Sunday, September 20, 2009

Reasons to go to Europe at Christmas

Picture from:

1. I've never been to Paris.
2. KW (my son) will be on Winter Break from school.
3. Fares are incredibly reasonable ($700 from JAPAN, including taxes and other airline fees)
4. What an experience for KW and us!
5. It will be beautiful (albeit cold)!

What say all of you? Here's the reasons why Hubs and I are thinking of going. We already have the 2 weeks off and love to plan one big trip a year, at least. November will be a little crazy with work for both Hubs and I (lots of out-of-country travel) and it would be so nice to set aside some family time in the City of Lights. We are good savers (despite my serious shopping faux pas) and this would be a great indulgent treat for us.

My concerns -
1. There are tons of less expensive trips out there (Hakone in mainland Japan, for instance, near Mt. Fuji is a beautiful place in the winter to visit).
2. Would visiting Paris at Christmas not be a good time to go? Should we wait on this and go in the summer? I would hate to spend the money and the time to get there, only to realize I really should have waited for a more temperate season.

& then what about the best itineraries for 15-17 days in Europe, knowing you'd like to spend some time in Paris for sure?
1. Paris, Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam, Copenhagen?
2. Paris, Munich, Vienna, Prague, then depart through Frankfurt?
3. Paris, Munich, Milan, Venice, then through Italy to Rome (departing from Rome)?

I get all spun up even thinking about it, and I'm a pretty organized person! Any helpful ideas you have would be really appreciated!

What do you think? Is this a no-brainer or do I need to sit and recalibrate?


  1. I personally like Europe in the winter a lot because it is nice to be bundled up and you arent sweating all the time. Usually lines for museums are shorter as well. I would say to go for it! As for the itineraries, I would take any of them, but you may want to skip Brussels and Milan, they dont have the same amount to see as all the other cities. If you take Italy, go to Verona instad of Milan. It is close to Venice and much nicer with more to see and then you bypass all of the Milano mess traffic going south towards Rome. Ditto for Brussels, skip it and check out the other places around Bruges like Ghent.There are some great small towns up around there.

  2. I agree w/Brugges & Ghent over Brussels. I also agree about cooler weather & less tourists. I think it will be beautiful. Don't doubt your intuition. Go on and have a good time ;-)

  3. Paris is beautiful any time of the year and it can be magic over the holidays. If you have never been to Europe I would skip Bruges, Brussels, Munich and Milan altogether (and I'm from Milan) and probably Copenhagen because too far from the other cities. Prague wins over Vienna. Venice and Rome are must-see, you can't go to Europe without seeing Venice and Rome (but I think that Rome is nicer in spring).

  4. This has been a huge help! I really appreciate the advice!

  5. I've never been to Paris, so I can't really say about what it'll be like there. Although I really, really want to go! For that reason alone, I'm all for you taking a big trip there. You know, so I can live vicariously through your vacation, haha! I have been to Italy, however, and I think Rome is a must-see, although I went in the spring, so I don't know what the weather is like in the winter. It is GORGEOUS, though, as I'm sure Paris is as well!