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Intro: First-time backpacker

Travel Forums Introductions Intro: First-time backpacker

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1. Posted by Backpacker2014 (Budding Member 9 posts) 2y

Hi Everyone,

My name is Zarah, a 25yr old student from Toronto (Canada) and I am new to this site. I figured I'd join to gain further insight on tips for traveling/backpacking, as it will be my first time doing so. In about one month I will be visiting Europe and super excited but a bit stressed at the same time (trying to juggle both exams and preparing for the trip same time). It was kind of a last minute decision and I already booked my flight, so doing all the research I can in the meantime!

Also, I'd love to hear from those of you who are planning or have already backpacked through Europe (or elsewhere) and would like to share your experiences, concerns, advice or suggestions.

Thanks!!
:)

2. Posted by KellieBarnes (Admin 813 posts) 2y

Hi Zarah,

Welcome to Travellerspoint!
Do you have an interest in a particular area of Europe? How long will you be travelling for?

3. Posted by Backpacker2014 (Budding Member 9 posts) 2y

Hi KellieBarnes,

Thanks!

We were interested on visiting Amsterdam, then to Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Munich, Innsbruck, Venice, and Rome. I am traveling with two others (also first timers to Europe and backpacking). We have already booked a flight to Amsterdam and another leaving for home from Rome, so we are a bit flexible with the places in between these two cities.

We are traveling from early April to early May 2014 (27days). My concerns are if this itinerary is doable for the time length, transportation and locations, etc.

4. Posted by KellieBarnes (Admin 813 posts) 2y

Ah, that is where I cannot help, I'm afraid—all European countries I've sadly not visited yet!

To me, it sounds like a bit of hopping around but I'm a fan of slow travel. I tend to spend at least a week in one place so I can explore the local city, lifestyle, and surrounds.

In regards to travel between cities, I suggest having a look at Rome2Rio to research best transportation options and costs with your itinerary as it currently is. You may find some better alternatives or more cost effective ways to see these cities.

Good luck with your planning! Oh and if you haven't yet, the travel planner can help you map out everything you and your friends want to see.

5. Posted by hasbeen (Respected Member 602 posts) 2y

I mostly travel using cruise ships. This means I am quite comfortable spending only a day in a city or even a country, before moving on to the next. But with a cruise ship, there is no ‘travel’ in between. No luggage to contend with & your hotel room travels with you. Very relaxed but can be expensive & European river cruises are more so.

Whereas, while your itinerary looks feasible, it allows about two days per city with one day traveling & locating hotels / hostels in between, that may be a bit hectic & something of a blur.

Perhaps a few less stops would allow you a bit of a breather.

If you do get to Munich, there is the wonderful fairytale, Neuschwanstein castle south of there. A great day out from Munich.

Trains may be your best bet for transport. Check out the various European train passes & this site gives a wealth of info about train travel.
The man in seat 61

Happy travels

Steve in Ottawa - practically a neighbour.

6. Posted by Backpacker2014 (Budding Member 9 posts) 2y

KellieBarnes,

I don’t disagree with you, it definitely is a lot of places to try to visit within month! To appreciate and explore the city more, I would love to spend more than a couple days in each city as well!! I guess that’s one of the downsides of going with a group, as we all want to cover as much as we can in order to please everyone.

Also, I briefly checked out Rome2Rio and it seems like a pretty useful website, thanks for sharing! And will definitely take use of the travel planner :).

Hi Steve,

I actually never thought of commuting via cruise ships and will definitely look into that for my future trips, as the no moving around luggage etc seems quite appealing! The only disadvantage for me (as a student with a budget) would be the expenses for cruise ship as you mentioned, versus the cheaper rates of the trains! And thanks for sharing the seat 61 site by the way, I’ve actually heard of it before, it must be a popular site!

Also, the Neuschwanstein castle seems like an amazing place to explore and we surely plan on visiting it when we go to Munich. But I was wondering if a half day would be sufficient to see the entire castle or do you suggest we should put it aside as an entire day activity? (because it look like a huge castle!)

Thanks friendly neighbor :)
Zarah

7. Posted by hasbeen (Respected Member 602 posts) 2y

Quoting Backpacker2014

....

I actually never thought of commuting via cruise ships and will definitely look into that for my future trips, as the no moving around luggage etc seems quite appealing! The only disadvantage for me (as a student with a budget) would be the expenses for cruise ship as you mentioned, versus the cheaper rates of the trains! ......

Cruises are often expensive, sometimes exorbitantly, but not always.....

I was just looking at a 14 day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Montreal for 60 dollars a day per person. That's cheaper than staying in hostels and trains between all those stops. It gets more expensive getting to & from the ship at either end plus maybe a hotel for a night.
Go on a few cruise company sites & get them To send you their deals. That doesn't cost anything & you can unsubscribe if it gets too much.

Quoting Backpacker2014

....

Also, the Neuschwanstein castle seems like an amazing place to explore and we surely plan on visiting it when we go to Munich. But I was wondering if a half day would be sufficient to see the entire castle or do you suggest we should put it aside as an entire day activity? (because it look like a huge castle!)

Thanks friendly neighbor :)
Zarah

I took a day tour ( about $65 CD ) and that was a two hour train ride there and back. About 9 hours all told or thereabouts. So - yes, a day trip
You can get there without a tour but you have to get the castle tickets in the village before the castle and going round the castle you have to take their guide.

Here'a the story of my trip there..
My Blogo

And if you want to see what sort of things you can do with a cruise, have a look at the Table of Contents. It's Mostly Cruising

Happy travels.

Steve

8. Posted by Andyf (Travel Guru 640 posts) 2y

I agree re cruises. My summer trip this year is a cruise to spitzbergen and up the Norwegian coast including the Lofoten Islands, it's costing me £54 per day and I don't anticipate spending much besides that since it includes accommodation transport and meals. I don't think I could do budget travel any cheaper than that and certainly not to an expensive destination like Norway - particularly Spitzbergen.

Cruises CAN be mega expensive but often they sell the cruise at a low rate and make their profit from selling booze and shore excursions to a captive market. Well I'm not bothered about the booze and I'm very happy exploring ashore with my hiking boots on.

9. Posted by hasbeen (Respected Member 602 posts) 2y

Quoting Andyf

I agree re cruises. My summer trip this year is a cruise to spitzbergen and up the Norwegian coast including the Lofoten Islands, it's costing me £54 per day and I don't anticipate spending much besides that since it includes accommodation transport and meals. I don't think I could do budget travel any cheaper than that and certainly not to an expensive destination like Norway - particularly Spitzbergen.

Cruises CAN be mega expensive but often they sell the cruise at a low rate and make their profit from selling booze and shore excursions to a captive market. Well I'm not bothered about the booze and I'm very happy exploring ashore with my hiking boots on.

On the Ocean princess by chance?

Steve

10. Posted by Andyf (Travel Guru 640 posts) 2y

No, I prefer informal. Thomson Spirit.