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First time traveling to Europe. London-Amsterdam-Paris

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Sep 4th, 2012, 07:52 PM
  #1
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First time traveling to Europe. London-Amsterdam-Paris

Hello! Newbie to the forum. Would appriceate any advice.

Anyways, long story short I’ve been miserable at my job and questioning the meaning of my life. Just miserable. I’ve decided to make some changes, but before I move to a new city a start new, I’ve decided to travel to Europe mid-october thru mid-december!

I’ll be traveling/backpacking solo and this will be my first time out of the country. I’m from California btw. I’m going to begin in London, and want to make my way to Amsterdam, Paris and then Barcelona. There’s so much to see and do, I’m not sure how much time I will need. I’ve also thought if I commit to two months or so maybe I could make it to Italy also.

Does anyone have any tips or advice for my trip. I’ll being staying in hostels and utitilizing couchsurfing. How much time should I allow for. What kind of weather should I anticipate? Has anyone traveled during this time of year? Experiences? Any hidden/unique places I should visit between cities? Thanks.
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Sep 4th, 2012, 08:17 PM
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If you're going from the UK to France, look for the discount airlines such as Easyjet. As with all these airlines, watch out for fees.

Every country has its unique places.

Let's start with how old you are, what your budget is, and the things that you like to do.

From there, you can get a lot more replies.
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Sep 4th, 2012, 08:29 PM
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thanks. i'm 26y/o with a budget around ~$4,000

i'm a musician, art lover, hiker and surfer. haha. I want to check out the museums and just kind of wonder the cities/meet locals.
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Sep 4th, 2012, 11:53 PM
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You could take the overnight ferry from London to Amsterdam http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-adventure.cfm

You may want to also post on thorntree on the lonely planet board that may have more help for travel like yours.
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Sep 5th, 2012, 05:11 AM
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Just a thought but traveling around Europe is always great with a Rail Pass when you are there for any length of time. This way you could hop on and go on a whim and not worry about additional cost. There are many companies online and lots of plans so you would have to do some research but it may help save you money and give you more flexibility in travel.

Also, many museums in Paris are free on the first Sunday of the month. Here is a link for that. http://freemuseumday.com/france/paris/

Good luck!
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Sep 5th, 2012, 09:19 AM
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You have four grand for two months in Europe? Does that include the flights across the pond? That's about $66 per day for food, lodging, transport, museum entry (you're 26 so may be eligible for discounts) and recreation, if any, if the flights are not included. It's about $50/day for each day on the ground if the flights are part of that $4k. That's not much.

The Thorn Tree forum on Lonely Planet could help, and you may have to do a lot of couchsurfing and have other sleeping arrangements of dubious safety, quality and cleanliness. You may also have to survive on baguettes and cheese.
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Sep 5th, 2012, 10:26 AM
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If your budget includes flights to and fro I don;t think there's a chance in hell you can do it for $4000. That would give you 37 euros per day - barely enough for lodging (including couch surfing) and nothing for food, sights. local transit or a beer or glass of wine in a cafe.

I know you really want to do this - but suggest you take a serious run at a budget befoer you find yourself out of money and with 2 weeks before your plane leaves.

Now - as to weather - you should start in the north and head south to avoid the cold as much s possible. But do realize that Oct in London and Amsterdam and even Paris can be chilly and rainy - and you will need a midweight jacket, a couple of sweaters, waterproofed walking shoes and either a hooded rain jacket or a folding umbrella. (Have been to London and Paris in November and my leather jacket (not a blazer but a mid thigh heavy leather jacket) was warm enough - but I wear that here until the temps go into the mid 30s.

Do look up the weather sites to see what you can expect.
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Sep 5th, 2012, 11:21 AM
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I think you should focus on Portugal and Spain. The other places are too expensive and too cold.

Portugal is a great place for a musician and art lover. It's also got surfing (although I'm not a surfer, so I don't know how that is during your travel dates).

It's easy to get from London to Portugal. Lots of cheap flights.

I don't know if you can make it all the way to 4 months on your budget.
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Sep 5th, 2012, 11:38 AM
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Amsterdam is beautiful, but I found it more expensive than UK. If you buy food at grocery stores and cook for yourself ( sandwiches, eggs, etc) you can save a lot!
For London you will need at least a week to see everything, there is just too much going on and couple of days will not be enough. I flew with EasyJet from Amsterdam to UK, about 2 hours, for under 40 EU, very reasonable. I spent 1 week in Amsterdam and for me it was enough to see what I wanted to see and to relax. I can't wait to get back though!
In UK, I went to Manchester, London and Liverpool in 6 days. It was too crazy, not enough time. So plan accordingly.
Subway in London is the best of the best, you can go pretty much anywhere you want easily. Good luck and ask if you have more questions.
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Sep 5th, 2012, 11:42 AM
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A "subway" in London is a street crossing found at high-traffic intersections that goes under the street. The local trains are the Underground, aka the Tube.

My assumption was that OP would try to couchsurf for free. But 3k for 8 weeks (taking out 1k for flights) is nothing.
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Sep 5th, 2012, 08:32 PM
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Thank you for your responses, very insightful and helpful. How much would you recommend I budget for 8 weeks in Europe? I planned $4k for 8 weeks, but I’m realizing that would still be tough even while couchsurfing every once in awhile. How crowded are hostels during this time? I’ve read where others have met one or two day traveling companions in hostels and that sounds fun. I’m just hoping that not just a summer season thing.

I wasn’t even thinking about Portugal. Thanks vespacurves! I’m definitely going to have to adjust my plans. For 8 weeks, I was thinking of allowing a week for every major city (London, Amsterdam, Cologne, Paris, Barcelona, Lisbon). If I feel I’ve seen everything, I’ll just move on. I could get ahead of schedule or even behind. Which will probably happen.

I was really trying to decide where to begin and end. But with kaza777 advice, I can buy a short flight (easyjet) from Lisbon to London, which would help greatly with time.

Also I chose flying into London for understanding customs/security instructions/ and getting my barings in an English speaking country. I know quite enough Spanish and I’ll get by, but I’m just learning French. Would you recommend beginning somewhere else?

Depending on the weather, I could spend less time in London and Amsterdam, and maybe try to go to Switzerland or Italy. I don't know, just thinking aloud.

In all reality, I can budget more and extend my time a week or two. I’ve always wanted to travel to Europe. I’m making some changes in my life and moving to a different city. Before I do I thought I’d travel to Europe mainly because I’m young and not tied down to anything. Thanks.
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Sep 5th, 2012, 10:04 PM
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I think you can definitely do it on your budget, but this is not the right forum. People here have advised you to go to the Lonely Planet and you should heed their advice. You will find more useful information for your style there or on Virtual Tourist.com. People here travel with higher expectations for accommodations and dining, IMHO, so you might get some useful information but your time is better spent among your peers.
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Sep 5th, 2012, 10:05 PM
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Oh, and congratulations on your freedom! I have always dreamt of such a liberation trip.
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