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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

This will be the first (hopefully not last) OSD adventure for me and my DH. We're slated to pick up our
C30 on May 22, and have built a three-week travel itinerary around it.

In the interest of financially surviving this special trip, I've been working hard doing some online research, and have already GREATLY benefited from the generous advice offered by contributors to this forum.

(Thanks especially to DebitNM with the suggestion of the Andrews chip card, which we now also possess.)

So I'd like to offer a suggestion to those others out there who are looking for strategies to economize, especially considering prices in Scandinavia..... Join Groupon for the cities you'll visit!!!! It's not just a U.S. thing! I signed up for several cities and get daily email offers, many of which are half-off specials at restaurants -- but others look like fun in-city adventures (for instance there was a kayak rental offer for Hamburg). I cut and paste the German/Danish/Swedish text into google translate to look at any offer more closely.

Indirectly, you get a little bit of visual exposure to the languages as well, through trying to navigate the various Groupon sites. ;)

Happy travels, everyone!!
 

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Glad to have helped! Keep in mind to double check the terms of those Groupon deals. They are often limited time frame, so they might not work. I love to find a good deal, and planning a trip to Europe isn't an exception. We went for 3.5 weeks last year and were able to save some $$ or [kroners] along the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Glad to have helped! Keep in mind to double check the terms of those Groupon deals. They are often limited time frame, so they might not work. I love to find a good deal, and planning a trip to Europe isn't an exception. We went for 3.5 weeks last year and were able to save some $$ or [kroners] along the way.
I agree, very important to look at those terms. To me the Groupon deals online offer off-the-beaten path adventures on top of finding a spot to economize here or there. Figure the groupon offers are marketed to the locals, not tourists. Some people prefer to go with guidebook recommendations, but I think it's much more fun to try getting a glimpse of what else is there, especially when you're talking about a large metropolitan area. Would much rather feel like the restaurant I've stepped into is filled with locals instead of tour groups. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
And funny, it appears sometimes that the deals are extremely appropriate for visitors/people touring --- if anyone is planning to visit Hamburg, there is currently an offer of a 2-hr harbor cruise for 2 people at half price for euros 17,50.
 

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Are you driving your new C30 through Europe or using other transport? We will be in Sweden and Norway in mid-June and have tentatively elected to use trains between cities. We'll probably drive the car for the 2 days we are in Gothenburg, but I didn't want to take a car into Stockholm or Oslo, and there are trains, boats and buses that will take us through the Norway in a Nutshell areas, including Jostedal Glacier. I'm still considering taking the car but I'm not convinced it would be a better value than public transport. One advantage to driving your car in Europe, though, is that you won't have to check luggage at each stop, as Gascoes pointed out on another thread. Plus, you can drive to a few out of the way spots that you might otherwise miss. I'm still not 100% decided....?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Are you driving your new C30 through Europe or using other transport? We will be in Sweden and Norway in mid-June and have tentatively elected to use trains between cities. We'll probably drive the car for the 2 days we are in Gothenburg, but I didn't want to take a car into Stockholm or Oslo, and there are trains, boats and buses that will take us through the Norway in a Nutshell areas, including Jostedal Glacier. I'm still considering taking the car but I'm not convinced it would be a better value than public transport. One advantage to driving your car in Europe, though, is that you won't have to check luggage at each stop, as Gascoes pointed out on another thread. Plus, you can drive to a few out of the way spots that you might otherwise miss. I'm still not 100% decided....?
Yeah, I really hear what you're saying about the different sorts of benefits depending on whether to go by train/boat or by car, and we have been on the whole less keen on keeping the car than sending it on its way safely and then relaxing further into the vacation with some train travel....It sounds as if you have a great itinerary planned as-is, and thinking about the land area you'll be covering sounds like you'll see a lot, wonderful!

So my husband and I pondered our plan for some weeks, and ended up with an itinerary that combines some of both. I think it becomes such a personal choice in the end, but with trains always having their own pleasurable aspects, including a chance to meet people. But I can see too that if you have a car, you could stop at myriad other places, and that in itself would offer different insights and chances to meet other people as well. Plus I think about how the path that is cut by a highway will take you on a different route than that of a train track -- and I always wish I could experience both, see both landscapes passing by.....oh well, it's all a drop in the bucket no matter what you do.

Here's our crazy itinerary that fails to do justice to any one place we'll visit.....(we usually prefer to spend all our time in one or two places and really get settled in, but this is proving to be a different sort of trip for us....)

Arr. Copenhagen Sunday May 20 (in time to cheer on the Copenhagen marathoners!!!) night in town.
Monday -- train to Goteborg
Tuesday 5/22 -- car pick-up day -- night ferry to Kiel
Wednesday -- drive to Magdeburg -- two nights there (touring Saxony-Anhalt region -- I have a thing for Romanesque architecture)
Friday -- drive to Brno Czech Republic -- two nights there (see Villa Tugendhat, attend opera production at National Theater)
Sunday -- drive back into Germany -- stay the night at a village inn/butcher shop/brewery in Franconia just north of Bayreuth
Monday -- drive across Germany to Bremerhaven (night in village of Wremen on the coast just north of B'haven)
Tuesday -- drop off car at Bremerhaven -- train to Hamburg, three nights in Hamburg
Friday -- fly from Hamburg to Venice (it was the cheapest way to make it to Italy from Hamburg, strangely enough! on Air Berlin) -- embarrassingly few hours walking around Venezia b/c we are bound for Genova - train to Genova, four nights there
Tuesday -- train to Siena, one night only on the way to Rome
Wednesday to Sunday -- Roma -- fly home Sunday morning.
 

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Are you driving your new C30 through Europe or using other transport? We will be in Sweden and Norway in mid-June and have tentatively elected to use trains between cities. We'll probably drive the car for the 2 days we are in Gothenburg, but I didn't want to take a car into Stockholm or Oslo, and there are trains, boats and buses that will take us through the Norway in a Nutshell areas, including Jostedal Glacier. I'm still considering taking the car but I'm not convinced it would be a better value than public transport. One advantage to driving your car in Europe, though, is that you won't have to check luggage at each stop, as Gascoes pointed out on another thread. Plus, you can drive to a few out of the way spots that you might otherwise miss. I'm still not 100% decided....?
I wouldn't drive my car (whatever mfgr / model) in New York City - but had no problems in Oslo and Stockholm in my most recent OSD trip (a couple of weeks ago). I'm a big fan of public transport and having lived in Europe (The Netherlands) would typically do trains over driving quite a bit. But when you're on holiday you can see and reach so much more by getting away from the city centres ... and not having to rely on a bus schedule.

Oslo has a bit of construction so if you're in the city centre as we were you need a GPS to navigate (or a passenger who can read a map!) But its really not that large a city and very nice outside it. Stockholm is busy but still a lot easier to do than many North American cities I've driven in. For our last trip we stayed at the Stockholm Courtyard - right off the motorway, have a big garage and next to T-bann (subway).

I'd say drive your car: stop when you want - leave when you want ... have the flexibility you can't really get with public transport or arranged tours.
 
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