Trip Planning: A Quick Euro Roadtrip

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 4.42.21 PMLast month Kim, Lucas and I took a quick trip to Oslo, Norway thanks to an awesome mistake fare from Wideroe. While the fares were hot (low), I managed to book 3 trips for us at amazing prices.

I am writing this trip planning post from my room in Lake Como, Italy. I usually like to write about upcoming trips/ trip planning before we go away. However, due to an upcoming potential storm in the NY area, I was able to get my flight switched and we flew a day early.

We booked a really cheap, round trip flight to Milan with little intention to stay in the area. I started looking over a map of the area and came up with an ambitious (for traveling with a 2-year-old), Mini Euro-Roadtrip itinerary.

During the trip we will be visiting two new countries (3 for Lucas) as well as exploring a new area in another.

Countries We’ll Be Visiting:

  • Italy
  • Liechtenstein
  • Switzerland

The Flights (in Economy Class):

  • Newark (EWR) to Frankfurt (FRA), Frankfurt to Milan (MXP)
  • Milan (MXP) to Newark (EWR)

Kim and my ticket cost $153.98 each and Lucas’ ticket cost $143.32. That brings the total cost for 3 of us to fly to Milan to $451.28. Pretty amazing!

This was Lucas’ 2nd trip flying in his own seat. While he had his moments of typical toddler crying we managed to keep him in his seat (in his CARES harrness) for take off and landing.  He did enjoy his own IFE (Henry Hugglemonster and Mickey Mouse, in case you were wondering) for short intervals of time. He slept practically the whole time once we got in the air.

Lodging/ Hotel:  We’re visiting some pricey countries and didn’t want to break the bank. I looked into redeeming some of my hotel points but nothing seemed to be a good option for the areas we wanted rooms in.

Nights 1 & 2: We had a great experience using airbnb in Singapore a couple of summers back so we figured it worth was trying again. We booked our first 2 nights by Lake Como through airbnb-  2 nights at $69 per night, $138 total in Cernobbio. (I had a $25 referral credit which made the original $84 +10 airbnb fee drop to $69.) I was going to make my booking a 2 night stay but the second night wouldn’t cost almost $100! Instead, I decided to send Kim an airbnb referral. The referral saved Kim $25 off her first airbnb booking  and I will earn a $25 Uber credit good for future use.

Night 3: Liechtenstein is an expensive country which doesn’t have many hotel options, let alone budget ones. We looked around for ideas and I was close to booking a hostel in Austria, just 15 minutes away. I was in contact with the Liechtenstein Tourism Board. I had inquired about things to do and weather for this time of year. After some conversation (through e-mail) I was offered a one night stay at Hotel Landhaus am Giessen in Vaduz. I was overly thankful and accepted the offer. We were  hoping to stay a night in Liechtenstein and now we would get the opportunity to! So our one night in Liechtenstein will cost $0!

Night 4: We picked up our rental car at the airport and also have to return it there so rather than rush into Milan we came up with the plan to stay at an airport hotel. After doing some searching I found the Holiday Inn Express Milan -Mapensa Airport. The hotel looks nice and was a very fair price on at $69.53 for one night. I booked through because I am close to earning a free night credit.

Night 5: Undecided. We’re leaning towards keeping our things at the airport hotel once again and using the rental car until it needs to be returned at 4:00 PM. This will also make things easier for the day we fly home. We could sleep a bit later and get to the terminal this way in under 10 minutes.

Car Rental: Car prices are pretty expensive in Europe. I tried various discount codes but none of them seemed to help. I checked all of the big companies and some small ones too. We ended up renting a car for 4 days from Hertz. The price wasn’t cheap at  141€, a little under $192 US.

This puts our total out of pockets expenses at $850.81 so far.

Not bad for what is now a 5 day trip!

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