My friend and I are planning on traveling Europe summer after next (for two months or so)and are looking anywhere and everywhere for a little advice. We're thinking about taking the Eurail because it seems to offer the best value (and also, because our knowledge of traveling Europe is so limited) and seems like the best way to get from major city to major city. But we're open to suggestions. Also, as an alternative to flying, we've begun exploring any options to getting from say, New York City to London by way of boat, instead of plane, to cut costs. About how much can we anticipate spending on food, hostels, other means of travel, etc? What are some things we should make it a point to see in Europe? Thanks for any advice.
Ah, and if anyone has a room they wouldn't mind letting us use for a night or two, that would be appreciated, too, haha.
Get a membership card for Hostelling International , and stay at official HI hostels to cut hostel costs. Expect to be paying about 50 euro per person/per day for food, accomodation and extra things like museums.
If you are a student, get a student identification. It will get you in to some museums free or at least cheaper.
When in Paris, live on Nutella crepes! Add bananas once in a while for protein, and be sure to stand at the bar for your morning coffee (it's cheaper than having it at the table, or outside). Since you're going to be in Europe for the summer, you can also look into staying at University dorms. I don't know if they're cheaper than hostels, but they're certainly cheaper than hotels.
University dorms are certainly a cheaper option than hostels. Also dont be put off by none HI hostels as ive stayed in many non official hostels, and most were cheaper than the official thing and no less nice. The Eurail pass is a good way to travel, esp in western europe where train prices are often astronomical. However, if u consider visitin eastern europe - and there are some lovely places - then consider doing point to point travel as it is very cheap and will most likely work out cheaper than using ur eurail pass.
The first thing u need to think is what kind of places u want to go to? Are you looking for major cities and then towns in between to stop at, or do u want to go to slightly out of the way places which have something in particular about them. All times ive travelled, ive done the first option of choosing my (mostly capital) cities and then seeing where i would need to stay on the way to get to these places without having to spend my life on a train!!
Great places for me were Rome, Budapest, Prague, Berlin, Venice, Cesky Krumlov and Krakow. What u need to do is look at a Europe map and decide where it is u really want to go and where you would have to go to be able to travel effectively.
In terms of costs, always allocate more than u need. If you work on a max of €20 a night - most places ull find somewhere semi ok for this, and in the East this will buy u a hotel room rather than a hostel. Food costs will all depend on how lavishly u want to eat. I think i survived on about €10 a day, but that involved eating a lot of bread and cream cheese!! The other think u have to consider then is what u are going to be doing whilst in the cities. Each one will have different costs involved, but if u give urself €20 a day this should cover most days, and ull be able to include ur local transport in this figure as well.
On the whole, i spent less than this. A month round western europe cost me about £800, which included my air fare from the UK - granted this was a rather small sum! A month around eastern europe cost about £600, again inc airfare. These both included all my travel costs - in the first year an interail pass, and then point to point travel.
Hope this helps and if u need anything else just let me know.
A couple of budget European airlines for when you get there:
And a cheap airline from North America to the UK is:
Just wanted to thank everyone who posted...there's some great info there. I'll definitely try and keep everyone updated as the planning process goes and we figure out where it is we want to go and by what means. Thanks again!
If you want to find useful info about Krakow please visit:
In Italy you can save money on food:
-at breakfast, eat your coffe or capppuccino (1,20 euro) in a bar, but to chew something like BREAD and CROISSANT choose a "panetteria" (bakery): with 2 euro you'll be loud of carbo-calories.
-at lunch, go looking for a PIZZA or FOCACCIA always in a "panetteria", and stay away from the more touristic Pizza-take-away you can found at every corner in Rome and Florence: traps for tourist.
-at dinner, look for the happy hours bars, specially in Milan: go early (happy hour is between 17.30 and 19.30), and with your drink for about 5/7 euro you'll have an all-you-can-eat buffet with pasta, cheese and vegetables.