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New Year's Resolution





Afaceinthematrix
I never make New Year's resolutions because I tend to think they're pointless. Why wait until the new year to better yourself? Do it now! But this year I decided to make one.

I live in the U.S. and my foreign travel consists of one trip to Canada, one trip to the Bahamas, and multiple trips to Mexico (although nothing more than 150km south of the border). I have never been to a country that has not bordered the U.S. (either by land or sea) yet there are many, many things I want to see. There are too many things to list here that I'd like to see all around the world in every continent.

My friend and I are about to graduate from college after this quarter (which ends at the end of March) and we have always talked about a trip to Europe after graduation... The problem is that we've always talked about it.

Last night we were talking about it and I all of a sudden said, "Let's quit talking about this s*it. Instead, let's actually do it!" So we decided that we were going to quit the talk and actually do it. We did some research and asked his parents (from Germany) about a time and decided May would be a nice time to go (nice weather but don't have all the tourist crowds of July and August) and then started researching plane tickets and rail passes.

So my resolution (which I'm making not because it is a new year but because I want to go on this trip) is to be overseas by May 2012. We want to hit up Germany, Spain, Netherlands (I know it's illegal - but tolerated in coffee shops - but getting high in Amsterdam is probably an experience I won't forget... unless I have too much), and Morocco. He speaks German and I speak Spanish and so we should be okay in two out of four of those countries. I guess a little bit of Arabic or French couldn't hurt for the last one.
deanhills
Why not check about cheaper air tickets and euro rail passes during April? As may may be in season and more expensive during May? May is indeed a great month to be in Europe, depending on the weather of course. Morocco looks a bit like the odd one out in the itinerary, and is a VERY expensive country to travel in the Middle East. Unless you can work it that you travel with a Moroccan airline like Royal Air Maroc from the US and then transit through Casablanca. They have flights from San Francisco. From Casablanca the cheapest flight would be to France I expect, once you're in Europe the rail system would probably be the cheapest but your friend would probably be an expert on cheapest travel in Europe. You could for example go San Francisco - Casablanca - Lyon - Germany - Amsterdam - Lyon - Casablanca - San Francisco. Would be interesting to see your plans develop though so am looking forward to you keeping us posted. Very Happy
Afaceinthematrix
deanhills wrote:
Why not check about cheaper air tickets and euro rail passes during April? As may may be in season and more expensive during May? May is indeed a great month to be in Europe, depending on the weather of course. Morocco looks a bit like the odd one out in the itinerary, and is a VERY expensive country to travel in the Middle East. Unless you can work it that you travel with a Moroccan airline like Royal Air Maroc from the US and then transit through Casablanca. They have flights from San Francisco. From Casablanca the cheapest flight would be to France I expect, once you're in Europe the rail system would probably be the cheapest but your friend would probably be an expert on cheapest travel in Europe. You could for example go San Francisco - Casablanca - Lyon - Germany - Amsterdam - Lyon - Casablanca - San Francisco. Would be interesting to see your plans develop though so am looking forward to you keeping us posted. :D


I don't think Morocco is the odd one out on the itinerary because we're going to Spain. My uncle is from Spain and I have had several friends travel there and from what they all say, going to Morocco from Spain is quite easy and so it makes since to go there. Fes, Marrakesh, etc. all seem like interesting places to visit. Plus, my friends and uncle have repeatedly told me how much fun Morocco can be and that if I'm already going to be in Spain I might as well go to Morocco since getting there (for instance, Tariffa to Tangier) is easy.

And expensive by what standards? I've looked at prices of food (which for me is practically nothing because I don't eat much... I can go to a grocery store and by a loaf of bread and jar of peanut butter and I'll be good for a week), trains, etc. and it seems more reasonably priced than most of western Europe (especially because I don't see myself drinking like I would in Germany - for instance - where I am sure I'll have lots of beer).

And San Francisco? I can't find much on San Francisco, Spain (which I assume you're referring to because San Francisco, CA is several thousand miles out of the way lol). But thanks for the advice. I'm not sure about Lyon. I'm not planning on going there but we may go to Clisson, France. Part of the reason why we wanted to leave in May was that we were planning on spending 4-6 weeks in Europe and we really wanted to go to a European metal festival. We originally wanted to go to the Wacken festival in Germany although that's in August which is much more expensive and so we're considering the Hellfest in France. That's in June. Also, I would maybe save a little money by going in April although that will be offset by the fact that going in May will allow me more time to save up and so I'll actually have more money.

I'll keep you updated!
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I'll keep you updated!
Thanks. Sounds as though you have got most of the details well in hand. I have many friends traveling to Morocco and they probably base their evaluation of it being an expensive country on the expensive air fare there from Dubai, the Hotels are more expensive than other countries in the Middle East. However knowing how frugal you are when you travel, you may not find it expensive at all. You'd probably prefer to travel away from where tourists are.
Afaceinthematrix
deanhills wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I'll keep you updated!
Thanks. Sounds as though you have got most of the details well in hand. I have many friends traveling to Morocco and they probably base their evaluation of it being an expensive country on the expensive air fare there from Dubai, the Hotels are more expensive than other countries in the Middle East. However knowing how frugal you are when you travel, you may not find it expensive at all. You'd probably prefer to travel away from where tourists are.


True. I am frugal. Like I said, I don't spend much on food. I can go to a grocery store and buy whatever is cheap and doesn't go bad quickly (i.e. a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter) and live off that for a while. Transportation shouldn't be too expensive (it's supposed to be very easy to get to from Spain - my uncle and my friends used to take the ferry between Tarifa, Spain and Tangier, Morocco which is inexpensive if you take the slow one). And sleeping throughout my trip shouldn't be too bad (although I am not sure about Morocco yet). I've been reading this guide for Europe. I especially like the last paragraph. I have all the equipment I need and I'll have it with me...

Although one option for sleeping in Morocco, for at least two of the nights, are on the long train rides (for instance 10 hours from Tangier to Marrakech). I looked at the schedule and there are options for overnight trains between destinations...
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