I don't have the money to travel to Europe in the summer when it is more popular so I am going to get a nice budget ticket in September - hopefully. Then I want to visit as many countries I can while still having a good time and a meaningful experience along the way. I read Transitions Abroad and I am well versed in budget travel tips (although I am always open to more) but what I really need is (are) routes.
For instance, if I want to see both Germany and the French Riveria how would I go about that without flying too much. I do not mind hitch hiking, although have never done it, this is about new experiences. I do not want my money to be eaten away by flying.. I want to do alot of walking.. hence backpacking as my choice of travel.
I do not want to rush nor do I want to fall into the tourist track and not get to know the people in the region I am inhabiting. But I want to see as much as possible.. does anyone have any well used routes they would reccomend? Any villages I should pass through or people that would play my tour guide for a while?
-Desperately Seeking Adventure
Wintersdawn. I am kicking of an extended jaunt into euro in september. I am doing some deep down research and seem to be coming up with some really interesting sounding/looking spots.I dont know how climatized you are but an incrediable route on the budget tip would be southern italy and cross into Albania at Italias heel then up along the coast and through Slavic territory and into western Austria and further then for walking into Transylvania south into bulgaria and then further south into Turkey. You would cross so many different cultures and types of land and differnt people. the possiblilties are endless. this type of route offers so much and is quite affordable compared with south of france. What have you come up with yourself?
FYI, hitchhiking in Europe is called autostoping. I haven't done it myself, but I know some guys who have. If you do hitch, find out what the local names for cities/towns are. In Scandinavia I have heard they bring reflectors (like from tail lights) with them so cars can see them. Don't hitch on the German autobahn (like the freeways in the USA, but without speed limits!). It would also help if you speak more than one langauge, or even know a little of the local language, so you can communicate with your driver.
Actually, you can get really, really cheap flights in Europe. Try Ryan Air, Easy Jet or Open Jet. All have quite reasonable rates. They are no-frills discount airlines, so the little services, like drinks served while you are in flight, etc. are cut back to lower the cost. But since places are so close together, you won't be on the plane for long, anyway.
Getting a Eurrail pass will be a really good investment and will pay for itself (trust me). Either that or you can get a bus pass with Eurolines or Busabout, which is a little cheaper, though a bit slower, also.
I hope this helps!
Interesting... I must admit that i've been travelling and hitchiking in Europe for more or less the last 11 nor so years solid, and i've never even heard the term "autostoping" before. Looking at it, i'd say it was an American termm, but have still never heard it before.
I'd also add that hitching in any Western European country actually on the motorways/autobahn's etc isn't a good idea. In most it is highly illegal, and a combination of the volume of traffic and speed make it unlikely that anybody would stop for you anyway. Motorway service stations, and (in some countries) the tops of slip roads work much better.
Winterseve - Europe on the whole is so well travelled and touristed that using a well worn path is likely to happen anyway! Having said that, if you have some ideas of places you particularly want to see or avoid, i'm happy to offer some advice about routes if you want, but it's hard to do that with just "Europe" as a destination.
As general cheapy travel suggestions - particularly away from the major cities, out of touist season it can be easy to get discounts for accomodation etc - any number of campsites etc are barely half full and some money is better than none for them, especially if you are in an area with a couple of options - you have nothing to loose by haggling. In addition, join places like globalfreeloaders.com - you arrange to stay with local families etc (so both saving you money and getting more of an insight into local culture etc) and also things like buying food and cooking it yourself at a hostel raher than eating out most of the time. And, depending where you end up (and where i am at the time), i'd be quite happy to play the role of a guide for a few days.
In belgium we say autostoping for hitchiking. This is not the word you will find in a Dutch dictionary, it's more a dialect, but most people use it here...
Well Moscow, I have been searching on the internet for a few months now but I havent actually been able to find any routes per se. But I bought the Rick Steves guides and he gives excellent routes for the budget traveller. He also has very good tips and resources on his website so I am reading him exclusively. I am a little nervous at being on my own so long so I think I will take it easy for my first time. I have a very limited budget so I was thinking as far as staying options I am going to go the freeloading route and only have homestays and if weather permits camping sites which are very affordable.
I want to begin my trip in Portugal then proceed to enter Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Amsterdam (to meet my dad for hemp fest) then some Germany, Britain and end in Ireland. All in that order, over 4 months with little money. But Rick gives a good route for all and interesting sites so I hope all goes well. Still I am very nervous. How does that sound?