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MikeTarr Feb 19th, 2008 04:39 PM

Europe 3-4 weeks.
Well here I am again, I posted some stuff on this site a while ago when I was making plans to go to Europe, but stuff happened and delayed it. Well it's time again, and I've begun to plan my trip. And again, I was wondering if I could get some personal opinions on if I'll be ok in what I plan on doing.

So, I'm trying to stay as cheap about this as possible. I'm 18 years old, I'll be 19 when travelling, and I want to travel 4 Weeks in Europe. I already have a nice BackPack just for travelling, so that's ready.

I plan on leaving around April 1st(around that time, before or after). And I'd like to stay for 4 weeks, or 30 days. I looked at flight cost, and actually it looks pretty cheap this time around, like 400 dollars.

Now say that the flight is paid for. And I'll be staying for 30 days, I'm trying to get an idea of how much I'll need for the rest. Now let me make it clear, that I am a VERY simple person, and I'll eat the cheapest food and sleep in the cheapest places, literally, because all I care about is being in Europe. So with that said, youth hostels will be my choice, and is it true that those usually run 30 - 40 USD, some times cheaper?

So lets say 30 days, each night staying at a 40 USdollar Youth Hostel, that'll come out to 1200 USD.

So I'm now up to 1600 in total cost.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but 40 dollars a day should be ok right? With eating cheap? Or is it possible to go cheaper. For now, lets say 40 dollars a day for food, that's another 1200 dollars.

We're now up to 2800 dollars.

I will not be buying souvenirs, as I'll have my Nikon to take pictures(all I need). The only thing's I'll buy are post cards, which are cheap.

I'd like to visit 4 countries, a country each week, here are the ones I'm pretty sure I'd like to visit, though it can change:

Austria, Germany, France for sure, and I cant decide whether to see Scotland or Ireland, or Denmark. I say Ireland and Scotland because I assume they have the large green hills/valley's, which I'd love to see. And I've heard alot of good things about Denmark.

So should I buy a Eurail pass? Or should I buy each eurail ticket individually, and if I do that, how much(in general) does a ticket cost, say to get to Germany to France, or Austria to Germany. I'm gonna guess but lets add about 300 dollars for transportation.

We're not at 3100 dollars. Lets add 400 say, for transportation in cities, museums, etc.

so 3500 dollars, anyone here think that'll do just fine? I'm very cheap, simple, dont need much, just something to snack on and some water, a cheap meal once a day. Youth hostels of course, those are the cheapest options, and again how much do those generally run for?

Am I missing anything big? Or do I have it all about down? I'd like to stay below 4000...Let me know, I'd REALLY appreciate it, thank you!!!

Kellye Feb 19th, 2008 06:36 PM

I don't see museum admissions on here--or laundry or internet service if you really want to break it down. Why don't you do a search of hostels in the locations where you think you will be. You can book online in advance if you want...or you can put in approximate dates and find openings and costs pretty easily. Keep a running tally on a piece of paper and add it up.

nytraveler Feb 20th, 2008 10:08 AM

What you haven;t allowed for is:

Low value of the dollar - even the lest expensive food is more than in the US (a MickyD mea in London is twice what it costs where you are)

While some sights are free a lot are not. For example entrance to the Tower of London is more more than $20.

Evening socialization. If you can do one beer or glass of wine it's OK. But - if you plan on more than that (or hard liquor) the costs can really mount up.

Also - do some heavy duty searching about hostels and prices. Many are perfectly pleasant - but some are not (dirty, unpleasant, even drug use and theft). And you need to look at prices for the decent ones.

pittpurple Feb 20th, 2008 10:21 AM

I recommend the site for hostels - pick ones with review and make sure to read the comments - my husband and I have used this site for most of our trips and haven't had a problem yet. Just make sure to use common sense and you'll be fine.

I think 4 countries in 4 weeks sounds doable as long as you stick to 1/2 places to visit you won't spend too much time traveling. I don't know about the rail pass, but depending on where you're traveling, you can find super cheap flights between European cities on and (there are others but those are the ones we use most).

The cheapest way to eat will generally be just stopping by a grocery store and picking up something to eat while you wander. We tend to pick up sandwiches or something at the store during the day and eat out at night and we really don't spend too much. Again, it depends where you plan on going in those countries.

I believe's forums are more geared towards backpackers (I think I heard that on here somewhere) so you might find some more specific advice there.

Have a great time!

Jake1 Feb 20th, 2008 10:22 AM

If you really do eat cheaply, sandwiches, sausages, supermarket lunches, and such, then $40 a day will be more than enough.

Ingo Feb 20th, 2008 11:16 AM

Your budget is probably quite well calculated. I personally don't travel *that* simple style, but I know others who do.

Austria and especially Germany (where I live) are not very expensive. Even with the weak dollar you should manage to keep your budget for food per day at $40 and hostels (if you really don't care about comfort and don't mind to sleep in a multi-bed room) are probably less than $40, these often include breakfast and internet access. For example, check out - this hostel in my city is very popular and should give you an idea for prices etc. As you can see, you can have a bed in a 4-bed room for 17 Euro ($25) and that includes the big breakfast, internet access, showers down the hall, access to a fully equipped kitchen. Perfect IMO.

A day ticket for public transportation is $7, a day ticket for the State Art Collections is $15. Not outrageous IMO, and typical for Germany (ok, Munich and Berlin are probably slightly more expensive). A hot dog or a Bratwurst for lunch is about $4. A subway sandwich is about the same.

All in all, I think you can survive on that budget. I have no clue what an Eurail pass costs. I'd say it depends on how often you will use trains. If you're planning to stay in each citiy for a couple of days the Eurail pass maybe doesn't pay for itself.


PalenQ Feb 20th, 2008 11:19 AM

Since you're under 26 the Eurail Youthpass or various regional youth passes are hard to beat. For someone young who typically is on the move a lot they are often a real bargain. You may even sleep on overnight trains and save the $25/nt avg hostel cost and save time as well as many your age do.

suze Feb 20th, 2008 11:50 AM

I think you're OK with your plans, and yes I think your budget is adequate for the style you describe.

One suggestion though, you might want to start thinking in euro right now...

That $40USD is only 27 euro!

shormk2 Feb 20th, 2008 12:08 PM

I think it's very doable- however, Denmark is expensive. Beautiful country, but very expensive. Austria is awesome, so def keep that on the list, as is Germany... stick to drinking the local beer and wine and you'll be much better off... as for France, I've only done Paris myself and it can take a whole week- I've heard the country side and the coast are absolutely beautiful- that may be a good option for you... or, if you're set on doing Austria and Germany, I'd go ahead and add the Czech republic into the mix. Prague is awesome and very affordable. I'd also recommend spending some time along the border in the smaller towns (cheaper for the most part than Munich or Salzburg)... there's a great little town called Zweisel (sp?) on the Czech-German border- great local pubs and a very neat little town- it's easy to take the train there from Munich or from Prague. Scotland or Ireland will be more expensive than the Eastern European countries. Also, it depends on where you are flying in and out of... Eurail youth pass is a strong choice, but as someone earlier mentioned- you can get cheap one way flights on ryan air or easy jet... to save on the travel budget, I'd try to keep your travel time between countries limited... this all FYI- I did a lot of roaming on a low budget when I studied abroad in college- you're going to have a great time!

MikeTarr Feb 22nd, 2008 04:51 PM

Ok so I've picked a few countries and came up with a rough idea for a route.

1. I land in London(cheapest flight I can find from Los Angeles)

2. I fly to Amsterdam to start the journey(I found 20Euro flights from London to Amsterdam)

3. Go down to Belgium and visit a specific part of that country, maybe Brussels? Not sure yet.

4. Cut into Germany

In between Belgium and Austria, I'll be going through Germany, any suggestions as to somewhere to stop in Germany?

5. Visit Salzburgh Austria, or possibly a different part of Austria.

6. Get back to Amsterdam for flight home.

So Amsterdam for sure, and then Belgium, and Austria. Inbetween Belgium and Austria, I'd like to check out Germany

So those are the countries I'm at the moment thinking about, and that sort of route.
I'm going to see if Eurail or any buses will do that route I picked.
I'll also check out Hostel information and City information about some of the
cities I chose.

So I'm just looking for some people's opinion on this route, and if they have any cities they'd suggest seeing in each of those countries on that route.

Again I'm looking for old european towns(cobbled stone roads, etc), and nice scenery.

I plan on arriving April 1st, and leaving April 30th. I have about 4000 dollars. So if I do do each of those 4 countries, that'll be a week in each country, and that's not bad right? I mean, a week to explore a certain part of a country would be good it seems like. I dont care to see everything, I just want to enjoy being in Europe and seeing something different than southern California.

thursdaysd Feb 22nd, 2008 04:59 PM

For cheap accommodation see and For lots of budget travelers to chat with, see

MikeTarr Feb 22nd, 2008 05:11 PM

It's funny you mention LoneyPlanet Forums, I seem to run into nothing but trouble in those forums. People are always putting my down for my plans or criticizing things that don't need criticized. But I have had some help there, just not much.

bigtyke Feb 22nd, 2008 05:25 PM

take a look at Bavaria Ben's site

and read some of the trip reports - especially his one from last Sept. There are lots of places in Germany where you can have a single room in a small place for cheaper than a room with several strangers in a hostel.

yen Feb 22nd, 2008 06:53 PM

BootsnAll has an active forum and they seem to be a friendly place. Many of the people are low-budget travelers.

PalenQ Feb 23rd, 2008 06:41 AM

Some good sources for folks your age planning first-time and extensive rail travel, presumably, given your description and trains are a great way to meet other youths from many countries who are also traveling around - many with Youth Eurailpasses.

Let's Go Europe is by far IME the very best guide for folks your age to take and can be invaluable - especially if seeking budget lodging like in hostels or cheap hotels. They not only cover the more august HI hostels but lots of in many ways more client-friendly more centrally located youth hotels and private hostels. And for lots of train and railpass info: and - on the latter request their free european rail guide that has tons of info. is the best and easiest site i've seen for train schedules in all of Europe.

IMO the Eurail Youthpass is still the best tool for any travelers, first time, your age going on a wide-ranging trip can have.

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