Post # 46
Iceland was definitely my top choice before my fiance started mentioning warm locations and then I kind of put it on the back burner. Is there a website you recomend or hotel/location in Iceland to travel to? I’m not really sure how to begin searching 🙂
Also, we would like to stay somewhere where we can just step out of the hotel/condo and be near restaurants/attractions.
Post # 47
Really depends on what you want to do and what you love! I just got back from a 3 week trip in Europe that included WAY TOO MANY cities but I’m glad I went overall: london, paris, venice, florence, rome, barcelona, and madrid. My favorite ended up being Paris (most expensive), florence, and barcelona (best value).
TIP: spend at least 4-5 days in a place. settle in, relax, and give yourself time to enjoy. The traveling from one place to another was a time suck, expensive, and tiring towards the end.
you can probably do a package with a few of the countries you mentioned. you can also definately do a week or more going to various cities in Italy or Spain. you can take advantage of their awesome train system too!
Post # 48
Thank you 🙂 All of this information is really helpful. So our best bet may be to stay in Florence and take a train for the day to either Venice, Tuscany, or Rome. We would really like to see Venice and the Amalfi Coast and it seems like everyone is recomending Florence as well.
Which place is the best for staying in an area that we can just walk out the door and find restaurants and attractions? We definitetly want to explore and take day trips but I don’t want to be stuck in an area that we have to travel everywhere and we’re exhausted by the end of the vacation. We were also thinking about taking a cooking class for an activity one day.
Post # 49
andersonmn : I’d turn to Google and Tripadvisor
Post # 50
andersonmn : I LOVED Florence and could have easily gone beyond 3 days. Venice I spend the day and was way more than I needed. We cancelled our Tuscany outing to spend more time in Florence but could probably have done 5-7 days in Florence/Tuscany easily. Train to Rome, lots to do, much more urban. Wish we had continued to Amalfi but had Spain plans.
check out Rick Steves travel advice. He’s great!
Post # 51
Italy! It’s a small country and you can visit alot of places via high speed train, which is not too expensive either. We did self travel rather than tours but you need time to plan and research to do it yourself. Highlights were Florence, cinque Terre and Rome. I would love to go back to visit the Amalfi coast, and lake Como… Maybe for my honeymoon 🙂
plus you can eat relatively cheaply there, and wine is definitely cheap.
Post # 52
andersonmn : just read your update, Florence is a tiny city and you can walk to restaurants and wine bars very easily, they are everywhere. I wouldn’t go to Rome for just one day, there’s sooo much to see there and it’s a pretty big city/takes awhile to navigate and you’ll want more time to explore and take it in. You can do a day trip to cinque Terre from Florence to see the stunning coast and beautiful brightly coloured little towns
Post # 53
andersonmn : I’ve only been to St. Lucia, but I love it there! It’s my favorite of the Caribbean islands I’ve been to. I go to the Caribbean every year, so it wouldn’t be a once in a lifetime type of trip for me personally, though, so I would pick one of the European countries 🙂 My preference would be for Italy or Spain, but I haven’t been before.
Post # 54
andersonmn : We booked our flights on Cheapoair and then went through a travel agent (Liberty Travel) for all the inter-island flights/ferries, hotel and activity bookings. Because we were going to three different locations in a totally foreign place, I wanted the security of booking through an agent rather than one of those third party websites, in case anything went wrong. I probably would’ve gotten the flights throught them too if we knew ahead of time we’d book through an agent.
As someone who has traveled to three different countries in 10 days (Spain, Czech Republic, the Netherlands) and also went to two islands and Athens for our 10 day honeymoon, I’d highly suggest staying in Italy for the time you have and going to only two different cities. Too much moving around can get stressful and the travel time takes up solid activity/relaxation time. I’d probably do Tuscany and Venice (since they’re super close) OR Rome/Amalfi Coast. But if you’re flying in/out of Rome, then you could probably do Rome, Tuscany and Venice, but again, that would be a lot getting comfortable but then having to move locations.
Post # 55
andersonmn : Where are you flying from? I agree with PP about 6 days being too little to really do a European trip, much less more than 1 city. For hotels, I’m not big on the lux hotels (i like to keep my budget to $100 or less), my only requirements is a private room and bath that is clean. I focus more on lcoation than anything, just a central location close to public transit so it’s easy to get around.
I have the list of hotels and thoughts on them in my thread here: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/my-italy-switzerland-trip-recap/
Post # 56
andersonmn : I’m a little biased because we are going to St. Lucia.. and I just want beach weather for my honeymoon..but March (just assuming that’s when you’re getting married based off of your profile!) is supposed to be one of the best times weather wise to visit to St. Lucia.
I’m really surprised that St. Lucia was your most expensive option, though we never looked into Costco travel options. We are staying 7 nights, all inclusive which includes all meals, drinks, flights, transportation, and some excursions in St. Lucia for about the same price as just flights and lodging in Greece and London (two of our other contenders). We ultimately picked St. Lucia because we wanted to do more relaxing stuff than touristy stuff.
Ireland would be my second pick of your list – that would have been on my list but we are planning a family vacation to Ireland next year so I didn’t even consider it.
Post # 57
andersonmn : You can definitely do most of those things in Barcelona. Maybe not the hot air balloon ride though. You should google Montserrat. It’s a beuaitful place to go hiking and about a 45 minute train ride outside of Barcelona. Either way, all of your choices sound fantastic so I’m sure you’ll have fun wherever you go. The flight to Greece is probably a bit longer though, so you may want to take that into consideration.
Post # 58
andersonmn : There are a few rare but serious stories about hosts overstepping their boundaries, but any problems I’ve read about have been quickly and severely dealt with by AirBnB, and shouldn’t be a problem if you’re not travelling alone. I’ve used them domestically by myself, as have other female friends, and we’ve all had excellent, safe experiences. In my experience, hosts generally keep to themselves unless you start a conversation which is ideal for an introvert like myself. However, getting a private room in a local’s house is a good way to get insider recommendations if you do want to chat.
For a honeymoon, however, I would absolutely splurge on a whole-apartment/whole-house rental. These can still be more cost-effective than hotels, as you can see, but you’ll want a lot more privacy than a private room/private bath could afford.
Post # 59
So I’ve been to St. Lucia and honestly I was very underwhelmed. We did not enjoy it as much as we thought we would. I have been to London and I loved it so much and highly recommend but not for a honeymoon. It’s not so romantic, Ireland either. You mentioned Cuba before and I wouldn’t go there either. The food is terrible in comparison to any other Caribbean island and the resorts are made very cheap and the drinks are not good either. They don’t know how to make most well known cocktails. My parents went to Paris and they hated it. They said it’s really dirty and people and rude and they often had to watch out to not get pick pocketed. We are planning to go to Italy for our honeymoon in September. From what I’ve heard Rome, Naples, Almafi Coast, Capri, Florence, Tuscany, Pisa and Cinque Terre are just sees. And they are all on the west coast and you can easily go from Florence to Tuscany, Pisa and Cinque Terre, and it is not that far to go to Rome from there and close to Naples is the Almafi Coast, Capri, Sorrento.. so I think it is doable to choose say 4 or 5 places and spend a day in each and maybe 2 in Florence or Rome. We will be going for 2 weeks to really have time to see everything, but I’m sure you can see a lot in that amount of time. Especially since it will be colder, I doubt you will want to spend a day at the beach anyways. And Costco travel seems really great. We plan to book with them too.
Post # 60
andersonmn : anywhere you stay in central Florence is fine for the most part. Look at maps when you pick out your hotel or Air BnB location. The whole city is very walkable and the museums, churches and central market are all very close. We stayed at a Mercure hotel and it was quite modern and nice and in a good location. When we went to Italy we did a tour, we were able to see a lot in 12 days because someone shuttled us everywhere and they had everything packed in. We did go to Siena and San Gimignano (in Tuscany) along with a winery for a tasting. All were awesome and I would highly reccomend. It was part of the tour we were on but many tour operators run day trips from Florence. You can find great options on Trip Advisor or PM me and I can help. (We have taken several tours through Viator.com in various places and have always been pleased with them.) Driving in the countryside would be nice but we do not have the cajones to drive in Florence itself. If you are staying anywhere near downtown the streets are narrow and people drive a little different than we are used to. 🙂
We got back from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Stockholm about a month ago and we Air BnB’d that whole trip. As a PP suggested, we only rent whole apartments or houses (like our privacy) but have had super good luck. Look at the ratings for the host and property as well as look carefully at the photos. We have had amazingly good luck with it, and the people who rent their homes/properties rely on the income so they want good reviews. May of the people who rented to us were very helpful with tours, resteraunts, taxis and transportation. We felt like we had a friend in each place we stayed before we got there. I was a little apprehensive about it initially but I am totally sold.
I did a quick Google search and found hot air balloon rides over tuscany. We did one over Napa a few years back and it was awesome. Regardless of what you do, you are going to have a great time!