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We are planning our first Europe trip from USA in March of 2012. Found some travel packages from TravelZoo, however, they aren't to the destinations that we'd want and we believe if we plan our vacation ourselves it will come out to be much cheaper.

Currently, we are looking at flight fare for two from NYC or IAD to Paris and back to NYC or IAD from Paris or Rome. Best we've found so far is 1400 round trip for both. We plan to fly into Paris, take bus/train to the hotel from the airport, stay couple of days, take train to rome and stay in switzerland, venice and florence for a day each.

Questions:

  • Is $1400 roundtrip for two people to Paris generally what people pay?
  • How is the public transportation around Paris Airport, is it easy to find a bus/train that would take us to the main city where most hotels are?
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The price seems right -- I made a quick search for 2011/03/06--15 and got pretty much the same number for several different airlines. –  mindcorrosive Oct 18 '11 at 16:53
    
You'd get better answers with two separate questions. I almost missed the second one because I wasn't expecting it from the title. If you open another one, I think I can migrate answers. –  Ankur Banerjee Oct 18 '11 at 21:22
    
I flew from Atlanta to Amsterdam for $250 R/T one time. Those were the days.... –  cbmeeks Oct 19 '11 at 18:33
    
It sounds like you are going to spend a large chunk of your vacation time in transit between your destinations. I'd recommend increasing the amount of time you stay in each destination either by extending the overall duration of your trip or by cutting out a few cities. For example, when you get to a new city, it'll take you at least an hour or so to get to your hotel. When you are leaving a city you are going to want to get to the train station a bit early, so that will kill a good two hours. If you only allocate one day for each city, you're easily losing 3 hours of that day from the start. –  ESultanik Oct 20 '11 at 19:28
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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Your price seems pretty normal; certainly not excessive.

Public transportation from the Paris airports to the city are excellent.

If you are going to be doing lots of rail travel the I suggest looking at the Interrail site, especially if you are looking for some flexibility.

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For rail travel in Europe, check seat61.com What's nice for you is the fact that nearly all the journeys described there pass through Paris. –  user766 Oct 20 '11 at 20:08
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The public transportation around Paris Airport is mainly good. I use this site http://parisbytrain.com/ as a guide to get where I need to go from either Parisian Airport.

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Have you had a look at the routes Toronto-London? They seem to be much cheaper (currently $750-$850 round-trip), even if you factor in the overland transport NYC->Toronto and London->Paris. Im pretty sure there is a train connection London-Paris if you not to keen on seeing London and want to head straight to the mainland.

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I think that the price mentioned above is for two persons, whereas the price you quote is only for one. Besides, for a return overland (Tube + Eurostar) trip from London Heathrow to central Paris you have to add at least 130 USD per person, depending on the availability of cheap Eurostar tickets. –  user766 Oct 20 '11 at 21:22
    
well, that's annoying since i did choose "2 adults" (check "advanced options" on the site, or the url parameters). After closer inspection i found the fine print that says "price per person" on kayak.com ... –  iHaveacomputer Oct 20 '11 at 22:39
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