Help planning my European Adventure?
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Jul 29, 2013 1:17 PM Last Post By: jedgerandclyde
Jul 4, 2013 3:59 PM
Help planning my European Adventure?Hi! I am planning on taking a grand adventure throughout European next summer, and am trying to get a head start on planning so I can draft a rough budget & start saving up! I've only ever traveled to London, so I really want to explore mainland Europe. I'm definitely open to suggestions for alternative itineraries, but below I've laid out one that looks exciting and logical geographically. What I need most help with, is planning how to get from one city to the next. I've explored the EuroRail Global Pass, but it seems a bit confusing and I'm not sure if the routes extend to all of the cities I want to visit. Additionally I've looked at some buses and airlines, but they seem to be locally based and not travel internationally. Additionally, if anybody has any recommendations for hostels/hotels, I would greatly appreciate it! I am traveling with one other person, and we would only be comfortable staying in a private room, and therefore are having a bit of trouble finding inexpensive options.
I know it's rather early but I figured it's better to start researching in advance :) Thank you for any help!
(Looking to travel over 8-10 weeks)
Jul 4, 2013 5:24 PM
1Please do ask specific questions about specific places, and do not generalize about your itinerary, OK?
Do ask questions that fellow travelers can help you with, you have nominated 20 cities, you may know what you want to know about them, we don't.
But saying that, the best bet for cheapish accommodation may be a double room in a hostel?
And what i know about rail passes, i do know that the pass gets you on the nominated train, but it does not get you a seat, and on some express trains you may need to pay a supplement
And i think the best way to see cities, town and general areas is to use a city that is central in the area as a base.
Jul 4, 2013 5:34 PM
Jul 4, 2013 5:39 PM
3Anyway..on the specifics.The first thing I'd say is don't book everything in advance.It is far too long and fast a trip to have all your hotels and trains booked..that leaves you no flexibility at all.
Just get to your first place,see how you like it and when you have had enough,move on.
You will generally be moving by train..sometimes bus.Cheap flights are usually only a good option if you book them considerably in advance..which is not a good idea IMHO with this type of trip.
As for accommodation..either a double room in a hostel or a cheap double in a hotel.You will be able to get a room for around 50-60 euros in most of these places.Again,no need to book all these in advance..you can call the place the night before you arrive to see if they have room.There are tons of options in these cities.......
Jul 4, 2013 6:16 PM
Jul 4, 2013 9:31 PM
Jul 4, 2013 9:32 PM
6Please read this first: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2153476 and read a guidebook before looking into transportation and accommodation options. Your itinerary gives me the impression that you've merely listed a number of cities that you have heard of, without spending much thought on whether these are the ones that appeal to you the most.
Feel free to post a revised itinerary when you've done more research, but please note that it's very hard to give relevant feedback on destinations without mentioning why you selected these.
Jul 4, 2013 9:34 PM
7The two cities a week rule sounds like a good one
Well... Only if (big) cities are all you're interested in. In most countries you plan to visit you'll only see the capital if you follow this itinerary, but those capital cities are not necessarily the best their countries have to offer, and don't represent their countries as a whole. I don't know where you are from, but would you recommend a foreigner to visit only your biggest or most famous city when he tells you he wants to "explore"?
Edited by: Aribo
Jul 4, 2013 10:34 PM
8@Aribo Well, I'm from New York City, so maybe ;) but I see your point. But no I haven't really researched all intensely yet, I figured I would figure out logistics of getting around before planning out what to do in each city, but I guess a little bit of both is helpful to start out. I came up with this list from "borrowing" itineraries from companies that offer guided tours (Contiki, Trafalgar, etc.). I'm most interested in Czech, Austria & Spain...I'll have to look into revising this and I'll post an updated list; I'm glad I started this early! Everyone is so helpful, thanks!
Jul 5, 2013 2:17 AM
9You need to remember that those coach trips
a..move at an incredible speed,to fit in as much as possible for 'checklist' travellers.
b...are not exactly 'cultural'..they will give you an hour or two at the most famous monuments and lots more evening drinking time.
If that is the type of trip you want,fine..but i certainly wouldn't base my plans on a Contiki schedule.
Jul 5, 2013 2:19 AM
10BTW the ''two cities a week' was a statement based on your (upper)plans..not a recommendation.
Personally for places like Paris,Florence,Madrid,Barcelona etc. I would allocate more time...you could easily have a week just in Paris,and still miss loads of interesting places.
Three days or so is ok for the smaller places (dependning on your interests)...as a minimum,not as a maximum! And you will need to allow travel days and 'downtime' days as well......
Jul 6, 2013 4:23 PM
11The logistics of getting around:
I've explored the EuroRail Global Pass, but it seems a bit confusing and I'm not sure if the routes extend to all of the cities I want to visit
Eurail Pass indeed covers all those cities, but do the maths before you decide to buy the railpass!
The best way to plan your trip is to get a Thomas Cook European Timetable. Keep fingers crossed that it remains in print. To be on the safe side get the (supposedly) last edition this August.
The best sources for understanding the railway system and fares in Europe:
Jul 7, 2013 1:41 AM
12In addition to lucapal's comments about coach tours, keep in mind that if you plan to set up a similar (ridiculous) itinerary by yourself, you need to allow for time to take care of the practicalities that the tour company would otherwise arrange for you - i.e. getting transportation tickets, finding your way around a foreign town, book hotels, decide where you eat etc. In short, you would have even less time left for sightseeing than you'd have on an organised tour.
Jul 7, 2013 1:42 AM
13And to add to #11: http://www.bahn.co.uk is the most user-friendly website to look up train travel times. It's the site of German Railways, but its database covers about every train line in Europe.
Jul 7, 2013 12:37 PM
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