How to plan that perfect vacation in Europe

Everyone’s idea of the perfect trip is different.  I saw that a popular travel blogger recently told people that they can see the world for far cheaper than they imagined and he’ll tell you how:  stay at hostels in the middle of no where in 3rd world countries…and walk there.  (ok, fine, I added the walk there part)

My point is that travel is expensive and I don’t have a magical way of seeing everything for free.  I myself am ridiculously frugal, though, and if I am advising you on your travel plans you can be assured that I am taking that into account.  At the same time, you want to see everything since you will probably not be back.  I like to see EVERYTHING myself and am quite annoyed that every guidebook is incomplete…

Nearly all of my vacations in Europe are sight seeing at ancient monuments, churches, palaces, castles, and such.  Many of these are in major cities or able to be done as a day trip from a major city.  So what do I recommend?  Guide books? wikipedia? Google?  local tourist boards?

Well, I recommend reading everything.   I know, you don’t have time.  Well, you have found me and I have very likely been to the place you want to go.

So the best way, in my opinion, to plan your vacation to a major city in Europe?  Have an expert, like me, do the planning for you.

When I take a trip I read through a couple guide books on the place in question from cover to cover.  Then, I Google everything while checking out their wikipedia sites as well as their official websites.  In the end I come up with an excel spreadsheet with all of the basic information on the places, expected prices, opening times, days they are closed, if they are covered by some kind of pass, and oftentimes notes on when is the best time to be there.  For the ones I do for myself I don’t have to be as thorough as if I were doing it for someone else since I only need an outline really, not the full speech…if ya know what I’m saying.

Anyways, I plan to post a few old spreadsheets of mine on here at some point to help others out, but if anyone would like me to do one for you…I can be bought.  Especially if you’re planning months in advance, it should be no problem for me to make up a spreadsheet for you along with a few extended notes.  You can pay me via paypal if you want after the spreadsheet is received.  cost?  let me know in a comment or e-mail what you’d want to pay for this service…and I’ll at least consider any offer.

Thoughts anyone?

Maybe I’ll do one for Munich….

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One last thing: anyone know where this picture was taken?  Hint:  not in Munich.

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