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Old 07-06-2017, 09:57 AM
 
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Has anyone here done it? If so, what are your best tips. My husband and I were thinking about doing it next year but honestly, I'm not sure where/how to start. I've always had my flight and hotels planned well ahead of time but we want an adventure.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawyersmom View Post
Has anyone here done it? If so, what are your best tips. My husband and I were thinking about doing it next year but honestly, I'm not sure where/how to start. I've always had my flight and hotels planned well ahead of time but we want an adventure.

Thanks in advance for your help!
Do it.

Fly to Europe.

Use Booking or HostelWorld or whatever to book your place to stay while on the bus from one destination to the next.

Everything will be fine.

Thousands, millions, whatever of people do it every year. If they can, you can.

You need less stuff (clothes) than you think.



Three summers ago I spent about 2 months backpacking through Europe. I'd never done it before. I had a basic plan - I'm starting here on this day and ending here on this day and want to see these things. The first 5 days were a bit rough. Then I figured it out and it was amazing.

Trust in your innate abilities as a human that you can deal with whatever will arise.
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:07 AM
 
1,575 posts, read 1,621,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBeisbol View Post
Do it.

Fly to Europe.

Use Booking or HostelWorld or whatever to book your place to stay while on the bus from one destination to the next.

Everything will be fine.

Thousands, millions, whatever of people do it every year. If they can, you can.

You need less stuff (clothes) than you think.



Three summers ago I spent about 2 months backpacking through Europe. I'd never done it before. I had a basic plan - I'm starting here on this day and ending here on this day and want to see these things. The first 5 days were a bit rough. Then I figured it out and it was amazing.

Trust in your innate abilities as a human that you can deal with whatever will arise.
So would the best way to do it be to book a flight landing in one destination and leaving from another? Did you do the europass and use the train for transportation? If so, what's the best way to go about doing that? We're likely going to travel for 10 days.
Sorry for so many questions, I really have no idea how to go about doing this. I'm normally a big planner and this is a bit out of my comfort zone but I'm excited to try it.
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
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Originally Posted by sawyersmom View Post
We're likely going to travel for 10 days.
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.
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
1,300 posts, read 1,096,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawyersmom View Post
So would the best way to do it be to book a flight landing in one destination and leaving from another? Did you do the europass and use the train for transportation? If so, what's the best way to go about doing that? We're likely going to travel for 10 days.
Sorry for so many questions, I really have no idea how to go about doing this. I'm normally a big planner and this is a bit out of my comfort zone but I'm excited to try it.
I think that first you need to add some structure to you trip such as what you want to see and do. You don't have to plan everything down to booking hotels but first you need to know where you need to start and where you need to end up. Everything in between is easier to fill in from there. For example if you know that you want to explore Italy buy the best ticket that works for you dates, you don't necessarily have to fly into one destination and out of another, sometimes going in a circle can be the best thing. I often find the best deal is flying in and out of Milan but I never spend anytime there but it is a good jumping off point for trains and cheap flights.

I have done several whirlwind trips where you can visit 4 or 5 countries in that amount of time but you aren't really going to have time to really explore each destination. If part of the excitement for you will be the travel to each destination you can cover a good bit of distance in that time.

There are many apps and websites to help with deciding to go on the fly. I would recommend rome2rio.com to help you get an idea of how to get from destination to destination, it will give you the possible modes, time it takes to travel by that mode, and general costs. If Italy is on your list, I recommend checking out the trenitalia site, they often have deals that can help to lower the cost. Other train systems also offer other deals, for example the train that runs between Paris and Brussels had a "carpool" type fare that allowed you to get a discount on the fare but you needed 4 people to sign up but you can use strangers to help fill up your "car".

Another good app is hotel tonight, you can find last minute room deals and sometimes you will see the room rate go down later in the day so sometime is pays to wait to book.
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:54 PM
 
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Yes, do it! I've been traveling like this since before smart phones were a thing.

Pack light, have a general idea of where and what you want to see, but be open to new experiences. Talking to some fellow backpackers while waiting for a train in Italy and they told me about Cinque Terra and wow, so glad that I added it to my trip.

It's hard to go wrong in Europe. Are there cities and experiences that you will think back and say, meh and decide you wouldn't want to go back to, sure, but I bet the very next thought will be, but I am glad we saw it at least once.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:27 AM
 
Location: NY/LA
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I did it in the 90s, before cell phones and online booking sites were as ubiquitous as they are today. We had a Eurail pass for getting around, and International Student Identity Cards (ISIC) which got us some discounts at hostels and maybe some museums. To save money on hostels, we also spent a night here and there on red-eye trains between destinations.

We had a rough plan at the start, but improvised for most of the trip, maybe booking accommodations a night or two in advance, sometimes day of. We had a few "must see" items on our list, but everything else was pretty flexible. If one place was more interesting than we thought it would be, we'd stick around a little longer. If not, we'd move on. One of the best trips of my life.

Also: pack light and leave room for souvenirs.
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:08 AM
 
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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. I don't think "backpacking" is a concept that really applies for 10 days total.

OP, first figure out what you want to see the most as shellymdnv wrote. Is it Paris, Rome or other big cities, or the Alps, or the Cinque Terre, or Tuscany, or the Loire Valley, or Auschwitz? Your "can't miss" list will dictate the structure of your trip -- "Paris + 1 week of wandering around" will be very different from "Paris + Rome + 3 days of wandering around".

Those can't miss items will also dictate how you travel. A big cities itinerary can easily be planned with trains or one intra-Europe flight but some places are not as convenient with public transportation unless you are ready to budget more time for transport (Southern Italy, Croatian islands, Baltics).
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:10 AM
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You can still travel through Europe but plan at the same time. I say do it.
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Island of Misfit Toys
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I did this for 3 months. haha Biggest tip, pack light. You get tired of dragging around a pack in general, but get very cranky when it's too heavy. If you can sleep on trains, overnight trains are a good way to get from A to B without using a day.
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