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Messages - 3underthecorktree

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Once again, the generous time and effort from you is making a difference for me. I’m taking it all in.  I am going to do more reading today and will follow your advice. Thank you.

I need help with 1, 2, and 5.

I followed the link to find the routes for 1 Euro.  Because we are traveling in May, I'm unable to pull up that date.  I'm curious, what is this website/business, company?  Why do they offer this rate for a few routes?

2 and 5- I'm lost.  I am reading about rail travel everyday and it's starting to sink in.  Anything else you could say to explain what you were expressing in 2 and 5?


Thank you, both.  I have to look up transport unions and get an understanding of first minute deals.  I know "last minute deals".  I will look these up and come back. 

In most cases, in most of Western Europe, is it accurate that short distance or slower trains do not require early purchase but long distance trains do?

Knowing that we have 3 weeks in July, do you have any thoughts on long distance train travel?  How naive is it to think we could see a lot if we continued to enjoy the train rides (stopping randomly)?  I don’t dislike night trains but they may defeat the purpose of what we would be doing.  Our goal would not be the destination, rather the journey. At night we would miss everything. I’d take a night train through Nebraska, USA!

A possibility is to fly as far east as desired then “mosey” back on the train? Or train 2 different routes there and back.
Thank you.

Wow, what a wonderful favor you have done for me.  You have been more helpful than anyone I’ve worked with in 6 months of research.  I’ll reread and follow directions.

Thank you. Thank you.

"Oops...forgot to change it, but I guess it served as anti-spam filter, since bots couldn't figure it out )))"
Well, that could mean new members are especially determined. Or smart?

I am traveling with my two kids, ages 12 and 18, and my niece, 18.  I will be the only eligible driver in most cases. 

I understand in many cases the Eurail pass is not a better value than buying point to point tickets.  I'm trying to determine if point to point tickets would be better for us too.  I'm unable to add up the costs of the individual train trips because I'm not able to get pricing because, apparently, I am an idiot that cannot figure out rail system booking.  I have recently broke the 20 hour mark reading  I'm starting to think about seat62 sequel.  I think I need to see maps and routes to fully grasp it.  I am also looking for those, too.  One of problems is that when I follow his links or directions, I get different prices.  I make adjustments to cities, times, stations, etc.  but not able to find the rate he suggests.

I'd like to tell you where I will be or be going.  In most cases, dates and locations are flexible give or take a few days/miles.  A few are inflexible.  We do NOT have to take the train however, I'd like to figure out the best way to travel.  And for me,  "best" is defined as comfortable, economical, educational, and adventurous.  And while we are in Europe, we are more likely to enjoy a spontaneous, wandering, and adventurous style of travel.  I'd like to have most amount of the least that needs to be done ahead of time (wow) so that while we travel we can rest easy knowing the important planning is done.

This trip serves at least 4 purposes so we are covering much ground, literally and figuratively.  On May 11, 9am we arrive in Paris, France.  On May 16, we need to be in Florence, Italy by 1pm.  Below is a rough itinerary for created for this moment.

May 9 Arrival NYC
May 10 Arrival Paris 9am
GoGoGo to deal with jetlag
May 11 Paris, restful day, hop on/off maybe

May 16 pick up Just Go motorhome from factory for relocation in UK
Route UNDECIDED, volunteer photography at assigned locations
June 10 Madrid, pick up my niece
June 15  Arrival in Toddington, UK drop motorhome

June 15- June 30 Undecided, possibly UK

July 1 - July 8  La Baule, France (Rest)

July 9-27 Undecided
July 27 return USA

I'm aware first time visitors tend to overbook so I'm considering that as I plan.  However, I'd prefer to see a little of more rather than more of a little.  In most cases.  Occasionally, I discover something that fascinates me beyond others but typically I prefer to cover more ground...I readily admit that I am a different sort of traveler.  Also, not as interested in seeing where the queen lives or where so and so is buried but would love to see a fjord or visit cathedrals.  I cannot wait to visit the sites, memorials, and camps of WWII.  After formally studying the Holocaust for 3 years (academically) I've continued a career in studying behavior.  Anyway. I suppose I'm trying to point out that I don't mind missing certain popular attractions if it means I get to see more of the small town life through the window of a train where some might say they don't want to be in a train all day, rather, at each sight, knee deep in touring.  (I'll do that for a few places)

Knowing that, you can understand that my preference for travel will always be car or train.  As I will be the only insurance covered driver, I will be ready for a break and appreciate the train after the motorhome trip (30 days).

Here are my potential ideas, please know I'm NOT trying to do each one, but proposing each to determine the most suitable.

1.  From Paris to Florence, I'd like to travel in a hop on/hop off sort of style and I know that doesn't exist.  Other than buying tickets from small town to small town, is there another way to do this?  Do people "make their way" to places or is that considered odd? (it won't change my mind, just wondering)
2.  When trying to create a "hop on, hop off" style of travel, and buying tickets for each leg is the only way, are these tickets that should be purchased ahead of time or will they be the same price on the day of departure?
3.  Once we begin our journey in the motorhome,  we plan to use the heck out it.  Sleeping, eating, and driving in it.  We hope to say at free camping places.  Knowing we have a motorhome for 30 days, have to be in Madrid by the 10th of June, what are 2 or so routes that be most conducive to motorhome travel?  Criteria:  Western Europe.  It doesn't matter what we are interested in, our preferences will follow our route.  Then, on the last part of the trip, we will train or drive to whatever we missed.  I want to spend 10 or so days in Italy but understand that it's not a good place to take a motorhome.  We could drive through Southern France.  We could ferry to Croatia and drive North then to Madrid.  We could go Austria/Germany/Poland.  I want to know what works best with a motorhome. Once I have the route, I will make appointments to offer volunteer on site, print on demand photography to shelters, churches, etc.  We will do this for 30 days.  This is a service program I created and my kids help me. 
4.  Once we drop the motorhome in Toddington, UK, we will need to find transportation to our next location.  Again, if this is a short route, do I need to purchase these tickets ahead?  We want to go to Scotland and Ireland.  We are hoping to find a deal with a campervan that needs to be relocated- much, much less money.  Otherwise, we will rent a car or use train. 
5.  My kids want to ride the Caledonian Sleeper.  In all, I think it will be over 400 Euros.  They agreed to pay for their own ticket. 
6.  The rest of the trip, regardless if we stay in Scotland or continue to Ireland, will be by train.  We'd like to stop at Cornwall at the end of our time in the UK.  Volunteering job for 2 days. 
7. Then, we need transportation to La Baule, France where we will enjoy a week's complimentary stay from a friend.
8.  For the remaining time of our trip, we will either complete other volunteer work, location TBD, or choose a location to visit.  I'd like to get on a train and go, and go, and go.  And take photos, and play cards, and stop, and get back on, and so on.  But, we are waiting to hear if we are needed in a few locations.
9.  Going back to our arrival.  Our default is to stay in Paris until we leave for Florence.  However, there is an opportunity in Bordeaux that I should experience.  Again, another train ride and more time.
10.  Going back to time in the motorhome.  I think it's likely we could use the train during those 30 days as well. 

I'm sure this too much but I didn't know how to describe it with less words.  Because we are volunteering, working, researching, and vacationing, we are covering more ground.  This is ok with me.  However, I want to do what I can so that we have the best advantage once we are there.

With numerous opportunities to use the train or drive, can you help me determine, with your knowledge and experience with rail transportation, how one or the other is recommended?  And if it is train travel, does it appear that I will be traveling enough to justify a pass? (I know if we get a pass we are going on all of the Swiss scenic routes and probably up to Scandinavia, even if it means we are on the train for 2 days....I'm going to see that land)

Thank you, sincerely.


I'm new to this forum but have been following TA and LP for many years. I am choosing to not use either of those forums for questions about train travel because it's exhausting to deal with some of the members that are judgemental and criticize travel choices and style vs. address the question.
I've done extensive research but find myself unable to "get it" when it comes to train travel in Europe.  I have specific questions but checking to see if this is the correct area to post and if members here are a bit more patient?  I'm not interested in being judged for my travel choices - I am aware I am odd and misguided at times.  Simply stated, I want a place of collaboration with members that trust I'm not trying to take advantage of them, I am a thinking person, and I am grateful for all help.

Also, I was not able to register for the forum....until I changed the verification date to 2017.  Might want to look at that.

thank you.

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