You’ve finally saved enough to go on a 2-week trip to Europe — yay!!!
You don’t want to go on one of those big bus tours where you’re herded around like cattle with 40-60 other tourists.
You could get a travel agency to put together a trip for you but you know it will cost you a pretty penny.
What you really want is to DIY your trip: customize your itinerary to make sure it suits your tastes AND at the same time covers all the must-sees.
But You Just. Don’t. Have. The Time.
Well, you’re in luck. 🙂
In this article, we’re going to teach you the basics of putting together an 11-day European itinerary that will give you the best bang for your buck. We also share tips and other things we learned — sometimes the hard way — on our previous trips to Europe.
And if you want to skip all that and just get a really detailed itinerary — one that you can actually submit to the Embassy when you apply for a Schengen visa — we can give you that too. We’ve put together an 11-day itinerary (14 days in all, including transit) that has flight times, train times, daily schedules, tips, and links to where you can book everything you need to book. If that’s what you want, click HERE.
If you’re thinking of getting the Air Asia Asean Pass Plus — the one that gives you 20 credits and costs PHP 12,900 — here’s a sample itinerary to give you an idea of where you could go. The numbers on the left side show how many credits you will need to fly between the destinations immediately above and below it; I made sure it totaled 20 to make the most of the pass! It’s the itinerary that I mapped out yesterday for myself — just to get the feel of the Pass and figure out its pros and cons — so it starts and ends in Cebu. Feel free to adapt (using Air Asia’s list of redeemable routes and corresponding credits) or totally adopt as you see fit.
And as a side note — is it just me or is travel planning fun?! This itinerary took some time to put together but I loved doing it, even though I’m not likely to use it anytime soon, or probably ever. There’s this school of thought that people who make travel lists are sheep, blindly going by what other people say they should do, but not only can planning and list-building 1) be self-directed, 2) save time for when you’re actually in the place, and 3) help you save tons of money for things like trains and hotels, it is also honestly just fun! Well, for me anyway.
What do you do if you’ve got 18 days in Europe and want to see a little bit of everything?
See a little bit of everything!
7 countries, 9 cities in 18 days. (Well, it’s actually 5 countries, 1 city-state, and 1 principality, but the latter two are technically countries, and “7 countries” somehow makes it a bit easier to justify the price of the plane ticket.)
Specifically, this itinerary will take you to France (Paris and Nice), Italy (Rome and Venice), Germany (Munich), the Netherlands (Amsterdam), and Belgium (Brussels, but only for a few hours), plus the Vatican City and Monaco (also only a couple of hours). It definitely won’t let you live like a local — for that, you should spend all 18 days in only 1 or 2 places. Instead, this itinerary is more like taking the tourist bus on your first day in a new place: it lets you get a glimpse of each place of interest, and from those initial glimpses, you can decide where you would like to spend more time next time.
Here’s the 18-day itinerary I followed back in 2014:
Looking back on it now, I don’t think I would change anything! We did spend too little time in Nice — just enough to catch the breathtaking view (no, really: it made me literally hold my breath for a few seconds) from the Promenade des Anglais and take a quick walk through the Cours Saleya flower and fruit market. In fact, I would stay longer in all of these places given half a chance.
Meeting different people with different lives — Sophie, the wine buyer; Gentiane, the French doctor; the old man on the train who couldn’t speak English but managed to convey acceptance and friendship
The postcard-worthy view from the Promenade des Anglais in Nice
A friend asked me for details of my two previous trips to Europe, so I’ll be writing about that for a while. Please feel free to chime in with reviews, tips, or anything else you can think of that would be good for a traveler to know. I hope all of you reading this are having a good day! 🙂