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Travelling without a drivers license? Am i screwed?

Travel Forums General Talk Travelling without a drivers license? Am i screwed?

1. Posted by jashiggins (First Time Poster 1 posts) 27w

jashiggins has indicated that this thread is about Europe

I want to do a big Europe trip next year but I don't have my drivers license...and theres only so many buses and trains you can catch right? Am i pretty much screwed and will it be 10x more expensive getting to places when being unable to drive???

2. Posted by Andyf (Travel Guru 672 posts) 27w


I don't know where you're from or what you're used to, but I wouldn't be trying to drive around Europe anyway. Depending on what exactly you plan to see. Generally it's a lot of old cities so I wouldn't attempt it - easier to take public transport from city to city, and not bother with unfamiliar roads, navigation and traffic. They're mostly not very car friendly, having grown organically since before the invention of cars.

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4890 posts) 27w

I'll echo what Andyf said. There's many places in western Europe where it's far easier - and cheaper - to get around by public transport than by car, particularly in and between the big cities which tend to be the main draw for non-Europeans. The public transport network between cities is vast and for most stretches you'd want to travel, there's a train at least every other hour, while for example the big cities in the Netherlands are connected by a train every 15 minutes during the day. For more long distance stretches, cheap scheduled international bus trips have in recent years started to be an option worth considering, and if you can plan (and book) several weeks ahead, train rides by ICE and similar fast trains can be quite economical as well. Additionally, renting a car when you're not yet 25 tends to be prohibitively expensive.

[ Edit: Edited on 07-Jul-2016, at 10:29 by Sander ]

4. Posted by OldPro (Respected Member 333 posts) 27w

Whether you are 'screwed' or not depends on a lot of factors but in most cases, the simple answer would be NO you aren't. Europe has a highly developed public transport system that can get you to most places relatively easily. What might 'screw' you is cost but then renting a car could do the same thing.

Many 'backpackers' travel Europe using a rail pass or bus pass without any problem and so could you obviously. The question you should probably be asking is 'here is my total budget for x amount of time. What will it get me in terms of food, accommodation and transportation?'

For example, staying in Hostels; eating mainly food bought in a supermarket and being able to afford the odd beer or museum entry is generally agreed to cost a backpacker around $70- $100 US per day including transportation. But someone who wants to stay in hotels and eat in restaurants is obviously going to spend more. That's up to you.

The only time transportation would really become a major obstacle is if you wanted to visit places that just aren't on any train or bus route. In most of Europe there are few of those.