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Old 12-21-2009, 11:42 AM
 
454 posts, read 1,243,683 times
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Ok, this is a very "it Depends" question....i understand that.

but if you had to put a figure on it, how much would you think it would cost for two young people (30 years old married couple with no kids) who are healthy and fit, to backpack/explore all of europe?

how much and how long will it take to properly see everything and not have to rush?

please give a range and keep in mind that i know that the answer is "IT DEPENDS"....but give your take on it if you wish.

Accomidations: hostils/etc. are fine
food: nothing fancy. we're good at finding deals and cheap sales
transportation: we can walk....but we're ok with buses and trains or planes too
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:49 PM
 
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Europe is a huge continent. I would first suggest you buy a map that shows the entire continent of Europe and get a good idea of where you want to go. I would stick with regions, crisscrossing the continent will cost you a lot more money. Many people make the mistake that since countries are so close together they can see everything.

What's your time frame? What's your budget? What are your interests?

It really does DEPEND on a lot of factors.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyKid View Post
Europe is a huge continent. I would first suggest you buy a map that shows the entire continent of Europe and get a good idea of where you want to go. I would stick with regions, crisscrossing the continent will cost you a lot more money. Many people make the mistake that since countries are so close together they can see everything.

What's your time frame? What's your budget? What are your interests?

It really does DEPEND on a lot of factors.
that's the type of answer i was trying to avoid...
no, i'm kidding. i understand. your answer is proper...but i do realize that it 'depends' on a lot of factors...

we don't have a budget yet....this is early in the whole thing....

i just want to know if for example, i take a year off of work, and have 50k in cash, would i be able to spend time in EU and see a pretty good chunk of what i should see?

we enjoy historic places, beautiful scenary, hiking, etc.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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Just to give you an idea I spent $12k to backpack western europe in summer 2008 (mid June-end of august. this included all flights as well. the euro/dollar exchange rate was a lot worse then it was right now. my biggest surprise expense was alcohol believe it or not

50K for one person is very doable, just watch your money in scandinavia, UK and the big cities i.e. Rome, Paris, Amsterdam

50K for you and your girl would be pushing it and would suggest you spend more time in Eastern Europe. I spent the entire summer 2009 in eastern europe and it cost me around $4.5K including flights. I did not have to watch my budget at all.

So your taking a year off in the current economy? A lot the backpackers who told me they took a year off or "quit" their jobs, later revealed they were laid off.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyKid View Post
Just to give you an idea I spent $12k to backpack western europe in summer 2008 (mid June-end of august. this included all flights as well. the euro/dollar exchange rate was a lot worse then it was right now. my biggest surprise expense was alcohol believe it or not

50K for one person is very doable, just watch your money in scandinavia, UK and the big cities i.e. Rome, Paris, Amsterdam

50K for you and your girl would be pushing it and would suggest you spend more time in Eastern Europe. I spent the entire summer 2009 in eastern europe and it cost me around $4.5K including flights. I did not have to watch my budget at all.

So your taking a year off in the current economy? A lot the backpackers who told me they took a year off or "quit" their jobs, later revealed they were laid off.
hehe
thanks for the response.
no, to be honest, as much as i like to do this, i doubt it'll happen. i just like to keep my options open. i'm serious about this as much as i'm serious about quitting my Engineering Job to become a photographer for national geographic. long shots

based on the figures you gave, and based on the fact that we both don't drink alcohol, i feel more comfortable about the 50k. we went to paris, rome, venice, prague and Kracow 2 years ago for 2 weeks and spent 450 Euros on food and museums (not including the hotels/planes/etc. of course).....at the same rate, that's 11k euros for a year....or about 20k USD tops. i think we could do it if the opportunity came knocking....
what the hell we would do with the mortgages? hell if i know!
lol

thanks again for the reply!
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:53 PM
 
Location: on an island
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It might be a good idea to visit some backpacking sites such as Eurotrip.com, Thorntree, or Bootsnall.
Europe can be pricey but IMHO 50K is a whole lot of money.
It really depends what you like, but it might be fun to begin your trip in southeast Europe in the spring, and then slowly work your way west and then north.
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
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My wife and I just wrapped up a 12-month world-tour for waaaay under 50K (though that was our budget). Total cost was about 30K, but that included some time spent with family, couchsurfing, and really cheap Asian hotels. But we did have to handle the cost of trans-pacific flights.

I wouldn't go under 30K for planning purposes. 50 should get you through just fine with extra to spare if you cook for yourself most of the time, couchsurf occasionally, and keep your fancy hotel or tour splurges to one per month or so.

For a solid Western Europe + maybe a city or two in Slovakia and Hungary, I'd say 4-5 months is enough if you keep moving. 6-7 would allow you a more leisurely pace.

If you really want to spend a year on the road, I'd suggest adding a continent. Either way, after 12 months of backpacking, you'll probably be ready to come home and settle down for a while.


Some logistics and suggestions to think about re your plan:

- A US passport or Schengen visa will only allow you to spend 3 months in the EU at a stretch. You can overstay, but you are risking penalties and/or deportation if you get caught.

- The UK is outside of the Schengen zone, so time there doesn't count. I'm not sure if the same is true for Switzerland.

- We were on a 100 Euro-per-day budget and we usually spent about 2/3 to 1/2 of that. We included flight tickets in those numbers, so any savings we had first went toward paying off our flight in. We paid off the flights in and out about a month.

-Travel is expensive. Staying in one spot longer is always cheaper. Train travel will be your biggest expense if you move on every 3-4 days.

-Busses are cheaper than trains (but not as comfortable.) Eurobus is good, but often timetables in English are hard to find. Trains are ridiculously easy to figure out in every country and go everywhere. Local low-speed trains are always cheaper than expresses.

-Country-specific rail passes can be a good deal if you plan on spending more than a few weeks inside the country. We paid about 100 EUR for 400 EUR worth of German rail travel.

-Overnight trains or busses can save you the price of a hostel for a night.

-www.couchsurfing.com was a GREAT resource for budget travellers. We saved sooo much money staying with couples who were just like us (late-20's open-minded and friendly) lots of great experiences and only one or two bad ones. Be a good guest if you use this resource and try to give back to your hosts (cook them your specialty, take them out for a drink, etc). I recommend only staying with couples who seem similar to yourselves, as you will find you have lots in common to talk about and similar interests.

-One cheap digital camera with an SD card or two will do it. Don't carry expensive camera equipment. It's bulky and makes thefts hurt. A little camera can fit in your vest pocket and be whipped out to catch great shots that happen to occur.

-Netbooks; I'm torn on this one. They are an invaluable resource in Asia where everywhere has wi-fi and internet cafes can be sparse. We did Europe without one, but we did have a PSP, with a handy internet browser that will serve in a pinch.

-Cell phones; buy one over there. You'll need to spend about EUR 15 every time you change countries for a new SIM card if you want to keep connected with hosts/hostels/home.

-Hostels/homestays; book ahead in high season and around big events. Low season you can just walk in most places. EUR 15 per person is the average you can expect. Hostels & Youth Hostels Worldwide - Online Bookings is a good resource if you're short on time. I recommend looking up places there and then googling them to see if you can get their number/address/website and save a few euros. Hostelworld charges a premium.

-Guidebooks: One big Lonely Planet (or equivilent) western Europe/Europe guide will do it. Minimizing weight and bulk is important.

-Backpacks: Try to cut your gear down to half-sized packs instead of those 4-foot-tall monstrosities most backpackers are lugging around. You can go around the world with wheeled carry-on suitcases nowadays. I'd recommend those. Let the image-conscious short-termers sweat under carry-packs while you roll along.

-Drinking: Maybe not so much in Europe, but sometimes a 40oz beer (especially on an empty stomach) can help you deal with the some of the rough parts of travelling. Being able to join in a drink with hosts or new friends is a pleasure not to be missed if you can alter your non-drinking habits a little.
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:08 PM
 
454 posts, read 1,243,683 times
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Excellent reply!
Thank you very very much!
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:22 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,911,924 times
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I wish Sponger's post could be a stickie at the top of the page.

We've never done a round the world itin, let alone had an entire year off, but I think we've followed just about every bit of the advice Sponge offers.

Our one weakness is our short attention spans.
We tend to enjoy moving from place to place every few days.
However, our last trip was 3 weeks spent in just one country.
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