my partner and I are planning a year long trip in eastern Europe starting Jan 2009 (starting in turkey) thru the following year, or when our savings run out. has anyone ever gone for this long? we are planning on having a total of $20,000 to take. does this seem like a reasonable amount? (we do plan on living cheaply) does anyone one know how the passport situation will work? any advice will be appreciated. thanks!
We have spent up to 5 1/2 mos in Europe, tho this included Western countries as well. The East is much cheaper and you should be ok so long as you stay there.
Poland is a marvelous place and countries like Albania are said to be very cheap- ditto Romania and Bulgaria.
If you stay away from big cities except for the short term, it is likely that costs will be much lower.
Food, transport and entertainment in the East are much cheaper than in the West (with certain exceptions, like Moscow). Lodging, although still much less expensive than in the West, is not as proportionately cheap.
I couldn't comment on how long individual countries allow for visits. The EU members of the old Eastern Bloc (Poland, Baltic republics, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania) are not members of the Schengen Group, but as long as you have a valid passport, entry should not be a problem. You can not travel to Russia without obtaining a visa from the Russian government, so if you want to see St. Petersburg or Moscow, you need to plan your trip far in advanced
You should be able to get by on than, about $55/day. But note that many places in the old east are not as cheap as many imagine. Particularly in EU east, where many local currencies are pegged to the Euro. And when you say you "plan to take" that much money, do you mean physically having it with you?!? Stick to ATM/Debit cards. Machines are readily available, relatively cheap (oftentimes cheaper than exchange bureaus etc) and much safer. If you need help with Slovenia or Ljubljana, feel free to drop a line. Cheers!
Theoretically this is possible. Practically there are more than a few problems. Is at least one of you fairly fluent in at least one east European language ? If you are - good, go for it. If not that cash could start to dwindle quite swiftly.
you lucky dog....