost of living and number of days to stay there. For me, any place or city in Europe has its own attractions that worth hundreds Euro to stay and needs months to explore. So, which travel destination to stay longer would only depends on the accommodation cost of that place. that’s the only factor, and
- Strictly for ladies. They haven’t got enough money to try the German knuckles or beer but they always have plenty to spend on fashion! Insertion of certain shopping paradise into our itinerary would please our ladies in group. Planning to spend a day in London shopping at the final days would be a good idea.
In view of the above factors, I have drafted a preliminary Western Europe tour itinerary for 14 days. Check this out:
- 1st day – From KL to London. Stay in central London;
- 2nd day – From London to Paris via EuroStar. Stay 2 nights;
- 4th day – from Paris to Munich via rail. Stay 1 night;
- 5th day – From Munich to Venice. Stay 2 nights;
- 7th day – From Venice to Florence. Stay 2 night;
- 9th day – From Florence to Rome. Stay 2 nights;
- 11th day – From Rome back to London. Stay 2 nights, and
- 13th day (midnight) – From London back to KL on the 14th day.
This is just my preliminary planning. I need your feedback to tell me whether I’m too ambitious or we should stay more days in either city. What do you think about this itinerary for short trip to Western Europe? – Travel Feeder, the ultimate travel photo blog.