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Packing light but enough & other questions...

Hi fellow travelers,
I am a student leaving from montreal and going on a trip around France, Switzerland, and Germany in late May of 2009. I am leaving with my boyfriend and we’re staying with friends and family, so no hostels or other accomodations are needed. We are staying for 5 weeks.
I have a few questions, as this is my first trip… – What kinds of things can I leave out of my packing and purchase or borrow when in europe and what can I absolutely not leave the country without? – What is a realistic budget for me, considering we won;t be paying for accomodations?

inexpensive flight skopje

I’m a student, looking for a dirt cheap flight to Skopje, departing sometime in June and leaving sometime in late July or August. It doesn’t need to necessarily be a direct flight— if I have to spend a few days in a stopover city, that’s fine. If anybody could help me, I’d greatly appreciate it and would be forever grateful.

PDX-ROM March-September

I am applying for a student visa March-end of August. The best flight I have found to far is on Orbitz. for $757 March 3-September 15.
I have found something cheaper to London but they ryanair flights to Perugia don’t match up on my arrival date.

Has anyone found something better? I need to get to Perugia so Rome is closest.
Secondly, can anyone help me wout with one way flights? I could end up enrollong in more classes to extend my stay permit. The San Francisco consulate says I need round trip flight reservations, so do those appyling for a visa permit never get one way tickets?

Euro During Winter

My next long break will be during winter. Was thinking of a group Euro trip with my friends after the new year. wondering if this is actually a good idea since it’ll be cold and there’s the possibility of delays due to bad weather?