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Advice on not quite backpacking for a month in Europe

Advice on not quite backpacking for a month in Europe

Jul 16th, 2001, 08:00 PM
  #1  
notquiteabackpacker
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Advice on not quite backpacking for a month in Europe

I'm in the midst of planning a rambling trip through Europe (with a rail pass for a little over a month) and am finding a sort of weird problem. I'm not going high style or super low. I'm travelling lower medium if that makes any sense. Since I'm an actual practicing adult now, I have a slightly larger budget than most packers, about 100 dollars a day, so I don't have to stay in hostels and can move up a bit and hopefully stay at cheap but clean B&Bs. Since I will be hopping on and off trains as backpackers do, staying a day here and a few days there, I have the same problem of what to do with my bag on arrival that they do. However most packers tell me that since they just stay in hostels, they can check in on arrival in the am. and throw their stuff in a locker at the hostel, which in that context is relatively safe, and go. The problem with NOT staying in hostels is that even small inns generally don't allow check in until the afternoon. So when I arrive in the morning, any experience on what to do with the bag? All of the advice I've received thus far says do not leave it in a train station locker. Is this true? I know that the Ritz will happily take any bags and hold them for you but will small, cheap places generally do the same thing? And would my bag be safe there in most places in Europe? Thanks
 
Jul 16th, 2001, 08:08 PM
  #2  
Russ
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Very small towns may not have station lockers, but most towns and cities do; try the local tourist office, often near the station, if you can't find lockers at the station - they'll often keep your stuff a while or suggest a nearby hotel that will. But lockers are cheap and convenient, almost always available, and very secure, in my experience.
 
Jul 16th, 2001, 08:16 PM
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Judy
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When travel for pleasure, most of the time I stay at small inns or B&B,I always leave my bag with the innkeeper or hostess if the room not ready in the early morning. From my personal experience, they are always very helpful.
With $100 a day, except in couple big cities, you shall be able to travel quite comfortably.
 
Jul 17th, 2001, 04:39 AM
  #4  
Liz
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We traveled in a similar way recently. I call it the Rick Steves method. If you travel mid-day, you can have a picnic lunch and rest on the train, and get to your destination by check-in time. I highly recommend the Rick Steves guidebooks if you're traveling with a budget, we found we could trust his recommendations for lodging and food.
 
Jul 17th, 2001, 06:09 AM
  #5  
elvira
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1) Before checking in, and after checking out, you can leave your bags with the hotel/B&B; they usually have a space or closet near the front desk.
2) Some small train stations don't have lockers or official baggage rooms, but if you ask the station master nice-nice ("I'm only here for a few hours; I'd really like to explore your town; is there someplace I can leave my bag while I'm here?"), s/he'll often find an empty closet or space under her/his desk for your stuff.
 
Jul 17th, 2001, 08:07 AM
  #6  
Notquiteabackpacker
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For those who have travelled this way, did you have a problem not making hotel reservations? I'm going April-May so I'm expecting to miss the crowds. But the idea of sleeping in a train station doesn't thrill me. Any thoughts?
 
Jul 17th, 2001, 08:50 AM
  #7  
Thyra
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My husband and I travel just like you and I believe that, provided you are not travelling during spring break... you should have no problems finding places to stay if you have a decent guide book and head right away for tourist information the moment you arrive at any destination.
One caveat though, I have done it both ways... once you have a rough idea of where you are going to be the next night or two, you may want to phone ahead at places you would like to stay. The only draw back with the "winging' it approach is that occasionally, you may find yourself spending a little bit too much, if a particular city is packed to the gills for example, or you may not get your first pick location. After doing it twice the winging way and the book ahead way, I opted to book ahead, but you really should be fine. honestly head to the nearest tourist info... usually they can find you a great place, they may charge a nominal fee but we've never been let down by one. Bon Voyage!
 
Jul 17th, 2001, 09:43 AM
  #8  
notquiteabackpacker
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Thanks for the good advice. Another post mentioned having to shlep a bag through a museum. I was thinking that in the U.S. most large museums won't let you take your bag through anyway and have a bag check or key lockers. Is it that way in Europe? If so, that might be an answer if I want to site see and can't find a place to stow it.
 
Jul 17th, 2001, 10:54 AM
  #9  
Thyra
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Most of the museums I've been in have had coat/baggage checks for a few bucks.
 
Jul 17th, 2001, 06:09 PM
  #10  
Judy
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I rarely pre-book accommodations. For B&B,as previous post, local tourist centre is the best bet. For budget small inns, amoung most of guide books on the market,I found Rough Guide with the most accurate suggestion.

Many Museums in Europe have changed the coats check-in area into walls of lockers,most of them with enough space for a daypack, but not luggages.
 
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