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Thread: Europe

  1. #16
    BruceRT
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    Budget estimate advice sought

    I would like advice how to budget a European tour.

    I will spend next summer's vacation visiting my daughter in Berlin. I do not know yet how long my trip will be. Also, money is an object and I cannot blow most of the travel budget on an expensive guided tour, especially since my wife does not ride and will do something else while I ride. I hope that I can take 3 weeks for the trip and ride for 1 week of it. Timeframe will be between June and September. I assume that July and August will be the high season.

    http://www.rental-motorcycle.com/eur...ch_rental.html has some decent prices.

    The hotels mentioned here seem pretty reasonable: http://www.mobikehotel.com/moto/index_en.php?lang=en A bonus is that some prices include breakfast and dinner. I wonder if the breakfasts are big.

    What do I expect? I expect basic accommodations for a bargain price. I do not care for fancy hotels; I prefer B&B because it is cheaper and I feel like I am in the country and not a franchise chain. I do not mind sharing a bathroom down the hall.

    I like camping and wonder if I should pack my camping gear. How is camping in the Alpine areas?

    I lived in Paris in the 1970's and saw a lot of western Europe's tourist sites. I would like to just ride for my solo part of this trip. Tourist stuff I will do with my wife before or after the bike rental.

    I ordered John Hermann's book "Motorcycle Journeys through the Alps" and expect it will be good. Hopefully it will include a lot of budgeting information.

    Honestly, if the price is too high I will have to forego riding during my European vacation. That's why I want to start planning (and saving) now. Thanks for advice.
    Bruce
    2005 R1200RT (It's new to me!)
    Northern Virginia, USA
    If you are not continuously learning, you are slowly getting bored.

  2. #17
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdimon View Post
    I hope that I can take 3 weeks for the trip and ride for 1 week of it. Timeframe will be between June and September. I assume that July and August will be the high season.

    I like camping and wonder if I should pack my camping gear. How is camping in the Alpine areas?
    Yes, mid July and August is when Europeans go on vacation, so room rates will be higher and roads will be more crowded. I am there every year from the end of May till the beginning of July...for a reason.

    Since you only plan to ride one week, make the most of it. Therefore, I would not bother camping which takes up set-up and take-down time daily.

    Where do you plan to ride? I can give you some addresses to very reasonable rooms that are more than just nice. And breakfasts are usually quite filling, enough that I usually do not have lunch (I prefer to ride).

    Get maps of areas you plan to ride in, in advance. I have a listing of which ones to look out for on my link below. A GPS cannot show you where the really good roads are.

  3. #18
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Motorcycle Rental near Munich

    Here is another rental option near Munich that my friend has used every year since 2010. It is a short train ride from Munich Airport and the owner will pick you up at the train station. The unlimited kilometers is a bonus if you ride a lot. Note: a 400 km day in the twisties is a long one and a 650 km day on small back roads can be quite tiring.

    Motorrad Team Maier

  4. #19
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdimon View Post
    The hotels mentioned here seem pretty reasonable: http://www.mobikehotel.com/moto/index_en.php?lang=en A bonus is that some prices include breakfast and dinner. I wonder if the breakfasts are big.
    Thanks for advice.
    In my somewhat limited experience with breakfast in Europe- which (for me) includes Italy, Germany, Sweden and Norway- it's typically a pretty light "meal"- which could consist of anything from just bread and honey or fruit, to bread or crackers, fruit, and some meats (cold cuts or smoked fish). Possibly with cheeses, or spreads, or maybe yohgurt. IME it's like a little mini smorgasbord. It's a pretty light meal, as such- but typically a great way to begin the day. There MIGHT even be cereal or museli/granola in some places.

    The other guys with more experience can offer their perspectives on this- but this is what I personally have found in my travels, limited tho they may have been thus far.
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

  5. #20
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdimon View Post
    I ordered John Hermann's book "Motorcycle Journeys through the Alps" and expect it will be good. Hopefully it will include a lot of budgeting information.
    We used Hermann's books (in various editions) in 1996, 2000, and 2002. It (they) were a wonderful resource - in fact, for the 2002 tour when I had a month in the Alps, I read the book, noted all the passes I wanted to ride, marked them on a big map, and connected them to make my route. Make sure you have a later edition; while road info changes slowly, it may be that lodging and popularity info changes more quickly.

    Honestly, if the price is too high I will have to forego riding during my European vacation. That's why I want to start planning (and saving) now. Thanks for advice.
    I recommend Stefan Knopf at Knopf Tours in Heidelberg as a source for a rental bike. His stock is not new, but is well-maintained and way cheaper than renting newer machines from a dealer.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  6. #21
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Beach's Motorcycle Adventures also arranges rentals in Munich, all new bikes and low mileage, at competitive rates. http://www.beachs-mca.com/rental/gerpric.htm

    As GR said, breakfast is breads, rolls, cold meats, cheeses, hard boiled eggs, sweet breads, cereals, granola, yogurt, fruits in a buffet style setting. Many places do eggs to order too. Quite filling, if I eat lunch, usually some soup and bread does it, them feast at night on wonderful Bavarian food!
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
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  7. #22
    BruceRT
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    Get maps of areas you plan to ride in, in advance. I have a listing of which ones to look out for on my link below. A GPS cannot show you where the really good roads are.
    GlobalRider, your advice and links are exactly what I was looking for. Thanks a million. I have a lot to read and comprehend. Your examples are very encouraging and it looks more and more like the week riding the Alps will be affordable.

    Now the big issue is time. I figured that I would take a three week trip with my wife and daughter and selfishly claim a third of it for solo riding. Today my boss said that three weeks is too long and I should limit my vacation to two weeks. Hope my wife will be okay being alone for half the trip. Bummer, that third week is when the relaxation really kicks in.

    We will see next spring when we decide on dates.
    Bruce
    2005 R1200RT (It's new to me!)
    Northern Virginia, USA
    If you are not continuously learning, you are slowly getting bored.

  8. #23
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdimon View Post
    Today my boss said that three weeks is too long and I should limit my vacation to two weeks.
    He ought to take some cues from overseas where they get 5+ weeks of vacation a year (plus another 1+ weeks of religious holidays) and that is from year one, not after 20 years of service.

    Two weeks...that is the pits!

  9. #24
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    He ought to take some cues from overseas where they get 5+ weeks of vacation a year (plus another 1+ weeks of religious holidays) and that is from year one, not after 20 years of service.

    Two weeks...that is the pits!
    Most of the rest of the industrialized world can't believe how little time off we get here in the US, in many countries 4 weeks is mandated by law, and their economies are better than ours. When you treat people like machines, they break, just like machines and require more maintenance.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
    Maritime Alps and Vosges 2012
    Tuscany and Central Italy 2010

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    Most of the rest of the industrialized world can't believe how little time off we get here in the US, in many countries 4 weeks is mandated by law, and their economies are better than ours. When you treat people like machines, they break, just like machines and require more maintenance.
    Not to go capitalistic/political but I disagree on the "economies better than ours" part for many EU countries that have liberal labor policies.In your 2nd sentence you make my point,i.e., about people needing R&R!
    As a former blue collar guy I want to agree with the idea, as my paycheck numbers got much larger by sweat & many hours worked , not based on my skill(which I had) ,thus when I left industry for education I still found myself on the "wrong side of the tracks". While the college campus fosters enlightenment via sabbaticals & world travel called "studies abroad", my technical version of higher education was handing out the 2 week styles of R&R. Even now despite tenure & cushyness found in academia the trend in tech Ed is contract teachers with few benefits offered. I can attest that when you leave that senority/union based benefit system behind you take nothing with you except whats in your head.
    Thinking back: I had a difficult time getting off for a couple of days to get married back then in my industrial days, it was called unscheduled leave & took much begging-I told the last guy-either I'm calling in sick or you can plan for it. Funerals were ok but not weddings-you were supposed to get married on your vacation they told me.
    Now, back to traveling in EU!
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  11. #26
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    I disagree on the "economies better than ours".
    I could not believe it either when my co-worker told me that Germany's exports were on par with the US and China. And look how tiny Germany is, area and population wise. I then looked it up. Sure enough, they are the top three and all within a few points of each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    Now, back to traveling in EU!
    You bet, and I am counting with days till I go but won't be as far as how long I can stay. I decided to be money poor and time rich. I gave up a good salary and 5 weeks of vacation a year. I took early retirement.

  12. #27
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
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    Check out alpineroads.com. A lot of good information... This was the primary site I used for planning/execution during a 13 day trip in '10.
    NoVA
    '12 K1600GT

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    Most of the rest of the industrialized world can't believe how little time off we get here in the US, in many countries 4 weeks is mandated by law, and their economies are better than ours. When you treat people like machines, they break, just like machines and require more maintenance.

    Hate to continue the high-jack but......it is due to good ol' American greed. Just a note;....when I started working [years ago] many employers required 2-3 years employment before you received any vacation. and then a few years of only one week.

  14. #29
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 71243 View Post
    Hate to continue the high-jack but......it is due to good ol' American greed. Just a note;....when I started working [years ago] many employers required 2-3 years employment before you received any vacation. and then a few years of only one week.
    ...then don't.
    NoVA
    '12 K1600GT

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