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Old 07-14-2017, 09:51 AM
 
1,575 posts, read 1,620,345 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
For a 10 day trip, a Eurail pass is likely to be overkill. Buying individual point-to-point tickets is likely to be cheaper. And if the OP decides to see the Netherlands, that country has a card you can load money on that works on ALL their public transportation, including trains traveling between the various Dutch cities. She'd only need train tickets for any trains going outside the Netherlands.
Thanks for this. I had no idea and was looking at the rail pass but it looks kind of pricey for a short amount of time.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:30 PM
 
5,280 posts, read 3,318,179 times
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I did two weeks in Europe over ten years ago during the Christmas holiday season, 4 nights in Amsterdam, 3 nights in Brussels and 7 nights in Paris. Had an open jaw airline ticket, PHX-PHL-AMS, then CDG_PHL-PHX, took the "slow train" from Amsterdam to Brussels and the "fast train" from Brussels to Paris. Had a great time, saw a ton of things, always had things to see and do and never got bored.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:54 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,907 posts, read 1,586,973 times
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OK, the "backpacking" title is misleading for a 10 day trip, you get that now. You need to have a beginning & an end point set up in advance 9 days later, when I was backpacking thru EU I had a one way ticket over, a backpack, a hostel pass & a road map of Europe, took months....

You need to pick 1 country you really want to see, any on your list would do, what do you really need to do? World heritage cities & ancient ruins? Explore natural beauty areas? Experience local culture in less touristy places? My advice is pick one "theme" & one country for a 10 day trip & avoid the natural temptation to "see everything", ie., 2 days Paris & then 2 days Rome & then 2 days London... unless you know you will never travel abroad agin & need to see all those places ( very superficially).

When you decide your focus - your most important decision, my suggestion is to get a hostel membership & stay at hostels since this is a great way to meet & exchange info with other travelers & you can immediately bond with similar travelers, a nice thing. Google all info you can about the cities (including hostel reviews since they vary in atmosphere) esp. when attractions have free/reduced price days or reserve a ticket for a high demand sight to avoid staying in a line for an hour or 2 or not being able to get in at all when you just show up ( I missed the Uffizi this way).

Get mass transit info: tourist or day passes, rail/bus connections between destinations - I found in Ireland I paid a lot more by buying at the Dublin train depot to go to the west than if I had bought them online the day before.

To me 10 days = 2-3 places in one country. You land in the big city get your bearings & spend 3-4 days min. getting to know the place, 1 day traveling & getting settled in #2 place & 2-3 days there & you are 8 days into your 10 day limit, maybe a day trip to some smaller interesting sight. Last day to relax, revisit a favorite spot for dinner & drinks & then over...

If I spend less than 3 days anywhere I haven't really seen it, just buildings, memories are not made of buildings & tours. Memories are finding some people, perhaps at the hostel, in a little local pub with great music & spend an evening. Or spend a full day or 2 taking a cooking class in the native cuisine with other curious travelers, perhaps visiting the local market. Or a nature/environmental tour for a day watching native birds or something like that. Just hitting a bunch of cities rapid fire & going through them in quick tours is almost a waste for me, I make sure I spend at least one afternoon per city just wandering around getting lost in an interesting neighborhood.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:13 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,907 posts, read 1,586,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawyersmom View Post
Yes, we are looking for an adventure.
Our wish list of places we'd like to see in our lifetime...not one trip...we know that's not possible. In no particular order:
London
Dublin--and other areas of Ireland
Italy--we've been to Rome, would love to see other parts of the country
France--again, we've been to Paris. We would love to go back but we also would love to see other parts of France.
Spain--especially Barcelona. My dad lived there when he was younger and raves about it, also my husband is a huge soccer fan and loves Barca.
Portugal--Lisbon but open to other areas.
Amsterdam
Prague
Berlin
Poland
Oslo
Iceland
Sweden
Denmark


We love walking around cities and just looking at the different architecture. We love good food and we are huge beer fans, but love wine too. Beaches a great but are not a deal breaker if we can't see/go to a beach. We like Art and experiencing different cultures. My husband is a big soccer fan so I know Spain and England especially are of interest to him. Honestly, we just like different cultures and experiencing new things and we are open to new experiences.

We are thinking about going in the Fall next year, but if you have suggestions for better times, we are open to that too.
.
OK more concrete info: fall is the perfect time to travel since the crowds are gone & prices are less.

Dublin (2 days) - Wicklow - Kerry to Galway to Westport on the west coast, lots of cheap family run BnBs with a huge breakfast that will keep you full till late afternoon, lots of pubs, music; Aran Islands; you could try to catch Irish football/hurling in Croke Park; expect a bit (at least) of rain each day, ignore it, the locals do; probably all car outside of Dublin

Lisbon - Oporto (wine region nearby) - Alentejo coast (Sines, Porto Covo) - Algarve or the Azores or Madeira

Munich (Octoberfest end of Sept, a great party w great bier) - Austrian Alps w Salzburg - Berlin - the Romantic Road area

Italy/France/Spain - a ridiculous amount of choice, overwhelming. There is nothing else in the world to match Paris or Rome
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:07 PM
 
Location: On the road
5,939 posts, read 2,891,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
OK, the "backpacking" title is misleading for a 10 day trip, you get that now. You need to have a beginning & an end point set up in advance 9 days later, when I was backpacking thru EU I had a one way ticket over, a backpack, a hostel pass & a road map of Europe, took months....
This bring up an interesting side discussion.

What is the threshold for calling a trip backpacking? Obviously the label originates from type of luggage, but is it also a requirement to have a minimum length of time, undefined itinerary, and type of accommodation?
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:15 PM
 
Location: On the road
5,939 posts, read 2,891,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawyersmom View Post
we are huge beer fans
I know I'm (incorrectly) interpreting this literally, but if you are a fan huge beers you need to head south. We've seen our share of 2 liter beers in Balkan countries, seems ridiculous but locals like to sit in parks with 'em and hang out.

However the other day in Bucharest we stumbled upon this monstrosity, a 3 liter beer. Nothing like one more for the road eh?

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Old 07-19-2017, 10:30 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,648 posts, read 70,531,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
Honestly, if you're only going for 10 days you don't have time to do much wandering about. Pick two destinations you'd like to see, fly into Destination A and return from Destination B.
This. "Backpacking through Europe" usually involves a month or more, fairly open itinerary.
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Old 07-20-2017, 02:34 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,513 posts, read 8,760,423 times
Reputation: 12192
Quote:
Originally Posted by sawyersmom View Post
Yes, we are looking for an adventure. Perhaps backpacking wasn't the right term. However, we will likely have 10 days as neither get that many vacation days and would like to go from one place to another without a set itinerary. I've always booked 3 days here, another 3 days there but we were thinking of starting in one place and then taking trains ands staying at hostels or airbnbs. Neither of us have done a trip like this before so I appreciate all of the feedback.
With our limited time, would it be best if we focused on one area and do multiple cities around that area? Say...something like Amsterdam, Prague, Munich, Berlin. Or Spain and Portugal. Or France and Belgium? What do you all suggest. We are really open to anything. We've only been to Paris and Rome and that was on our honeymoon 4.5 years ago. Now, I know there I can't see all of the below at once but if maybe you can help me group them, I'd really appreciate it. Also, if you have any insight on where would be a good starting place, with cheaper flights, that would also be great, we're on the east coast, near D.C. if that helps.

Our wish list of places we'd like to see in our lifetime...not one trip...we know that's not possible. In no particular order:
London
Dublin--and other areas of Ireland
Italy--we've been to Rome, would love to see other parts of the country
France--again, we've been to Paris. We would love to go back but we also would love to see other parts of France.
Spain--especially Barcelona. My dad lived there when he was younger and raves about it, also my husband is a huge soccer fan and loves Barca.
Portugal--Lisbon but open to other areas.
Amsterdam
Prague
Berlin
Poland
Oslo
Iceland
Sweden
Denmark


We love walking around cities and just looking at the different architecture. We love good food and we are huge beer fans, but love wine too. Beaches a great but are not a deal breaker if we can't see/go to a beach. We like Art and experiencing different cultures. My husband is a big soccer fan so I know Spain and England especially are of interest to him. Honestly, we just like different cultures and experiencing new things and we are open to new experiences.

We are thinking about going in the Fall next year, but if you have suggestions for better times, we are open to that too.

I hope this helps a little more.

Thank you all again for taking the time. It is much appreciated.
Just a couple of points to consider:

Fall is "iffy" in N Europe, but the weather is changing and Septembers are getting warmer, but not hot, in N Europe. In Denmark, at least, more and more tourists seem to be coming then. Still, you might consider a trip that includes Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm. I am not that sold on Amsterdam.

Another trip might include Berlin, Krakow, Warsaw, Prague. all within reaching distance.

If you have never been to Barcelona, that is a good idea. But I could also recommend an all-Spain trip for 10 days in Spain which would include: Barcelona, Seville, Cordoba and Granada in the South, where it will be warmer. Transportation is good between these cities. They are lovely.

I also like your walking around approach in cities.

Good luck.
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Old 07-21-2017, 09:41 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
815 posts, read 461,933 times
Reputation: 1140
stay in hostels and keep one of your credit cards in your sock
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Old 07-22-2017, 01:58 PM
 
337 posts, read 176,743 times
Reputation: 258
When I was 21 I did for a month and a half during the summer. I admit I didn't really know what I was doing though!!

What I would first do is write down a list of your must cities and towns.

Because I went in the summer, I planned all my hostels way in advance which sucked because there were cities I felt I spent way too much time in due to booking say 5 nights in a place. For 1, I spent more time than I would have liked in Barcelona and Rome. I would not recommend doing it during the summer unless you are only doing something fairly short, but I was a student and it was either that or during the winter. If you are doing the hostel thing and will stay in dorms, definitely get one with AC. If it's warm weather, think about having 8 bodies in a small room....

Also rail passes aren't always cheaper than you think. For all my trips to Europe, I was always cheaper off doing point to point tickets when at the station.

I'm now in my early 30s and honestly, I probably wouldn't stay in a hostel again unless it was significantly cheaper than a 2 star hotel which I can get off Priceline and Hotwire pretty cheap. I was a bit too high maintenance for a hostel. I didn't like having to wear flip flops in the shower, sharing a toilet with several people, hearing people in the room having sex, and changing in the bathroom if it was a coed dorm. There are hostels where you can get rooms with less people of the same gender with an in suite bathroom, but those get booked quickly typically.
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