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First time in Europe - any advice?

Old Jan 17th, 2013, 05:32 AM
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First time in Europe - any advice?

Hi everyone,

Sydney-sider from Australia here. I'm going to Lublin, Poland end of Feb for a 6-week volunteer program followed by some solo travel through Europe. Not a luxurious trip, happy to stay in hostels and travel on a budget but nothing extremely tight. I'm looking into one way ticket out of Sydney so can head home from wherever and would really appreciate any travel advice about anything and everything! Some info about my trip ideas below:

While in Poland - 6 weekends, 3 or 4 of which I would like to spend in Lublin, Warsaw, Wroclaw and Krakow. The other two weekends I was thinking of a close weekend trip to another country. Not too sure how feasible this is?

After Poland - 6-7 weeks of travelling. Any advice for plane/rail would be great (e.g. what Eurail pass would be best, when airline carriers are better than rail for which ever countries and vice versa, what routes to take, ideal time in each place)!

Primary countries/cities I definitely want to visit: Romania (Cluj & Bucharest), Hungary (Budapest), Czech Republic (Prague), Germany (Berlin & Munich), UK (London).

Secondary countries/cities given time and money is available: Austria (Vienna), Switzerland, France, Belgium, Netherlands.

Looking forward to hearing some responses!

Cheers,
S
sueshi is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2013, 08:55 AM
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I'll start the ball rolling... pack light. Take a 21-22 inch roller bag and a laptop type shoulder bag. You seem to want to hop around a lot and the last thing you want is to be dragging a pile of luggage.
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Old Jan 17th, 2013, 09:07 AM
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I suggest you beg, borrow or steal a guidebook or two. One of the "best of Europe" types might be good for at least part of your trip. Also a guide of eastern Europe. For me, part of the fun is exploring through guidebooks. They will have all or most of the information you'll be needing, including hotels in all categories, transportation options and schedules.

You're covering a lot of territory, and it's hard to give advice when you are considering so many places.
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Old Jan 17th, 2013, 09:14 AM
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I think you need to narrow down your list. You've got 10 countries in you 6-7 week trip. That's a lot of moving around. Also if you trim it down a bit it will be less expensive. Because it costs money every time you move place to place, so stay a bit longer in less places brings down cost without sacrificing anything (well except seeing a bazillion places in a short period of time).

The eurail pass question always comes down to a matter of math. To figure out which, if any, will save money, you first need to know where you're going!

I personally love Switzerland but it's an expensive country generally speaking. So if budget and time are both concerns, might want to skip it this trip.
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Old Jan 17th, 2013, 09:17 AM
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Not sure from your post what type of visa you will have - but you may have trouble entering if you don't have a return ticket. Esp if you are traveling casually/backpacking immigration officials are often more curious about what you are doing there, for how long and if you have the funds to support yourself.

Also - just getting a random one-way flight back can be extremely expensive. It might be safer - and cheaper to get a RT ticket and then pay the change fee for the return portion when your plans are solidified.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2013, 07:34 PM
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Thanks for the responses everyone!

I'm actually in Seoul, South Korea at the moment on a business internship so I've already packed as light as possible for Winter haha. I'll most likely be packing and sending something things home as it'll be a bit warmer in March in Poland/Europe.

As an Australian citizen, I don't need a visa for the EU so a single ticket shouldn't be a problem for me, fingers crossed!

I definitely want to do the primary countries I listed - they're a must! The other countries (which back the 10) are optional given time and money. I've been recommended by many people to get a Eurail even though London isn't included, there are heaps of other cheap flights and trains to London.

Any other thoughts??
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Old Feb 4th, 2013, 03:41 AM
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If you want to go from Poland to Hungary, Germany, Czech Republic I think the most convenient is a train. There are some connections between major cities (like Warsaw or Cracow)and the capitals of those countries. Be aware that the Polish trains are sometimes late There is also a bus company called 'Eurolines' as an alternative. Of course you can travel by plane, but it's not for a budget trip.
If you want to get to London you can try 'Ryan Air' - it's a budget Irish company. They are not luxurious at all, but I have flown with them many times.

The countries a recommend is Slovenia and Estonia. I love them

If you want to know more, visit my blog about the Carpathian countries (southern Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine) - I try to improve it every day:
http://geographers-eye.blogspot.com/
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Old Feb 5th, 2013, 09:32 AM
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watch out! there could be a lot of thefts.
but Polsih people are nice
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