1st time to Europe

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Dec 7th, 2017, 02:08 PM
  #1
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1st time to Europe

Im planning a trip to Europe. I wont be going for a couple years, but its always good to plan ahead. I plan on staying for a while maybe 3 weeks, to a month. Right now I just want a list of places that are a MUST to go to in Europe. I love exploring, hiking, shopping, history and just traveling in general. Trust me I love my country ( GO USA) and there is so much to do here but to be able to see culture diversity, and be able to see historic places, IS JUST SO EXCITING. like eek!!! Oh, Also maybe some budgeting ideas- like a group tour of europe or any ideas. Im only in high school right now but Ive been planning on a trip to Europe since I was 14. Probably wont go till early 20's, but thats more time to save up the money. Any who let me know,


Thanks
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Dec 7th, 2017, 02:17 PM
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You have lots of time to do lots of research to determine what YOU want to see. There is no one MUST SEE list, it depends on the person, and in any case mine would be very long.

For first timers I recommend Rough Guides "First Timer" guide, and Rick Steves' "Europe Through the Back Door which will help you with planning.

For initial research buy or borrow copies of the glossy guides like DK Eyewitness and Insight. Start with the general Europe guides and then narrow it down to countries. Later you will want guides like Lonely Planet and Rough Guide for logistics.
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Dec 7th, 2017, 02:29 PM
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Well, I’d start researching hostels. There are a lot of cool ones in Europe, and if you stay in those, you might be able to go a lot sooner than you think! You want to go while you can still get the youth price on eurail passes. I wish I had! Transportation adds up. Destination depends on your interests. What did you love as a kid? Pompeii? Pictures of Venice? The book series Madeleine? Harry Potter? What did you enjoy learning about in school? Art? Holocaust? Ancient Rome?

Also, I’d do a test trip when you’re 18 if you haven’t been travelling much in the states. Chicago, SF, NYC, DC- all good solo trips, all have hostels, and you’ll learn a lot about your travel style and your preferences just from that. Or you could consider a shorter trip to beigin with and then your longer trip. I can actually get cheaper tickets to Europe than across the US sometimes. I’ve done 2 month long trips and it’s easy to become fatigued. Think of it as a marathon. You kind of have to be aware of how many days you can go-go-go. But the point is that your trip will go smoother the more you research and the more “tools” you have- like street smarts or transit experience- the smoother the trip will go.


In the mean time, you may want to consider taking a foreign language course if you haven’t already. It’ll make you much more comfortable if you understand basic signs and words, and people really appreciate it if you at least attempt to speak their language. Hello, good bye, thank you

Good luck!
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Dec 7th, 2017, 02:33 PM
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Trains are great - for a great background on trains check www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com (check free online European Planning & Rail Guide for lots on where to go by train in each country).

Let's Go Europe is the best book for young travelers on their own - groups are fine but as a learning exerience go on your own -easily done with trains and youth hostels - I first went when I was 19 and in five weeks I acquired more coping skills in life than I ever did in college - there will be some travail in on-your-own travel but those experiences help you grow and books like Let's Go Europe (amazon.com) will help immensely. Stay in youth hostels and meet young folk your age from all over the world.
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Dec 7th, 2017, 04:59 PM
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If you're still in high school, I would highly recommend taking a foreign language class (Spanish, French, Italian, German, or whatever is offered at your school) and become proficient in that language. When deciding on your destination, try and choose a place where you can use your language skills, that way you'll feel more comfortable once there. You'll be able to get by using English in most touristed destinations, however, if you veer off the beaten path, English will become less common, but, say you're in rural France and have studied French, you won't have any communication issues.

Since you have time to prepare for your trip, visit the library for some travel books. Just remember, it can be overwhelming, but don't get discouraged. Assuming you don't have a passport, don't get one just yet, but wait until you're closer to your trip. Getting one now, but not using it for a few years, is simply a waste of money.

As previously mentioned, only you can decide what's important for you to see/do when traveling. For me, planning the trip is just as much fun as being on the trip!
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Dec 7th, 2017, 07:46 PM
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Yes, I am in Spanish classes and planning on continuing my Spanish education until fluent (which will be good for Barcelona)
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Dec 7th, 2017, 08:31 PM
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Keep your list of countries to visit fairly short. Some folks try to see all of Europe in one trip and end up spending half their time traveling instead of getting to know the people and culture of the places they visit. I have a friend who did one of those 8 countries in 14 days tours and couldn't distinguish one city from the next when she got back. Know that wherever you go and if you enjoy it, this will only be your first trip. Save some places for next time.

Solo foreign travel can also be liberating or intimidating. Depending on your level of confidence and self-sufficiency, you might benefit from having a partner the first time abroad. As stated above, consider what type of traveler you are and whether you would prefer to travel alone or share the experience with a friend.
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Dec 8th, 2017, 06:15 AM
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Loved your enthusiasm and planning ahead.

Some ideas:

-are you eligible for a credit card? I (70,female) ALWAYS plan ahead so never pay for air fare (Texas) as I take advantage of credit cards offered to me with 30-40-50000 miles and use till I get enough for the trip.

-language club/school: do they sponsor a summer program abroad they you could go on which would probably be longer and maybe less expensive then doing it on your own?

-plan a trip with a friend to cut accommodation expenses and going alone is one with when I do it at 70 w/o my husband after 55 years of travel but another at 20 when you really want to share the experience, go to a pub, etc.

-my son won a scholarship to Germany in his junior year of HS for a year in Germany, with no German comprehension. He felt he only needed to know bieren and Fraulein to get by for the year! You might look into overseas scholarship programs.
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Dec 8th, 2017, 06:40 AM
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"Yes, I am in Spanish classes and planning on continuing my Spanish education until fluent (which will be good for Barcelona)"

Think again . . .Barcelona is in Catalonia where Catalan is spoken. As preparation for your travel I recommend being up to date on European news. As American news sources are limited in their European coverage, I recommend reading The Guardian, the English versions of El Pais and Der Spiegel among many other European news sources in English.
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Dec 8th, 2017, 10:05 AM
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And watch BBC World on PBS stations in U.S.
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Dec 8th, 2017, 01:36 PM
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You can use Spanish in Barcelona perfectly well.
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Dec 8th, 2017, 01:57 PM
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You want to go while you can still get the youth price on eurail passes.>

Plenty of time for that as age limit is now 28.
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Dec 8th, 2017, 02:05 PM
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Eurail Youthpasses are for 2nd class travel as opposed to Eurailpasses for folks over 28 as they are first class -talking about Global Eurailpasses - many country and two-country Eurailpasses come in both classes for all ages. Of course Youthpasses are the cheapest Eurailpass as opposed to those for those over 28.

If going to a lot of places a railpass may make sense -especially if you want to keep a flexible schedule in case you meet folks to travel with or just want to stay longer in one place, etc.
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Dec 8th, 2017, 11:57 PM
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If you are only 14 years old, you might change your mind and go somewhere else.
I'd wait until you are older...
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Dec 9th, 2017, 03:42 AM
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There are more Spanish speakers in Barcelona than Catalan speakers.


Spanish is the most spoken language in Barcelona (according to the linguistic census held by the Government of Catalonia in 2013) and it is understood almost universally. After Spanish, Catalan language is the second most spoken one in the city, and it is understood by 95% of the population, while 72.3% can speak it, 79% can read it, and 53% can write it,[68] thanks to the language immersion educational system.


Departament d'Estadística. Ajuntament de Barcelona (2011). "Coneixement del català: Evolució de les característiques de la població de Barcelona (Knowledge of Catalan in Barcelona)". Ajuntament de Barcelona (in Catalan).
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Dec 9th, 2017, 03:43 AM
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Well, apparently that html tag doesn't work.
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Dec 9th, 2017, 06:31 AM
  #17
mrt
 
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It depends upon whether you are planning a trip for an extended period of time such as a month or two or whether you will be gone for less than 2 weeks. Make sure you go for at least 8-12 days.

I have been to Europe twice visiting Italy, Barcelona, and Paris.
and will go back this summer to another part of Italy, Switzerland and Amsterdam. all of these places would be great choices for you.

My son when he was 20 spent 6 weeks in Europe. He based in Florence and took long weekend trips everywhere. He hated Munich but loved everywhere else.

You need to decide what you would like whether it is the excitement of the big cities or the quaintness of smaller towns, or areas that have mountains.

If possible spend some time in Paris
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Dec 9th, 2017, 09:22 AM
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When you travel can cut costs both on airfare and accommodations - May would be a perfect time as would September. Mid-summer many popular tourist venues are overwhelmed by tourists.
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Dec 9th, 2017, 12:35 PM
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Also try to catch Rick Steves' PBS shows on Europe - you'll get to see many places on the beatean path and off.
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Dec 10th, 2017, 12:24 PM
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He hated Munich but loved everywhere else.>

Curious as to why?
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