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Travel-Virgins EuroTrip 2010

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Help! Help! Help!........And did I mention Help!? Please!?
10 years ago, April 5th 2009 No: 1 Msg: #68281  
Hello Travel Blog community, I am planning on backpacking through Europe sometime next year with my boyfriend. I have already done some research. I have read a few travel books from the library including Rick Steves "Europe through the back door," which I found helpful, but got me to asking many more questions. I also read a few city specialized books that weren't that helpful. And I have bookmarked tens of pages of travel info to my faves, but that is not enough. I have so many questions so please bare with me and sorry if I bore you. What I know so far is that the trip will be about three weeks, four if I get my way. The places we want to go are: London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Venice or Florence, and I would like to see some of Ireland if possible. Where I don't care as long as it's got scenery. Is this too ambitious? We are both still in school. The budget will be around 10,000, is that enough? I know that we can get student discounts and we are planing on staying in hostels the majority of the time. But I would like to eat out at least once a day, as I am a big food person, and want to see what the rest of the world has to offer. From what I have read I would like to go in the mid season so I was thinking June or September, the problem with is that I will have classes to take that can't be taken online. Is June gonna be okay? I would like to go while their are tourists just not as many as there are in July, which I heard was the peak. I think that is enough questions for now. Sorry so long. Reply to this

10 years ago, April 5th 2009 No: 2 Msg: #68306  
Welcome to TravelBlgo Ashley 😊

I have so many questions so please bare with me ...


No problem. That is what the forums are for. Ask as many questions as you went. Posts from those interested in travel are always welcome here.

I think for 4 weeks you might be taking on a little too much. I would choose 4 of those cities for that amount of time and then fly to each one. At the very least, I would scratch Ireland off the list. It is a bit too much out of the way. Or you could just go to Ireland and London in the 4 weeks.

10,000, is that enough?


I dont know if you mean British Pounds or Euros, but either way you have more than enough for 2 people to backpack around Europe for 4 weeks. If I am calculating correctly this means you have over 350 Euros between you per day. I only spend 30 to 60 Euros per day in European destinations(not including intercity transport)

Since you are going in June or September, I would prebook the hostels at least a few days in advance. They tend to get full in Summer time. It may be an idea to ask your parents or somebody you trust to book them one the interent from home for you so you dont have to take the security risk of using your credit card in internet cafes. What I do is send an email to my boyfriend when he is at home, about where I am going to go next. He books the hostel and emails me the booking code and the address of the hostel and directions to get to it.

Mel
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10 years ago, April 5th 2009 No: 3 Msg: #68352  
I think I might just focus on London, Paris, Amsterdam and Rome. I could take some day trips to other surrounding cities I guess. When i said 10, 000, I meant us dollars that would also include plane and train and anything else I needed before we went which is why I was asking about money. Do you think that concentrating in just four cities will end up saving money? I think all the cities I picked are fairly expensive. London and Paris for sure from what I've heard. Do you think I should prebook all the hostels before I go or just the first and then do it a few days in advance like you suggested? If I just stay in one city a week though, will I get bored? I doubt it, as there is probably much to do but it seems like a long time. Reply to this

10 years ago, April 6th 2009 No: 4 Msg: #68386  

Do you think that concentrating in just four cities will end up saving money?


Indeed. Less moving around generally cuts expenses. The cities you chose can be expensive, but you can still make them less expensive. When last I looked at hostels in Rome they had places for just 5 Euros per night for people under 25 years old. And you can walk around the most interesting part of the city which will save you money on public transport. Just pick up a free map at the hostel.

The Piccadilly hostel in London also has cheap options. I will post a link to it here later.

Last time I was in Paris, I got a hostel bed for 15 Euros per night.

Amsterdam: Not sure there are any cheap hostel beds here but you could search the interent. But expect to pay arouund 20 Euros per night.

Do you think I should prebook all the hostels before I go or just the first and then do it a few days in advance like you suggested?


I would book them right after the plane tickets are sorted. If you know exactly where you are going to be, no need to delay. And the longer you leave it the more likely it is that the less expensive beds will be booked up.

If I just stay in one city a week though, will I get bored?


I usually feel comfortable with a week in cities, because I like to have some relaxing in cafes and doing nothing time. But you could always spend a half week in each city if you want. This would however make your travel more hectic and more expensive. What I would do instead, is what you suggested yourself. I would take some day trips to places that I can reach by train within a few hours from the city.

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10 years ago, April 6th 2009 No: 5 Msg: #68488  
Yeah that is what I'll probably do. Now that I have my top cities down, I am trying to research each one and find stuff to do, and other cities that are close and things to do there. I would like to do some of the not really touristy stuff like go to an arcade, play some laser tag, paintball, stuff like that that locals do for fun. Maybe even some theme parks and stuff. Do they have stuff like that there? I would think they are pretty universal but I've never been outside the US. Reply to this

10 years ago, April 7th 2009 No: 6 Msg: #68566  

Do they have stuff like that there?



Like Eurodisney and wildlife parks? Yeah, there are those in Europe too. Maybe if you put a thread in the Europe forum, somebody who knows more about them can give details.

There are also things in England, like murder mystery weekends. You stay in some old house with others for a weekend or whatever in a murder mystery scene and one of the group gets murdered and the rest have to figure out who the murderer is.

And there are fun fairs with rollercoasters and things like that around Europe. Reply to this

10 years ago, April 7th 2009 No: 7 Msg: #68581  
B Posts: 57
I wouldn't waste time at theme parks if you only have 4 weeks. The theme parks in the states are much better, the roller coasters much bigger. Unless you have an infatuation with Disney, you'll just be disappointed.

As far as the hostels go, you can register on hostelworld.com at home and store your credit card details. This will enable you to book hostels when you are abroad without actually pulling out your card. If you are planning each day of your itinerary before you leave, you should prebook everything. If you aren't sure how long you want to spend in each place, just consider booking the first one or two cities' accommodation from home. Then once over there, you'll have the flexibility to stay longer or leave sooner in each city.

Flying from city to city is probably a good option, especially from Amsterdam to Rome. However, you should take the train at least for one of the journeys. This is your first time in Europe and, in my opinion, train travel is part of the experience of backpacking in Europe. Reply to this

10 years ago, April 7th 2009 No: 8 Msg: #68593  
Thank you both or your help. I love theme parks. But I have only been to six flags so I doubt their disneyland would disappoint me being as it would be my first. The murder mystery thing sounds cool, too though not for a whole weekend. This trip to me is about a little more than seeing new places, I want to do a bunch of new stuff that I haven't done yet also. I dunno maybe I want too much. Reply to this

10 years ago, April 8th 2009 No: 9 Msg: #68667  

I dunno maybe I want too much.


Nothing wrong with having a long list, as long as you remain flexible and willing to pick and choose if you find you dont have time to do it all. Reply to this

10 years ago, April 8th 2009 No: 10 Msg: #68668  
Here is a link to the Piccadilly hostel in London. It is probably the cheapest place to stay in London. The beds vary in price, so if you cant the least expensive ones they will likely be in the biggest dorm rooms

Piccadilly hostel Reply to this

10 years ago, April 10th 2009 No: 11 Msg: #68932  
Thanks I will check it out now
Reply to this

10 years ago, April 10th 2009 No: 12 Msg: #68934  
What exactly do male and female only showers mean. Is it one shower that can be used by anyone? Or A room filled with showers that everyone uses. Reply to this

10 years ago, April 10th 2009 No: 13 Msg: #68949  
B Posts: 57
Male and female only showers mean that males and females use separate rooms. But there are always individual showers separated by walls or curtains. If it is a coed shower arrangement, usually there are shower stalls with floor to ceiling walls, so each stall has complete privacy. Reply to this

10 years ago, April 10th 2009 No: 14 Msg: #68971  
okay thanks, had me worried for a minute Reply to this

10 years ago, April 10th 2009 No: 15 Msg: #68986  
Sorry so long
Okay So now that I have been doing some more research, I have found some more places that I want to go.So my new plan contains: Amsterdam, London, Paris and Rome as my core cities ( the ones I will be spending 6 to 7 days at, taking day trips to places near by, except for Brussels, Belgium where I decided to stay a night since it's an easier connection to London and I want waffles and chocolate. So below is my working itenerary:

Arrive Amsterdam (7days)
Possible day trips: Haarlem, and Zaanse Schans
Things to do: see windmills, wooden shoe factory, go to coffee shops, see red light district,go to liedseplien and rembrandsplien, go on canal tour, walking the 9 streets.
Leave Amsterdam Arrive Brussels
Things to do: get chocolate and waffles, there is suppose to be a boy peeing fountain that has costumes or something will have to look up name, but see that also.
Leave Brussels Arrive London
Possible Daytrips: stonehenge, bath, york, cambridge, is liverpool close?
Things to do: Tower of London, shakespeare dome, London eye, camden markets, covenant gardens, castle combe
Leave London Arrive Paris
Possible day trips: versaillies and chateau
Things to do: parc asterix, eiffel tower, notre dame, louvre, arc de triumph, musee dorsay, St. Chapplle, montmartre, windsor castle
Leave Paris Arrive Rome
Possible Day trips: (Though unsure how close they are) Sorrento, Pisa, Florence
Things to do: Forum, coluseum, vatican, trevi fountain, cata combs, chuch of capucin monks, piazzai spanga and piazza navona
Leave for home. Unfortunatly.

These are the things that I have wrote down so far. Can I do everything on here and still have time for a little spontanity(??)? Anything on here a waste, or something I missed. I am now researching possible hostels at least 3 or so in each core city. Any opinions? I am also trying to figure out rather to get a eurorail pass. I did the Rick steves map (that gives estimated costs of travel between cities) and with all the places I want to go, at least what was on the map, equaled $1035. I would think that a pass would be cheaper, but it is useless in at least London and Italy. I keep trying to figure out the pass thing but it is so confusing. Can it be used to get to london but not from London to anywhere in England? Or not even to England? What pass would be my best bet? I am a student under 26 by the way. Global pass? Select Pass? Or saver, since there will be two of us? And will it save much, the saver pass. Also, I was think about getting a paris pass as it is fairly cheap and has most of what I want to do, and provides unlimited transportation by bus or train, unsure. The London Pass is pretty high and from what I hear most places are free or fairly cheap. And I haven't seen one for Amsterdam or Rome. Oh, so many questions, help where you can please. Sorry so long Reply to this

10 years ago, April 10th 2009 No: 16 Msg: #69085  
B Posts: 57
In Amsterdam, I recommend the Flying Pig hostels. They have 2 in the city (someone told me they are opening a 3rd soon), and they have one on the beach with free shuttle service from the city. Definitely try to get out to the beach location for a night... sooo much fun. I also love the Van Gogh museum.

Brussels is an absolutely amazing city, it just doesn't get the global recognition that the rest of these places get. A full week would be excessive but if you can, try to spend more than one night there. Go see the main square with the town hall, try the mussels, and go to the Delirium cafe if either of you like beer (holds the Guiness world record for having the most kinds of beer available... the menu is the size of a phone book).

Liverpool is way too far from London for a daytrip, but you could make the others work. Any hostel you stay in will have information and be able to arrange day trips for you. Just figure out where you want to go, but don't stress about the logistics of getting there. Hostelwise, everyone seems to like the Generator, but I prefer St. Christophers (has a hot tub and a sauna on the roof).

Paris looks good. Forget about doing a daytrip to Florence from Rome. It's not THAT far away, but Florence deserves a week in itself. Pisa is around the same distance I think, but doesn't require nearly as much time, so you could make that work I think.

Now, for the rail passes. You should look into going to Paris after Brussels, then to London after Paris, then flying to Rome from London. In doing so, you can look for a regional pass that includes the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the UK and doesn't include Italy. It'll be easier and cheaper doing this and Paris to Rome would be a LONG train journey. If you happen to live in North America, use www.raileurope.com and look at their regional passes. It's confusing but it's definitely the cheapest way. I think they have a toll free number too where you can talk to someone and get help.

But generally, your itinerary looks good. You're probably not as confused as you think and you'll be surprised how easily everything falls into place once you're over there. Good luck! Reply to this

10 years ago, April 10th 2009 No: 17 Msg: #69111  
Thank you very much for your help. I will look at the regional passes. I am not quite sure about the plane to Rome though I kinda wanted the night experience on the train, and I am very scared of flying so the less I have to do the better. But I will look into and if a big price difference then I guess thats what I'll do, but if not I'll prolly just take a train. Reply to this

10 years ago, April 13th 2009 No: 18 Msg: #69411  
B Posts: 57
Yeah, sleeper trains are a good experience. As long as you are prepared for 15 hours or so, you should go for it! Reply to this

10 years ago, April 13th 2009 No: 19 Msg: #69412  
B Posts: 83
Sorry if i repeat... there is way to much to read ahaha

$10k is plenty for 2 over 3-4 weeks, you wont live like kings, but certainly not peasants... Student universe has airfare to london for $150 from JFK in NY!! Hostels are always reasonable... hostelworld.com is a good friend of mine. Sleeper trains suck... well at least i believe so, you basically lose a day on a train because of the "15 hour" ride. Take planes and get into a hostel that day for the same price... but time is priceless!!

your schedule seems good -- there are so many places to see, its hard to decide where to go in europe, but you will go again, so hit the places you want to see today and dont worry about what you miss. i have spent about 8 months in europe during studies and travel and have seen basically nothing still!!
good luck have fun!! Reply to this

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