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Help! I'm new at this game(and a poor student)- i need tips!!!

Help! I'm new at this game(and a poor student)- i need tips!!!

Nov 30th, 2003, 11:30 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2
Help! I'm new at this game(and a poor student)- i need tips!!!

This is my plan: I'm traveling with one other person. we are planning to backpack all the southern parts of spain, france and italy. we want to fly into madrid and out from italy(unless it happens to be a lot cheaper to fly out from the same city). We will be staying in youth hostels, and if it's convienent some cheap hotels as well. I was wondering if any experienced backpackers or travelers could give me suggestions on how to find the CHEAPTEST airfare possible(i heard going through the actual city's travel agency, like madrid's, may be cheaper than through the US). Also, i have been looking at the eurail pass and i'm not sure if it's a good idea to get one or not: we'll be staying for at least 4 weeks(depending on our money situation we might stay for longer). Please, any comments, suggestions, "must-do's" are welcomed. Thanks
traveleur is offline  
Nov 30th, 2003, 11:42 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 533
We have traveled a lot in Europe and lived there for 6 mo, but never backpacked, although we are always on a tight budget.
If you haven't already, get the Rick Steves' books for those countries, and also the Lonely planet books. I think they are geared toward budget travel, rail pass stuff, hostels, etc.

Let me know if I can be of any other help.
EK
ekellyga is offline  
Nov 30th, 2003, 11:47 AM
  #3  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,147
Hi trav,

It is unlikely that a railpass will save you money. You can find out by going to www.railsaver.com and entering your itinerary.
ira is offline  
Nov 30th, 2003, 12:03 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 259
First, you may want to try posting over at the thorntree forum on lonelyplanet.com. A very low percentage of posters here are the backpacking / youth hostel-lodging type. Second, for any help with airfares, knowing from where and when is necessary. I saw some very low fares to Madrid on Lufthansa which must be purchased by Dec 1st. Happy travels.
KS452 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2003, 01:23 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 533
forgot to ask....as to your airfare. Where are you flying out of from the US? And, what month?
ekellyga is offline  
Nov 30th, 2003, 01:35 PM
  #6  
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I'm coming from virginia and leaving during may
traveleur is offline  
Nov 30th, 2003, 01:54 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 57
Do you have a STA Travel agency near you? They are a student travel agency - though I don't think you need to be a student, only someone under 26 years old to use their services. Their website is www.statravel.com if you want to check for locations near you in VA. They can help you with rail and hostel questions.

Of course you may want to also check fares on-line yourself - try Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, and airline sites.

Try Let's Go books for information that may be better for getting deals as students.

It will be such a wonderful experience. Have fun!
pegg is offline  
Nov 30th, 2003, 01:58 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,049
The site listed below has a lot of forums that seem to cater to students and hostelers. They have a lot of very current advice on good airfares.

http://eurotrip.com/forum
clevelandbrown is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2003, 01:38 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 170
Since you are a student (me too!) check out travelcuts.com
they have special student airfares, so you might be able to find a good deal there. I've been able to get open jaw tickets (arriving in one city and departing from another) for less than I would pay for a ticket that returned from the same city.
A pointer might be to fly into London if you can (flights to London are often cheaper) and then you can alwayes get a ticket from an intereuropean carrier (they are ridiculously cheap... [ryanair.com, europebyair.com, etc])to whatever other city you want to visit.
London might be a good idea just because you are a first time traveller and it would give you a chance to 'get your feet wet' so to speak - ie. to language barrier!

Let me know if you need any other info!
_Julie_ is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2003, 03:13 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,719
have a look at the Busabout site (www.busabout.com). It's a cheaper alternative to the Eurail thing. Never tried it myself but it's certainly geared towards the backpacker crowd.
hanl is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2003, 10:45 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 380
Another vote for the message boards on :

www.eurotrip.com

Which are intended for young people travelling on budget and hostelling. There's also a poster in the air travel forum of this site who seems to be very aknowledgeable about airfares.
clairobscur is offline  

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