Finite Budget, Infinite Adventure!
- 1 February 2003
Backpacking through Europe changes your life. New friendships blossom over a bottle of cheap wine; old friends go their separate ways; you fall in love in the first town and forget about it in the second. You get bored with wearing the same clothes, tired of sleeping in crowded dorms, are not thrilled with the food you can afford…yet you still have an unforgettable, fantastic time.
For many young Americans, a solo trip to Europe has long been a rite of passage into adulthood. Starting with the Grand Tour of the early 1900s, to the drop-out days of the sixties up to the present, Americans look to Europe as an arbiter of culture and sophistication. American youth fortunate enough to visit Europe on their own, also use that experience to spread their wings and test the boundaries of their newfound adulthood.
Europe beckons, and Lonely Planet’s Europe on a Shoestring is your go-to guide. ‘Written by an experienced team of independent and opinionated travel writers Europe on a Shoestring is here to provide the tools needed to create a unique travel adventure, not to tell travelers what to do,’ said Vivek Wagle, 25, lead author of Europe on a Shoestring. ‘The whole point is for travelers to take the experience and make it their own. I remember the excitement of my first trip – that sense of boundless possibility – but also my absolute cluelessness. It was terrifying! We help provide the knowledge and confidence travelers need to believe that they can go anywhere and do anything…because they can.’
We’ll help you explore the seemingly infinite wonders of Europe on a finite budget. From high-culture to café culture, from palace gardens to beer gardens, from mountain climbing to beach reclining, Lonely Planet has Europe covered from top to bottom:
- covers 40 countries – more than any other guidebook for this region
- includes all of Europe’s major cities – London, Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Berlin and dozens more – as well as off-the-beaten-path spots not found in other guidebooks
- 160 fully updated maps, more than any other guide to Europe
- full-color highlights & itineraries section for trip planning
- special section on Europe’s colorful festivals
- independent advice on where to eat, sleep and indulge on the cheap
- handy language chapter with break-the-ice phrases
Forging new friendships is an integral part of the backpacking experience. And as Wagle tells it, having a level-head and picking up some key cultural information from Europe on a Shoestring can often help the process. ‘Being a native of India, I’m rarely compared with Scandinavians in terms of appearance. This changed when I was in Denmark, at 2am in a Copenhagen bar. The increasingly intoxicated Dane next to me yanked at my ponytail and brandished a steak knife (why Danish bars carry steak knives, I’ll never know) and yelled, ‘Cut it off! You look like a [expletive] Swede!’ It all turned out OK, though, after I assured him that the Danish soccer team was way better than the Swedish team, that Lego was much cooler than Volvos, and that my name didn’t end in ‘sson.’ Many Carlsbergs later, we were the best of friends.’
From what to bring, to where to bring it, to where to bring it on, this is the guidebook for the savvy young traveler. Whether by rail, bus, plane or bike, take the first step of the trip of your life with Lonely Planet.