travel advice & savings
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Going back to Europe
K.'s profile picture
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Hello everyone,

It’s been quite sometime since I’ve been on these forums planning a long trip to Europe. Three years ago I went on my first two-month-long backpacking trip to the Old World. Since then I’ve traveled most of Latin America and a considerable portion of the continental United States.

I’m off for a while before I go back to my studies, and decided to return to Europe (against Oceana/Southeast Asia), going back to places I’d like to see again and some that I’ve never been to before. I’ve a rather limited budget (relative to European prices of course), but I almost prefer traveling that way. If you feel so graciously inclined to give your input, keep in mind that I will be traveling on a shoestring, backpacking, camping, CouchSurfing, staying in hostels, staying with friends, cooking, eating out cheap/on the street, smoking & drinking moderately. I like to balance cities with small towns and countryside stays, and maybe volunteering/WWOOFing/staying in communes occasionally. I also speak Spanish and French fluently.

I’m only nominally interested in typical site-seeing, such as museums, touring, etc. I’m much more interested in discovering the mind and spirit of the place and people. I also like meeting like minded people to myself, and try to seek out places and accommodation where I might find these things too. I’m a seasoned traveler and tend to avoid wasting money unnecessarily, and the main two reasons I’ve come to these forums is to find out present day prices in the European countries I’m traveling in so I can figure out a realistic budget; and to get input on an itinerary in countries I have no experience in (along with a reality check on how feasible my plans are).

Here is my rough plan:

Budget: Anywhere from $4,000+ after travel expenses.

Duration of trip: Anywhere from 12 weeks+, completely depending on my budget.

Dates: Looking to depart sometime in April.

Places: (Star indicates definitely going if possible)

France* —- Mainly just Paris, possibly something on the Cote d’Azure
Spain* —- Going to spend considerable time in Spain.
Morocco —- I have some friends there, but this part isn’t set in stone.
Italy* —- Probably not too much time here, Rome, Venice, maybe Tuscany. Visiting friends.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Greece* —- Planning on spending considerable time in Greece, particularly the islands.
Turkey —- Likely just Istanbul
Austria* —- Likely just Vienna due to logistics & price
Czech Republic*
Russia* (Any info on getting there overland from Europe? – train prices, length of trip, routes)
Finland —- Stop-over in Helsinki getting from Petersburg to Sweden
Stockholm —- Flights from Stockholm to Berlin are going for USD $21
Germany* —- I have a lot of friends here, plan on flying back home from Frankfurt.

I know that’s quite a few countries, but that’s just a list of where I would like to go and a possible route. Whether or not it’s possible is yet to be seen, as I am only in the very initial stages of planning and I am totally open to suggestions.

I’d love any advice concerning my itinerary, present day prices (very important!), recommendations on what places to visit and where to stay – anything really would be just excellent.

- Ken

***Edit: as soon as I work it out I will post a detailed itinerary.

“Travel only equals or thy better; if there be none, travel alone.”

Kayling05's profile picture
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You have to get a visa to go to Russia prior to your trip, and it’s expensive (assuming you are American? Although I think Canadians have to get the same one). If you do go to Russia, I would cut some other stuff out of your trip to make time for it.

Also, I don’t know how I feel about your budget and your time frame. It is only ~2200-2900 Euros (by present conversion rates). You’ve been before so you won’t be doing the big touristy stuff as much, so that’s good. Also, you’ve included alot of Eastern countries, some of which haven’t converted to Euros yet (much cheaper local currency still used). But I still am not sure it’s enough to be comfortable. I think you’d have to give us a much more detailed itinerary to be able to really figure that out.

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2008—Language study abroad in Paris, France
2009—Archaeological field school/dig in Lau, Fiji
2010— Birthday UK trip!
2011— Teaching English in South Korea
2012— ????