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I've been waiting to book my flight to Dusseldorf, hoping against hope that airline ticket prices will drop due to the price of oil plunging. TV news shows are saying it takes a while for the airline industry to drop prices due to months-out corporate planning. Whatever. They just want their profits to soar and they have their customers in trapped pricing.

Does anyone have a way to get a good price for end of March travel? My daughter lives in Germany and travels a lot. She said to just call Delta and try to get the best price. She also said paying an extra $100 for economy plus is worth it. I'm going for as much as 4 months. I'm going to travel all over Europe off and on. Our first trip is to Italy, then Barcelona (she's going on a field trip with her school and I'm tagging along, possibly for reduced or free). Then we'll take other long weekend trips, and maybe a week to central Europe. In the summer my other daughter is coming over and that trip is a bit more complicated and not sure what will happen. I really want to go to England, Cornwall and maybe take a train up to Scotland. I've always wanted to see the British Isles and I don't really want to drive. Maybe someone here can convince me to drive but really, can I get on and off the train on a British Isles scenic train ride and see the countryside - and therefore sleep on the train and save a lot of money?

The TOP 100 sights and attractions in Germany (has an clickable map on the right)
http://www.germany.travel/en/towns-cities-culture/top-100/ge...
the FIRST mobile travel guide to Germany created by visitors for visitors!
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Does anyone have a way to get a good price for end of March travel? My daughter lives in Germany and travels a lot. She said to just call Delta and try to get the best price. She also said paying an extra $100 for economy plus is worth it.

From Atlanta, Delta is probably your best choice. I'm not sure where Dusseldorf is in regard to other major cities in Germany but if it's reasonable, check Munich, Frankfurt, etc. Delta flies there non-stop and the price may be better. Also, cross-reference with what you find on Kayak and/or ITA.

-Steph
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I'm not sure where Dusseldorf is in regard to other major cities in Germany but if it's reasonable, check Munich, Frankfurt, etc. Delta flies there non-stop and the price may be better. Also, cross-reference with what you find on Kayak and/or ITA.

Dusseldorf is north of Cologne. She lives in Essen near Dusseldorf. I'll check prices to Cologne and Frankfurt but other places might be too far. I also have to consider that I am going for 4 months and cannot pack entirely light. Also, I might be taking a bit more than I am returning with since my daughter lives there and I might take her things she had to leave behind. I'm thinking after traveling on a long flight I might not want to take a long train trip, too. But it just kills me to spend so much for air when I know good prices can be had if you just investigate. I have already been on Kayak with alerts. The price hovers around $1200-1400 and hardly varies much. Aeroflot seems to offer the best price (sometimes) but no way am I going on a Russian airline with their country in chaos.

What is ITA?
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The price hovers around $1200-1400 and hardly varies much...it just kills me to spend so much for air when I know good prices can be had if you just investigate.

I'd be very surprised if it drops below $1000 or even much below $1200.
That is pretty much just what it costs...

I flew roundtrip from the US to Amsterdam (not exactly your route, but close) 8 times last year. A mix of traveling weekdays & weekends and the flights were between $1100 and $1800.
At this point, I'd pick a nonstop convenient flight right around $1200 and pay more attention to getting the seat you want.

Packing suggestion - pack for 5 days to 1 week of summer clothes & do the same for layer-y late-winter clothes (considering some of your summer clothes as art of the layers) and do laundry.

peace & checked bags
t
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lindytoes: Maybe someone here can convince me to drive but really, can I get on and off the train on a British Isles scenic train ride and see the countryside - and therefore sleep on the train and save a lot of money?

I will try to convince you not to drive in Europe. Traffic in the large cities is awful, and the trains offer convenient inter-city travel. (Better than by plane.) Assuming there isn't a train strike like we encountered in Germany last October. What a poop!

Start you adventures in Dusseldorf! One of the best shopping cities in Europe, close to Cologne, and the wine country (see the wine country even if you don't drink wine.) It's a fine area to decompress from the flight. The little town of Goslar is halfway between Dusseldorf and Berin. Also a fun place to just decompress (not wine country). Doesn't seem as tourist ridden as say, Rotenburg.

We bought our train tickets on-line before we left. (Have I mentioned that the Countess is more than slightly OCD?) Saves trying to buy tickets in a foreign country in an unfamiliar language. I think it costs less, but it limits your flexibility if you pre-arrange too much. Trust your daughter on this part.

We found Tom's guide to Paris was useful, or at least entertaining. http://troi.cc.rochester.edu/~tdip/tomsguidetoparis.htm Also we like RIck Steves several books.

CNC
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I really want to go to England, Cornwall and maybe take a train up to Scotland. I've always wanted to see the British Isles and I don't really want to drive. Maybe someone here can convince me to drive but really, can I get on and off the train on a British Isles scenic train ride and see the countryside - and therefore sleep on the train and save a lot of money?

I have been to England often and while I have driven, I far prefer not to. The distances are shorter than you imagine so you probably wouldn't sleep on the train. Last fall, I took the train from London(Kings Cross) to Edinburgh(& eventually to Sterling with a bus on to Callander). Then I took the train from Sterling through Glasgow back to London(not KC but a different station).

For British trains, check East Coast & Virgin - the earlier you buy your ticket, the cheaper they are usually BUT you usually need to know the specific train you want. Going up to Edinburgh, it was East Cast and a lovely, few stop trip along the coast.
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What is ITA?

ITA is another airfare comparison site.

http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

I also forgot to add that it is totally worth it to upgrade to Economy Comfort. While nowhere near as nice as First or Business Class, it makes the trip not miserable. I've vowed to always upgrade to EC for anything over three hours.

-Steph
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Delta flies nonstop ATL to DUS. That's the way to go. I would NOT include a plane change or land at another airport (and then schlep to a train) merely to save a few bucks.

It is unlikely that fares will fluctuate much between now and March. Delta fares to Europe go on sale periodically, so you might save $100 or so if you wait for the next sale. If it were me, I would wait maybe one week to see if there's a sale, and then just book my flight regardless.

Check fares +/- 3 days from your ideal dates to see whether you can save by shifting the dates of your flights slightly, if that is possible for you.

Paying a bit more for "Economy Comfort" on Delta is well worth it for a long flight, unless you are, like, 5'2".

If you do not already have a Delta Skymiles account, you should get one. It's free.
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Paying a bit more for "Economy Comfort" on Delta is well worth it for a long flight, unless you are, like, 5'2".


I am not quite 5'2 and it is still worth it, especially for an aisle.*


peace & upgrades
t









*My "holiday act of goodwill was giving up an exit row seat - EC was full - on a 4 hour domestic red-eye flight to some guy who was at least 6'7 ...
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*My "holiday act of goodwill was giving up an exit row seat - EC was full - on a 4 hour domestic red-eye flight to some guy who was at least 6'7 ...


TCONI IS ALREADY ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE FOOLS.

dagnabbit.

Oh well, have a 'rec...

SG
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Thanks so much for all the tips (I thought the price of the overseas ticket wouldn't really change)! Mostly you have confirmed what I thought about several problems with this trip. I really didn't want to drive knowing I would have to learn their rules, drive on the wrong side of the road, etc. etc. And any train travel tips are greatly appreciated.

I will have plenty of access to a washer but 4 or 5 months is a long time so I will have to pack things needed besides clothes - like medicine, entertainment, etc. I have a sun allergy and hate being hot so I have special clothing needs and sun protection, too. We want to swim in the Mediterranean so I'll have to pack for cooler weather (Germany in March & April) and warmer weather/swimming. It's a long time to be gone.

Thanks to CNC about what to do and see near Dusseldorf. I'll be there more than any other place. My daughter will be teaching during much of the time I will be there. We are taking a week here or there and then long weekends. Near the end of my time there she will be out of school a bit more and that is when we hope to go to the British Isles.

re: guides I was looking at Amazon for electronic guides because I got a $75 amazon gift card and don't know what else I need. I am thinking about the kindle unlimited closer to the time I go over there since it is charged by the month. (The only thing I can't determine on the website explanation is: do you have permanent access once you download? If so, then I might only have to pay for one month and get what I need. Does anyone know?)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NWRMV9G/ku?ie=UTF8&...
kindle unlimited
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Don't know if this option would work for you, but a cheap way to get yourself onto Continental Europe is to take Sata Airline out of Boston to Lisbon. If you were planning to Euro-hop anyway, you'd have time for sightseeing there, then make connections to your other destinations by plane, train, etc.

I've mentioned them before:
http://boards.fool.com/cheap-summer-tix-to-lisbon-573-bos-li...

You can usually get tix on them for $800-ish when the other airlines are $1000-$1200. And I've even gotten tix the last couple of years in the $535-$735 range (for summer) when booking far enough out.

They have a tiered pricing structure now...the less baggage you take, the less you pay.

Just an idea, in case you don't need to get to Dusseldorf first.

Laura
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Just an idea, in case you don't need to get to Dusseldorf first.

Laura

Those are indeed great prices. But wouldn't the price go up if you have to get to Boston (I live very near Atlanta) and then you have to get to Dusseldorf? My daughter, Heather, lives very near Dusseldorf in Essen, Germany. I don't have to be there at a certain time other than around April 1 for a trip we are taking to Italy. I suppose I could have met her in Italy first, but I think the price of that ticket would have been comparable. Anyway, it is too late. I already paid for an economy comfort ticket March 11. After March 15 Delta told me the tickets were going up. I paid about $1418 which includes $198 for comfort upgrade. I have been monitoring the ticket prices for my other daughter, Erin, to visit us in July. Prices are still around $1800 for non stop. I could get a cheaper ticket for her if she makes stops but she will not be fit company if I extend her flights and make her jump through hoops for a few hundred dollars. She has limited time in Europe with us and we want to get on the road to Italy and France as soon as possible during her vacation.

I think those deals for airline tickets must be for people who don't have a specific time or place or people they need to meet.
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