I was planning on spending 30 days in Europe. I would like my trip to go to London, Amsterdam, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain. The focus of my trip will be Germany and Italy. As of now I would be flying into London, then Paris, Amsterdam, Germany(I think I would like to see the Rhine River, but spend most of my time in Munich, Then hit a few cities in Italy, from there maybe see French Riviera or Provence or both, and move on to Barcelona and Madrid. I was thinking like 3 days in each Paris, London, and Amsterdam; 7 days in both Italy and Germany; then the last 7 days or so in Spain or making a pit stop in Provence or something. I am looking for some insight on the trip I have planned as of now as far as if I should take something out or add, and cheap and easiest way of traveling to and from each country. Also place I should see that are not the obvious. In Germany I think I would like to see a lot of castles and landscapes. I am a college student and I am doing this trip September 2014 and traveling with my girlfriend and possibly my mother. I just want to see and experience as much as possible since I do not know if I will ever make it back. I have done a decent amount of research and I am wondering if a rail pass is the way to go for getting place to place, and maybe renting a car to venture off in Germany. Since my trip is so far away I am open to any kind of change.
The cheapest is obviously hitchhiking but it's lately very unreliable. In my late teens and early twenties i hitchhiked a lot but that was different time. Bus is the second cheapest and much more reliable. Then train. Then plane. But this is not true always. You need to investigate for specific situation. For example: train ticket in certain countries when bought enough ahead could be substantially cheaper than bus. Flight between certain cities could be cheaper than train or bus if you use cheap airline. Nowadays you find online enormous wealth of information. So investigate ahead, read guide books. Rick Steves guide books are especially helpful.
The more you move the more it costs. So, fly into say London, Eurostar to Amsterdam, Thalys to Paris, then fly to Munich. From there you can hit Rome and from Rome fly to Barcelona. Fly home from Barcelona. When pricing your tickets you are looking for "multi destinational or open jaw" tickets, not two one ways. Frankly I find your schedule a real fast one, but it is doable and I am just getting older now, lol
If you are going in summer please keep in mind most southern cities( rome and Barcelona) are seriously hot.. like meltingly... BTW, Why do so many of you say " I do not know if I will ever make it back" or "its a once in a lifetime trip" when you are like all so freaking young! Geesh at your age I knew I loved travel and WOULD make it a priority in my life, still got married, still had three kids, etc . but life is what you make it , so be optimistic. PS AT 23 my friend and I spend almost 3 months in Europe, favorite places were Greek Islands , Switzerland and Paris.. although Amsterdam was "interesting" lol
hi, from first glace, you biting off alot and may not have enough time in some places. But this will depend on what you want to do and see. early last year i was in Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Paris, Normandy and Amsterdam. 3 or 4 days/city with the rest using Air/Trains to get between and that was for 4 weeks (1 month) so you can see where you will be short on time. also all of my travel was < 1 day and more like < 6 hours so i had time to see things once i get settled in. also, you loose 1 day getting there. what i would recommend is to get RS books on the places you want to go or start using other methods list "do/see" things in each city. i use excel to make my list by city so i can move/add things and make notes like "time duration" for each thing. you can sum things up to see if youre running out of daylight and then you will figure out if your alloted days there is too long/short or if you need to trim your do/sees. afa traveling around, see the above comment from the previous post. i will add try to not cross your path alot or backtrack. (time & $$$). also, i found that by traveling by train puts you right in the city, so you can think about that and that when youre in a train or plane, youre not sightseening other than country side. once last comment, dont think/plan like youre not going back either. also, one last note. hows your moms health? if shes not mobile, she can slow you down. just something else to think about. ALos, you will want/need some down/chilling time. on my trip last year, i was getting burned out by the last week and left some stuff out of AMS. but i knew i would come back, so it wasnt a bigdeal. again, look at RS books. he covers sights and list things to do and see in day or days so you can get an idea whats possible in the time stated. Do some planning before you go so you can make the most of your Time & $$$. happy trails.
For young adults with more time than money, your best option would be to consult the Let's Go and Lonely Planet travel series. Rick Steves is more intended for 35+ travelers with a steady income. Plus, if I was in my 20s, I doubt I would want nightlife or outdoor recommendations from someone in his 60s... As the others mentioned, the easiest way to cut down on expenses is to limit your travel distances and number of destinations. Your plan is kind of all over the map, so unless you scale back, you're going to be stretched for both time and money. 30 days over multiple countries doesn't leave you with as much time as you think. "I just want to see and experience as much as possible since I do not know if I will ever make it back." When you graduate from college and have a steady income, traveling to Europe becomes much easier, if you make the commitment. Fill your time now with what you can afford, and save the rest for return trips. You have the rest of your life ahead of you for that... "I am wondering if a rail pass is the way to go for getting place to place" If you qualify for a youth or student pass... possibly. But if you have to pay the full adult rate, railpasses are almost always one of the most expensive methods of travel. Once you have a firm idea of your itinerary, look into advanced purchase discounts for individual rail journes. When available, these are by far and away your cheapest options for rail travel (the caveat remaining, of course, that a youth or student rail pass might be cheaper).
I was kind of basing my trip off of another travel sites itinerary for a 30 day trip, and taking out and adding places. Maybe something like fly into Paris stay for 5-7, then to Amsterdam for 3-5days, 10 days in Germany (probably like the Rhine River Munich)(really want to see the Neuschwanstein Castle), and 10 days in Italy (Venice, Florence, Rome). I had I had a feeling I was trying to do too much, but I needed to hear it from someone first. I worry I wont make it back considering no one in my family has been to Europe, and its not from lack of money. Also if there is a must see that I have not thought of or looked passed let me know. I am trying to keep the whole trip total under $6000/person. Which I don't think will be a problem, but I have never done something like this. Will hostels be the way to go if I am traveling in a group of 3 (girlfriend, mom, myself)?or hotels/b&b? I mainly want to see as much of the sights as I can, but I definitely want a few nights to go out to a club (my mom is as much of a partier as I am). All the feedback has been great, glad I decided to post something on here. I have never done any kind of blog before. Thanks and keep the feedback coming.
also I don't think this will likely happen, but how would my grandma do if she is still somewhat mobile. She has problems with her hips and making up and down stairs, but is alright with a walker. So how would it be for someone who is basically handicap?
"Also if there is a must see that I have not thought of or looked passed let me know." "Must see" is variable for the person, so only you can answer that. And without nailing down a definite route, it's kind of hard to make specific recommendations, other than the highlights covered in just about any travel guide. Without cruchning any numbers, I'm going estimate that $6,000 per person sounds reasonable for 30 days. Possibly even more than you'll need, but I'll let someone who has made those sort of calculations more recently than I comment further. Now, with regards to taking "somewhat mobile" grandma with you. Yes, it is possible to get around Europe with less than perfect mobility, but realize that the trip's pace will be dictated by the most limited member of your party. Without being too harsh, the goals of taking grandma AND seeing as much as you can in 30 days do not compliment each other. And to stress once again... you are young. If you want to visit Europe again, you have the rest of your life. It will happen if you want it to, so don't assume you have to see everything on your first trip. Hell, I visited Europe 12 times before I moved here three years ago, and I haven't even scratched the surface yet of all that I want to see.
hi again, its great you want to take your Grandma with you but realize, that some parts of europe isnt in current w/respect to paved roads and elevators or people movers. There is still ALOT of cobblestone in use over there. how do you think a walker will do on it? some of the museums dont have lifts, but have something like the stair climbers. If you insist on taking your grandma with you, then you WILL have to rethink your plans and cut way back. one thing you can do is to take your grandma out around town and make her walk around the way she would if in europe and see how long she can do it w/o needing to stop for the day. It will give you an idea on how her endurance is and how much time you will be spending sightseeing and how much down time you will need for her. just an fyi. Im going back this sept and heres my itinerary. Its not in order either. Oslo, Norway Stockholm, Sweden CPH, Denmark Hamburg, Ger Koln, Ger Brussels, Belgium Bastogne, Belgium Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Leeds, UK. Im spending from 1 ~3 full days in each city not counting travel days. those travel days will be < 1 full day and will probably be < 6 hours. Note, this will be a 4 week trip from this you should get an idea on who much you THINK you want to see/do and how much you WILL be able to do and see. I have calcualated that this will cost me about ~4k USD, thats ~1K uSD per week FOR ME and ONLY ME!. FOOD isnt included either! also, fwiw, this is not a NONSTOP/whorlwind vacation either. I always try to plan to sightsee from 6~8 hours and the rest is down time. You really need to do some numbercrunching to see whats possible and not esp with your grandma in tow. happy trails.
Alright, this is what I am working with now. Fly into Paris, take the high speed rail to Amsterdam (spend about 10days between the two), then take the train to Cologne (mainly just want to see the cathedral). I was thinking of renting a car for traveling in Germany. I think it might be more convenient and a little cheaper with three people. I am not going to take my grandma by the way, I was mainly curious if it would be possible for her to get a good experience. Then drive to Rüdesheim or Bingen (I would like to do a cruise down the Rhine and see the castles). Spend about 3 days between Cologne and Rüdesheim. From there drive down to Munich or maybe train (not sure). Spend about 6-7 days here. Move from Munich to Venice, and Venice to Florence, and Florence to Rome. I plan on 5-7 days in Rome. Not really sure what I really want to see in Italy besides Rome though. From what I have looked up, I think I can do this trip for around $2500-$3000/person including all travel, lodging, and the sites I might see (possibly even food). Train seemed the to be the way to travel as far as convenience and price, and I kept all my trips around 5hours or less between each destination. Like I said, I am not completely sure about what I want to see in Italy. In Germany, I was trying to stay on the eastern side of Germany so I did not wander too far away from my other destinations. I was trying to pick out the most romantic/beautiful part of the Rhine. I think the gothic architecture of the cathedral in Cologne is amazing, and that is the main reason I would like to stop there. Let me know what everyone thinks, and (anything I should consider)I am thankful for everyone taking the time to help me out.
Hello Kyle, my family and I will also be going to Europe during that same time next year for 30 days also. I website I found very helpful in my planning is Airbnb. I had a friend who went to Europe last year and used the site, it's very good and very helpful and him and his family really liked it. Your right about the cost, about 5000-6000 a person, which would include everything. Rick's books are very helpful and should be read before you go. Also, there are a lot of other helpful sites that you can use to help plan your trip. Good luck, have fun, and maybe my family and I will see you there. Bye.
30 days, food, accomadation, transportations( trains, rental car,gas$$ tolls, parking, ) , cost of sightseeing and admissions, sorry, it will closer to 3,000 or 3,500 dollars for the month.. at least for me since I am way past the age of sharing bathrooms down the hall. Hostels are sometimes a good deal, but the fairly nice hostels can cost about the same as a budget hotel room. Advantage of hotel room is private room and bathroom. Hostels charge head, so three heads at 30-35 euros each..its possible in some places to get a budget hotel room. With Paris Amsterdam , give more days to Paris, Amsterdam is smaller and does not have quite as many sites.. Paris can easily fill a few weeks on its own, but 7 days would be nice.. do a daytrip or two out of city.
kyle, don't assume that trains are always cheapest. Traveling between major cities in Europe, I've often found it's cheaper to use the discount airlines; check skyscanner website. And with 3 of you, renting a car might be more economical on some routes; however, check carefully before assuming you can rent; age limitations are common. You should also get an international driver's license (from AAA), and understand how much the extra insurance will cost (since it will markedly increase the quoted price for a car). For lodging, apartments are often cheaper than hotel rooms, particularly since you'll probably need 2 rooms. But apartments work best if you stay a few days in a city. Apartments have the added bonus of letting you cook some meals. For hotels, Eurocheapo website is a good source, as are the guides aimed at younger traveler (eg, Let's Go, Lonely Planet). Some hostels have family rooms so you wouldn't have to share with strangers, but quality varies widely. I always opt for a good location (even if lesser quality), near points of interest; that allows you to make better use of the time you have. The photo-intensive guidebooks (eg, DK Eyewitness Guides, National Geographic Guides) are really good for deciding where you want to visit in locales you list only by country name. However, they're not so good for actually touring (heavy, and often alphabetical, rather than regional). Finally, assume you'll lose a day each time you move notable distance, and that you'll incur significant expense. With a month, I'd suggest picking 4 or no more than 5 locations. You can do day trips to surrounding towns. That would give you 4 to 6 days per location.
Hi, You're a college student, presumably in your early 20s or younger. Since the trip is focusing on Germany and Italy, (if more the former), with 4 weeks to do this, ca. 30 days, I would suggest getting the 2nd class Austria-Germany Youth Pass unless with your travel companions you want to sacrifice flexibility for savings. There are numerous ways to save, cut down on expenses, vis-a-vis traveling and accomodations. You have to be flexible in chooing them.