Planning

Europe 2012 Planning & Booking Options

I am sitting down to write this post for the third time now. To get something published and share about my upcoming trip to Europe. Primarily I have faced a couple of self-imposed challenges in getting anything planned and booked for this journey.

The trip started with a couple of left over pieces of bookings from changes I made to my last trip. There is a return flight from Los Angles to Brisbane, A Transatlantic cruise I booked & a flight from Europe to America.

Either way from what I have already booked in 58 days I will be boarding a plane. The flight is from Brisbane to London, and at this stage I have some 51 days of travel still to plan and book. But let’s have a look at my challenges, and what I am currently thinking about to fill in this time.

The Challenges

There are two challenges that I have been fighting in my mind. The first is the impulse bookings I have already done and the second is choosing easy options.

Challenge #1 – Theย Impulse Bookings

When I booked my last trip, I booked a return flight to the USA. Even though at the time I only used one-half I booked the return leg as far out as I could for this trip. A result of looking to save money, on booking a one-way flight. Then while on the cruise portion of the last trip, I booked a Transatlantic cruise. Finally, I had already booked a flight to Europe and a flight onwards to America.

All up I had flights that would get me around the world, with a cruise going the opposite direction. At this stage, I have spent to much time focusing on how to reverse the flights without booking entirely new tickets. Something that is far from productive and not getting me anywhere.

Challenge #2 – Getting Stuck In Easy

Instead of looking at ways that I could explore and see more of Europe I had started to focus on repeating previous trips. So I was thinking more about renting a car in England (the same as my first trip), rather than exploring the European Continent.

The problem I have faced is that the natural option is not always so simple. It somewhat leaves you wanting more and well dissatisfied that you are not expanding your horizon.

Challenges Are Just In The Mind

Looking at them now that I have identified these problems they are not that big. Honestly, they are pretty petty little things. But before you identify them they do start to consume your thought process blocking out what you need to focus on.

The Destinations

Thankfully I do have a rough sort of plan that I am looking at which I want to share with you today. Currently, I am seeking to visit 16 different countries, staying in or visiting 30 different cities. While some stops are just a day as part of the cruise, most stops will be 3 or 4 days. There will be two flights from Europe to America, but this is a small sacrifice to save excessive rebooking fees for the other flights.

I leave Brisbane and fly to London, with 12-days in Europe. At this point, I am looking to spend some time in Paris, Frankfurt, and Vienna. From Vienna, I will fly to New York, with eight days in America before I board the Transatlantic cruise in Fort Lauderdale.

The cruise visits 16 different ports over 29-days in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece & Croatia. The cruise finishes in Venice where I disembark and continue for another 17-days in Europe. I expect to spend this time in France, Luxembourg & Belgium before flying to Toronto.

I have my flight from Europe to Toronto booked with Iceland Air and will take a short stopover in Iceland. From Toronto, I will visit Chicago and onto Los Angles before flying home to Brisbane.

Transport & Accommodation

Currently, I am within 60-days of leaving home and have no flights or transport booked. Well, I have a flight from Brisbane to Europe, Europe to America, and America to Home, plus the cruise booked.

There is still an awful lot of planning and booking to do. The brief outline above is not set in stone and is reliant on what some of my research comes up with while planning. However, at this stage, I estimate there is still 47-nights of accommodation to book in 15 different cities. Along with at least 14 different airfares for getting between cities.

Sightseeing

Previously, I have taken minimal time to plan anything in advance for sightseeing. However, this is something that I would like to consider changing on this trip.

In the past, I have found that I spend too much time looking for what to do when I arrive in a city. For once I would like to have a little bit pre-planned and know that I make the most of my time. I am going to try and roll this into the research for transport and accommodation. So that I know where I want to visit has things that I want to see and do before just arriving there.

There are a couple of things that I will be looking for in this part of the planning. First I want to know that the city has sights to see. Second what sort of tour is available in the city. Third what events may be happening which may interest me. Finally, how the sights are spread through the city and about the potential hotels, I will book.

Stay Tuned For Europe 2012

Starting tomorrow, I will be putting time in every day towards the planning and booking of this trip. Without this dedicated time, I could end up getting to Europe without much organised. As such I hope to have the reservations mostly complete by the first week of February.

Over the next few weeks, you can expect to see a couple of updates. These may include the research and finalised plans for each section of the trip. With information, that I hope will help others in planning their next trip. Either way, I expect that this is going to be a great trip. Of course, looking forward to sharing both the planning and the trip with you over the coming months.

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