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Thread: Recommendation for backpacking trip to europe?

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    Default Recommendation for backpacking trip to europe?

    Hey all,

    might be planning a backpacking trip to europe with some friends in about may or june....just wondering if anyone has any tips or recommendation here??

    Like any particular places that are recommended for visits...or just any things to look out for while there.

    And i heard that the weather there is kinda hot around summer time...anyone has any experience with this and whether its really bad?

    Any feedback or tips would be greatly appreciated! and thanks!

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    Are u on budget travel (ie stay in youth hostel and cook your own meal and travel by train) or luxury (ie stay in proper hotel and eat at restaurant and rent your own car)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astin
    Are u on budget travel (ie stay in youth hostel and cook your own meal and travel by train) or luxury (ie stay in proper hotel and eat at restaurant and rent your own car)?
    Definitely budget!! But not too sure bout the cook your own meal part... Trying to plan for something like a 10-14 day trip...any rough estimation of cost oso? We're thinking of hopefully keeping it under 3k.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phantasia
    Definitely budget!! But not too sure bout the cook your own meal part... Trying to plan for something like a 10-14 day trip...any rough estimation of cost oso? We're thinking of hopefully keeping it under 3k.
    $3k including airfare? With Euro so strong...it is quite tedious

    Also if you intend to move about a few country...you need to buy euro train pass and it is not cheap either....one way to save is to take night train, that your will save on lodging.....my brother just came back from Paris and a typical hostel with shared bath, cost Eu22/pax...so this is a good way to keep your expediture down

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    This is just some rough price guide.
    Air ticket cost abt $1k from Singapore to Europe.
    Train ticket unlimited travel cost abt $500??
    Some countries in Europe are high cost (eg Switzerland, Austria) and some are low cost (eg Spain, Italy)
    Normally for high cost u cook your own meal or pack your sandwiches, for low cost u eat out in restaurant. The cost of eating is properly $10-20 per day.
    The cost of hostel maybe abt $10-20 per day?

    If u do more research and planning beforehand then u would save more money. Last time we always bought a copy of Lonely Planet and read before travel.

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    Also take note not everyone speak English in Europe. Eg
    - Paris ppl only speak French
    - Spain almost whole country only speak Spanish

    But thats the fun of travelling in Europe, sometimes u understand and sometimes u dont understand, most times u are very blur....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astin
    This is just some rough price guide.
    Air ticket cost abt $1k from Singapore to Europe.
    Train ticket unlimited travel cost abt $500??
    Some countries in Europe are high cost (eg Switzerland, Austria) and some are low cost (eg Spain, Italy)
    Normally for high cost u cook your own meal or pack your sandwiches, for low cost u eat out in restaurant. The cost of eating is properly $10-20 per day.
    The cost of hostel maybe abt $10-20 per day?

    If u do more research and planning beforehand then u would save more money. Last time we always bought a copy of Lonely Planet and read before travel.
    Thanks astin and kahuna! $10-20 for lodgings would be in S$? If euros...then it works to about S$100 per day for lodgings + meals?

    Yeah i heard bout the lonely planet travel guides as well...was thinking of seeking some opinion here b4 starting some serious planning.

    Are there any particular places that are particular worth visiting? I heard dunno central europe is suppposedly cheaper? Not too sure tho.

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    Oh and realistically speaking...roughly how many places can we cover in say 12 days? Without a too hectic schedule...

    Thanks!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by phantasia
    Oh and realistically speaking...roughly how many places can we cover in say 12 days? Without a too hectic schedule...

    Thanks!!
    Hey!~ Me too!
    Going there for about 2 months...
    Backpacking also...

    But haven't done any research yet...

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    Quote Originally Posted by AReality
    Hey!~ Me too!
    Going there for about 2 months...
    Backpacking also...

    But haven't done any research yet...
    Hey gavin,

    Wow ur going there for 2 months? Isnt it kinda long for a vacation...roughly wats ur budget leh?

    hehe maybe we can discuss abit when we've both done our research....perhaps might be useful as some reference.

    hehe lets see how things go.

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    Since you're only going for 12-14 days, you might want to confine your trip to only a few countries at the most. I guess you have a choice of touch-and-go to as many countries as possible (i.e., the famous & often visited places) or you could concentrate on just 3-4 countries at the most and try to explore each country and little more in-depth and try to go a little off the beaten track.

    Just to give you an idea, I spent 1 month in Western Europe and 1 year later, another 1 month in Eastern Europe and still didn't manage to visit lots of places. You tell yourself that you'll eventually go back but seriously, it's been many years and nope, I haven't done it yet.

    So, you might want to think very carefully which countries you want to cover first.

    Also, if I'm not wrong (don't know if it's still like this), I think the Eurorail pass can only be purchased outside of Europe itself.

    Do your homework as comprehensively as possible. Get a copy of the Europe rail schedules and work out in as much detail as possible your travelling itinerary. You can probably save quite a bit on accomodation if you travel overnight on trains. Doesn't matter if it's the slow train since you'll be saving that money on a night spent at a hostel/motel/hotel.

    All the best! It'll be fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by phantasia
    Yeah i heard bout the lonely planet travel guides as well...was thinking of seeking some opinion here b4 starting some serious planning.
    No neeed to buy....can borrow from National library...they have a lot of travel guides......my favorate being DK's..it's colorful and easy to read

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    Quote Originally Posted by phantasia
    Oh and realistically speaking...roughly how many places can we cover in say 12 days? Without a too hectic schedule...

    Thanks!!
    For me.. 12 days only enough for 1 country, 2 max....

    When i was in Europe recently for honeymoon, cheap 3 star boutique hotel in rome costs me 100euro a night. one meal abt5-10euro w.o wine etc. you do the maths and i can tell you it's almost impossible to get by with S$3k.

    It's only abt 1.4keuro. FOr a tip thouighm, BA having a promo to EUrope, most tiks around 700+ return, best deal IMHO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Kahuna
    No neeed to buy....can borrow from National library...they have a lot of travel guides......my favorate being DK's..it's colorful and easy to read
    DK is great esp if you go to those historical places like Rome, Egypt as they have wonderful sectional illustration of the churches, tombs etc. FOr city guide, try Timeout. No pics but lots of info. Lonely planet is good if you on budget.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phantasia
    Hey gavin,

    Wow ur going there for 2 months? Isnt it kinda long for a vacation...roughly wats ur budget leh?

    hehe maybe we can discuss abit when we've both done our research....perhaps might be useful as some reference.

    hehe lets see how things go.
    Sure!

    BTW, izzit advisable to bring our own instant noodles there?
    Just helping a friend to ask..

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    Quote Originally Posted by AReality
    Sure!

    BTW, izzit advisable to bring our own instant noodles there?
    Just helping a friend to ask..
    yes! if u can, pack as many cup noodles as u can! plus the usual assortment of instant milo or coffee/tea. by and large, the shops and eating places of european cities close 5pm SHARP! not 5pm announce shop close and u got 1/2hr grace. when they close, it means closed! my wife and i had the opportunity to experience this when we got back late from Interlaken, Switzerland, 2yrs ago. ended up eating mac which closed at 5.30pm. sigh... fly thousands of miles and eat mac... but, yeah. its true. mac do taste the same everywhere...

    another useful thing to get is the europass for travelling on public transport. u HAVE to get it here becos u can't buy it there as u are a tourist, not local. these passes are great value for money becos it allows u to take public transport (bus, ferry, cable cars etc...) either for free or at a heavy discount. trust me. u'll need it. u can get it any travel agencies dat specialised in europe travels. i got my from travelex at change alley.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AReality
    Sure!

    BTW, izzit advisable to bring our own instant noodles there?
    Just helping a friend to ask..
    This was what I'll did when I toured around Europe. I brought along a small portable heating pan, one that can heat up food or even boil water. Bring along some Maggie Mee or other instant noodles (not cup noodles as it takes up more space) from S'pore, and buy some eggs or snacks from any of the supermart that you'll find there and, voila, you can cook your own meal in the comfort of your hotel. Of course, you may have to bring utensil also. And one important note.....don't let the hotel management know that you are cooking inside! This is one way to cut down costs. Meals will take up a big portion of your tour expenditure.

    FYI, the cheapest meal you'll usually find in a restaurant is McDonalds. It typically costs at least 5 euro and above for a meal. Your other alternative is to buy sandwich from the deli. A sandwich from a deli costs around 2-3 euro. In some of the bigger cities, you might find cafe selling Kebab, which usually cost around 4-5 euro. If you must eat Chinese food, you can try to look for those small Chinese eateries where they sell the dishes by weight. Chinese food is fairly cheap in Italy and Portugal. But be warn that in Italy, the food generally will be very salty, so if you want to eat Chinese food in Italy, always ask them to reduce the saltiness 1st.

    UK and Switzerland are the most expensive in Europe. Portugal and Spain are one of the cheapest in Western Europe. If not, the Eastern Europe are a much cheaper alternative, especially since they don't use euro. Oh yeah, if you are going there during summer, the hotel rates are usually the peak rate, some could be almost double of the off peak rates. A budget of S$3k per person for 2 weeks is very tight. Try to budget more than S$5k.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phantasia
    Are there any particular places that are particular worth visiting? I heard dunno central europe is suppposedly cheaper? Not too sure tho.
    Most ppl go to Europe for these 3 thingies:
    - museum (many)
    - church (many many)
    - castle (also many)

    If this is yr first time, then just spend 3 days in Paris, 3 days in Rome and 3 days in Athens. Allow a day or 2 for travelling between. U go there for holiday, so travel slowly and dont rush.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nightwolf75
    yes! if u can, pack as many cup noodles as u can! plus the usual assortment of instant milo or coffee/tea. by and large, the shops and eating places of european cities close 5pm SHARP! not 5pm announce shop close and u got 1/2hr grace. when they close, it means closed! my wife and i had the opportunity to experience this when we got back late from Interlaken, Switzerland, 2yrs ago. ended up eating mac which closed at 5.30pm. sigh... fly thousands of miles and eat mac... but, yeah. its true. mac do taste the same everywhere...
    McDonalds don't close that early. It'll usually open till 9-10 pm. Most shops will close by 7 pm, maybe 6 pm during winter. Restuarants will only start serving from 7pm. In Spain, they start dinner at 8pm! Of course there will be some exceptions to the timing. In some big cities, eg Barcelona/ Lisbon, some shops stay open till midnight during summer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phantasia
    Oh and realistically speaking...roughly how many places can we cover in say 12 days? Without a too hectic schedule...

    Thanks!!
    If you rent a car, have a good sense of direction, have a good navigator, proper planning, you should be able to cover up to 5-6 countries. But a better gauge will be 6 cities/towns. Allocate 2 days for every city. You can also squeeze in some small towns/villages along the way.

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