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10 replies
3 Month Backpacking trip
Ryan_K
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Hello,

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Ryan and I am 28 Years old and live in Washington State. This is my first time planning a backpacking trip in Europe and I am really excited. I plan on having 3-4 other friends go with me so it should be a once in a lifetime adventure for us. We plan taking a 3-4 month trip in June of 2013..Need time to save up haha. Here is our trip plan in order hopefully. Ireland, UK, Denmark, Poland, Romania, Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Netherlands, Germany. Hopefully we will be in Germany for Oktoberfest. Anyone have any suggestions on flights and how much I should budget for or how I should travel in Europe. I plan on doing a lot of walking to hopefully cut down cost for travel. Like I said, I am totally new to this so any help would be appreciated or just point me in the right direction.

My friends and I plan to learn 2 languages each until we get to Europe to help with the translation.

Thanks you

oldlady
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Check the visa issues for a trip of longer than 90 days. I think you can handle this by visiting UK before you enter the Schengen zone and then spending your 90 days there. Be sure you have proof of onward travel from UK if you return ticket is more than 90 days out.

Base budget:

Airfare: probably $1,200 to $1,500 for a trip of over 30 days, in high season, from west coast, but you might be able to do better. See our “cheap flights” forum, particularly the new user thread.

City to city transportation: $150 per week by train, bus, ferry and cheap flights. Your large geographic area will make it difficult to do this on any less and you could easily spend a lot more.

Daily living: $75 to $100 per day for hostel, food from markets and street venders with the occasional pub or cheap cafe, occasional beer and wine but no serious clubbing, laundry, local transportation (lots of walking helps, but you’ll still take the bus and subway), admission fees, misc.

Learning languages is great and will make for a more enjoyable trip as you’ll have a better chance of experiencing the culture and getting to know locals and your fellow travelers. However, you can easily get around all of these countries in “English only.”

Ryan_K
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I will definitely check out the Visa stuff.

Hopefully one of my friends that are going can talk to his brother to get cheap airline tickets. None of us really care how comfortable the flight is as long as we get there safely.

We plan on staying in certain parts of the countries for a few days to even 2 weeks at a time. So, I don’t know how we are going to figure out transportation cost since it will be sporadic. I will definitely have to do some math and planning to see exactly how much we will need

clevelandbrown
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The most efficient way to get there and back is an open-jaw, or multiple destination, ticket, where you fly into one airport, but fly back from another. That saves you the time and expense of returning to somewhere you’ve already been. There may be a complication for you in that it is hard to find a ticket with a return date four months in the future. There are some agencies that specialize in student travel, where you are over there for a whole term, so you might look for one of them, or ask at a college in your area that has an overseas study program.

Some of your steps (getting to and from Ireland and Greece, notably) will require flying or finding a fairy. Fairies are often fairly economical, but slow.

The least expensive way to get around is by bus, which is slow, but exposes you to the culture and the local people, since few tourists take buses. Unfortunately, the bus companies do not seem to be set up to handle tourists, so it may be hard to find information. Almost every town has a tourist information office, and I have found them very useful in planning bus transportation.

There are low cost airlines almost everywhere, but I don’t like them because they usually use secondary airports, leaving you far from where you really want to go, and they all seem to have different rules concerning luggage. so you may end up paying more for an oversize back pack than for your own ticket. You can save money on them, but you have to do a lot of research on their policies.

I like trains. The cost of a second class ticket is usually reasonable, and the scenery is better, they are roomier than a plane, and the train station is almost always right in the center of town. The people in second class are, in my experience, more social, and you can often get advice from a fellow passenger. For long trips, we usually pack a picnic lunch to save on money and get a better quality of wine.

In your case, where your relocations will be fairly infrequent, I think a railpass would cost more than point to point tickets. Many cities have bus or tram passes that can save on local transportation, but of course walking would cost less. I’m older, so I am less inclined to walk, but there is some comfort in taking a tram or bus; they rarely get lost.

I am leaving from Cleveland and traveling for 12 days
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I am leaving from Cleveland and traveling for 15 days
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I am leaving from Cleveland with $5000 for 16 days
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London
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clevelandbrown
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The most efficient way to get there and back is an open-jaw, or multiple destination, ticket, where you fly into one airport, but fly back from another. That saves you the time and expense of returning to somewhere you’ve already been. There may be a complication for you in that it is hard to find a ticket with a return date four months in the future. There are some agencies that specialize in student travel, where you are over there for a whole term, so you might look for one of them, or ask at a college in your area that has an overseas study program.

Some of your steps (getting to and from Ireland and Greece, notably) will require flying or finding a fairy. Fairies are often fairly economical, but slow.

The least expensive way to get around is by bus, which is slow, but exposes you to the culture and the local people, since few tourists take buses. Unfortunately, the bus companies do not seem to be set up to handle tourists, so it may be hard to find information. Almost every town has a tourist information office, and I have found them very useful in planning bus transportation.

There are low cost airlines almost everywhere, but I don’t like them because they usually use secondary airports, leaving you far from where you really want to go, and they all seem to have different rules concerning luggage. so you may end up paying more for an oversize back pack than for your own ticket. You can save money on them, but you have to do a lot of research on their policies.

I like trains. The cost of a second class ticket is usually reasonable, and the scenery is better, they are roomier than a plane, and the train station is almost always right in the center of town. The people in second class are, in my experience, more social, and you can often get advice from a fellow passenger. For long trips, we usually pack a picnic lunch to save on money and get a better quality of wine.

In your case, where your relocations will be fairly infrequent, I think a railpass would cost more than point to point tickets. Many cities have bus or tram passes that can save on local transportation, but of course walking would cost less. I’m older, so I am less inclined to walk, but there is some comfort in taking a tram or bus; they rarely get lost.

I am leaving from Cleveland and traveling for 12 days
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Cleveland and traveling for 15 days
Madrid, Toledo
Requesting help with Itinerary, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Cleveland and traveling for 15 days
Dublin, Dingle, Dublin
Requesting help with Transport, Sights
I am leaving from Cleveland with $5000 for 16 days
Requesting help with Itinerary, Food, Sights
I am leaving from CLE with $6000 for 19 days
Bruges, Ardennes, Bastogne, Brussels
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Cleveland with $7000 for 13 days
Requesting help with Itinerary, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Cleveland with $7000 for 10 days
London
Requesting help with Itinerary, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Cleveland with $7000 for 23 days
Charleville-Mézières, Reims
Requesting help with Food, Sights
Ryan_K
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We were talking about having an Enter and Exit plan from different countries like have Ireland be our arrival and Germany probably be our departure.

I was planning on taking a Ferry to UK and then to mainland and then a flight to Greece from Italy maybe.

I plan on doing a lot of walking and bus riding. If I must I will do the train or flight route. I am going to the gym from now until I leave so I can prep for the adventure. I am looking for airline tickets right now but I am not finding any that go from June to the end of September, so I assume I have to wait for a few months before buying my tickets.

Any of you have a recommendation for backpacks? or a site to look up some good, durable, lightweight, all weather packs?

oldlady
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I would fly from Ireland to UK. Train-ferry-train takes all day and will probably be significantly more expensive than a flight. While some ferries are enjoyable, the fast ferries between Ireland and UK are about like a jumbo jet that’s big enough for on-board McDonalds and a duty free shop — too cold and windy to be out on deck (if there even is a “deck”).

clevelandbrown
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I think waiting is not going to help you find a ticket that most airlines don’t seem to sell. Try some place like http://www.statravel… that claims to have experience in dealing with students studying abroad, or call an airline and ask for advice.

I am leaving from Cleveland and traveling for 12 days
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Cleveland and traveling for 15 days
Madrid, Toledo
Requesting help with Itinerary, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Cleveland and traveling for 15 days
Dublin, Dingle, Dublin
Requesting help with Transport, Sights
I am leaving from Cleveland with $5000 for 16 days
Requesting help with Itinerary, Food, Sights
I am leaving from CLE with $6000 for 19 days
Bruges, Ardennes, Bastogne, Brussels
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Cleveland with $7000 for 13 days
Requesting help with Itinerary, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Cleveland with $7000 for 10 days
London
Requesting help with Itinerary, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Cleveland with $7000 for 23 days
Charleville-Mézières, Reims
Requesting help with Food, Sights
Ryan_K
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Should I make reservations for hostels? or could I just wing it? I really want to be spontaneous down there

augustin25
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A lot of times you can’t buy tickets more than 330 days in advance, but tickets to some cities leaving in June and returning in Sept. are available now. Before buying a ticket I’d make certain you figure out the visa issue.

Omega00
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I’m sad that you didnt write Czech Republic, too. I dont understand why so many people forget about this country. I was in Ostrava (in Czech Republic) few month ago and it was great. We stayed in beautiful hotel near the center and in the evening we went to have fun on Stodolni street which is quite well-known in Czech Republic. If I remember well it was this hotel http://www.jan-maria.cz/www/en/hotel/

I highly recommend. Wink