I will be traveling to Europe from mid June to mid July with my wife. We plan on starting in London and puddle jumping across to Oslo and then backpacking our way down to Barcelona where we will fly back to the states. Any tips?
I always plan my itinerary by creating a page with the dates down the left and activity columns across the top.
List the town where you spend the night, travel time to that town, cost of accommodations, cost of meals, miscellaneous expenses and any other items of importance to you.
In that way you can budget your travel time, sight-seeing and nights. You can add the estimated cost for each day and determine how much your trip will cost.
Spend some time studying a map of Europe so you will know the distances between towns. Estimate travel time between towns where you will spend the night.
If you research on the web for travel costs, such as train, ferry, air fares and hostels in each town you can save a lot of money. The key is RESEARCH.
After 20 years of planning, I have come to rely on info gathered on the web. It is invaluable; and I have found it mostly accurate. Although you will find some errors.
Always use your ATM card to purchase local currency. It is by far the cheapest, easiest and quickest way. You will find machines in supermarkets, service stations, in front of banks, hotels, air and RR terminals and shopping centers.
So that you won't have to carry excess currency, use your credit card for accommodations and meals. Be sure to ask if that business takes credit cards before you make your purchase.
If you scan this Graffiti Wall in other categories you will find lots of tips from other travelers. And read the Graffiti archives too.
I will research as much as possible. I was just trying to make sure I don't overly plan. Sometimes I have a habit of letting my brain get in the way and forgetting that this is supposed to be a fun trip.
It sounds like you're planning on travelling somewhat "spontaneously", and probably not pre-booking accommodations? One thing to keep in mind is that mid-June to mid-July is getting into peak travel season in Europe, so it's probably going to be crowded and lodgings may be hard to find.
I tend to agree with the previous post in that a trip from London to Oslo and then to Barcelona may be a bit much for 30 days. Of course, it will depend on how many other cities you will be visiting along the way.
Good luck with your planning!
Hello Jay. 30 Days in Europe. That sounds great ! I recommend : be in a maximum total of five countries. You mentioned three countries. Perhaps the other two countries could be France and Switzerland. (?) If those are the countries that you choose, I recommend : fly from OSLO to PARIS. Ride in a train from Paris to Switzerland. And trains from Switzerland to southern France, and to Spain. My most recent trip in Europe was in the Scandinavian countries. I recommend : fly from London HeathRow airport to Bergen in Norway (SAS airline). One way. One night at Bergen. If you will be in Norway, you must do the "Norway in a Nutshell" Fjord trip. That is Bergen to Oslo, via boat ride on Fjords, including one night at Aurland (at the AurlandFjord). Read about "Norway in a Nutshell" in the book "Rick Steves' SCANDINAVIA". Do you want to go to places in Spain, in addition to Barcelona ? I recommend : buy Rick Steves' Travel Map of all of Europe. It has the main railroads for passenger trains.
You could do a mini-cruise from Oslo to Kiel (Germany) on Color Lines. They're great ships and the journey takes about a day and a half. From Kiel (Northern tip of Germany) you could work your way down to Barcelona, e.g. including Berlin, Paris, Cologne, Bavaria, Black Forest, Switzerland etc etc etc...
Way too much territory to cover in 30 days.
Hi Jay! My wife and I spent 30 days last summer in Europe and had a great time! My main recommendation based on our experience would be to spend 3 nights minimum in each place you stay. Most of where we went were 2-3 nights(never less than 3) and we felt that with 3 nights you could settle into a place a bit more and enjoy it. 2 nights were fine, but then that second day we found we were already planning/packing up to get ready to head out in the morning. Next time for us if we check out a variety of cities I think we'll do 3-4 nights in each place for a bit slower pace. Saying that, we did enjoy our trip immensely!
I would also recommend for some of the longer travel legs to fly to save time. We flew from Paris to Stockholm (family reunion) and then down to Zurich to continue our adventures. Train would have been way too long for those legs and eaten into our time too much.
As much fun as we had, build in some down days where you just relax and don't do much. 30 days of constant new adventures can be a bit tiresome. There were a few days we did nothing, but relax and wander around town. No plans, no standing in lines for sights, etc. It really helped!
Thanks Jed. We're narrowing it down to just tour the Netherlands, German, France, Italy, and Spain.