Hi. I'm planning on going to europe for 1-2 months, but I am a student and a first time traveller. I am on a limited budget, so i may have to cut my trip from 2 months to 1. I would appreciate if someone could help me out. Where are the best palces to go?? Is it really as expensive as I have heard?? I have about $5000 canadian to spend for the entire trip-including flights...how far will that get me? I want to go everywhere, but i know that's propbably not possible. Some of the countries i want to visit are Ireland, scotland, england, Wales, France, Italy, Spain, and MAYBE greece. Should i even bother trying to fit this all in one trip or should i split it into 2 trips and take more time in each country? As you can probably tell I need HELP!!
I think you should split your trip into two trips. Everything in the UK is going to be expensive. The Canadian Dollar is weaker than the US dollar and the US dollar is about $1.75 for 1 British Pound. France is also going to be expensive, where as Italy, Spain, and Greece will be a little cheaper. Greece is a ways out of the way. I'd do a one month trip and do Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, and France. That should be sufficient especially with the amount you want to spend. If you budget really good you could probably fit Spain in as well and maybe... maybe Italy ... but no promises.
I think you can ORGANIZE a budget travel, but you've to search enough, and to have clear ideas about what you'd like to visit.
United kingdom are expensive, food is not so special, but you can eat in pubs for lunch (12-12.30) and dinner (around 17.30-18) with a reasonable expense, or you can also buy fish and chips or buy sandwiches in a market. There's an efficient web of hostels, bed and breakfast as well are really spread, but of course are more expensive.
I forget to tell you that a full english breakfast (for my habits ) is like a breafast and a lunch together! Avoid to take trains in UK: are expensive and don't work so good. I was travelling by bus from the west coast to london (national express).
From a country to another you've a lot of cheap flights airlines companies, but you've to reserve a ticket at least 3-4 months in advance to find a good offer (just an example: yesterday I reserved a flight ticket Stoccarda-Pisa for my summer vacations, on 14th of July, and I paid it only 21 euros...).
In Italy most important airports where land low cost flights are Orio al Serio (bergamo, near MilanO), Venice, Treviso (near Venice, Ryanair), Pisa, Rome, Palermo, Catania (Sicily).
In France Paris and Grenoble.
For what concern greece you should find charter flights from Pisa but just during summer, with Aegian airlines (something similar, my friend told me that yesterday).
When you will have planned a more precise itinerary, if you want I will help to find low cost flights.
thanks for your help i think that i will just go to the UK and try to squeeze France in if i can. I think i will start off in manchester, then to Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, London, then on to Paris if i can manage it. this is just a general itinerary, but i need to know how i should travel...if the trains are no good then what am i left with ...bus? How is the bus service and does it cost a fortune? I am used to Canada-sized maps, where everything is great distances apart...how long would it take to go from...Manchester to Edinburgh? Am I looking at a whole day of travel, or just a few hours? Also do yoyou have any suggestions of places that I should definitely try to see in these countries??
the busses, the long distance busses at least, are really good..
i'm not sure about the name, but you can find it on the local website from eurolines.com.. on that website you can find the timetables and the prices and also how expensive it is for example, to travel from london to paris or something like that.
and edinburgh is soo pretty, make sure you can make enough pictures! don't miss that! skip loch ness or so, but not edinburgh
If you want to go to all those countries it is perfectly feasible on your budget if you do what every first time traveler should do and BUY A EURAIL PASS!!! Go to www.raileurope.com for options that would work best for you. Not only does it provide DIRT CHEAP travel, you can plan your trips overnight so you can sleep on the train and save on hostelling for those nights. I do not recommend doing this more than one or a max of two nights per week however, or you will get VERY tired and not be enjoying your trip anymore. Sleep on trains varies country to country, but most cars are a pretty tight fit.
Another great thing about going by rail is it turns Europe into a veritable playground- get off wherever you choose, see the countryside as you go, and discover new routes at each station. I would never have imagined train travel in Europe to be so easy- don't let all the route maps and schedules scare you!! Its really quite easy.
Other money and time saving tips I would offer are:
-RESERVE your hostel space ahead of time!! AT least for all major spots. Trying to find a hostel in Rome in May for example, is exhausting and time consuming...plus, they will rip you off once you find a place with an open bed(usually the result of a no-show reservation).
-GROCERY SHOP for your meals!! One of my favorite memories in Paris is running into a grocery store for a bread and cheese lunch (SO good!! and SO fresh!), and sitting on the hill in front of the Sacre Couer looking over the whole city while munching. Do a fun meal in a local restaurant once per city though(menus in English=find somewhere else)
-DON'T waste money on a Hostels International membership- there are SO many non-member hostels that are often cheaper and easier to find. They also typically have a lot more character. Look up hostel-finder websites for some fun ones. The earlier you reserve, the more you will get for your money. The most popular hostels are both cheap and high quality, so they book up early.
Good luck with your trip, and the most important advice is DON'T RUSH!!! You'll be back! Take as much time as you want in each place. Have fun!
thanks so much guys, You've been a great help...now all I have to do is find somebody who can go with me
One suggestion: Once in Italy if you're fed up with supermarket food the best solution to have a nice and complete meal and spend few euros is to have a big pizza.
You have a good meal, a complete one, better with a good topping, and it should satisfy your appetite with just 6/7 euros. But go in pizzerie out of the beaten path.
Thanks, I'll definitely do that. Now.....what's there to do and see in Scotland?
castle's!! and nice islands.. and their special let's diep fry (or is it frie) everything kitchen..