Budget Travel for 6 college grads

Old Mar 9th, 2008, 02:00 PM
  #21  
 
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http://www.backpackeurope.com/

That is a good website written by people who backback Europe for cheap. They recommend at least 50 euro a day, not including transportation and flights.

My opinion though if they aren't willing to plan the trip maybe they shouldn't go...

However, Berlin, Munich, Amsterdam, and Prague are all great choices and can be cheaper then London/Paris.
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 03:02 PM
  #22  
blh
 
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Sammie - I helped my college kid and two friends plan a European trip several years ago in 2000, and it worked out great. None of them had ever been to Europe, so they had no idea where to start. They helped plan as we went along, but would have been pretty clueless without my help. It's no different than all the help I've given friends through the years with first trips. I've gotten help through the years with many trips myself right here on this board.

You will want to research train passes (Rick Steves' website is a good place for info - also a good site for travel gear) as train passes are a good buy for the under 26 age group. Of course, they will need the pass that fits their time frame, etc. I think my kids bought the one that allowed so many unconsecutive day's travel in a month.

Hostels, of course, are a great way of saving money. But there are also inexpensive hotel rooms that can be just as cheap sometimes. Paris doesn't have too many hostel rooms - so we found hotel rooms there for a reasonable price. In Amsterdam, they were able to get a room in Harlem for a good price. Other places - Germany and Switzerland, the hostels worked out great.

Good luck with all the planning - hope they have a great trip!
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 03:36 PM
  #23  
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Thank you blh (and others) for your kind words. I was feeling a little attacked here for trying to point someone in the right direction and you very eloquently stated that we do that all the time for one another. I wonder why it's different to do so for your own child. I am sure you had lots of fun helping them with the planning and then getting the reports when they returned home. I will consider myself lucky if the kids consult me further or ask for my input.
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 07:39 PM
  #24  
 
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Don't feel attacked! I was just thinking about some of these comments and I was thinking how, really, you can say the same thing about a couple -- you don't usually see a couple collectively planning a trip and sorting out all of the little details. Same with friends going on a trip together. It's usually the people that LIKE to do it or have the TIME to do it that does the planning.

In my case, I am the planner, and my husband is the toothbrush packer. OK, he gets to give a LITTLE input, but just big picture stuff (like "what about Argentina?!?" and he gets to say "sounds great!"). Actually, my husband's biggest input is always the "when", since he's a public defender and we have to work around his trials and my trials. After that, his biggest contribution is getting the time off work.

The thing is, he doesn't care a fig about the details, as long as we're not rehashing a previous vacation. Always wants one new place on the itinerary. Like on our last trip to London, I threw in a trip to Dublin, since neither of us had been there.

What I'm trying to say, in way too many words, is why is is not okay to plan a trip for your kid, but it is okay to plan a trip for your husband? I mean, seriously, my husband has no love for planning trips and I dig it. And I'd probably resent his input (!) although every once in a while, he's spot on. When planning a trip to Spain and Portugal, I had absolutely no desire to go to Madrid (heard it was scuzzy and dangerous) and my husband was adamant about going there. I booked us 3 days there and have to admit, I LOVED Madrid, and would go back there in a second.

Oh, by the way, I'd plan a trip for my son (who's a Freshman in college) in a heartbeat. He's already asked me to look over the study abroad program for his junior year and let him know where I think he should go. Because he's been traveling since he was 3 months old, he's one of the few kids I know that assimilates well in all cultures.
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 08:57 PM
  #25  
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Thanks surfergirl. I appreciate your comments and agree with you about travel planning and who has time and interest. I do think there is merit in having a youngin' involved if it's their trip, but that was never the question here. Anyhow you said your son is interested in travel his junior year? I can tell you about a fabulous program if you wish to email me. [email protected]
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 10:22 AM
  #26  
 
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Some great sources for folks that age planning first time trips:

Let's Go Europe as mentioned before is invaluable IMO; www.ricksteves.com has lots on train travel and railpasses and cheap flights; www.budgeteuropetravel.com is now one of the best sites for European rail travel and railpasses (request their free European Planning & Rail Guide which is a fine primer for planning a European rail and or railpass trip. I would highly encourage them to look strongly at the Eurail Youthpass and its many versions such as the Eurail Select Youth Pass, etc. www.whichbudget.com has details for cheap flights between any two cities in case they want say to fly to Greece and then train there way back to Paris, etc. thru Italy and Switzerland perhaps
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Old Mar 11th, 2008, 01:31 PM
  #27  
 
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Have you looked at EF College Break? Its really cheap for what you get. I was looking at taking their 'ultimate europe' or 'grand tour' of europe, but I had scheduling conflicts, and it didn't work out. They figure out all the details for you, and its a package so it includes round trip airfare, hotels, breakfasts, and a tour director, and entrances to select attractions. You should take a look at it. Its a subsidized travel thing, and it is for 18-26 yr olds. I ended up booking another trip with them to greece (they are legit) and I used a discount code that I can pass on to you if you want to use them. Its hesseln1188 and it saves you $50 off any trip. I know that there are some trips on sale right now too.Just I don't recommend contiki, because I hear that it is not a good deal, and is quite frankly kind of a rip-off. If you have any questions about them, I've traveld with them before to France and Spain, you can email me. Its [email protected]
I'm sure your son will have a great time in europe! Cheers.
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Old Mar 11th, 2008, 01:43 PM
  #28  
 
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Sammie, great idea to do some preliminary planning. The kids will save money and time and they'll have plenty of stuff to organise on the trip itself. surfergirl, I liked your comments too.
Barcelona, Prague, Amsterdam or maybe Brussels and Germany if they're beer drinkers.

European grads often head to the beach in the summer so think Greek Islands or Ibiza or Canary Islands.

I'd hazard a guess that 3 or 4 weeks might be something to aim for unless they they have very large pockets!
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Old Mar 11th, 2008, 09:07 PM
  #29  
 
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I know you said they would like to back pack, but with six people traveling together, it might be a little difficult for them all to agree on an itinerary. I went on a Contiki tour last summer, and I really enjoyed it. There are tours that are relaxed and spend a good amount of time in the cities they stop in. Plus, with six guys it can't hurt that the majority of people who travel with tours are female You should encourage them to at least check out the site at www.contiki.com I can also give you and them more feedback about my experience with the company if you are interested. My email is [email protected]
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 08:09 AM
  #30  
 
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Contiki, which i believe started out shuffling Austraians around Europe, has been around for a long long time - if folks your age are pondering a tour i think it would be a good choice.
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Old Mar 13th, 2008, 01:15 PM
  #31  
 
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<The 6 guys want to do what is the equivalent of my generation's backpacking through Europe.>

a group of six should go on their own IMO - the allure of group tours is best for solo travelers perhaps seeking companions even though it's very easy to meet folks at hostels like listed in Let's Go Europe

But six guys, despite the difficulty of time with group decisions, will have a ball on their own.

Suggest they resolve some loose itinerary first that the group will all be OK with.
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