flossybeth

Travel in Europe

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    Over on PIO when people post on the Returning to the UK forum a lot of replies often cite "proximity to Europe" as a good reason to return and how cheap flights and weekends away are. Now, having lived there for 38 years before moving out here we only attempted a weekend break for the two of us once - to Prague for a wedding anniversary - and it snowed and we couldn't get out of Bristol.... otherwise it was expensive for 5 of us to go away, or finding the time in between all the commitments that come with having children (parties, sports etc) or asking people to have the children while we "went to Europe", even going to stay with my Dad who lives in Spain on an Easyjet flight would cost us the best part of 800 (pounds) with taxes and stuff included.

     

    So did anyone else find themselves jetting off constantly and missing that now you are here or is it just a perception that yes Europe is close so in theory it could be done....

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    Guest Claire-n-tel

    Hi Flossybeth!

     

    Tel used to have every 3rd long weekend off (thurs, fri, sat, sun, mon) and we made a point of going away for nearly every one, we used to look on the net at ryan air and easy jet and just book one of the cheepest fares we could get.

     

    Mind you there is only the two of us and my job allowed me to take time when i wanted it, most of our friends thought we were crazy or rich or both! ( we are not rich!)

     

    I don't think many people do what we did tho'......we were not fussed where we ended up and always had fun but that is our way of traveling anyway. if you have kids to take and you are more inclined to think of a set thing to do, ie we want to go to paris next month and stay in that hotel then no it definatly isn't a cheap option.

     

    Do we miss it since moving here? Hell No! we have a motorhome and we are always off discovering new places!:jiggy:

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    Yep, that is definitely the thing I miss most (after family and friends). I wasn't jetting off 'all the time' but each year would do at least a couple of quick trips somewhere. Over the years I've had bargains including 50 pounds returns to Barcelona including all taxes for the weekend - went on a fabulous trip with 5 of the girls I lived with at uni about a year after we graduated. From the ages of 15 to moving to Aus when I was 23 I probably did 7 or 8 Paris trips - none of which were particularly expensive.

     

    I definitely think Europe has cheaper airfares than the domestic fares here - lots more competition to keep prices down and I suppose lots more options of cities to visit within a similar distance to flight times to Melb or Sydney.

     

    Now when I go back to the UK I always add in a Europe trip or three - definitely miss being within a quick and (relatively) cheap flight to so many diverse fabulous cities!

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    Yes, really miss it. Our son was two when we made the move here, so the last couple of years in the UK we didn't do much plane hopping because we had a small child, but before this we were off somewhere a few times each year as well as a proper holiday abroad.

     

    Still pains me when I read on facebook how friends are off to Rome/Paris/Madrid etc for the weekend, especially as quite a few of our friends now live in different parts of Europe and still manage to meet up frequently.

     

    It wouldn't be a major reason for us to move back, but it's something we miss and would enjoy doing again if we were back there.

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    Us too, we went to France every year for a long holiday, and had a fantastic weekend to Venice for example for a pittance, as well as great holidays in Corsica, Sardinia, Malta, the Greek islands..... Even the year before last, when we went over to the UK to visit family, we managed to fit in a long weekend in Paris - Eurostar is so cheap and so convenient, and going to a country where they speak a different language just feels so much more like a holiday than going somewhere where they speak the same language (well, sort of) and there are the same shops and same currency etc!

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    Just us then!

     

    Out of curiosity, did you live close-ish to airports that meant getting away was easy because for us from Devon it was an hour and a half to Bristol and obviously further to anywhere else before we'd even caught a plane or did we just not make enough effort :P

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    One of the few things I miss about the UK is France. I lived near Cheddar, just south of Bristol, and used to go to France 4 - 5 times a year for weekends. I miss the ease of getting to a different culture - here I can drive for 1000's kms and be surrounded by the same lack of culture or take an expensive flight and be in a culture so alien I could be on Mars.

     

    Bristol airport was the closest but more often than not I'd get the overnight ferry from Portsmouth.

     

    One's perception of distance changes when you live here. In the UK I always wanted to go mountain biking up in the Scottish Highlands but it always seemed a long drive. Now I'm here I think nothing of driving 1500kms for a weekend looking at opal mines or a couple of nights camping!

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    We didn't take as much advantage of it as we should have, and when the children were young we opted for holidays at home where we could load the car up with stuff and drive to Devon or Norfolk or the New Forest. Then of course we had a few big holidays to visit the husbands rellies in Adelaide, so that took up our holiday budget. After a while I began to resent the trips to Australia as I would rather have been going to Europe! After several years of always picking the worst week of the year to go away on holiday in the UK (as regards rainfall and temperatures) we got more adventurous and went to Majorca and Italy a couple of times. So easy! Before we had kids we even drove the car to France one day, did a tour of some Australian WW1 battlegrounds (Fromelles) then stocked up with cheap booze at the hypermarket in Calais. Also took the Eurostar to Paris for a long weekend. I must admit that I would love my children to be able to travel more in Europe, especially now that they are older, there is nothing like that history, heritage, scenary and culture here in Australia.

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    We lived rural Devon and Somerset and up to the point when our son was born did take weekend breaks and so on a few times a year.

     

    Once son arrived and even though we then moved and were only 10 minutes drive from Bristol airport we didn't go anywhere.

     

    We did still take weekend breaks but it was within UK and driving or train distance or visiting family or friends.

     

    Tbh we didn't have the time or funds to afford to take short trips away overseas even as our son got older. Sports clubs, hubby competing in cycling events and just life tended to fill our weekends. Plus sometimes having to work weekends and so on. Things like short notice weekend breaks didn't happen.

     

    I'm glad I lived on the continent for most of my 20's as I got to really experience it fully, travelled heaps and so on. Don't really mind not doing it now we have a child. We of course want our son to see it and plan to take a 3 month trek round when he is a bit older and can appreciate it all a bit more.

     

    We hope to visit France and the Netherlands when we visit the UK in a couple of years. Don't want to only visit the UK and would love for us all to do some cycling on the continent and visit friends.

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    Growing up I lived 45 mins or so from both Luton and Heathrow so fairly easy for cheap flights for weekends away. Definitely the thing I really miss... would love to pop over to France for a couple of nights! Diane I agree - it's things like the different culture, food, shops etc - I have no interest in going to Perth for a weekend - have done it once but no rush to go back unless it's to visit friends or do something in particular - it seems such a (relatively) long and expensive flight to see shops that I could visit in Rundle Mall or Marion, eat and drink similar food and see architecture from the same period. Don't get me wrong, I love living in Australia - I just wish Australia was positioned say where Spain is so I could enjoy Europe far more often!

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    Yes,i do miss the european travel a lot.We have visited so many places in Europe ,but there is still so much to see.Definitely hope our daughter will get the opportunity for some european travel in the next few yrs.There are so many wonderful places to see.Loved Dublin,would really love to spend some extra time there.

     

    Friends daughter has had a trip from Manchester to Amsterdam this weekend with her uni pals,flight cost 40 pound return with Easyjet.

     

    We were lucky to live about half an hr from both Manchester and Liverpool airports so travel fairly easy.

     

    Friends back in uk have lots of european long weekends and some fab hotel deals .

     

    They also seem to go to lots of concerts as tickets compared to Oz are very cheap.

     

    Pros and cons i suppose and lack of european travel is one of the cons for sure.

     

    Sue

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    I understand what you are all saying... but....(lol) there are soo many diverse places within Australia. The architecture is actually different in each state and there are subtle to striking differences in the landscapes also. More so if you leave the big cities. AND ....(lol) just as you no longer think much of driving long distances for the day, I know people who no longer think anything of hopping on the plane for a long weekend in an Asian country or NZ or places like Fiji. Sure you are not going to get that cheap fare for 50 pounds and your flight will be 6-7 hours long, but does that really matter. Australia is a big country so you have to think big or become provincialised. How many of you yearning the cheap getaway booked with the introductory fares to KL for not much dosh with cheapo airways when they advertised commencement of flights ex Adelaide? No, Australia does not have castles and ancient architecture, it does have culture, it is the Australian culture and it is diverse, but I suppose it depends on what you personally define as "culture". So next time you have a weekend, get in your car and go for a roadtrip and be open to what you see, stop at those lumps of rock with a sign on it, detour to see the views, get off the highway. Last roadtrip I did with my sister out from the UK took 3 days and we drove down through the South East, through Victoria to the Great Ocean Rd, up to the Grampians and then home along the Murray and found a lot of hidden gems along the way, one of the best being a sculpture garden set in a rolling paddock that led you down to a forest with a creek with just the wind and the emus and a friendly dog who accompanied us. Blink and you'd miss it as you roll on heading to the next tourist destination.

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    Australia has some fantastic places to visit but i find the cost of airfares ,hotels etc a lot more expensive than in Europe,so there are not the same opportunities,to just nip somewhere for a long weekend like you can from uk to Europe.I spent a yr travelling round oz on a WHV a good few yrs ago and managed thankfully to see practically every state,we lived in Cairns for several months and some of the places are truly breathtaking,but just for mecant beat the sights of say Rome,Palma,or Paris where the diversity is amazing.

     

    Sue

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    I don't miss being near Europe at all. We did a few trips for holidays before the kids were born but after that it was all just too much like messing about for us. Plus our kids were really fussy eaters and I hated the idea of being somewhere where it would be difficult finding things they would eat. Other than trips to Australia to visit family we tended to take holidays in the UK staying in caravan parks by the sea or to Center Parcs. There are still huge parts of SA I'd like to visit for a holiday never mind the rest of Australia. And then on to New Zealand, Fiji and Japan.

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    I understand what you are all saying... but....(lol) there are soo many diverse places within Australia. The architecture is actually different in each state and there are subtle to striking differences in the landscapes also. More so if you leave the big cities. AND ....(lol) just as you no longer think much of driving long distances for the day, I know people who no longer think anything of hopping on the plane for a long weekend in an Asian country or NZ or places like Fiji. Sure you are not going to get that cheap fare for 50 pounds and your flight will be 6-7 hours long, but does that really matter. Australia is a big country so you have to think big or become provincialised. How many of you yearning the cheap getaway booked with the introductory fares to KL for not much dosh with cheapo airways when they advertised commencement of flights ex Adelaide? No, Australia does not have castles and ancient architecture, it does have culture, it is the Australian culture and it is diverse, but I suppose it depends on what you personally define as "culture". So next time you have a weekend, get in your car and go for a roadtrip and be open to what you see, stop at those lumps of rock with a sign on it, detour to see the views, get off the highway. Last roadtrip I did with my sister out from the UK took 3 days and we drove down through the South East, through Victoria to the Great Ocean Rd, up to the Grampians and then home along the Murray and found a lot of hidden gems along the way, one of the best being a sculpture garden set in a rolling paddock that led you down to a forest with a creek with just the wind and the emus and a friendly dog who accompanied us. Blink and you'd miss it as you roll on heading to the next tourist destination.

     

    As well as wanting to take the kids the Europe, I'd love to take them to the Barrier Reef and my daughter desperately wants to visit Kakadu in the Northern Territory (to see the crocodiles!) - she loves wildlife and Australia is fantastic for that. We've been camping in the Flinders Ranges and had close encounters with emus and the like and it's been great. The best part of Australia is the great outdoors, the wide open spaces, the stars at night and the amazing wildlife. Why is it then that most Australians lived crammed in to a handful of large sprawling cities?

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    Guest Claire-n-tel

    Ooh we got in on the air asia deal!

     

    4 of us flying to Kuala Lumper on 7th nov for 5 nights.....all 4 return flights for 450 bucks!...

     

    We've blown the budget on the hotel to make up for it!:jiggy:

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