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Thread: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

  1. #1
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    Default European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Renee and I are getting fried, working pretty much 7 days a week for 6 years. We are constantly cycling through groomers , van disasters and it feels like we are always playing catch up.

    We’ve decided to take off August 15 - 30th, fly into Amsterdam spend 2-3 days in a nice Airbnb then a train eurailpass down to Tuscany making stops for a day or two in Brussels, Paris, and Milan. Spending a week or so in Tuscany at a nice Airbnb villa.

    Airfair is actually cheaper than when I just flew to Florida, Airbnb’s are also really reasonable, but the whole trip will probably run $10K

    Any advice ?
    Last edited by Joe (SoCal); 07-11-2022 at 08:32 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Good timing with the Dollar and Euro being even right now.

  3. #3
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    Advice? Pack light. Carryons only. Many European airports, including Amsterdam, are a disaster right now. Buy travel insurance.


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    Tom

  4. #4
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wilkinson View Post
    Advice? Pack light. Carryons only. Many European airports, including Amsterdam, are a disaster right now. Buy travel insurance.


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    I’m the lightest packer on the face of the earth - one carry on backpack, Renee is the same.
    This post is temporary and my disappear at the discretion of the managment

  5. #5
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Joe, as a coincidence, my news aggregator had an article in 'Insider' written by Abby Wallace, where a passenger determined to just use a carryon for a flight, and due to no space in the bins, had to check the carryon, which the airline lost. I don't know what extra level of preparation you might take.
    Charter Member - - Professional Procrastinators Association of America - - putting things off since 1965 " I'll get around to it tomorrow, .... maybe "

  6. #6
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    Put a lithium battery in your carry on. Can’t go below that way.


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    Tom

  7. #7
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Advice? No. Just envy.

  8. #8
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    10 K seems pretty pricey. Shop around.


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  9. #9
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    We pack minimally as well. No need for a lot of gear when traveling these days.


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  10. #10
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Lots of France (or Germany if you go that way) is on you path and well worth seeing . .

    Small cities and towns in both countries are awesome.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    It's always a good idea to spend some time on another continent, you will see and experience new things!
    I will limit myself to the Dutch part of the trip.
    There's lot to see and do in Amsterdam; some highlights;
    The Rijksmuseum,
    the van Gogh museum,
    the Scheepvaartmuseum
    the Anne Frank house,
    a small trip in one of the canal boats,
    a lot of good restaurants and small bars.
    Perhaps you should take one afternoon for a small trip to the city of Hoorn ( just a 34 minute train ride, you can simply walk around the city centre and the harbor, I can show you around if you want)
    Enjoy!

    Hoorn
    haven hoorn.jpg
    Last edited by dutchpp; 07-12-2022 at 03:14 AM. Reason: adding picture

  12. #12
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Any advice ?
    Don't visit Italy in August.

    If you doubt me, look up "ferragosto".

  13. #13
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    If you're passing through Switzerland, the Golden Pass line is real nice way to see it. As it snakes up from Montreux - it's unforgetable. Connects Geneva and Lucerne. If you want afew days in a swiss mountain resort, stop at Interlaken, and go up the valley to Murrren and Wengen. The cog railway upto Wengen then Jungfrau gives a view over Europe and you can get a good view of the Eiger walking towards Grindelwald.

    If you're going to Milan, may as well go to Venice.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 07-12-2022 at 03:56 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Flixbus tickets are very often cheaper than train tickets.
    Maybe something worth checking? Here you can find tickmaster customer service number and discuss with them some of the travels options too. Maybe they can give you a recommendation about the best travel transportations and prices for the dates you need.
    Last edited by mike9199; 07-21-2022 at 05:32 AM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Everything is less crowded in september.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Joe, you and Renee have certainly earned a vacation. I've spent my life going from one project to another, always saving to accumulate money to buy the next boat, next house, next vehicle, etc. Now, I'm 73, in ill health, rapidly running out of money and have seen and enjoyed very little of the world outside of the eastern US. A few of those $10,000 vacations would have made no difference at all in my finances over the years and I'm certain I have missed out on some wonderful memories. Have a great trip and savor these times while you can.
    When the last tree is cut
    When the last river is dry
    When the last fish is caught
    Only then will Man realize that he cannot eat money.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    What a great trip! You could spend a whole day in the maritime museum, but then you'd miss 'the Nightwatch' and all that stuff. Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities in the world. I have been there four times and haven't seen but a smidgen of it.

    This sounds like a great vacation. Enjoy yourselves.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  18. #18
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Europe is too big to see in less than about six lifetimes. Don't knock yourself out. Take time to let things sink in. While you're resting.
    If Russia wins, there will be no Ukraine; if Ukraine wins, there will be a new Russia.

    -- Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine

  19. #19
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    The best vacations I ever had were the ones when we told everyone we were leaving, unplugged the phone locked the gate and enjoyed our lives right at home...
    Actually resting in paradise.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    I take everything on my bike I need. Good for 3 months plus. Don't need anything else.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    I second the recommendation for Hoorn and it is close enough to Amsterdam to take the train and do the tourist sites.Another excellent place is the Louwman museum in den Haag if you like cars and art.
    Eagerly awaiting reports of how the Italian pizza compares to the New York variant.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Resistance museum in Amsterdam..Eye opening

  23. #23
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    When I was much, much younger. 3 month eurail pass. Made a regular practice of getting on a long distance train and waking up 10 hours away. Carried multiple currencies. Fun times. Ranged from Finland to southern Greece.

  24. #24
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    You guys have a great trip. We hope to take a trip to Amsterdam sometime in the future as well, mixed in with a few other locations in Europe. Do send pics of your journey!
    We’ve been trying to get to Scotland for the last 3 years. I think this year we finally won’t have to cancel.


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  25. #25
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    The train, and Tuscany, will be the highlights of your trip. Paris is nothing but other tourists asses and elbows. Amsterdam, on weekends, is chock full of drunk UK hooligans on £30 RyanAir and EasyJet tickets. I speak from experience.

    Also, from experience, when you book your AirBnB, print screenshots of the pics used in the ad. If the place doesn’t look like the ad, take some pics of the actual place before you call to complain.

    All that aside, you’ll probably find little cafes, away from the souvenir shops, and you’ll be friends of the family before you leave. BTW, the nighttime Paris 2CV tour, driven by a college student was worth it.
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

  26. #26
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    I was about to say you should spend more time being in a place than traveling to places but it sounds like you know that.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Spent some time here in a little villa with a pool. Can't remember the name of it, but there were several like it. Absolutely loved it and will be back soon, maybe permanently

    https://www.sangimignano.com/en/

  28. #28
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Bro. You’re not riding Vespas?

  29. #29
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Pretty ambitious plans. My advice would be to pair it down. Amsterdam, Paris and a train south to Aix. 4 days in each with a travel days cooked in. Make sure you spend a day in Paris on a Sunday just riding rented bicycle. It is one of KC and my favorite things to do there. August is pretty hot still and the only rental car you need is the one in the south that you pick up at the station.

    I have heard that getting a place to stay in more difficult in much of Europe. I love spending extra and staying at finer places with KC, slowing down the vacation with comfort and time.

    The trains are quite busy. Make sure you order tickets before travel. Ryan air also is pretty booked up.

    If you want some suggestions to stay in those places - let me know.
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 07-12-2022 at 06:50 PM.
    Without friends none of this is possible.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    1. Make sure your mobile phone works in Europe and check the costs for data. Hotels and AirBnB's normally have free Wifi, you can use offline maps for guidance.
    2. Make sure your credit cards work and continue working, carry some cash.
    3. Hotels can often be cheaper then AirBnB's, use an aggregator like booking dot com.
    4. Eurailpass makes no sense for your plan, buy regular tickets. Explained here https://www.seat61.com/how-to-use-a-eurail-pass.htm
    5. Read some travel guides and make a list with things you would like to see. Exploring makes no sense with your limited time, just select according to your interests.
    6. If you like nice dining make some reservations now. Plenty of restaurants to choose from, consult the Michelin and Gault-Millau. Also look up your favorite sites for recommendations but don't be surprised if it's crowded, all the tourists read the same sites.
    7. While the weather should be hot and dry, it can also rain, bring appropriate clothing for both scenarios or be prepared to buy.
    8. Comfortable shoes are a must, you will spend a lot of time on your feet, cobblestones can be uncomfortable.
    9. Carry some form of daybag, big enough for hydration. Wich means it should fit at least two big bottles of whatever you normally drink plus some additional space and be comfortable enough to carry around all day.
    10. Buy an electrical outlet adaptor for Europe, or european plug chargers. What's better depends on how many gadgets you carry.
    11. Check health insurance and buy if necessary.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Airalo is a cheap way to get cell data using the e-sim on your phone. (It’s an app) Much cheaper than using my US cell providers plan.
    Tom

  32. #32
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Lots of changes in Parisien traffic since our last trip. Two biggies: a 30KPH (19MPH) speed limit (I’ll have to witness that one) and no more free curbside psrking for scooters.
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

  33. #33
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    Paris was very crowded when we were there. It was nice to visit but the few days we were there was enough for us. We saw a guy in a park near the Louvre that was absolutely a Jerry Garcia doppelgänger. I just had to get a picture with him. My darling stood far back until she saw him smile. Turns out he and his family were there for their youngest daughters graduation gift. He was a banker in NY as I recall. His looks have gotten him in to meet a lot of old rock and roll guys over the years. Best part of travel is the people you meet.

    Italy is a place we want to see but not in the Summertime. Primarily Venice, just to go there, and Tuscan area because it looks enjoyable. Ireland was a spectacular place for us. More our speed. We try to visit on shoulder seasons wherever we go. We are introverts. Yes Joe enjoy! You will be all the richer for having experienced such places. I am sure.


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  34. #34
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    Luckily, Paris IS NOT France! Have few good memories in passing through heading elsewhere. Culture yes, attitude of Parisans was in the low scales if existed.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: European Vacation - Amsterdam to Tuscany

    OTOH, Paris without Chinese tourists... once in a lifetime opportunity?

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