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20 day Backpacking Trip

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Nov 27th, 2013, 07:56 PM
  #1
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20 day Backpacking Trip

Hi, my boyfriend and I are planning a 20 day backpacking trip in May. We were thinking of going to Spain, Italy, Austria, and France. Is that too many places for 20 days? Any recommendations? It is both of our first trip to Europe
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Nov 27th, 2013, 08:36 PM
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20 days? I'd stick with one country, maybe two if you are moving along the border.
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Nov 27th, 2013, 09:25 PM
  #3
 
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I agree with Robert, too many countries too few days. Either pick one country as he suggested or pair the countries Spain/France - hiking in the Basque country is delightful! Or Italy / Austria, in May the snow will still be in the high Dolomites but there should be good hiking in the low regions of Italy or along Cinque Terre.

Happy Travels,
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Nov 27th, 2013, 10:36 PM
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As per the others, 20 days for 4 countries is not enough if you're thinking of seeing more than 1 place per country.

If you list the cities you're thinking of visiting, we will have a better idea of what you're looking at trying to achieve in terms of sightseeing/interests.
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Nov 28th, 2013, 04:06 PM
  #5
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I definitely think ya'll are right about it being too many places. We are thinking of Spain and Italy. Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Cinque Terrre. Any other great places?
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Nov 28th, 2013, 04:32 PM
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Thanks for letting us know the cities you're considering - here's an idea of suggested/decent amounts of time in each:

Barcelona - 4 nights (3 days)
Madrid - 5 nights (4 days, with time for a day trip to Segovia or Toledo)
Rome - 5 nights (4 days, again maybe time for a long day trip to Pompei, depending on your interests in Rome)
Cinque Terre - 3-4 nights (depending on what you want to do there, eg hike)

As you can see, that already adds up to (4 and 5 is 9, carry the 2, divide by...) around 18 nights. Plus you have travel days to consider. Granted the day between Madrid and Barcelona is more like a few hours, but from Spain to Italy will take time depending on the route you take and where you want to fly in to /out of. If you haven't already, consider looking at open-jaw flights so you can fly in to, say, Rome and out of Madrid which will save time and means you don't have to back track to your start city to fly home.
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Nov 28th, 2013, 07:21 PM
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So, are you really backpacking (hiking in the countryside with a backpack, camping, etc.) or carrying your clothes in a backpack and visiting cities? Barcelona, Rome and Madrid aren't really places to backpack.
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Nov 28th, 2013, 07:59 PM
  #8
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Carrying clothes in a backpack. Thank you for the suggestions!
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Nov 29th, 2013, 03:07 PM
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If you are not camping, etc. but mostly seeing cities and major sights with day trips, then a regular piece of luggage with wheels might be better, certainly easier to pull through airports, train stations, down sidewalks and hotel hallways.
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Nov 29th, 2013, 04:18 PM
  #10
 
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Do you have a map of Europe? Have you researched the travel times (and costs) between those places? Are you planning on an open-jaw plane ticket? You're trying to cover a vast swath of territory in a very short time.
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Nov 29th, 2013, 07:42 PM
  #11
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We are thinking of staying more in southern europe.
Does
Madrid 4 nights
Barcelona 4 nights
Milan 3 nights
Cinque Terre 3 nights
Florence 3 nights
Rome 3 nights
sound like a good plan?
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Nov 29th, 2013, 08:16 PM
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Moving between cities is expensive and eats up most of a day. So, staying in Florence 3 nights means you really only have two days to sight see, etc. How to you plan to travel between cities? Depending on where you are flying from, your first day is a travel day and your second day is spent in a fog.

For example
Day 1 Depart
Day 2 arrive in Madrid, try to take in some sights but nothing terribly important to you as it will be a blur
Day 3 Madrid
Day 4 Travel to Barcelona, brief sightseeing
Days 5 & 6 Barcelona
Day 7 Travel to Milan, brief sightseeing
Day 8 Milan
Day 9 depart for Cinque Terra
Day 10 CT
etc.

I think you need to decide which 3 or 4 places are your priorities to have time to enjoy them. Otherwise you will spending much of your trip on planes or in airports.
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Nov 29th, 2013, 08:43 PM
  #13
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That makes sense. We were planning on flying from spain to italy and train every other time. I'll definitely look into travel times to make sure most of our time is in the cities not traveling to them.
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Nov 29th, 2013, 09:35 PM
  #14
kja
 
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When planning your travel time, you should probably add a few hours for EACH change of location -- you need to pack, check out, get to the train in plenty of time, make the journey, orient to the new location, find your way to your accommodation, check in, unpack, ....
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Dec 5th, 2013, 05:28 PM
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So something came up and we are going in August. Is Spain and Italy still the place to go?
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Dec 5th, 2013, 07:07 PM
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Yes, but everybody else and his cousins will be there, too, and the heat and crowds might get to you. All of Europe has August off, and that's before overseas visitors pile in also. So I'd say book early, stay away from the obvious places (like Venice and Rome etc. where you can't move), instead go to Sardinia or to mountain towns in the Piemonte or Dolomites, hiking rather than visiting museums and ruins where everybody else is already. I think you get the drift...
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Dec 6th, 2013, 08:39 PM
  #17
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Thank you!
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Dec 6th, 2013, 09:29 PM
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You might prefer a cooler country in August. Austria should be cooler.
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Dec 8th, 2013, 09:15 AM
  #19
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I'll definitely look into some other countries. I've heard Prague is amazing
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Dec 8th, 2013, 12:27 PM
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In August Spain is hellishly hot - often more than 100 degrees - and Italy little cooler - except for the mountains in the far north.

I would never go to either in August.
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