Help us create an itinerary
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Jul 29, 2012 1:23 PM Last Post By: candyitchyfeet
Jul 9, 2012 8:34 PM
Help us create an itineraryHey guys,
We would love for your input into creating a rough itinerary....
This is our criteria....
We are a couple aged 22 & 25 backpackers
We are leaving for London with a one way ticket from Australia on the 9th of September 2012.
We have a 2 year working holiday visa for the UK. (Youth Mobility)
We have 1 year of travel insurance which covers UK/Europe/Asia
We are taking over $30,000 AUS between us.
All we are attempting by posting this is to gain greater understanding of the seasons and where to be at what time considering our departure date. Ideally we would love to spend a decent amount of time in Europe/UK...(More so Europe) as much as we can taking into account the Schengen Scheme, and then perhaps head to thailand, cambodia, vietnam for a small amount of time before heading back to AUS. Taking into account our money situation, we are open to a bit of working, couchsurfing....etc but will obviously be trying to push our money as far as it can go. We are backpacking....
What would you guys reccomend doing? What countries? What month? Places to avoid? Places to must see? How can we make our money stretch? We realise we are going toward the end of the warmer months and then hitting the cold head on. We also have some family in England....
We have done research but we were really curious to what the best itinerary would be for our trip! Time is not an issue....but money is! haha
Mitch & Steph
Jul 9, 2012 11:22 PM
2#1 has a very valid point, both geographically and politically.
What to recommend you do....
Surfing in Cornwall, rock climbing in the Dolomites in Italy, Husky safaris in the arctic circle in Sweden. Wine tasting in Spain, a tour of the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum(s) in Amsterdam, a trip to sample some beers in Belgium. Check out out the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City, take the amazing TGV or Eurostar to Paris and go up the Eiffel tower for some great views. Drive (not too fast) on the autobahns in Germany, see the Plitvice lakes in Croatia, go to the highest railway station in Europe - the Jungfraujoch in Switzerland. Gaze over the lavender fields in Provence in June, go to La Tomatina in August, visit the Oktoberfest in October. Visit the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg, have a romantic moonlit stroll across St Charles Bridge in Prague, swim in the blue lagoon in Iceland.
Don't go to Greece, Spain or Italy in August, too hot.
Don't go to Norway, Sweden or Iceland in January, too dark, too cold.
Do go see the Christmas Markets in Germany, they're beautiful.
Don't bother with Interlaken in Switzerland, too ugly. Instead go to Lauterbrunnen.
Don't stay in 5 star hotels, they're rarely worth it, Instead stay in hostels. They often have double rooms and you'll find your money goes further.
Learn how to cook.
Do check out the train system in Europe, it'll be your friend. See http://www.seat61.com.
Be wary of buying a car to get around, insurance in the UK is expensive and there are plenty of number plate reading cameras to automatically spot you if you try to skip paying.
Don't drink too much beer, it'll only make you fat.
And finally, most importantly, always wear sunscreen.
Jul 10, 2012 12:13 AM
3Hey, thanks for the great info! If i was to rearrange the question and say.... We want to fly in early September to London..... From there what would be the best countries to visit over September, October, November, December, January, February and march. we realise it will be cold for most of this time so that's why we are pedantic about this. And will 30,000 get us through this period?
Jul 10, 2012 1:24 AM
4It depends on what you wanna do.
The skiing season tends to start mid November in the higher mountain areas, though last December it started very late (but finished fairly late too).
You could go to the arctic circle to go see the aurora beaurolis (or however it's spelt). The higher the latitude the better - once every couple of years you can see it in the UK, but do not assume that'll be the case. Being in a major city seriously ruins the light pollution and lessens your chances.
The reason I'm being so vague is that there are 800 million or so living in Europe, and we don't evacuate en mass during the winter. Everything stays open, and like central and north N America we're geared to indoor existence to avoid the cold - although British families will still go for a walk with the dog on a Sunday afternoon regardless of whether it's -5C or not (if it's now howling with wind and rain that is). If you wanted to be really hardcore (just to say you've been there, done that), catch a flight to Moscow in winter and see what -30C is like. It can get cold enough in that part of Europe that you can grab a cup of boiling water, fling it in the air and it's frozen before it hits the floor.
The trick to surviving the winter is to not go camping (September would still be OK, even October in the south of Europe). This also means campervanning. Wear layers. Buy the stuff when you get here (early September will still be quite pleasant). Fleeces are practically the national uniform in the UK in winter, for a good reason. You can pick them up cheaply from an oversized supermarket on the edge of cities. Failing that hit the local millets store or cotswold outdoor. More important (in the UK at least) than the cold is the wind and rain. I've had Canadians complaining to me about it, and they really know what cold is. The solution is a GoreTex jacket. Get one that zips in a fleece and you'll be as snug as a bug in a rug. My GoreTex is 10 years old and still wonderful.
As for the money, 30,000 AUD is a ridiculous amount of money. You can buy a new car (a nice one) for that sort of money. If you hostel for a bit, self cater (or get your own flat), you could survive indefinitely on that sort of money.
Gumtree.com will give you an idea of accommodation costs but be careful, there's a lot of sharks. If it's too good to be true and all that... See also rightmove.co.uk, plus other links on the FAQ.
Jul 10, 2012 1:47 AM
What #1 said - the UK is just as European or non-European as Denmark, Greece, Poland or Portugal. I don't know why so many people, British included, consider it to be a separate continent.
Nitpicking aside, the main problem with your question is that this is entirely subjective - my "best itinerary" may be utterly boring to you. It would help if you could share a few more essentials with us as to what your interested in - do you want to see as many big cities in as many countries as physically possible or rather take it slowly even if it means limiting yourself to 1 or 2 countries per month? Do you want to focus on the famous cities, buildings and monuments or allow time to get off the beaten track? Are you interested in art, museums, cafés, beaches, mountains? Adventure sports, perhaps?
You say you have done research - OK, that's a starting point: what places do you definitely want to visit?
Every country has tens if not hundreds of places worth visiting and there are no good or bad countries to visit anytime of the year; obviously January isn't a great time for a sun tan anywhere on the continent, daylight hours are short during winter and while winter weather can offer excellent opportunities for skiing or skating in some countries, it can be very unpleasant elsewhere. Having said that, there's always some indoor activity to keep you entertained, even if it's writing postcards in a local café the whole afternoon.
Jul 10, 2012 3:31 AM
So what we are interested is theatre and all things cultural. We would love to have more of a cultural and historical and maybe even spiritual journey more so than just visiting the main attractions. We would love to experience off the beaten track...visiting beautiful small towns and countryside and getting to know the communities within them. Having said that we also love hiking.....we were thinking of doing a pilgramage of some kind.....We arent the best with cold weather, afterall we are australian but we are coming prepared.
In terms of what countries we want to take it slow, and would much prefer to explore a couple of countries over a couple of months as opposed to fast tracking it. We definetly want to visit, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, and then England, Ireland and Scotland. Im not sure wether we will head up north to sweden etc but its definetly on the cards. But the countries mentioned above are definites!
So considering that we arrive early september....and on 30,000, how would you guys structure this holiday taking into account these countries?
thanks so much for this bye the way.....we are struggling haha
Jul 10, 2012 4:19 AM
7I would suggest buying the Lonely Planet Guide to W Europe. Seriously. It'll help you with sample itineraries, based around geography, festivals or themes, otherwise this could grow into a mega thread as you continue to drill down.
If you like culture, perhaps the glastonbury festival might appeal (be warned it sells out astonishingly fast).
Jul 29, 2012 1:23 PM
8Make sure you check out the vibrant Town of Newquay (surfing capital of the UK). There is a excellent surf school at The Headland Hotel (not only for hotel guests) which is the only surf school in Newquay that caters specifically for families, couples and private bookings (no stag and hen do's ). The 'Surfing is Therapy' school comes with a new changing area, sea views and hot showers. Its a 2minutes walk to the beach and there is free parking. They offer luxury packages including surf and spa at the new Spa suite at the Headland Hotel and also have a Mercedes van which can take you to the best/most beautiful surf spots in Cornwall. If you want some real luxury with a personal touch check out Surfing Is Therapy! www.surfingistherapy.com
Hope you have a great holiday!
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$101.20 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$171.47 per night