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Gap year throughout Europe

Travel Forums Europe Gap year throughout Europe

1. Posted by laurawoods (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2y

I am thinking of going to Europe for a year for my gap year (I will be 18)

I have people I could stay with in England (about 3 weeks), Ireland (2 weeks), Paris (3 weeks), Venice (2 weeks) and Sweden (2weeks) plus I was thinking of au-pairing for three months. Then My Mum was going to fly over the travel the Mediterranean with me for about one month. That leaves about 4-5 months of solo travelling by myself.

I was thinking about going to Berlin (3 weeks), Ibiza (2 weeks-meet up with friend), Spain (Barcelona and Madrid-one month in total), Belgium (1 week) and Amsterdam (2 weeks) then stopping off at countries.

I will be very flexible with my travel plans based on who I meet, my experiences, etc.

Do you think I have allocated enough time to see each country? Is there anything you would recommend/any tips about extra countries to see & what to expect in each country?

Also, how much money would I need to save? I have already saved about $11,000 and have another 15 months to go.

2. Posted by hasbeen (Respected Member 630 posts) 2y

Quoting laurawoods

Do you think I have allocated enough time to see each country?

Only you can answer that based on what your interests are ... But a year is a great start ..

Quoting laurawoods

Also, how much money would I need to save? I have already saved about $11,000 and have another 15 months to go.

11000 dollars of what country?

A year is hard to plan for but you can never have enough money so save as hard as you can & go home before it runs out.

A couple of thoughts --

I suggest you play with TP's map feature to get an idea of distances and transport options & TP Planning / Accommodation for an idea of prices of places to stay.

One absolute thing you should do is look at the visa requirements as that will affect your time in & out of Schengen countries and work visas for whatever country you choose for Au Pair work.

have a look at Maps and Moxies Map of where she has been on her current Europe trip - it my give you some ideas.

Happy travels.

Steve

[ Edit: Edited on 01-Dec-2014, at 17:11 by hasbeen ]

3. Posted by Andyf (Travel Guru 653 posts) 2y

This seems a good pace, especially if you are using those cities as a base to explore a wider area. Two or three weeks in a single city would be too slow and boring for me, but it depends how you want to spend your time, if you're lingering, partying a bit, enjoying being with other travellers then no problem and you're avoiding the burnout which comes from zipping through too many places too quickly.

Your list is very Western Europe, which certainly has lots of sights but it is hard on the budget. For example if you travel a couple of hours east from Berlin on a train into Polish cities like Poznan or Warsaw, prices drop to maybe one third or one half of the cost of living in Germany. I would be very tempted to look at Eastern Europe, places like Budapest, Prague, Krakow. All are very much on the backpacker circuit, they have a flavour of "old Europe" as well as all the cold war history that's missing if you stick to the West.

Other options for routing East include Ljubliana if heading out from Venice, or a route Warsaw, Lithuania (Kaunas or Vilnius), Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki if you're heading between Germany to Sweden.

If you need some time out from the Schengen Zone for visa purposes, Belgrade in Serbia is a good option.

It can be easy to city hop using the rail network, it may be worth you reading up on rail passes like Interrail and Eurail.

Whatever you decide, happy travels :-)

4. Posted by mapsandmoxie (Full Member 183 posts) 1y

Steve has given you some really good advice.

Budget really varies depending on where you go - Scandinavia is completely different on your budget compared to Poland or Slovakia, and what your travel style is.

What currency? Where are you from? There are different regulations in different places for how long you can stay where - this is something you will need to look at. To work/volunteer in the UK most people need a visa (unless you have a european passport), but you can do work exchanges in other countries without them - such as woofing, workaways, etc.

I'd also suggest reading up on bus passes! BusAbout, Ecolines and Eurolines.

Is there a reason you're looking at longer stays in every city? Do you have a particular area of interest? hiking, history, cultural immersion, etc. or are you looking to mix it up? Hiking the Camino is completely different on your budget and travel style compared to renting a flat in Amsterdam.

You will also want to consider time of year! northern countries get much shorter days and colder in the winter months, so you may need to be prepared to swap out gear along the way which can cost more. The days are also shorter. This is not to say that it doesn't offer it's own appeal - northern lights, winter sports, etc. - just different style of travelling.

I hope that helps with some ideas!

Cheers.

5. Posted by mariha2912 (Full Member 115 posts) 1y

It is very difficult to advice when someone doesn't provide specifics such as country of origin, interests, traveling style, reasoning of chosing one place upon an other...

And I am always very confused by people who mix specific cities with specific countries in a potential itinerary or have their geography slightly blurred. Not critical or something, just confused on how to advice.

I think many such itineraries start by name throwing and become clearer the more research the person does his self. It is then easier for more experienced travelers to advice on more specific ideas/questions/aspects of the trip planning.

6. Posted by Shirleyromero00 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 1y

This seems a good pace, especially if you are using those cities as a base to explore a wider area. Two or three weeks in a single city would be too slow and boring for me, but it depends how you want to spend your time, if you're lingering, partying a bit, enjoying being with other travellers then no problem and you're avoiding the burnout which comes from zipping through too many places too quickly.

-snip-

Moderator comment: please see Forum Rules

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. Link to Forum Rules added. ]

7. Posted by mariha2912 (Full Member 115 posts) 1y

Shirleyromero00 this screams SPAM!