Planning a European Trip Itinerary

European Trip Itinerary

How to Plan a European Trip Itinerary

Are you thinking of traveling to Europe? Not sure how to start planning your trip? There are a lot of factors that come into play when planning a European vacation, one of the most important being your trip itinerary. Once you have an itinerary, you can then start looking into accommodations, thinking about your travel clothes, fine-tuning travel arrangements, among other considerations.

When planning your European trip itinerary, you’ll first need to consider when you’ll be able to go, for how long, and approximately what type of budget you’ll have to work with. Once you know when you’ll be able to leave for Europe, the duration of your trip and your budget, you can then start working on an actual European itinerary. Although it takes time and effort to put together a trip itinerary, it is well worth it. Your trip will be much more efficient and stress-free.

 

Picking Your Destinations

Where Would You Like to Go?

Plan a European Trip Itinerary

Once you know how many travel days you have to work with, you can then decide whether you’d like to visit a country or region, or if you prefer, you can decide which major cities you’d like to visit. Keep in mind that the first and last day of your trip will automatically be travel days. Also, your first day there is really only a half day at best, since you’ll need to rest and recover from jet lag.

You could decide to focus on a single country, such as Spain or Germany, or you could pick a region, such as combining southern Germany with Austria, southern France with northern Spain, Austria with northern Italy, or Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. If you’ve decided to visit a relatively small area, you can choose to use a home-based approach to your trip; that is, you can fly into a major city and use it as a home base for your entire trip, or you can fly into a major city, stay there for a few days, and then move on to what will be your home base for most of your trip. The idea behind the home-based approach is that you’ll be doing a lot of day trips but not having to pack and move your luggage nearly as often. There’s no wrong or right approach – it all depends on what you want to see and do during your vacation.

Another possibility is to select the major cities that you’d like to see; for example, London, Paris, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Venice. At this point, you are still brainstorming, but it’s important to write things down so you can fine tune your plans as you go along. It’s important to do this even if you’re not planning on moving around a lot; that is, you plan on using the home-based approach.

Start with your dream itinerary, then write down how many days you’d like to stay in each city, town or region. Once you’ve done this, you can start looking at other factors to help you finalize your itinerary.

 

Here is the Map of Europe :


 

Weather

Too Hot or Too Cold??

Do you prefer cooler weather, or are you someone who doesn’t mind warm weather? It’s important that you do a bit of research on average temperatures during the time of year that you’re going to be traveling to your selected country, region, or cities.

Here’s an example of how to plan your itinerary if you prefer to avoid warmer temperatures. Let’s say that you’ve decided to travel to Italy, or you’d like to see Spain and France. If you’re traveling in the spring/late spring, then start in southern Italy and work your way north; for example, fly into Naples and fly out of Milan. You could also start in Rome, in central Italy, and work your way north. For Spain and France, you could fly into either Madrid or Malaga, and work your way north to Barcelona and then into France. You could then fly out of either Marseilles or Nice.

If you’re visiting major cities in various parts of Europe, the same principle would apply; that is, work your way up from cities in southern Europe to the more northerly destinations. For example; if you’d like to visit Paris, Rome and Munich in the late spring, then you’d start in Rome, go to Munich, and then save Paris for last.

Keeping average temperatures in mind will not only help you plan your itinerary – it will also help you plan your activities and travel wardrobe.

Travel Itinerary & Journal

Some travelers may prefer to document their itinerary in a travel journal. Keep notes about your trip and any information that you may want to pass on to friends and family, such as names of restaurants or accommodations or what to stay away from. This travel journal will also be a great souvenir of your trip and can later serve as a starting point for writing travel articles.

 

Transportation

Trains, Planes, Boats and Automobiles

How to Plan a European Trip Itinerary

Choosing your flights to and from Europe are crucial to your trip planning. If you plan on only visiting a particular area, you could fly in and out of the same city. An example of this would be if you plan on visiting southern Bavaria in Germany. In this case, you could fly in and out of Munich. Another example would be if you’re planning on visiting the Cote d’Azur area of southern France. In this case, you could fly in and out of Nice.

However, if you’re planning on visiting several areas within the same country or visiting more than one country, you’ll save both time and money if you fly into one city and out of another. You won’t have to budget time and money to travel back to your first destination.

Another critical factor is transportation between destinations in Europe. If you’re planning on visiting major urban areas in several countries, you can either look into train travel or low-cost domestic flights. Keep in mind that for both of these scenarios you’ll want to be traveling light. Depending on the distance between major cities, you could also consider bus travel, but keep in mind that buses will be slower than trains or flights, so you’ll have to budget more time.

You can also consider traveling by boat from one destination to another. For example, if you want to travel from southern to northern Italy, you could take a boat from Naples to Livorno. There are a number of port cities on the Mediterranean. Another possibility is taking a river cruise; for example, taking a boat from Budapest to Vienna along the Danube. Part of the fun is sometimes including different types of transportation during your trip.

Basically, you need to consider how much time it will take to travel from one destination to another. If the journey is fairly long, you could consider a night train (or other mode of transport). If you’re going to be renting a vehicle, then try to estimate travel times between destinations and plan for breaks and possibly a quick stop along the way to take in the scenery.

When you know the approximate travel times between destinations, you can start fine tuning your itinerary. If at all possible, don’t have more than one overnight stay, and try not to have too many two-night stays. Schedule at least one longer stay somewhere so that you’ll feel that you’ve had a chance to linger.

 

Tourist Attractions

What to See and Do

There’s definitely no shortage of museums, cathedrals, churches and castles in Europe. You may have a few that are on your must-see list, and that’s fine. You’ll be wise to pick and choose, though, as you really don’t want to overdo it early on in your trip. You’ll need a break from museums and churches at some point during your trip. You don’t want to arrive at one of your destinations and no longer feel like visiting something you’ve always wanted to see because you feel that you’ve already seen enough museums or cathedrals.

As you build your itinerary, write down what you’d like to see and do at each destination, but don’t over schedule. Make sure that the attractions that you’d like to visit will be open on the days you’ve planned. Most museums are closed one day a week.

It’s also important to schedule a few days during your vacation where you can really relax and not have anything scheduled. This will allow you to rest and feel recharged for the remainder of your trip.

 

Your Itinerary & Security

Your finalized itinerary will include your travel dates, destinations, and number of nights at each destination. It should also include addresses and contact information for your accommodations, as well as notes regarding possible places to visit and/or possible day trips.

Once you have finalized your itinerary, print off a few copies. Make sure everyone who will be traveling with you has a copy. If you’re planning on bringing your laptop, make sure your itinerary is saved on your computer or e-mail a copy to yourself. If you don’t have your computer, you can visit an Internet cafe and access your e-mail. You could also save your itinerary as an e-pub and put it on an e-reader. All of these options allow you to have a back-up in place.

Remember to leave a copy of your itinerary with a friend or family member who will not be traveling with you. This will ensure that someone outside the group has a copy and knows where the group can be reached.

 

Documents and Personal Items – Carry On Purses and Bags

Choose one of these carry-on bags or purses to keep personal items secure during your trip. You may want to keep a copy of your itinerary in your carry on, in addition to either on your person or with one of your traveling companions.

 

Your Turn

My comment box is open for comments from visitors. Let me know you’ve dropped by.

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Sailing Croatia – All That You Needed To Know

sailing croatia

Sailing Croatia? Well, a good idea! Historically called the Dalmatian Coast, this is a popular coast for cruising because of its many islands and coves. The area is divided into north and south by the ancient city of Split.

This area has plenty of island destinations to explore, including the national parks of Kornati, Brijuni, Cres, Krk, and Susak. Kornati in the north features a lot of rocky islands. You can reef dive here in the beautiful turquoise water. Split, Pula, Zadar, and Dubrovnik offer plenty of charter options for visitors.

Croatia Yacht Charter

croatia sailing ideas

Sailing Croatia in a yacht charter is one of the best ways to spend time here. You not only awe at the spectacular scenery, but also take home the sweet memories of this beautiful part of the world.

Besides the usual crewed charter options and bareboat, gulets are an amazing option too. They are basically motor-sailers – just the perfect thing for families or a group of friends longing for a terrific cruise holiday. The boats have a fully functional rigging and motors. A typical gulet can accommodate eight to 12 people at a time. The attraction of gulets is the separate accommodation they offer to the passengers. The chartering ones also have recreational facilities and other services. To say it in other words, gulets serve as mini hotels with great service and terrific sea view from each of its rooms.

Modern gulets have all the basic amenities of home. This provides vacationers a home-like experience away from home. The wonderful thing about sailing in gulets is that you strike a relationship with other people on board. It creates an atmosphere of sharing, friendliness, and having fun together.

Croatia Sailing Charter

croatia sailing

For over a decade, the charter industry in Croatia is offering a great time to its visitors hungry for the sea. The beauty of this place is mind-blowing and cruising makes it even more exciting and convenient, as you can reach its many Croatian islands that are dipped with natural freshness. The islands feature harbors, coves, beaches, and lagoons. There are hardly any tides or currents to disturb your sailing Croatia expedition.

Visiting Croatia

sailing croatia idea

The best time to come here is in June and September. These months are pleasant and warm. July and August have plenty of sunshine and are hot. These are not sailing months because the thermal breeze blows hard from the northwest and the mountains are too hot to explore. It is necessary to have sun protection during all summer months here.

People of Croatia are warm and hospitable. They welcome sailors cordially and provide the best advice and help possible. German and Italian are widely spoken; English is getting popular too. You can find lots of restaurants on the islands and along the coast. Cuisines made from locally grown vegetables, fresh fish, and seafood almost lure the visitors toward food.

So, are you Sailing Croatia this summer? This is your chance to dump the fireplace and cozy indoor settings and venture out in the open, amid the vines, enjoying the local red wine. Log online and get your week-long sailing holiday planned.

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How to Pack It in a Pencil Box

pack pencil box

Travel and Storage Packing in a Pencil Box

The pencil box has become my favorite way to pack small items for travel and storage. While many have used them for safely transporting their crayons, pencils and markers, most have yet to discover how truly versatile the pencil box can be for travel. They’re also inexpensive and water-resistant, which makes them ever so clever!

Here’s a few ideas for using snap-closure plastic pencil boxes to transport and store items while traveling. But don’t stop there. Pencil boxes are also great for storing things in small spaces like RVs, cabins, art studios and apartments. You’ll most likely think of dozens more items you can store by the time you finish the article.

It may be hard to believe you can get all the items pictured in my travel first-aid/emergency essentials kit into one pencil box, but scroll down to see how it’s done. I did it in my last Croatian Island tour .

I Told You It Would Fit!

 pencil box pack

What’s included in my basic travel/first-aid kit that fits in a pencil box?

  • An assortment of band-aids
  • Matches
  • Ear plugs
  • Tweezers
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Lens wipes (works on glasses, laptops, cell phones and cameras)
  • Dental floss
  • Toothpaste
  • Allergy medicine blister packs
  • Small tube of headache relief (Tylenol, aspirin or Motrin)
  • Sample size Origins Peace of Mind (a light cream containing essential oils that calm and relieve)
  • Individual packets of burn cream, insect bite cream, lip balm and skin lotion
  • Small roll antacids
  • 3-4 Cough drops
  • Small sewing kit
  • 2-3 sticks chewing gum

    When packing this many items, I like to think of it like the video game Tetris – move the blocks around so they are interconnecting. I pack square and flat items on the bottom, then fill in the gaps. On the top are the individual packets. The snap closure box only slides out about 1/2 way, but with a little finesse, you can slide the interior box from the sleeve.I can easily drop this into a backpack for hiking and day trips, or into a large handbag or carry-on when I travel by plane, train or bus. Not only have many of those items come in handy for me, but I’ve been able to share with others when needed.

    NOTE: If you use a pencil box to store prescription meds, never, ever share with others – especially while traveling.

pencil box

Packing Tip #1

If you pack individual blister pack OTC meds like Benadryl, AZO, Tylenol Cold etc. make sure you can read the label on the back. If not, use a fine point Sharpie to label the packet.

  • I honestly use them for so many things like:

    Extra reading glasses

  • Phone chargers, plug converters, earphones, USB cables, flash drives and SD cards,
    batteries
  • Playing cards and dice (1 deck of cards + 5 dice + small notepad + copies of Yahtzee score pad I printed online = HOURS of fun on family trips, in hotel rooms, on a boat, a train…)
  • Makeup brushes, Q-tips, lipsticks, eye shadow quads and cosmetic sponges
  • Doggie-doo bags and extra plastic grocery bags — see link below on how to fold them into tiny triangles!
  • Condiments, wet wipes and plastic (or metal) cutlery
  • Craft supplies (beads, tools, scrapbook embellishments)

Packing Tip #2

Store multiple packed pencil boxes in a shoe box, tackle box or similar sized plastic box. Shoe boxes can be conveniently stacked on shelves. Tackle and plastic boxes with handles go easily from the trunk of a car to a boat, motel room or vacation rental.

Packing Tip Videos on YouTube

Check out these handy travel packing tips and be sure to watch the 2nd video in this list for the how-to guide on folding plastic grocery bags into tiny triangles for really compact storage. (You could put about 30 of these in a pencil box if you fold them correctly as shown in the video!)

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Interesting Facts about Canada

Discover interesting and fun facts about Canada. Learn about the Canadian landscape, government, anthem, literature and food.

Did you know Canada’s motto is A MARI USQUE AD MARE (It means from sea to sea.)?Or were you aware that Canada’s official colors are red and white? Our official colors were the result of King George the fifth’s proclamation of the arms of Canada in 1921 and our official colors are displayed on the Canada flag.

Sports fans might be interested to know that our official sport of Canada was declared on May 12, 1994 to be Lacrosse in the summer and Hockey in the winter.

Animal lovers might enjoy knowing that the official horse breed of Canada is the aptly name Canada Horse. It was recognized as the national horse on May 2002 by an Act of Parliment.

Continue reading this page to find more fun and interesting facts about Canada.

The Canadian Flag

canadian_flag

The Official Canadian Flag was adopted in 1965. If features two red bands with white square with a stylized 11 point maple leaf. The Canadian Flag was designed by George Stanley and John Matheson. Their design was based on the flag from the Royal Military College of Canada. The flag was officially unveiled on February 15, 1965. Today we celebrate this date as National Flag of Canada Day.

Map of Canada


Canada is made up of ten provinces and three territories. The ten provinces are named British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Foundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The three territories are named Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nanavut.

When you consider land mass and bodies of fresh water Nanavut’s total area is the largest in Canada. It represents 21% of the national total area. Prince Edward Island makes up .1% of Canada’s total area making it the smallest province in Canada.

It is important to note that Ontario has only 10.8% of Canada’s total area but most of Canada’s population (about 38% of the total national population) lives in the province.

Fun Facts About Canada

Here are some fun facts about Canada you can share with your friends.

The National Anthem of Canada – O Canada

“O Canada, our home and native land” are the first words sang in the Canadian National Anthem. The song is played at sporting events, over the PA at schools and to represent Canada on a world stage.

Theodore Robitaille, Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, commissioned the song for Saint Jean Baptiste Day in 1880. Music was created by Calixa Lavallee and the words were written by the judge and poet Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. Lyrics were originally written in French and translated into English. In 1908 Robert Stanley Weir wrote an alternative English version that is considered the most popular version of the song. By 1935 the song was commonly used to represent Canada; however it was not until 1980 that the song was made Canada’s official National Anthem.

Some of the Canadian Anthem lyrics – the English version – have been called in question. The line “our home and native land” has been found problematic because not everyone in Canada’s mosaic has been born in Canada. It was suggested that the words be changed to “our home and cherished land.” The other line that some wish to alter is the lyric is “in all thy sons command.” This lyric is sexist and is exclusionary. The suggested change would be “in all of us command.”

Interesting Facts About Canada

  • In Newfoundland you can find local delicacies such as cod tongue, caribou steak and seal flipper pie.
  • Canada has one castle within its borders called Casa Loma. Casa Loma features 98 rooms and secret passages and underground tunnels.
  • It is no wonder Tim Hortons is a big success in Canada when you consider that Canadians have be said to consume more donuts per person that any other country.
  • Fort McMurray, Alberta has the second largest oil reserves in the world.
  • French is spoken by about six million people in Canada.
  • At the Calgary Stampede more than 200,000 pancakes are served to visitors each year.
  • Toronto Ontario is Canada’s biggest city.
  • Quebec City is the capital city of Canada.
  • Quebec City was founded by French explorer Samuel de Champlain over 400 years ago. At the time Quebec city was just a fort.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

facts about canada

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police serve as an agency to the Ministry of Public Safety Canada. They are Canada’s national police service. Members o the Royal Canadian Mounted police can be distinguished by their red jacketed uniform. It is important to note that the RCMP is a national, federal, provincial and municipal policing agency. It has contracts with all 3 territories and 8 out of the 10 provinces. Ontario and Quebec are the two exceptions.

Canadian Rocky Mountains

rocky mountain canada

The Canadian Rocky Mountains or the Rockies boast picturesque scenery. The Rockies is the name given to the collective group of mountains in western Canada. They extend from the Interior Plains of Alberta to the Rocky Mountain Trench of British Columbia. Mount Robson is an example of the high peaks that can be found in the Rockies.

O Polar Bears – We Have Them

polar bear canada

Is seeing a polar bear in the wild on your must see list? You can check it off your list by traveling to Churchill during October and November. This is the best time to see the polar bears because during these months the polar bears are moving from their summer habitat on the tundra to go seal hunting. They do this on pack ice that covers Hudson Bay during the winter months.

Niagara Falls

niagra falls

In Niagara Falls Ontario Canada we are lucky enough to see views of all three of the waterfalls. 2/3’s of Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the three falls, lies on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls while the American Falls and the smaller Bridal Veil Falls are located on the American side of Niagara Falls.

90% of the Niagara River flow over the Horseshoe Falls. The Horseshoe Falls were named for the horseshoe shaped that spans 671 meters. The river passes over the crest at about 32 km per hour. The Horseshoe falls is 53 meters high.

It is said that Niagara Falls developed after the last ice age when water from Lake Erie made a channel towards Lake Ontario.

Tim Horton Dots the Land

All around the Canadian landscape you can find Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons is a coffee and donuts franchise. The First Tim Hortons restaurant was opened by Tim Horton (Canadian Hockey player) and Jim Charade. It was originally called Tim Hortons Donuts but was eventually changed abbreviated to Tim Horton’s. The apostrophe was eventually removed.

In 1992 Tim Hortons merged with Wendy’s. This merger continued until September 2006 when Wendy’s passed all of their remaining Tim Hortons shares onto their shareholders. In September Tim Hortons Inc. announced it had reorganized itself as a public Canadian company.

Today Tim Hortons is Canada’s leading food service provider. In July 2012 Tim Hortons had 3,326 where customers could enjoy their double doubles and Timbits.

If you got an interesting or important Canadian fact share it below. This page is open to anyone to leave a comment.

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Best Croatian Islands | Get Ready for an Amazing Tour!

croatian island

Planning A Vacation In Croatia?

Croatia is famous for its long cultural heritage and its beautiful islands and beaches. There are a number of islands and beaches that one can plan to visit during a vacation. The scenic beauty and the breathtaking view from the beaches can leave anyone breathless. One will find it really difficult to get back to the hectic daily life after visiting these quiet and amazing beaches of Croatia.

One can easily plan a vacation here with their families and loved ones. One can indulge in many activities that are available on beaches or can just loiter around on the beaches and praising the clear blue water and the sandy beaches. There are also different cafes where one can sip a drink and enjoy a good book.

Best Croatian Islands

let’s take a look on some of Best Croatian Islands :

Kornati Islands

croatia island

Kornati islands are islets consisting of hundreds of islands and coral reefs. It got its name from Kornat, the largest island in Croatia. These islands are full of rare species of trees and grass. If you are planning a visit to Croatia, then Kornati islands must be on your list. There are two famous cities near the Kornati Islands that are famous for their cultural beauty.

Since the last hundreds of years, the size of the Kornati Islands have decreased. This has happened due to the erosion and also by fire which occurs frequently in this place. Even though this island in not inhabited by humans, few areas are used for growing olives and vineyards. These areas are not under any ownership, but few wealthy people from the cities have started to fight for ownership on these islands. The sea surrounding the island is also rich in aquatic animals.

Kornati islands are a must see when traveling around Croatia.

Dugi Otok

croatia island

Dugi Otok or Long island as it is commonly known is located in Croatia. It is long in length but not so wide. This island is located between the north and the central part of Croatian seaside. It can reached by a boat from Pag islands or ports of Zadar, Sukosan and Biograd.

Dugi Otok is famous for its innumerable diving spots. Most of these spots, do not require any snorkeling masks. There is also a ship wreck that is famous among the tourists. This ship sank in the sea and one side of the ship is outside the water is is visible from the shore. One can also take a plunge into the sea and see some astonishing fish here. There are also a number of Plankton in this area which are food for the fishes. This is the reason why this place is visited by some beautiful fish.

Hvar Island

best croatian islands

Hvar island is famous among yacht owners and a favorite among tourists. Hvar island is 300 square kilometers and is among the top visited islands in the Croatia country. It is located on the Dalmatian Archipelago, between the islands of Brac, Vis and Korcula in the hvar Channel. It is known as the queen of Croatian Dalmatian Islands for its rich natural beauty, beautiful architecture and old traditions.

Many luxury yacht owners visit this place every year to spend their vacation and sail in the crystal blur waters surrounding the island. The scenic beauty and the nightlife is what attracts these yacht owners to this place. This place remain isolated during the most of the year, but remains crowded during the peak season. Night parties during summers are a big draw and one can witness people of all ages crowding the place during the summers. If one wants to spend a cozy time with their loved ones, then one can head to a hotel in the towns of Vrbodks or Stari Grad and rent a room at an affordable price.

If you are visiting the island of Hvar, you will be amazed to see a place which you thought never existed. It is a perfect example of a beautiful island with sandy beaches and blue waters. There are a number of luxurious hotels one can opt for. There are also a number of private houses and apartments which can be rented if you are planning a long vacation. One can easily find the cuisines of their own choices in many restaurants that are opened on the beach that offers delicacies which will make you coming for more.

Korcula Island

best croatian island

Korcula, which is part of the Republic of Croatia, is situated very close to the Dalmatian coast and is regarded as one of the beautiful island in the Adriatic Sea. It has the sixth largest population in Croatia, mostly by Ethnic Croats and is around 47 kilometers in length and 8 kilometers in breadth. This island is part of the Dalmatian archipelago of Croatia. This island mostly has a mild climate but receives around 1100 mm amount of rainfall every year. The island has a Mediterranean climate and is mostly covered by dense pine forests.

Korcula island has a number of small towns and villages and are linked together by a single road. This single rad is the spine of the island as it connects all the major town and villages. Boats are the main mode transportation for the people of this island. During few times in the year, there are special ferry lanes which directly connects the island to the Italian Adriatic ports. The island is very old and dates back to the 12th century. The island has been divided into four municipalities which helps in better maintenance during the peak season.

The island is full of great art and culture and one can learn a lot from the history of this place. The famous traveler and writer Marco Polo was born on this island. There are a number of museums and galleries which showcases items which were used in the ancient period by the people. One can also witness a number of festivals that are held on the island. One of the famous festival of the island is the Moreska which is a famous sword dance and is celebrated throughout the Mediterranean region. The island also has a number of traditional crafts and stone masonry which are a treat to watch.

Lokrum Island

Lokrum island is a must visit place in Croatia if you are visiting here with your family. This island is a perfect blend of beauty and culture and one can easily spend an amazing holiday here with your family. One can enjoy day trips and visit to nearby cities. One can rent luxurious villas in these cities, which will make your holiday worth remembering. For those enjoying FKK nudist beaches, Lokrum island is a place to visit as it has one of the most beautiful and discrete FKK beach in Croatia.

Dubrovnik that is very close to Lokrum island is well known for sea kayaking. So, if you love adventure, then this place is for you. Make sure you rent a hotel or villa before you plan your holiday to avoid disappointment.

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