Backpacking in Europe

Apr 13th, 2000, 11:16 AM
  #1  
Parikh
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Backpacking in Europe

What advice is there for a college student from America who wants to backpack around Europe over the summer? Since I'm in college, it needs to be as cheap as possible. I want to see the main sights, but I'm not opposed to going off the beaten path as well. Currently I want to see the area of France, Germany, and maybe some Czech/Swiss areas, possibly even Scandanavia. Thanks for the help!!
 
Apr 14th, 2000, 11:28 AM
  #2  
helen
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Good guidebook (Let's Go Europe probably best for your purposes, but also take a good look at the Rough Guide), Eurail pass (several different types, so investigate before you buy), pack lightly and bring your sense of adventure! Bring your student ID (probably not worthwhile to get the international student card) for discounts to many attractions/museums, and make sure your backpack is sturdy and comfortable to carry around. Also take a look at the Lonely Planet website--probably more useful info for you there than here.
 
Apr 15th, 2000, 04:07 AM
  #3  
Ben Haines
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Fodors

The following sites may be useful.

http://www.backpackeurope.com/
http://go.to/bakpak
Needs a few minutes toload a shockwave flash plug-in: http://www.BackpackingEurope.com/
Short notes by backpackers: http://www.eurotrip.com/
http://www.hostelseurope.com
For women: http://www.sfu.ca/~rlreiner/

Ben Haines, London

 
Apr 15th, 2000, 07:31 AM
  #4  
Rex
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I would also add www.izon.com as a resource for backpacking style travel.

And your trip may be much more affordable if you can confine your "summer" to before June 15 or after September 1.

See also my recent postings about Finnair as a way to get to Eastern Europe - - for example, see "Quick whirlwind trip..."

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Apr 15th, 2000, 08:30 AM
  #5  
scott
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Stay in youth hostels as much as possible (jungendherbege in germany)
 
Apr 15th, 2000, 11:08 AM
  #6  
Parikh
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So everyone pretty much agrees that train is the best way to get around? Seems like a good idea, again as long as it isn't too expensive.
 
Jun 28th, 2000, 11:09 AM
  #7  
ada
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tth
 
Jun 28th, 2000, 11:27 AM
  #8  
mike
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IMHO you'll get more backpacking advise on lonely planet thorn tree site. From all appearances, "fodorites" are not backpackers! thorntree.lonelyplanet.com
 
Jun 28th, 2000, 12:36 PM
  #9  
Gina
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My favorite "backpacking Europe" resource is Eurotrip, at www.eurotrip.com.
 
Jun 28th, 2000, 06:37 PM
  #10  
Emily
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"Fodorites" are not backpackers? Why didn't I get the memo???

 
Jun 28th, 2000, 11:43 PM
  #11  
J.M.
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I thought places in Europe wouldn't accept regular student ID's from other countries?

I've always been told by friends who traveled in Europe that the only "student" discounts available in Europe at museums, etc. were for people who had an International Student ID (or, of course, local student ID's, but that doesn't apply here). Trying to use a student ID from, say, Pennsylvania State University, in France just won't work.

Perhaps this is incorrect - anyone with experience using Stateside student ID's in your travels outside the States?
 
Jun 29th, 2000, 01:16 AM
  #12  
frank
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Southern Europe (eg Spain, Portugal) is far cheaper than northern Europe (eg Scandanavia) - less than half the price.
Ex communist countries are cheap.
Switzerland is very very expensive, Czechoslovakia is very very cheap.
You can arrange it so that you don't actually buy anything in the expensive countries, but still see them.
Take a small tent!Many cities (eg Amsterdam) have campsites.
Trains are usually more expensive than buses, but some slow trains are cheap.
The LP site can be useful for backpackers but it gets badly messed up by trolls, be patient & you can get results.INVEST IN A GOOD GUIDEBOOK!It will save you a fortune.
Try to find a travel partner.
 
Jun 29th, 2000, 03:27 AM
  #13  
betsy
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Hi JM
I am typing this from an internet cafe in Brugges, Belgium. Have been using my US student ID all over Europe. No problem.
 
Jun 29th, 2000, 03:27 AM
  #14  
betsy
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Hi JM
I am typing this from an internet cafe in Brugges, Belgium. Have been using my US student ID all over Europe. No problem.
 
Jun 29th, 2000, 11:17 AM
  #15  
J.M.
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OK, Betsy - thanks for straightening me out on that!

I used to live in Belgium - near Mons. How do you like it there?
 
Jun 29th, 2000, 12:05 PM
  #16  
hc
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Though I'm just back from Italy and they were very strict about the student ID's. Mine, from a US university, was not accepted.
 
Jul 4th, 2000, 02:35 PM
  #17  
Parikh
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Thanks, but I have a few more questions. First of all, if I'll be there for about a month and a half, what is the best train pass to use? How about if I'm going for three months? As you can see, I'm still fairly open to any suggestion, nothing is set in stone. Also, should I get a general Europe guidebook, or one for each country I will be visiting?
 
Jul 6th, 2000, 07:05 AM
  #18  
Josh
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Need to know if Eurorail passes work in Great Britian too. ANyone help?
 
Jul 7th, 2000, 02:19 PM
  #19  
Christina
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Josh, there are several web sites that give good info on train passes, I can't remember all their names, www.raileurope.com is one and www.ricksteves.com. There are two passes with names close to what you asked, but none exactly like that, Eurail and Europass (5 countries only). Neither includes Great Britain, but the Eurail includes Ireland. These rail passes are VERY expensive (hundreds of dollars), although much better deals for students at reduced rates. Even then, I think they only make sense for someone who has a lot of time and will be traveling by rail a lot for long distances. For shorter trips, they don't make much sense as they are too expensive (e.g., a very cheap one is the student Europass for limited travel, 10 days in a month or something, and even that is close to $40 a day cost which is only a good deal for a long trip).
 
Jul 8th, 2000, 02:54 PM
  #20  
Sam
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We travelled through Europe the summer of 1997 and got around via the EuroBus, we found that to be the cheapest. Purchased tickets in London - you can choose from 3 circuits Northern Europe, Southern Europe or Central Europe or purchase all three or a combination. The bus drops off in all major European cities, usually at hostels/campsites and the tour operator will phone ahead to book accommodation if you desire. As well, as this is a jump-on-jump-off bus, you can get off the bus in say, Paris, do your own thing for basically however long you want, then get back on the bus when your ready. The only thing that sucked was the odd night drive where you end up sleeping on the bus in seats that don't recline!
 

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