Backpacking Advice after studying abroad
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Nov 21, 2012 2:28 AM Last Post By: SophieMelita
Nov 17, 2012 6:19 PM
Backpacking Advice after studying abroadHi my friend and I (both girls) are planning on staying in Europe for about a month to travel and go to new places. We have made a rough lay out of where we want to go, but I wanted some advice to see if where we are going are good places to go and to see if people think we are going to too many places. I am going to be studying in Barcelona and my friend in Galway so we basically have that part of Europe covered.
Here is our plan for now:
Meet in Nice or Monte Carlo -
Zurich, Switzerland -
Venice, Italy -
A Italian beach town on the Adriatic Sea (suggestions would be helpful) -
Vienna, Austria -
Prague, Czech Republic -
Berlin, Germany -
Copenhagen, Denmark -
Colonge (or other German city, suggestions please again) -
We know we want to end up in London for sure and depart from their, but we do not know if we are trying to hit to many places in a small amount of time. We are planning on going April 27 - May 20. Suggestions and examples of backpacking trips would be greatly appreciated. Since we are going to be studying abroad and traveling we wanted to hit places we think we would not go to.
Please help us out with any suggestions!
Nov 18, 2012 9:00 AM
Welcome to TT!
Wheter those places are good places to visit or not will depend on your personal preferences and interests (as different people likes different places) and you didn't tell them. The same would apply in order to make suggestions for you. You don't (necessarily) make the same suggestions to someone looking for art that for someone looking for wildlife than...
When planning, don't forget to include the travel time; i.e.: the time will take you to get from one destination to the next one and the time it'll take you to find your accomodation, make check-in, make check out, go to the airport/train station/bus station... That way you'll get a better idea of how much time you'll have to really visit the relevant destination.
You only list cities, Aren't you interested in smaller towns or countryside?
With these comments in mind, I would suggest you to cross-post your question in the Western Europe branch where you'll get more answers than in this thread (as all the experts in that part of the world meet in that branch but only some of them visit this branch) and where you'll find tons of backpacking itineraries through Europe (you can use the search feature in the upper right corner of the web to look for them). BTW, it would be a good idea when cross-posting it to say how many days you plan to spend at each of the locations you quoted.
Nov 18, 2012 10:41 AM
Nov 19, 2012 8:32 AM
Welcome to tt - anillos is right: make sure you count in travel time and settling in time. With that in mind, I think 11 places in one month (and places quite far from each other) is going to be exhausting. You won't get to do or see much and you'll be on trains, planes, and buses far too much. And if you don't plan too far in advance, you can always leave sooner if you hate a place or stay longer if you love it. I'd say pick five or six spots.
Nov 19, 2012 8:48 AM
4Agree with above. The two commonest mistakes travellers make are trying to see/do too much in too little time and packing too much.
For initial planning I would suggest you use the Rule of 3s. That says, never spend less than 3 full days/4 nights in a place unless it is just an overnight stop between A and B. Using that rule still results in 25% of your time being lost to travel days. Also note it is 'less than', it is a minimum, not a maximum. For example, most people would consider London as needing more than 3 days.
If you use that rule to start out with then your 30 days would allow for visiting 7 places maximum.
As for packing, which of the three backpackers in this picture would you rather be in terms of carrying a pack every day? http://www.vagabondjourney.com/2008-travel-photos/08-1013-backpackers-morocco.jpg
Nov 19, 2012 9:57 AM
5Have to agree with #3 and #4. I would cut your list in half and focus on getting more out of the places you do see rather than focusing on seeing as many places as possible.
You haven't said whether you're taking trains/buses/planes but I'd factor in half a days worth of travelling minimum between destinations which will tire you out and restrict how much time you have to actually enjoy being in each location.
Nov 20, 2012 10:20 AM
Nov 20, 2012 10:46 AM
7We are planning on using trains mostly and were thinking of getting euro passes if anyone has any suggestions on that too.
If by euro passes you mean an Eurail pass, I'd suggest to read this info before deciding if that's the best option for you.
Nov 20, 2012 12:07 PM
8Rail passes are not always the best way to go. It depends entirely on your route and you have to compare it to point to point ticket costs. The link anilos provided is a very good one to read and understand the whole picture.
Rail passes also have one huge negative in my opinion. They encourage you to 'get your money's worth' by using them more. So people tend to move more often than they might have if buying point to point tickets. You end up back at that too many places issue.
Nov 21, 2012 2:28 AM
9Looks like a long list, could end up a bit frantic. Trimming is hard, as choosing is always difficult but you'll probably have a chance to create some more pleasant memories if you're not in transit for a large portion of your travel time.
Also, I went to Croatia last year and it was absolutely amazing. One of my favorite countries that I've visited. Check it out if you don't know too much about it and see if it's up your alley. I can't recommend it enough. I went to Split & Plitvice and crossed a large portion by bus - will definitely be going back to explore what I saw through the bus window but did not have time to stop for.
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