I am taking a trip to Eastern Europe this summer (June/July). At first I was looking at tour groups but then considered doing it on my own so that I can take in my surroundings without distraction. I found Rick Steves 22 day itinerary of Eastern Europe, which sounds great. I would have to adjust the time somewhat as I only have 18 days. I am worried about getting from here to there and worried that I will be limited in the help I can receive due to language barriers. I would like to start in Krakow and make my way through Eastern Europe. I am traveling alone, so feeling like I know where I am going and how I am getting there is important to me. Is English common in Eastern Europe and if so, do you find the people there helpful? I am wondering how safe hostels are and if there are any you can recommend. This is my first traveling experience out of the US, so any information or helpful hints would be appreciated.