3 Months in Europe Solo - Help?
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Aug 30, 2012 12:58 AM Last Post By: Fwoggie
Aug 25, 2012 4:52 PM
3 Months in Europe Solo - Help?Hi all -
Background: I am traveling solo, female, in my 20s, and have beginner french skills that I'd love to cultivate. I'm planning to fly round trip into one of my destinations and then travel Eurail from there. Considering the Eurail pass but I'll figure it out once I have my destinations firmed up a bit.
I have been to Europe briefly before (have spent time in Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, and London) but I'd love to branch out this time and actually have time to explore. I have general countries decided on but not much more within them - would appreciate some help in firming up plans!
England (1 week)
Netherlands (5 days)
Belgium (3 days)
Germany (2 weeks)
Czech Republic (5 days)
Italy (2 weeks)
France (3 weeks)
Back to London for flight
Leaving some leeway to do other things, and not booking until I'm there - is this the right course of action or will things book up? I will be there around February - May.
Budget around $20,000 for the whole trip.
Aug 25, 2012 10:48 PM
About your budget: $ is used to refer to a lot of different countries, none of which are used in Europe. Could you please tell us how much you have in euros, after you paid for your intercontinental flight?
Aug 25, 2012 10:55 PM
2What kind of $ you have, where you are from? Beside the UK and the CZ you need € in all other countries. Early booking can help you to get it cheaper and also take care with your futur time table if there is not a big event in one place in your days - what makes it much more expensive to go, to stay. For example a weekend in February in Venice when the carnival runs, some days in Cannes in May when the filmfestival goes on and so on.
Aug 26, 2012 7:06 AM
Aug 26, 2012 10:27 AM
4Thanks for the advice, all! To clarify, I meant $20,000 USD which converts to roughly 16,000 EUR. From what I'm seeing, most of the flights are less than $1000 USD, so I still have quite a bit of money to spend once I'm there.
What are your thoughts on the Czech Republic? I'm hearing from some people that it's highly overrated. And is there some place that I'm missing out on that I should add back?
Aug 26, 2012 10:49 AM
5$20,000 is more than enough for 3 months AND you have a Eurail pass! I do 3 months on $5-6,000 and it's not that tight as you may think. Go hog wild, skydive in Paris, rent motorbikes and drive them over cliffs as you bail out at the last second! My only real concern is no Switzerland, they speak Suisse-Francais there, perhaps this would be of interest to you? And, I think no trip in Europe is complete without visiting the Swiss... About the Czech Republic, you have 5 days, when most of the newer travellers go for just 3-4 in Prague, so unless you have specific interest in seeing the countryside, shave off a day or two but Prague is very much worth seeing. I met heaps of good people there, despite what you may have heard, it's not all ridiculous party-party.
Since this is a second time trip, at least, you should be more comfortable and therefore adventurous so, don't settle on what cities to see before you go. Just have a landing zone, and a departure zone, and some interest-away you go.
Aug 26, 2012 10:52 AM
6We don't know what you like ...nature, art (modern or old), museums, night life, architecture, big cities, small villages, shopping, adventure, food, churches, hiking....we don't know what you want to see and experience? So how to advice you?
Maybe Prague is overrated (I really don't know), but that doesn't mean that the complete Czech R is overrated.
Of course you are missing places, that is inevitable and it is not a problem. I think you will have a great time.
Aug 26, 2012 10:59 AM
Aug 26, 2012 11:18 AM
8This forum is awesome :) I appreciate all of your responses.
Nightlife is fun but I can do without. I love adventure, museums, and am trying to cultivate more of an appreciation for art. I live in New York so big cities are great, but I'd love to see the small villages. I'm not too much of a foodie.
What are the pulls for Switzerland? I would be okay with dropping down to 3-4 days in Prague, but what should I see in Switzerland?
Aug 26, 2012 3:13 PM
9I live in New York, my absolute favourite place is Switzerland. What draws me there are the people foremost, I have never met more impressive people. The Alps, unless you're a puff who thinks the Rockies are anywhere near as impressive as the Alps, the sheer beauty of it all is over powering. There are few places in the world like the Alps, and I believe, unless you're incredibly well travelled, that going there is going to be a unique experience for you. The activities that go with it all, if you're into anything like Skydiving (I'm a skydiver), hiking or well I guess I might as well just say anything outdoors at this point; This small European region offers it all, concisely and often well, well done.
The cities aren't that impressive, I reckon most will agree, but they're not duds like visiting lesser Eastern-European cities may be. To each their own, a day or two exploring a city, or splitting that day between activities outdoors, whatever, it's well documented.
Aug 27, 2012 2:52 PM
10Where exactly do you recommend going in Switzerland then, if not the cities? And what differentiates the people?
Aug 29, 2012 10:06 AM
11Hard to put into words without sounding cliche or high and mighty about the Swiss in particular. I've found them to be active, gregarious, friendly and soul enriching to be around. They're great people who think of the big picture and have done very well for themselves, other countries have done far, far worse. They're really impressive, most people will agree, so I guess ask around and see what others have to say that have been there. In my experience, it's always been a really flawless and positive experience for anyone going there.
By spending minimal time in the cities, I just mean they're not the main attraction, the Alps are so damn amazing that the cities are rather boring by comparison. But you know, not everyone is active in the outdoors and some just like cafe's and night clubs, sightseeing and museums. No, this is not what Switzerland does best, cities are worth seeing, don't get me wrong but they're second rate attractions. You'll see why if you go.
Aug 29, 2012 1:50 PM
12no trip in Europe is complete without visiting the Swiss
Well, it's good to know that after 30+ years of living in Europe, I've never made a complete trip...
About the Czech Republic, you have 5 days, when most of the newer travellers go for just 3-4 in Prague, so unless you have specific interest in seeing the countryside, shave off a day or two but Prague is very much worth seeing
Whenever I read a comment like this, my first thoughts are:
- has this person ever been to the Czech Republic-outside-Prague? and
- who gives a toss about where "most of the newer travellers go"? Shouldn't I decide for myself how much time I want to spend somewhere?
They're really impressive, most people will agree, so I guess ask around and see what others have to say that have been there
I've met quite a few people who've been to Switzerland, but never heard anyone claim the Swiss are "really impressive". Well-organized and efficient but a bit stiff and lacking a sense of humour, is more like it.
Aug 29, 2012 10:52 PM
13I think the Swiss are a nice enough bunch, but the ones I've met do tend to have less of a sense of humour and do tend to struggle to let their hair down and have a good party. I posted a video on facebook of some Swiss athletes partying at the Olympic closing ceremony for the novelty value and it drew a fair few comments.
They're very hospitable to visitors though (if you can afford the prices that is).
Aug 29, 2012 11:20 PM
14I too have been to Switzerland so I can claim my trip in Europe is complete. But I confess that the Swiss part was quite limited -- a few cities the first time, years later visiting Basle (but sleeping across the border in France because the prices were already eye-wateringly expensive for a crappy little hotel room), and then once driving through from Italy to France.
Sure, the scenery is nice, even spectacular. But the people are generally humourless, not especially welcoming to foreigners, even those living and working there for years. If I want to see mountains I can go to the Alps in France, or in northern Italy, or even Austria.
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