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Apr 13th, 2015, 12:49 PM
  #1
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Need advise first time backpacking.

Hello, i'm Oliver, 20 from the UK and looking at going backpacking around Europe by myself next summer for 2months.I want to go to as many countries as possible in that time and of course on as little money as possible. So if anyone can help me out with the best routes to take, what to take and how much this adventure will cost me that would be great!
Thank you,
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Apr 13th, 2015, 01:26 PM
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OK - no one can plan a route for you (and why is your thread only tagged for Sweden if you want to travel 'around Europe' to many countries?

The best way to get help is to come up w/ at least a basic plan of your own and then Fodorites can help you refine/improve your itinerary.

>> . . . as little as possible<<

How much do you have to spend for this 'adventure'? What you'll spend depends predominately on your travel style and WHERE you are traveling. Different countries/cities have different costs of living.

Do you want to couch surf/scrounge beds or do you want to 'up market' to hostels?
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Apr 13th, 2015, 01:51 PM
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That's a tall order, Oliver, maybe you can get some idea on a website geared to young backpackers. I used to know what but forget the name (I think the Thorn Tree on Lonely Planet has closed, not sure).

But two months is a long time, you can see a lot and I can only recommend you go in a direction that makes sense logistically, maybe sort of circle back to UK. Something like UK-Spain-Italy-Switzerland=Germany-belgium-France-Netherlands-UK. There are many other possibilities (especially France where southern France is in-between Spain and Italy but northern France in-between Belgium and UK.

And I haven't even gotten into possibilities such as Italy-Switzerland-Austria-Czech Republic-Germany which is actually a favorite area of mine (maybe startign UK-France-then to Italty). That would leave out Spain.

Depends how you plan on starting, actually starting by flying to Spain on a cheap airline from UK (Easyjet, for example) wouldn't be a bad idea, then go across southern France to Italy, up to Switzerland, maybe get into Austria/CR, etc and then head back west to go home. I like that route. That is an awful lot even in two months, but not if you are on the move a lot.

I can't advise on transportation costs, that involves research, but for everything else, I'd plan on having at least 50-75 euro per day to spend, at a minimum (lodging and food).
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Apr 13th, 2015, 02:52 PM
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Yeet routes are up to you as there are so many but you could do a classic circular tour

Amsterdam, train from London or overnight boat/train

Germany - Berlin, Munich

Salzburg, Austria

Vienna

Venice

Florence

Rome

Nice

Avignon/Arles - Provence

Paris

Eurostar train to London

Do day trips from bases to nearby gems.

All can be done by rail

Use overnight trains to say time and the cost of a hostel.

Or start in Paris - go to Amsterdam and others and from Rome fly to Athens and end up in Greece, flying back to London from there. There are also overnight ferries from Italy to Corfu (a great great place for folks you age!) and onto Patras for trains or buses to Athens.

Be sure to look into the Inter-Rail Pass that you can buy in the U.K. - allows you to hop on any train practically in most countries at will - vs fully flexible tickets it can be a bargain - especially for folks under 26.

For lots of great stuff on European trains and planning a rail trip: www.seat61.com - outlines many routes from London by rail to places on The Continent; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com - download the latter's free online European Planning & Rail Guide for lots of sample rail itineraries in various regions.
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Apr 13th, 2015, 03:19 PM
  #5
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Thanks guys! I know my post wasn't exactly detailed and I was only seeking a rough idea on some good place to go (I already have a rough idea of what and where I want to go) just seeking extra knowledge. I have around £2000-£3000 not sure if that is a lot or nothing? (not loads but im still a student) I was thing night trains and hostels maybe sofa surf one or two nights but need to look into it more. I like the idea of flying to spain and starting from there I will look more into that thank you. Janisj this is the first forum I have ever posted on give me time WOMAN!!!
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Apr 13th, 2015, 03:21 PM
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Janisj this is the first forum I have ever posted on give me time WOMAN!!!>

Fodorgarchs can be tough - too tough IMO- but they can also be very knowledgeble like janis - if you do come back with more specific questions she and others will give good advice.
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Apr 13th, 2015, 03:29 PM
  #7
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I know, it was my mistake I rushed into posting the topic, I am really grateful for the advise so far. one more amateur question, would you recommend a specific month to go? or is any time in the summer ok?
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Apr 13th, 2015, 04:00 PM
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July and August are European vacation periods and southern Europe - Paris, Rome, etc can be swamped - not nearly as bad north of the Alps except in unique exceptions like Amsterdam.

It also gets very hot in July and August in places like Spain and Italy - avg hi in Florence in 90s F and humid to boot at times.

June as early as possible and May and September are prime months for good weather and dramatically fewer crowds though places like Paris and Rome and Venice, like London will always have a lot of tourists but nothing like the summer swarms.

Cheers!
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Apr 14th, 2015, 06:33 AM
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how much this adventure will cost me that would be great!
Thank you,

hostels $25-30 a day in large cities
Food - picnics from supermarkets, street snack foods $25-30/day
Transportation - whatever the Inter-Rail Pass costs

a lot of expenses are discretionary - like nightlife - beers are even more expensive than in the U.K. IME - coffees at cafes can cost 4 euros or so - museums may offer folks under 26 discounts.

$100/day or about 60 pounds I guess a bare minimum.
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Apr 14th, 2015, 09:03 AM
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Night trains these days are not free with a railpass - which does cover the basic rail fare but not the extra varying sleeping options - from a reclining seat on some trains for a few euros to couchettes - multi-person compartments often unisex and you sleep in your street clothes - about 25-30 euros for those and private singles, doubles and triples much much more.

It used to be that night trains had regular cars on them that you could sleep free - upright in seats - at no extra charge but those trains are fewer and fewer with 'hotel trains' now the rule - again railpass pays the basic train fare but not the sleeping option which up to a couchette anyway will still be cheaper than many hostels and all hotels.
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Apr 14th, 2015, 09:31 AM
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I didn't think about the weather -- yeah, I don't think you want Spain or Italy that much in July/August. Now to be honest, I've been in Barcelona in July and it was hot, but not that bad as it's near the sea, and not that different from a lot of places in summer (like where I live in US). I wouldn't go to Madrid or southern Spain.

But you could fly into Barcelona (it's a fun city) and start there, going east, or into France, anyway, from there).

This is the airline I was talking about, maybe you know it-- they do fly direct from Gatwick into BCN.
http://www.easyjet.com/en/routemap
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Apr 14th, 2015, 11:47 AM
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Madrid being very high up I think is a tad less hot and certainly less humid but still maybe too warm?
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Apr 14th, 2015, 12:36 PM
  #13
 
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Oliver

I did this when I was 20 during a summer at University, my wife did it, indeed most of the people we knew at the time did it.

We all bought inter-rail cards, begged, borrowed and certainly not stole. Most of our trips were of definite spectrum between an incredible experience and utter dejection. It was just part of growing up for us.

Good luck, do it.

For gods sake, do it.

In twenty years time, you'll probably have at least a mortgage, car loan, working 60 hours a week and dream about a long weekend away in Bognor.

Fodors doesn't really have that many posters who are close enough to the sort of trip you are planning. My experiences are way out of date, we didn't have the Internet or mobile phones in those days.

I would add, a lack of planning is half the fun and if you end up sleeping on rail station benches or under the stars....well for us it wasn't the end of the world.

Search for other websites which specialise in backpacking, they will be very close to the current issues involved.
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Apr 14th, 2015, 01:49 PM
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Let's Go Europe is a great guidebook to have along - written by American students (!!??) for others their age traveling on a shoestring 0 great coverage of hostels - zillions - youth hotels can be a lot of fun with their pubs on the premises - meeting folks your age from all over the world. Amazon.com sells this 'Bible' for the backpacking crowd - their may be a British version but have not seen anything that approaches the tons of useful info in Let's Go Europe.

http://www.letsgo.com/#lets-go
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Apr 15th, 2015, 06:36 AM
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Search for other websites which specialise in backpacking, they will be very close to the current issues involved.>

Like Thorntree at Lonely Planet's web site - many more younger folk there than here.
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Apr 15th, 2015, 08:18 AM
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If you're from the UK, the Interrail pass is usually a better bargain than other rail passes. However, most railway companies now have big discounts for advance purchase tickets, and if you're willing to commit to your itinerary months before your trip, no pass can compete with the prices. Also, the Interrail pass don't cover reservations, and many trains in Europe now require them on their fastest trains. In Italy, on some routes, nearly all of the trains would require reservations, at €10 per reserved train. Looking at the price of the Interrail youth passes, I'm not sure the cost could be justified. It would be better to get passes of the "x trips in y days" type rather than blanket coverage. However, it would take a good bit of research to establish whether the benefits of this pass are justified.

The cost of travel takes a big chunk of your budget, especially if you move around frequently.

For budget flights, I like www.skyscanner.net .
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Apr 15th, 2015, 01:20 PM
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Also, the Interrail pass don't cover reservations, and many trains in Europe now require them on their fastest trains.>

Not many but relatively few - only in Italy, Spain and France do high-speed trains require seat reservations - all of 3 euros in France but yes about 10 euros in Italy and Spain - 5 euros if you take the sometimes not much slower IC trains.

That many trains in Europe require seat reservatios in Europe is one of those Fodor myths that just are not true. In most countries you can just head to the station and jump on the next train.
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Apr 15th, 2015, 01:41 PM
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Madrid being very high up I think is a tad less hot and certainly less humid but still maybe too warm?>>

I haven't been there in summer but have checked it out and I know it is very hot in summer. July-August temps are routinely 30-35 C. Not sure why, it is a dry climate, and it isn't really that high, just compared to some other places (it's only about 2,000 feet)--and Madrid itself is fairly flat, maybe it's a plateau. It's not like some mountain areas in the Alps or anything. For example, I was in Mexico City last July and it isn't particularly hot there, even in July, as it is high up--but it's over 7000 feet. There is more to it than just height, though, regarding the climate and why it is so hot there and not in, for example, Montreux, which isn't even as high up.

This website says Madrid is the fourth hottest city in Europe
http://www.worldweatheronline.com/Ma...Madrid/ES.aspx
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Apr 15th, 2015, 04:25 PM
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Wow - I thought Madrid were higher and less hot than say Seville or Florence or Rome or lots of cities - 4th hottest must be qualified to cities over a certain population I would think.
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