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5 Tips: Planning an Itinerary

Planning Tip

1. Visit the places that interest you. Be interested in where you’re going and visit a city because you want to, not because you should. Backpacking isn’t a bunch of photo ops, but rather an enjoyable and enriching experience.

2. Make a route that makes sense. If you are flying in and out of the same city, create an itinerary in a circular pattern so you don’t waste time. Travel fatigue can set in quickly, especially if you have to backtrack.

3. Cut your itinerary in half. It’s almost a guarantee that your first itinerary will include too many places in too little time. You will not be able to see all of Europe in two months, and if you try, you won’t enjoy yourself. Make sure you spend at least three or four days in major cities and take into account the time you arrive and the time you leave. If you don’t, you will be exhausted and unsatisfied.

3. Flying isn’t always a breeze. Flying from city to city isn’t as quick as you may think. Most budget airlines fly to and from airports that are a long distance from the city center – a few hours in some cases. On top of that, there are the lines at security, luggage, and the possibility of delays. Take all of this into account.

4. Plans will change. It’s inevitable, so don’t feel guilty if you veer off course. Leave room in your itinerary for the unexpected, especially if you’re traveling solo. You may fall in love with a city and want to stay there for just a few more days, or hate it and want to leave after two. Be prepared by giving yourself flexibility, time, and breathing room.

5. Small cities = big culture. Research the villages and towns that so often fall under the radar. These places are treasures that will give you a chance to meet the locals, experience the culture, and take a break from the exhausting hustle and bustle of the big cities.

Bex12
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To add to the flying part, if you fly with airlines such as ryanair you almost granty a delay unless you are on the 6.30am flight!

Around The World
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“Backpacking isn’t a bunch of photo ops, but rather an enjoyable and enriching experience. “
You got it!
Starting your worldwide travel planning could be a bit daunting? Infinite options don’t make things easier. How to pare down 1001 ideas into a manageable and fantastic trip? Thats quite a challenge. But dont forget that we love challenges.
Have fun planning your trip!Smile

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I think its important to remember something that most people might think is very basic, if you aren’t particularly athletic or in shape – if you don’t do a lot of recreational walking and you plan on backpacking through Europe…you may want to start recreationally walking before you leave.

It sounds silly but one time I wasn’t particularly active, and we went on a roadtrip to a local island up the Eastern coast and I was beat in two hours. We were biking around the island, walking for miles and my feet/back/legs/whole body hurt. Since then I’ve been wiser about things, if I know I’m going for this type of trip I’m going to start making sure I’m more conscious of how active I am ahead of time.

Don’t just show up and think that the average person who drives door to door, walks about 25 ft a day is going to show up in Europe and be peachy. Not gonna happen.

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Wizzair is a pretty cheap and reliable airline, I found at least. Flew from Eindhoven to Prague for 20 euros! Had no problems at all.

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Thank you for this website! I will check it out now!

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When plans change, is it easy to back out of reservations with hostels? Do they charge you still?

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JohnnyAmp, if you cancel in time, usually they will only keep your 10% deposit. If you don’t, they will probably charge you for the first night. I haven’t ever seen one who will charge you for the entire time, though.

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knew there was a catch with those cheap airlines.. i’m kinda counting on flying krakow-olso so i’ll have to tough it out

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I am always interested about traveling. I was able to travel to some countries in asia but never somewhere in Europe. Your post is great, it can really help those who have the heart to trek!

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I think number three is the one i am most worried about. and jr2010 made a good point because i traveled for two weeks before i arrived in Berlin were i ended up staying for the rest of my time in europe and i was beat at that point. one of the reasons i just stayed in berlin. so the trip im planing now has me worried because i will be traveling for 36 days strait with 1 to 4 day stops. im hoping i don’t get burnt out Frown anyone have tips on that besides staying in a city for 3 days or so?

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You have to get enough rest, for one. Get enough sleep; don’t stay out til 3am and then get up at 8 the next morning to sightsee all day. You’ll be exhausted, especially if you do this multiple days in a row. Bring earplugs and an eyemask if you are staying in hostels which are known for partying (and, really, even if you aren’t; sometimes people stumble in drunk and turn on the lights at 4am, or get up and rummage through their luggage at ungodly hours because they must catch a train).

Also, you can’t just be GO GO GO all the time. Take a day somewhere to just relax; don’t be running around to sites, just sit in a park or cafe or square, and people watch. Plan this into your itinerary so you aren’t sitting there stressing about not being able to see something. Bonus, it’s free!

Don’t worry about cramming everything in. If you love a place enough, you’ll come back one day.

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Oh and JR2010 is right about being in shape before you go. I always lose weight when I travel because I’m busting my hump with climbing tons of stairs, walking city streets for miles, or hiking a crap ton, none of which I do at home (because I live in a rural area, and drive everywhere).

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Well thanks for the valuable tiops and sugegstions, i hope these tips will help me in my next holiday tour.

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Thx for this information. It’s much appreciated! Best regards. [spam link removed by Moderator]

crazy texan pals
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can you do a city in 2 days or would you need more time?

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Depends on the city. Some, yes, some no.

sadafth
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WHICH WEBSITE OFFER GOOD AIR FARE DEALS FROM DENVER TO ANY CITY IN EUROPE???

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Sadafth: See our “Cheap flights” forum — especially the thread for new users.

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Nice and really informative for the solo travel like me. Actually I plan my first Eurotrip this coming September, now searching all the informative info regarding on the planning and where to go. Smile