Italy and Germany for $4000
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Jun 28, 2012 6:37 AM Last Post By: Aribo
Jun 19, 2012 9:02 PM
I am hoping to travel May/June 2013 with my husband to both Italy, Germany and maybe a pop over to Strasbourg, France to visit with some of my friends :)
Our total budget is $4,000 and we may be able to add $300 to that but for right now that is really what it is. I have figured that coming from the East coast of the U.S. we will probably be able to buy tickets for about $1,000 each but some things I've been finding say that we could find tickets for $600-700 each. The actual length of stay is up for debate which really depends upon how expensive travel and lodging will be.
The places I really want to go are: Florence and around Tuscany, Rome (but only for like 3 nights because I'm not a huge fan of big cities) and Naples, cause my mother's family is from near there :) My husband is one that is burning to go to Germany and yet, he doesn't really know where he wants to go. He is interested in Berlin and has studied architecture and civil engineering so he is interested in anything related to his field. I am thinking that Bavaria would be amazing and when I last visited Germany, I went to Heidelberg, Offenberg and Baden-Baden and loved the small town feel, sitting enjoying myself in the sunshine eating an amazing sausage, while drinking a cheap and surprisingly refreshing beer and oh, topping it off with the occasional amazing ice-cream sundae. I would prefer to stay closer to where we can get to Strasbourg for maybe 2-3 nights, just so that I can visit with my friends but that would be an added bonus.
In terms of budgeting, I've been reading a lot of conflicting things. Some people are saying that it is cheaper to rent a car and camp....however we aren't terribly interested in camping in areas where we don't speak the language or know the area but ARE interested in checking out couchsurfing and WWOOFING.
I am also trying to figure out if we will qualify for many discounts. I will be 25, he will be 26 and we will have just finished up our respective degrees, so our student Id's will be up to date. I think I definitely qualify for some discounts but I'm not sure how many.
I'm great with just buying a bottle of wine, some bread and a little something to go on it for a number of meals...so romantic :)
Hopefully, this isn't all over the place and provides enough info. to help us with our planning! We are just looking at ways to save money and still go to the places that we want to. We are definitely willing to get creative and to meet new people, as long as we are staying safe about it. What we can't really do is change the time of year we are going nor the major locations.
Ideas for saving and having a fabulous time? Thanks :)
Jun 20, 2012 3:35 AM
1Didn't read it all yet, butttuhhh....
Long distance travel gobbles to much precious gawking time. And far too much money.
Sounds like a visit with friends would be more important. Partially for them, to clue you in on of European lifestyle/mindset. And street sense.
You're dreaming of about three trips. :)
What time of year? That could make a big diff in costs.
An old saying around the world is, "Fish and houseguests stink after three days."
Couch surfing would be good. Or hostels. You can get rooms for 2. Dorms aren't bad either, much to my surprise. I'm 71. I stay there partially for the conversations with other cultures.
Talk with us b4 buying plane ticket. Where/what hub, like Frankfort, could make a big diff too.
Don't plan too much. In seeral meanings. Just see where it takes you. When I do 2 paintings of the same subject, they come out different. Because of where my head was at. What I wanted to emphasise at the time.
Just see how destinations work out. Keep ears and mind open. Talk at length with "foreigners."
You'll be back, the sooner you learn how to do it cheaper.
Pack only three compleat changes of clothes.
Jun 20, 2012 3:38 AM
Jun 20, 2012 5:07 AM
For cheaper tickets you will need to buy them a few months in advance....use a site like skyscanner to see the prices.Have a look at a few different dates as well...even changing by a day or two can make a big difference.
You should be able to get return tickets for $1000 each or less....with (say) fly into Rome and out of Berlin (open-jaw ticket).
That leaves you at least $2000 or about 1600 euros at the moment.
That is enough for around 10-12 days or so (for 2 people)...staying in a cheap hotel or hostel room,eating,travelling between places and sightseeing.If you are lucky with flights you might be able to get 2 weeks.
10 days is very little time to visit 2 countries of course...you could see a bit of Rome,Naples and Florence in that time...or Munich and Berlin...but not all of that.If you can make it 14-15 days it is just about possible!
Jun 20, 2012 6:57 AM
4Yeah, it doesn't really give me much time to go EVERYWHERE I want to go and if I was going EVERYWHERE in Europe, well...that could take me 6 months to a year. I adore France and would love to visit with friends, I love Ireland and would love to visit Galway again but I also think exploring new places would be worthwhile. I wouldn't mind skipping Germany during this trip and popping over to the South of France since I never really got to visit much of it but my husband is really interested in Germany.
Couchsurfing definitely doesn't seem quite as 'sketchy' as I previously thought and since I'll have my husband with me, it will be a somewhat safer situation than if I was travelling alone.
I definitely agree that it would be rude to impose after about 3 days. I also think I will pack a bit more than 3 changes of clothes but I am good at packing and in Summer time it should be easy!
I'm wondering if I can't draw out the trip to be closer to 3 weeks rather than 2 if I do couchsurfing. I figure that even if we couchsurf, we won't stay the whole time at people's homes, probably 1 during each stop. So if we could stay perhaps 50% of the time doing couchsurfing, that would probably be reasonable.
Jun 23, 2012 9:20 AM
5Geeze. Do you all remember the time when LP was only for poor people? $4000 and you can't figure out if it's enough???
however we aren't terribly interested in camping in areas where we don't speak the language or know the area but ARE interested in checking out couchsurfing and WWOOFING.
I like how Americans will do anything to avoid other languages. Hey, no matter what country you go to, you're gonna have to encounter people who speak another langauge. And in Europe they know 2, 3, 4 and 5 languages! Get over it already.
Jun 23, 2012 9:26 AM
Jun 23, 2012 1:09 PM
7Given the cash available you are going to be really pushed to be able to do both Germany and Italy. Rome Florence and Naples ought to take you a minimum of 10 days - longer if you want some time in the Tuscan countryside.
German architecture varies widely by both age and region. Berlin has an interesting mix of old(ish) and modern including socialist pre-1989. A couple of hours away by regional train is Dessau and the Bauhaus (Wittenberg on the way is worth a look too), while about an hour north of Dessau and west of Berlin, Magdeburg is another city with an interesting mix including one of Freidrich Huidertwasser's constructions not far from the cathedral. The recently renovated brick buildings of Speicherstadt in Hamburg could also be seen as a (possibly expensive-ish) day trip by high speed train from Berlin, so Berlin would make a good centre with a few days out.
Jun 24, 2012 12:16 PM
8I don't see the problem. Fly into Rome, buy a monthly ticket with Inter rail, it costs around 320 - 420 € and is valid in almost every country in Europe (renting a car is expensive, beacuse of the high prices of gas). And then just travel where you want to - you can do everything you listed in 1 month and with the budget you have. If you'll do it this way, you'll see more and spend less money. Just consider sleeping on the train a few nights and save some money on hostels ans so on. Or check out couchsurfing, but do that way before you'll go on your trip.
English won't be a problem in most countries but I would recommend that you learn the basics phrases in Italian, just in case :)
Edited by: nmajcen
Jun 24, 2012 3:43 PM
Jun 25, 2012 2:38 AM
10First of all you can get the flights much much cheaper.
And yes I think Interrail is worth it if you then spend nights on the train that is the cheapest way to travel. I'm just saying that if you take the budget 2000$ per person it has to be enough for Western Europe for one month - but you'll have to travel very cheap and not go to much city centres and attractions and so on.
If you really wanna do it with this budget first you must find cheap plane tickets and then go from there, you'll see how much money you'll have and how you can spend it.
Jun 25, 2012 5:16 AM
Jun 26, 2012 5:17 AM
Jun 26, 2012 11:56 AM
13OP, all your budget questions are addressed here:
for further question, pls confirm
- whether the amount quoted is per person or for both of you
- deduct the cost of getting to Europe
- qoute budgets in € as $ refers to more than 20 currencies, none of which are used in Europe and with very different values. 4000 Canadian dollars will get you a lot further than 4000 Hong Kong dollars.
I've never couchsurfed myself but i know people who have and my understanding is that a- you shouldn't treat it as a way to save money but as a way to meet people; b, unless you have hosted yourself at your home you are very unlikely to land couches in very popular destinations as you don;t have any 'credit' within the system.
Jun 28, 2012 6:37 AM
14I don't see the problem. Fly into Rome, buy a monthly ticket with Inter rail, it costs around 320 - 420 € and is valid in almost every country in Europe
I do see a problem here: since the OP talks in $, it's safe to assume s/he does not reside in Europe. That means that s/he is not eligible for an Interrail pass. Eurail perhaps, but that pass is more restricted than Interrail.
ARE interested in checking out couchsurfing and WWOOFING
Note that WWOOFing is a bit of a grey area as far as immigration is concerned - some countries require a working visa for it, and you may get in trouble if you WWOOF when you are in Europe as a tourist.
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