Clueless College Students to Europe

Dec 16th, 2003, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 602
Hey, well unlike most here i'm a 22 year old. I did 3 months of (solo) backpacking last summer. So I guess here'd be my advice:

Railpasses 95% of the time do not save you money. This is especially true on a short trip like yours. Youth hostels are the way to go, but HI ones tend to be kinda stuffy and not very fun. Try to get independent hostels if you can. is a great one for hostel reviews. is OK also. Make sure you plan everything in advance, as wasting money is the equivalent to wasting time. Make sure you do not pack your itinerary with too many 1 night stops, don't rush through your 3 weeks. If you do you'll look back on the trip and remember spending too much time on a train.

I never went to France, but I really enjoyed Munich and Heidelberg in Germany. Cologne was OK, not much to see, but has a good nightlife due to the university.
RAR is offline  
Dec 16th, 2003, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1
Can't believe it's been 10 years since I've traveled like that...

My advice is to pick out your "must visit" spots. Now, cut that list in half, it is near guaranteed to be overly aggressive. You will enjoy the trip so much more if you minimize the time you spend on trains, and never spend fewer than two nights in any spot.

Now you can rough out an itinerary. This is almost as much fun as traveling. The most important part: book your hostels in advance, as soon as you have an itinerary in mind. Do you really want to spend hours of your valuable time at each destination finding a place to stay? Also anyplace ou can find a decent review for in a guidebook will be BOOKED in summer, so you'll be relying on luck to get a decent place, or paying $$$$.

last time we went to Italy we spent some time in the Cinque Terre area. One morning we saw a young American backpacker arising from a night spent in one of the boats. The night had been cold and rainy. Turns out no rooms left in town that night. Well, I guess it makes a great story, but even when I was 18 I'd take the safety and comfort of a roof over my head thanks. If your plans change, just be familiar with your cancellation policies.
ArizonaDesert is offline  

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