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Traveling Across Europe By Myself...Some Questions

Traveling Across Europe By Myself...Some Questions

Aug 25th, 2012, 06:52 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 24
Thanks guys. You're right all accounts and you're big helps.

So 35 days of site seeing, I'd be happy that. I could live with semi-rushed. I just got to plan it so it isn't like as gh21 says, 10 hours of traveling every two days. Now I have a way better idea on how to plan everything. Big thanks to everyone. It's off to Barnes and Nobles tomorrow for me haha.
JKline1229 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2012, 08:01 PM
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Quit with the annoying haha every other sentence.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Aug 25th, 2012, 09:45 PM
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I don't want to sound like a dinosaur but in 1980 a friend & I did the backpack/Eurail tour for just under 6 weeks. Italy (Rome,Florence,Venice), France (Nice, Monte Carlo, Paris) Brugges Belgium, Amersterdam, Germany (visit friends & meet up w/ my bros),Munich, Fussen, GarmischAustria (Innsbruck, Salzburg,Linz, Vienna),Switzerland (Interlaken, Geneva) Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Segovia, Salamanca) Lisbon. Yes, some were 1 night cruise-throughs but we were 2 or 4 people - you can do alot more when you're on your own. Did 2 overnite trains, 1 w/ a berth. and one in a compartment with a bunch of drunken Spaniards -miserable night. Flying was not an option back then but I've heard its t. he way to go now. Don't let travel snobs discourage you from trying to do it all. When you want to stay an extra day to chill, d I was your age, had been to Europeand had studied in Spain and was between jobs so alot was similar to you...that trip was the highlight of my youth and I've never once regreted the pace. Go for the full Monte - you can always slow down once you're there, nothing's written in stone!
Buns is offline  
Aug 26th, 2012, 12:22 AM
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You can do whatever you want. Even your initial plan was nothing totally exceptional, more or less the typical Interrail whirlwind I remember (with some effort) from my younger days. Though I was bit younger than you back then and had a minimal comfort level as an expectation.

Rail Pass
It can be cheap. €422 for a full month when under 25.
When the issue of 1 month validity vs. 6 weeks of planned traveling is important, try to find places at the fringes of the month where you want to stay longer, or where you will just travel around in a smaller region, or where you can or have to use low cost airlines to make a bigger jump, i.e. from Dublin to anywhere in Europe.

It may be a good idea to look for a place to stay a couple days at the very end of your trip.

Don't make costs of railpass vs. other means of transportation your key item for a decision. Your pass or tickets must fit your travel style and your planned list of destinations. It makes no sense to save a €100 if the strict regime of pre-booked cheap rail tickets is not in accordance with your need of flexibility.

A railpass is a good choice when:
- you are a flexible traveller. You don't want to HAVE to go to Amsterdam just because it's on your list and now it rains already in Hamburg. So you just go to Budapest.
- you travel in countries where walk-up rail fares are much more expensive than pre-booked saver fares, e.g. in Germany or the UK.
- you like to meet new people. What happens when you run into a bunch of people in Paris who are bound for a festival in Lyon and you would love to go with them. But you can't join them because you already pre-booked your low cost rail ticket to Amsterdam.
- you have a preference for larger cities. Places like Füssen are somewhat lousy connected to the main lines. You CAN go to also the "villages" which you seem to like. But while that is no big issue for someone who will travel less than you and just wastes a few hours to trek and backtrack to those places, it cuts a big hole in your time budget if you make it a habit.
- you can travel with little luggage, e.g. a backpack weighing not more than 10kgs/20 pounds.
Cowboy1968 is online now  
Aug 26th, 2012, 01:21 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Sounds like it's going to be a great trip but really, the best way to start is by writing down an itinerary, as others have advised. Using a big map always helps me lots with this so I can link one place to the next in the best way. You do need to just sit down and get this done and give it time and thought. Once you have though everything will be so much easier. Sure, it will change though and you will keep revising it but it will be so worth it.

Good luck. Tim
tjhome1 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2012, 07:48 AM
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Thanks again for the help! I'm going to start writing things I want to see down, prices, train times

I definitely jumped the gun. Sorry about that. I was just too excited. I need to work on my plan before I do anything else. And not just where I want to go but what i want to see, how much it costs, how long it takes to get there, etc...
JKline1229 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2012, 09:20 AM
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Everybody gets excited about their first trip. No worries there. Just a bit more planning on the logistics will help us to help you.
michele_d is offline  
Aug 26th, 2012, 09:27 AM
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for loads of great info on trains and planning a European rail trip - and railpasses which with that much travel on trains is a no-brainer - check out these IMo fantastic sites - www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.seat61.com.

Since you are under 26 you can buy the bargain-price IMO Youthpasses and join young folks you age from literally all over the world riding the rails around Europe!
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 26th, 2012, 09:55 AM
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I discovered a site called airbnb.com. You can stay with local people for very reasonable prices, plus have someone to help with advice about your plans while in the area. I have reservations in London for $67/night, and in Rome for 2 nights for $99. Hostels are great as well, and probably even cheaper, but check out airbnb too- you might be surprised at some of the amazing places you can stay for about the same amount of money.

Have a wonderful time, and be safe! And don't believe you will never have another chance to do this trip. Life is what you make of it...perhaps you will get the travel bug and structure your future to include many more trips to Europe.
926larkspur is offline  
Aug 26th, 2012, 11:17 AM
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" You can stay with local people for very reasonable prices, plus have someone to help with advice about your plans while in the area."

But be very careful . . . airbnb does not guarantee anything. Even that the place actually exists. So do a LOT of research before using the site.
janisj is online now  
Aug 27th, 2012, 08:13 AM
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I stay in a proper B&B in London suburbs just a 20-minute train ride from the center for 23 pounds a night, unlimited breakfast to boot.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 27th, 2012, 12:34 PM
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I would start with a map of Europe in front of you, and a pencil and paper.

Name a numbered colum of the days you have either 30 or 60, then start filling in an itinerary. Try to be reasonable and realistic for example you can't have 1 day Amsterdam, 1 day Rome in a row without allowing for flight or train time bewteen the two places.

Only you can decide what is or is not a "must do" as far as places to stay.

You should hop on over and read The Thorn Tree at www.lonelyplanet.com because there are more backpackers, itinerary ambitious, and youthful travelers on that forum than here on Fodor's.
suze is offline  
Aug 27th, 2012, 12:35 PM
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make (not name), sorry
suze is offline  
Aug 27th, 2012, 06:38 PM
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I make a version of what suze said but I have each day divided up into time slots 8-12, 12-4, 4-8. This really helped to visually see how much sightseeing and travel time was involved for each location we wanted to visit.

If I had a flight 9am-11am I knew that I still had pretty much 7 hours of sightseeing time that day. I would put 1 or 2 two small activities in each four hour period depending on what they were. Not that you had to do the activities in any particular order but it did work well to group activities located in close proximity to each other.

This has worked out very well for our last two big trips and really allowed me to see at a glance approximately how much time was needed in each location. Be sure to add 'roam around aimlessly' in some of the slots so you are not scheduled every minute of every day. That way you can find new and exciting things to do.

This has worked great for me as I am all about the spreadsheets!
michele_d is offline  
Aug 27th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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Myself, I don't do intineraries within a city. For that I just go by the seat of my pants with a good city street map and a general idea what I might want to see or do.

At this point in planning the trip, I'd work first on getting your actual destinations pinned down. So you can figure out if a rail pass or any kind is needed (and if so which one).

Once you have that organized people can help you fill in stuff. Like I happen to know a wonderful hostel if you're in Vevey Switzerland which is 1 hour outside Geneva right on the lake.
suze is offline  
Aug 28th, 2012, 12:53 AM
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I am not 600 years old, I am 30 and I travel abroad since I was 17. Most of my trips are 3 to 6 weeks long, usually in one country only, so less traveling around is involved. I understand that coming from the other side of the globe you need to make this more fast-paced, but there should be some balance of quantity versus quality.
My experience urge me to make an important side note to the sound advice you received already:
Note that your stamina levels will drop down towards the end of the trip, so it is important to allow some "down" time. This down time is not a few hours between visiting a church and a museum or a meal with your newly found friends-although this is great to have too. It might be one or two days staying longer in a place, just sleep for longer, have a late breakfast, stay in hotel watching TV or take a gentle stroll around, take a seat on a local cafe or a bench on a park and people watch,maybe treat your self on a spa... You do not want to reach your destinations at the tail-end of your trip and feel absolutely warn-out. You may dreamed for X place for months, then you find out that after a long trip, you can make it no justice. It feels like one more city square, one more church, one more old building similar to the dozen you have already seen. And this will not make justice either to the place, either to your self, either to the hours of planning, either to the expenses and effort you spent to go there!
I would say that every 5-7 days of tight scheduled days, it is important to have a "free" day with not much planned!
mariha2912 is offline  
Aug 28th, 2012, 06:18 AM
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That is exactly how we do our trips. A free day every 7-9 days. I call it a 'vacation from my vacation'.
michele_d is offline  
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