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First Eurotrip, A few questions.
Ohbow_2
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Hello Everyone,

This will be my first Eurotrip, I was going to fly solo but some of my domestic friends want to come. I had a few questions mostly about finances and transportation:

Im planning on going in the beginning of June and returning in the beginning of July (Aprox. 28 days). I Looked at some Plane tickets and some Monthly global passes and together, I’m estimating theyll be $1700 together. So what about: say my hostel is a good ways from a site I want to see, will taxis burn a hole in my pocket ?

Secondly, the hostel situation. The hostels range in price so I just made a mean price of 35 dollars a night for 28 nights, umm that is about $1000. So about food, should we just go to the grocery store, and cook in the hostel or do the hostels have cheap food ?

Instead of planning an Itenerary, I’ve just designated a certain city for a certain amount of days (ie Madrid= 3 days). Should I plan on taking tours or will this cost a bit of money?

So Overall, I’ve told my friends that the cost will be about $3500 (Transportation,hostels,food). Is this a good amount or am I forgetting something?

I am leaving from Columbus, Ohio with $4700 for 27 days
London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Florence, Rome, Naples
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Food, Sights
oldlady
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Quote:
So what about: say my hostel is a good ways from a site I want to see, will taxis burn a hole in my pocket ?
This varies by city, but in the capital cities that most people visit, it will burn a huge hole in your pocket. Budget $50 for a taxi, which will occasionally be worth it if 3 of you are traveling in from the airport in a city where the bus or train from the airport is relatively expensive and airport taxi charges are set by law. It will probably never be worth it to “go to the Louvre.” You’ll want to take the subway, regional light rail, tram, bus or walk. This isn’t home. Public transit and walking will get you anywhere and you’ll be walking far greater distances than you probably do at home.
Quote:
So about food, should we just go to the grocery store, and cook in the hostel or do the hostels have cheap food ?
Some hostels have cooking facilities, a few hostels have reasonably cheap cafes or bars, some hostels have neither. Street vendors are a source for relatively cheap ready-to-eat food and many groceries have deli’s and other ready-to-eat options if your hostel doesn’t have cooking facilities.
Quote:
Should I plan on taking tours or will this cost a bit of money?
This kind of depends on the city. Generally it will be cheaper to use the bus or subway system to tour on your own — especially if you can take advantage of student admission prices at museums. Sometimes a hop-on/hop-off bus tour is a good way to get acquainted with a city. These tours can be relatively cheap and your ticket is usually good for 24 hours — sometimes 48 hours.

Spend some time figuring out which, if any, railpass is the best deal and whether or not cheap flights and buses make sense for part of your itinerary. The monthly pass is a good tool for establishing your budget, but you may only want to buy a 21 day pass. Your flight over is day 1, arriving day 2. You’ll probably want to spend at least days 3 and 4 (and maybe 5) in your arrival city. Day 28 will be entirely taken up with your flight home and you’ll probably spend days 25, 26, and 27 in your departure city. Validate your railpass the day you leave your arrival city and a 21 day pass will cover your trip. Also look at flexi and select passes as they are cheaper for many itineraries.

Your budget is probably OK, but you need a $200 emergency stash and you won’t have much money for partying or any money for expensive clubs.

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To follow on from oldlady, you should rarely have a need for a taxi, public transport is great in most European city’s. Hostels are generally in the centre of city’s as are the main site’s. Even if the site’s you want to see are out of town they will generally be serviced by some form of public transport. So rather than burn a hole in your pocket you should rarely use a taxi if at all.

If you have enough time I would vote against organised tours, take things at your own pace and see what you want to see because again almost everything can be reached by a combination of public transport and foot.

As for budget it all depends on where your going.

I am leaving from Glasgow, United Kingdom and traveling for 15 days
Athens, Páros, Náxos, Mýkonos, Náxos, Íos, Thíra
Requesting help with Transport, Nightlife, Food, Sights

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Ohbow_2
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We are taking a more Westernized trip, I figured going through the Slovik states could get expensive. London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Nuremburg, Munich, Milan, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, and Bordeaux(sp) will be the towns we are going to visit. So you think anything over $3500, will allow us to have a good trip ?

I am leaving from Columbus, Ohio with $4700 for 27 days
London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Florence, Rome, Naples
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Feicht
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Hehe, actually it’s quite the opposite. Usually the further east you go, the cheaper things become.

For the cities you mention though, for a month, I think 3500 is more than enough if you’re not including airfare.

I am traveling for 51 days
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Some of the places you’ve chosen are particularly expensive. The way I read your post, the $3500 was for everything – airfare, railpass, lodging, food, etc. After airfare & railpass I think your budget works out to about $65 a day for everything else. I imagine the more frugal among us could do this, but places like London will be really tough. Museum admissions, metro fares, and a beer here and there add up quickly. Also remember you’re budgeting in dollars and the exchange rate can be a killer, even though the dollar is stronger right now than it has been.

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Quote:
Instead of planning an Itenerary, I’ve just designated a certain city for a certain amount of days (ie Madrid= 3 days).

Can you take a stab at listing the cities you want to visit and where you will be flying from and to to get to Europe – we might be able to help you find a better deal on your flight and help you choose the best transport option between cities.

I am leaving from Boston with $10000 for 63 days
Reykjavik, London, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Cologne, Berlin, Kraków, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Zagreb, Belgrade, Dubrovnik, Naples, Athens, Corfu, Mýkonos
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For your information Feicht is absolutely right, the majority of eastern European city’s are far cheaper, can be about a third of the price or less in some eastern European city’s compared to London, Paris etc.

I am leaving from Glasgow, United Kingdom and traveling for 15 days
Athens, Páros, Náxos, Mýkonos, Náxos, Íos, Thíra
Requesting help with Transport, Nightlife, Food, Sights

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Ohbow_2
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Well this is how I see it. Global Rail pass & Airfair $1700, about $1000 for Hostels over the time of 28 days. My friends and I don’t particularly like indulging per say, ex. clubs and so forth. We just want and adventure to get away. I’ve travelled solo to Brazil when I was 16, so I love to travel and I just want to share it with them. We are going to walk as much as possible and maybe only eat local cuisene(sp) once in each city (restaraunt and what not). I was initially thinking it would be around $5000 so seeing people on here saying maybe $3500 gets me excited. We will be flying from the US (Columbus,Ohio to Chicago, IL) to London then using railpasses to travel throughout Europe. Making a large circle we will end back at London. So you guys think that $3500 is a little low ? I mean I realize some tours will be necessary but will they really have that much of an effect ?

Yea I don’t mean like the cost of the city, but I realize what you were saying. I meant the farther east we go the more time we spend, the more money, the longer we stay in Europe. So I just wanted to hit some of the main western cities then maybe in the future go to just the east.

I am leaving from Columbus, Ohio with $4700 for 27 days
London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Florence, Rome, Naples
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Food, Sights
oldlady
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Using your calculations, your $3,500 budget gives you $25 a day for local transportation (a single bus ride may be $2.00), food, beer, laundry, admission fees (many museums have $12 to $15 admission fees) tours (a 1/2 day tour of Paris will be at least $70 and a full day with a meal and a Seine cruise will be over $200) and any sundry supplies you need to buy. If you’re really careful, you can probably do it, but I wouldn’t want to.

Ohbow_2
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But what if we just tour Paris ourselves ? So your saying more toward $4000 ? Like I don’t know we might do a few organized tours but i severly doubt it.

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London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Florence, Rome, Naples
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oldlady
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Given your costs for airfare, city to city transportation and hostels, I’d budget $4,200 for a very budget-minded trip. However, how much you’ll need depends on what you choose to do. Do you want to eat in the occasional cafe or always eat on the really cheap? Splurge once on a “real” restaurant or even a trendy cafe? Do you want to see lots of sights, visit lots of museums, etc? Do you want more than the occasional beer? Do you want to go to a night club?

I think you need to look at a guidebook designed for budget travelers like Lonely Planet, Let’s Go, Rough Guide. Check your library before you invest in your own copy. Check the prices for the things you want to see and do, what eating and drinking establishments sound interesting, etc. Using Paris as an example, you can “tour” Paris for free or for $5 to 10 worth of subway and bus tickets, but it’ll cost you $8 to get into the Louvre for a couple of hours on a special rate evening and $17 if you want to go during the day and see any special exhibits. It’s $12 to climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. A two day museum pass is nearly $50. A coffee at a sidewalk cafe in a prime location may be $10.

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I think we will take tours occationally. I don’t want this to be a trip about seeing nothing. But we aren’t going to indulge (Clubs, Beer, Coffee, and upper class restaraunts) that much, we may eat local cuisene once in each city – maybe 9 times over the whole trip. Thanks for the book idea, I’ll have to check one out. I’m going to speak to my friends and see what they say, so we will see how if goes.

I am leaving from Columbus, Ohio with $4700 for 27 days
London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Florence, Rome, Naples
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I’d err on the side of caution and over-budget, rather than come up with a super-frugal plan for a trip and then have your real spending far exceed what you expected. You may be able to come in at $3500, but make sure it won’t cause serious problems for you guys if you get to Europe and find that you need to spend more than planned. And don’t forget that the dollar could quite easily lose some ground to the pound and/or euro between now and your trip.

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Yea I love the dollar, especially right now when we are in recession Frown. I guess im going to have to look into more of the tour and eating aspects.

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Well, hopefully the dollar can stay strong for a while. On the bright side, the dollar’s better now than it was last summer.

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Ok thank you. I might have a few other questions like: It is better to get you tickets out of season right? My Rail Passes and Plane tickets should be purchased as soon as I know eveyone will have the money ?

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London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Florence, Rome, Naples
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Ok thank you. I might have a few other questions like: It is better to get you tickets out of season right? My Rail Passes and Plane tickets should be purchased as soon as I know eveyone will have the money ?

I am leaving from Columbus, Ohio with $4700 for 27 days
London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Florence, Rome, Naples
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Food, Sights
Ohbow_2
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Ok thank you. I might have a few other questions like: It is better to get you tickets out of season right? My Rail Passes and Plane tickets should be purchased as soon as I know eveyone will have the money ?

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London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Florence, Rome, Naples
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Food, Sights
augustin25
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For the plane tickets start shopping ASAP and let us know what you find. You might find a decent fare now or it might be better to wait a little for a sale. If you choose to wait for a sale you need to be diligent and check fares often, and sign up for fare alerts from expedia, travelocity, etc. Railpass prices can change due to fluctuations in the exchange rate and a few other factors, but should not change dramatically like airfares do.

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Quote:
Railpass prices can change due to fluctuations in the exchange rate and a few other factors, but should not change dramatically like airfares do.
Railpass prices (as long as you buy the pass before you get to Europe) are set for the year in American Dollars on January 1 so fluctuations in currency exchange rates don’t matter for Americans. Those in other countries can sometimes take advantage of currency exchange rates by comparing prices in dollars from an American website to prices in their local currency from a local travel agency or website.

The only pricing change will be the occasional “special” for off season travel, like the one last month. If you bought your pass before November 30 you got a 21 day pass for the price of a 15 day pass (or 2 free travel days on some flexi passes) — as long as your travel was between March 1 and May 31.

Since you have 6 months from the day you buy the pass to begin using it, you can occasionally save a few bucks by buying “at last year’s price” before December 31. My guess is that there won’t be a price increase for 2009 because the European tourism industry will desperately need to attract foreigners. Thus, I wouldn’t buy a pass before December 31 unless I was absolutely positive I’d be using the pass in June — there are no refunds and you can’t make any changes to the pass after you order it, so you could be out the entire price if there’s even a small change in your plans.

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If I were you, I’d just use the budget you have, and go to Eastern Europe

The only thing I’d add is that as Oldlady suggests that going to London and Paris is extremely expensive… and I’ll second this Smile However, one great thing about London is that practically every museum that’s worth going to is actually free. Public transit there is technically pricey, but you can get a “deal” if you’re going to be there for more than a few days. Eating is expensive as all hell too, but I will say that if you cook all your own food, you’ll spend about 95% less (no joke). But still, getting to and from there will typically cost you at least 100 bucks each way….

So yeah. Its like, you can live like a 19th century chimney sweep in London….. or a King in Hungary… it’s your call hehe.

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
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Haha I see what youre saying. I think my friends wanted to hit Western Europe more than Eastern, I mean I don’t really care either way but I would really like to go to the more “famous” European spots (not saying one is better than the other). Um we will be in London for 3 days and Paris 3 days, I heard Spain was a little cheaper so I’m just thinking if we can get past the first leg under budget we can make it. Italy will be expensive too, so we will see. Right now airfare wise British Airways is doing flights for $1219. Do you know where I can find cheaper flights ?

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London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Florence, Rome, Naples
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Check the links at the top of the “Flights” forum. ITA is a good way to find cheap airfares.

I am traveling for 51 days
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oldlady wrote:
Railpass prices (as long as you buy the pass before you get to Europe) are set for the year in American Dollars on January 1 so fluctuations in currency exchange rates don’t matter for Americans.
That’s what I always thought too, but according to the Rick Steves website:
“… Pass prices may fluctuate during the year based on the dollar-euro exchange rate (and other variables) and are subject to change without notice. Rates can vary between sales agents, too. The $U.S. price you pay will be locked in at the time of payment or ticketing, much like an airline ticket, and this rate remains in computer records of your purchase. Your printed pass, however, may show the price in euros only. After you buy a pass, you have six months to validate it in Europe. Since railpass prices usually go up every January regardless of exchange rates, those traveling in the first half of 2009 will probably save 5% or so by buying in December 2008”

The Rail Europe website says pass prices are subject to change without notice.

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OK, so this is something I know a little about Smile

Eurail used to price their products (worldwide) in $USD and they were pretty much set in stone except for extreme swings in the value of the dollar.

This has changed as of about 2 years ago. Eurail prices are now set in Euros and converted into local currencies by the distributors (Eurail.com, Rail Europe, STA, Flight Centre, RailPass.com, etc.) – this means that prices are much more likely to be affected by changes in exchange rates.

The base Eurail prices are set each year and usually there is about a 3-4% increase in price – this is why it used to make a lot sense to buy before the end of the year to avoid the annual price increase which takes affect on 01/01 – you almost always saved if you bought your pass before the end of the year.

It is no longer guaranteed that you will save if you buy before the end of the year because the 3-4% annual increase is no longer the issue – the value of the dollar to the euro is now the main determining factor.

I think the Eurail prices have changed at least 5-6 times in 2008, changes usually take place at the beginning of a month.

We are going to start tracking airfares to Europe and Eurail pass prices in the new year to help the community better determine when to buy.

I am leaving from Boston with $10000 for 63 days
Reykjavik, London, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Cologne, Berlin, Kraków, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Zagreb, Belgrade, Dubrovnik, Naples, Athens, Corfu, Mýkonos
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I have another question, if it isn’t a hassel. I was looking on the a Eurorail site for the times between each city. I noticed that eventhough some cities are geographically just as close to others, in some cases it takes the train a few more hours to get there. So why is this ? Do the trains stop at certain times along the way to pick up extra passengers, etc ? I wanted to sort of gauge the time so I could consider it in the trip.

I am leaving from Columbus, Ohio with $4700 for 27 days
London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Florence, Rome, Naples
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I don’t know what you mean by “eurorail site.” Is that the German rail system site, or one of the railpass websites? The best source for schedules is the German national rail company website: http://reiseauskunft…

The difference in times between locations is generally the difference between local trains that travel relatively slowly and make lots of stops and express trains that travel at speeds up to 186 mph and make very few stops. Between major cities you’ll see lots of express trains while there will only be local trains between more remote locations. Also, on a fairly long trip, there’s often an overnight train that’s timed to allow at least 8:00 hours of sleep. Thus, on some routes a day train may only take 4 or 5 hours, but the overnight train will take 10. The German rail site will show the fastest trains on a “standard search.” If there are numerous fast trains it won’t show the slower, local trains unless you remove the fast trains from the search with the pull-downs.

You can find all the stops on a specific route by clicking on the train and then clicking on “show intermediate stops.”

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So I should base the travel times on the website you gave me ? _http://reiseauskunft… _ That is the website i used with my first post. Thank you Wink

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So I should base the travel times on the website you gave me ? _http://reiseauskunft… _ That is the website i used with my first post. Thank you Wink
Absolutely. European train schedules seldom change. The same train departs the same platform at the same time every day for years on end. Sometimes there are small seasonal changes in schedule (adding more trains to popular tourist destinations or changing the schedule by a few minutes) so check for the exact schedules in May or June. Trains are almost always exactly “on time” (over 90% of the time in some countries) and virtually always within 5 minutes. If trains are off schedule by more than a few minutes there’s been some sort of major catastrophe.

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Ok thank you the current budget right now will be $4400 including airfare. I’m sure it will probably raise in the next few months, but I guess we will see.

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Thought I’d post here so we don’t totally hijack the budget thread. I’d definitely look into flights/point-to-point tickets/other passes. I used dates in February for train prices because prices for train tickets typically aren’t set this far in advance, so keep in mind prices might be different later and that to get the cheap fares you’ll have to book early. By train it looks like you can do Paris-Amsterdam for as little as 19 euros, Amsterdam-Berlin as low as 29 (49 for a couchette), Berlin-Nuremberg as low as 29, Nuremberg-Munich as low as 29, and Milan-Rome for 67. I couldn’t get an up to date price for Munich-Milan. By air, I found London-Paris for 33 euros and Rome to Barcelona for $50. For Barcelona-Madrid by train you can do it by high-speed train during the day in about 3 hours for 100-125 euros, or take the overnight train for about 50 euros for a couchette. When deciding between day train or flight versus night train remember that you’ll save a night’s accommodations by taking the night train. Thanks for giving me something to do while my students take their final

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Oh, I’m taking my finals also, so thank you for giving me something to do other than studying (I hate to study). The points passes are also on the Euro rail site ? Say I recieve a select pass and i want to go from Paris to Amsterdam; however, I must pass through Belguim will that have to be included in my select countries or will I only have to include France and the Netherlands ?

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“Benelux” — Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg — counts as one country for Eurail passes.

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oldlady wrote:
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So I should base the travel times on the website you gave me ? _http://reiseauskunft… _ That is the website i used with my first post. Thank you Wink
Absolutely. European train schedules seldom change. The same train departs the same platform at the same time every day for years on end. Sometimes there are small seasonal changes in schedule (adding more trains to popular tourist destinations or changing the schedule by a few minutes) so check for the exact schedules in May or June. Trains are almost always exactly “on time” (over 90% of the time in some countries) and virtually always within 5 minutes. If trains are off schedule by more than a few minutes there’s been some sort of major catastrophe.

QFT. I’ve gone to Europe each of the last 3 summers and can count the amount of “substantially late” trains on one hand. Usually if you’re standing around and the train isn’t showing up, you’re in the wrong place Wink

That said, I will say that I had quite a few more in the “five minutes late” category in Germany this past summer than in previous trips, and did have one supremely screwed up one. On one night train I took, there was a severe f*** up on reservations, and it just so happened to be on one of the trains that turns into “party central” every year, i.e. basically any train going to Hamburg the first week of August. Not a very pleasant experience; I was going to the same festival all these other kids were, but they were drinking/smoking on the train with no repercussion, being extremely disruptive while the other passengers just wanted to sleep, and my friend and I had to stand in the hall for a few hours while DB tried to sort the freaking mess out. (Apparently DB had screwed up and hooked up one fewer car than they were supposed to, so they had to go find another one somewhere.) The train was on time in Basel, but I can only imagine it was late as hell everywhere else; we did, however, get to Hamburg exactly on time, haha.

Another time, I had a train literally break down in the Alps (TrenItalia), and I was terrified I was going to miss my connection in Innsbruck. But lo and behold, all that happened was we got to Innsbruck with 15 mins to spare rather than an hour and a half. Almost as if they had planned it that way Smile

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Augustin (or anyone else for that matter), so you which interail pass would you advise me to get? If I’m planning on now Flying certain legs of my trip. By rail, I’m planning on going from Paris to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Berlin, Berlin to Munich, Munich to Milan, Milan to Rome, and then Barcelona to Madrid.

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I’d seriously look at a 4 country select pass for France, Benelux, Germany and Austria for 5 days. Buy point to point tickets in Italy and Spain and fly from Italy to Spain.

You can use www.railsaver.com (or link to it from “booking” at the top of this page) for a recommendation. Follow the “I have a good idea of my specific itinerary” route and check “I prefer purchasing railpasses (to point to point tickets) ‘only when it saves money.’”

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Don’t look at Interail; you want Eurail. Oldlady gave you some good advice about the 4 country, 5 day pass. When you have your travel dates fleshed out, decide if you want to do Barcelona-Madrid overnight or on the high-speed train during the day. If you choose the high speed option book way in advance to take advantage of specials as low as 42 euros.

I don’t always trust Railsaver’s point-to-point prices, so double check their advice. They recommend you add Italy instead of Austria and just buy a ticket to cover the portion of your Munich-Milan trip that goes through Austria.

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I forgot. Why Milan? Most everyone here would tell you to skip it and go to Florence instead.

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Definitely try getting an open jaw ticket. Use Farecast (www.farecast.com) – they are one of the best tools for finding cheap flights from the US to Europe. Consider flying into a cheap city like Dublin. I got a flight from Chicago to Dublin for $176 bucks with tax (yeah, really! Smile If you have to or would like to start somewhere else but can’t find a cheap ticket – you can purchase a ticket to your preferred destination with one of the Euro budget airlines from one of those cheap-to-fly-into cities. Ryan air and easyJet are a good bet.

Also in regards to staying to your budget of $3500 – with this kind of budget forget about London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome and any of the other expensive cities. I’ve been to Paris and it is really THAT expensive. London and Amsterdam are horrific in terms of cost – a few friends of mine who went there recently told me, plus multiple travel podcasts also warn about how expensive these cities are.

If you must go to those places, definitely figure out how to expand your budget in addition to figuring out how you can cut costs in each city (which btw will take away a bit from your experience.) Go for southern Europe – those countries are usually cheaper. (with the exception of Greece, or so they say – I haven’t been there yet, so can’t confirm that) I was shocked just how cheap Spain can me during my last trip! …well, compared to France and Switzerland at least

Hope that helps. Happy travels.

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Thank you guys, um I don’t know i figured Milan was on the way to Rome, so why not. If you think florence is better I could look into that. What does it mean 5 days in 2 months ? 5 days of travel or what ? Sorry im a little confused about that.

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Yes – 5 days of train travel within a 2 month period.

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Ok thank you. Now hostels should I book everyone in advance ? Or can I just book them when I arrive, will this cost me more ?

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Ohbow_2 wrote:
Ok thank you. Now hostels should I book everyone in advance ? Or can I just book them when I arrive, will this cost me more ?

Its up to yourself, during peak season its harder to get a bed but you general will get one unless there’s some kind of event on. I usual book hostels as I go a couple of days in advance via internet. So you still have the freedom of changing your destinations and going with the flow but it means you will also have somewhere to go when you arrive in a new city. What ever you choose it’s a good idea to have somewhere booked for your first city.

Price’s don’t vary that much between pre booking and not.

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

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Ok thank you….What about trains, do you have a certain time table because i know the only leave at certain times, but I dont know like how I should do that.

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Use http://reiseauskunft… for train schedules anywhere in Europe. There will usually be a train every hour or two between major cities that are a reasonable train ride (maybe 4 or 5 hours) apart. Sometimes there are as many 3 or 4 possibilities every hour. Local trains are almost like the subway with trains every few minutes.

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For booking point to point tickets check out the webpages for the national railservices. Here are a few:
The Netherlands: www.ns.nl/en/
Italy: www.trenitalia.com/e…
France: http://www.sncf.com/…
Spain: http://www.renfe.es

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Hey guys, this thread has been extremely helpful to me, too- just so you all know you helped lots of lurkers in the process of helping ohbow. I had originally budgeted 3,500 for a similar itinerary (but cutting out cheap Spain in favor of pricey Scandinavia) over 30 days. I decided to kind of take the railpass and airfare out of the budget since I’m probably going to be buying both before the end of January at a total cost of about $1,500. (found airfare departure 5/19 return 6/22 for about 925 at ATI Flights). I have $1,000 earmarked for hostels (My estimates added to $844 without tax?) and I’m going to try to be prepared to spend around $1,500 for food, rail reservations, local transit and must-see attractions.

I ended up at $4,000+, which is painful, but so worth it… I think I’m going to need a new credit card… Wink

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