Help me navigate the world of planning a trip abroad.
March 14, 2013 9:19 AM Subscribe
I'm going abroad this summer. What advice would you give to someone who hasn't been abroad in a decade? What resources exist for traveling? Specific areas: Sardinia, Italy (mainland), France, possibly London.
posted by DoubleLune to travel & transportation (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'll be in Sardinia for a month on an academic trip -- this is organized by others and I have to do no planning. Afterwards, I plan to spend a week or two in Europe. I'd like to do something like fly to London, and then work my way back to Rome (it seems to be cheapest to ultimately fly in and out of Rome). How long is reasonable to allow for this? I'd like to spend 2 weeks, but may be limited to 1 week due to the expense. How can I keep my costs down and maximize my time in Europe? I don't have a budget yet, but how much should I be planning for (excluding plane fare)?
And the places I'd like to see most are southern France and Italy. Is it a bad idea to try to get to Paris and London as well? Or if I fly to London, will I be able to do it all in 2 weeks? I'd like to spend a few days in each place, but don't want to burn myself out from traveling. Should I spend more time in fewer places? I've been to Paris before, but would love to go back (it was on a school trip 10 years ago).
Are hostels the best option for lodging? How safe are they? I am female, late 20s, will probably be traveling alone for part of this (I do know some people also going this summer and may meet up with them, but they're backpacking and don't have their itinerary well-planned yet).
And my general travel preference is to feel relaxed, not obligated to be somewhere at a certain time, see a lot, and really soak up the culture. Also I know French well, but would love to improve it well enough to consider myself fluent while I'm there. Other than just not speaking English while I'm in France, what's the best way to do this? I know about 5 words of Italian, good resources to learn some basics in the next couple months?