Backpacking through Europe

May 21st, 2013, 12:38 AM
  #1  
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Backpacking through Europe

Hey,
My boyfriend and I are both wanting to plan a backpacking trip to Europe i want to spend some time everywhere and see everything. I want to spend a fair amount of time in the UK, and my boyfriend wants to go to Holland cause that's were his family is from! I just need some help planning what to do, where to stay and how to travel! Cause at this point I'm clueless on how to do this! So ask away, help me out it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks
lgatbchamp is offline  
May 21st, 2013, 01:10 AM
  #2  
 
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I would highly recommend posting your questions on the Thorntree forum as 'most' people here are not backpackers. That demographic you will find more on the Thorntree forum:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/
jamikins is offline  
May 21st, 2013, 01:48 AM
  #3  
 
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Get copies of Let's Go guide books and start reading.

If you plan on seeing "everything" in four countries you'll need quite a bit of time. You claim you want to visit the UK and Holland but these countries aren't tagged on your thread so that makes 6 countries. Are you traveling for a year?
adrienne is offline  
May 21st, 2013, 04:23 AM
  #4  
 
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Trains are great and if traveling enough in the UK and if under 26 years old check out the BritRail Youthpasses that let you hop on any train anytime - such fully flexible tickets can cost a ton of money - www.nationalrail.co.uk has all the various fares - cheapest fares must be booked way in advance to get as they are sold in limited numbers and often cannot be cahnged, etc.
Some great resources for planning a rail journey in Europe - www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id11.html - download the latter's free and superb IMO European Planning & Rail Guide for lots of rail itineraries in various countries, including the UK. Buses are an option also in the UK and a National Express bus pass (or whatever they call it) can be very cheap though buses may take longer than trains and IME are not as comfy.
PalenQ is online now  
May 21st, 2013, 05:30 AM
  #5  
 
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You might get some tips and suggestions here (though this particular pass isn't available to residents of countries outside Europe)
http://www.interrail.eu/
PatrickLondon is offline  
May 21st, 2013, 07:25 AM
  #6  
 
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It wasn't that long ago that I backpacked through the UK and parts of Europe, so I'll try to help you, though I agree with jamikins that posting this on the Thorntree forum at Lonely Planet would probably be a good idea, too.

Main things you need to figure out:

-What is your budget?
-How long can you travel?

Once you figure out those two things, then you can start making a rough plan of where you want to go. Obviously, your budget will dictate how long you're able to travel, but (for example) if you're planning a trip now for next summer, you may be able to save more money if you realize that you're not going to have enough to take the kind of trip that you want.

You said you want to go everywhere, which is natural, but of course, you'll have to narrow it down to some degree, depending on the amount of time you've got. If you've got three weeks, you'll obviously only be able to see a fraction of the places that you'd be able to see if you've got three months.

Normally, I would say the cheapest place to stay is in a hostel. Hostels are a good place to meet people and have that sort of quintessential "European backpacking" experience, but it can also get old after awhile. Since you're traveling with your boyfriend, though, at times it can almost be just as cheap to split a hotel room, plus you'll get some privacy.

I won't link to any sites because I doubt it's allowed, but if you do an online search, there are several good websites that will give you a rough daily estimate of the cost of backpacking through many of the major cities in Europe. Obviously, it's just an estimate, but it can be a good starting point for your budget.
BLT83 is offline  
May 21st, 2013, 08:33 AM
  #7  
 
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Posting links to legitimate websites for the purpose of helping others IS allowed.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
May 21st, 2013, 09:00 AM
  #8  
 
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Please accept this with the knowledge that I am trying to help, and internet responses can sound more cold than they are! The backpackers over at the TT are no more patient with vague questions than fodorites are--but what do I know since you've gotten some great advice here already. To get even better advice, you need to ask specific questions after doing some reading, and let people know how much time you have to travel, your budget, and last, it is also prudent to explore your flight options a bit first. good luck, that first trip will always be special even after returning a dozen times.
yorkshire is offline  
May 21st, 2013, 11:26 AM
  #9  
 
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weather and costs can help plan - if in fall or spring start in fall in the North and go south as the days get cooler and shorter - v.v. in spring start south and head north.

Countries like Switzerland and Scandinavian ones can be dauntingly expensive - Portugal, Greece and similar basket-case economies can be a lot cheaper. Big cities cost a lot more than smaller towns (hostels, hotels, restaurants, across the board it seems - like London is way more expensive than most cities in the U K.
PalenQ is online now  
May 21st, 2013, 11:57 AM
  #10  
 
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Assuming you are americans you can;t see all of europe - since the tourist visa only allows yuo to spend 90 daysibn Schengen - not nearly enough to even hit the highspots.

Agree you need to determine:

1) how much time you have
2) how much money you have
3) what you want to see most - you will NOT be able to see everything (suggest you not only read guide books but check out tour books - for pix of major highlights) and then ech list the top 5 things you want to see/do - then try to combine them into a trip.

Also be aware that all of europe is more expensive than the US - esp if you don't live in a major city - and that in Switz and Scandinavia things cost double to triple as much as in the US.
nytraveler is offline  
May 21st, 2013, 08:53 PM
  #11  
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Were from canada so does the same apply to the 90 days?
lgatbchamp is offline  
May 21st, 2013, 10:55 PM
  #12  
 
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Yes, Canadians get 90 days out of a rolling 180 in Schengen zone countries.
jamikins is offline  
May 22nd, 2013, 01:47 AM
  #13  
 
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You can stay for up to 6 months in the UK in addition to your 90 days in the Schengen area. The UK is not part of the Schengen zone.

Some sites to search for accommodation

www.hihostels.com/ www.hostelbookers.com/ www.hostelworld.com/
sofarsogood is offline  

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