Last September 2013, I went on a self planned 3 week trip to Europe with 2 other friends. The Europe trip focused on only 3 popular places that have been on my wishlist.. Paris/Switzerland and several cities in Italy.
I was at a loss on how to start planning this.. I wanted to see as much as I can, but didn’t want it to be too hectic that I don’t remember where I went. Also since it wasn’t with a tour group, I wanted to be able to do a mix of famous tourist spots and places that are not commonly offered in tour packages.
Then there’s the estimating of costs, allotting the number of days, scheduling train rides, grouping sights by areas, and picking which places to do and which to drop given our limited time.
For those that want to do the same, attached here is the excel sheet containing our itinerary and costs. (excel sheet here -> Europe 2012 itinerary v1.2 for 3 persons)
Factors in consideration:
1. This was just for 3 people, but I think our accommodations are flexible enough to be able to include a 4th person.
2. Our plan has us arrive Paris, and depart from Rome.
3. Was during the fall season. (winter you might have a slight change in itinerary, and possibly costs)
4. Tried to book train rides early to get cheaper prices (especially for the Italy leg of the trip)
5. Sights trumps food, so we didn’t really splurge on eating (although I do have some listed in the excel sheet that can be your starting point). We would have maybe 1 or 2 meals we would splurge on, but in general we would just keep it simple and if possible buy from supermarkets. If you want to do both sights and food, this could be challenging especially in Paris, you’d have to do extra research to see what restaurants are close to which sights..