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first trip to Europe

Travel Forums Europe first trip to Europe

1. Posted by asmera (Budding Member 15 posts) 10y

Greetings! I have been reading through many posts on this site, but have not posted until now. Me and my husband have been wanting to do the Europe trip for quite some time now, and have finally decided to go this summer. We are newbies at this, so be prepared for many questions! I will appreciate any help from you guys!

We're hoping to go for 4 months(end of July-end of Nov) with approx 10-15000 CAD, give or take a few dollars. We want to budget travel...hostels, camping, and host families. Will that much money be enough for 4 months? (flight there, transportation around Europe, food, attractions, flight home...)Oh, that just sounds like a lot.

We'll be flying from Canada to London. We would like to spend approx a month traveling around the UK, mostly England, a bit in Wales and Scotland.(however, i know that is one of the most expensive areas!) AFter the UK, we're not really sure what is the best route to take. We want to go into France, Spain, Portugal(friends there), Italy, Greece, Czech Republic(Prague),Germany(maybe go up to Sweden for a few days...dont know yet), maybe Hungary(Budapest). For some of these places, we will most likely have a quick few days, but we'll probably concentrate on England, Italy and maybe Greece...or maybe Spain... UHG! Decisions!

We're hoping to have a few host families to stay with, to help make the trip last longer, and also to give us a break from moving around.

Any tips and advice about a travel route we should take, and favourite places in the countries I have listed?

Thanks!

2. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 10y

Ah nice - if u come to Scotland let me know - i can give u detailed advice where to go and where not too and join u for a wee pint in Edinburgh!

for 1 month of travel i usually spend 2000 USD - so i think that wud be close to ur budget - just be flexible with where u wan to go - avoid the really pricey bits like Swiss and Scandavia. Greece and Spain should be affordable and will make this budget stretch. Hungary as well. The UK is very costly and ude be best to get out of London asap to avoid rip off prices.

Ofcourse East Euro is vey cheap so Prague and especially Budapest are great options to save money. also keepin mind - if u come to Scotland in August its festival season here in Edinburgh and alot of fun but book ahead.

3. Posted by Caesar (Full Member 74 posts) 10y

I'm italian and of course recommend you my country but i would also recommend Spain, a country i love and i felt at home in.

I have been in Costa Brava near Barcelona and had one of the best summer of my young lifetime. next time i will visit Andalusia in the southern part of the peninsula.

Have been to Greek islands last year but although stunning they are getting more expensive every summer.But the nightlife is amazing and the landscapes truly beautiful

4. Posted by SeeTheSky (Respected Member 558 posts) 10y

trust me you will be fine and then some. im 18, and alone spent $900 US travelling new england for about a month. and i think i could do it cheaper next time around. good luck, dont be afraid to throw yourself at any opportunity!
take care,
Evan

5. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 10y

Ah but new england is hella cheaper than england and all of west and northern europe. Realistically 1500-2000 USD a month for decent travel and flights etc in west/northern europe.

6. Posted by TrvlJunkie (Budding Member 13 posts) 10y

The end of July and beginning of August might be rather busy in some places because most student are off and travel abroad then so I definitely recommend booking places to stay ahead of time.
I would definitely take a look at Easy Jet as a way to get around between countries in Europe. The premise is the earlier you book the cheaper the tickets. I did have a slight problem with the website so I recommend calling to check on availability of flights (http://www.easyjet.com/). Depending on how many places you are planning to go to a train pass might be better for you but I would compare prices on how many flights you will need and what kind of train pass you will need.
Look for free attractions like the British Museum & the National Gallery. If you got to Paris (which I highly recommend you do) definitely take a look at the multi - museum passes. This website (https://www.ticketsto.com/index2.cfm) has a pass that lets you jump the line at over 70 different attractions a you can go back as many times as you want with no penalty. A 5 day pass is 83 USD but they also have 1 and 3 day pass for less. If you really want to stay go to London I recommend staying towards the outskirts of the city near a tube station where hotel prices will be cheaper.
The best way to do Europe is by not over planning. Give yourself a day in each place you visit to get acquainted and find places to eat and things to do.
Don’t over guide book yourself either. The first trip my family and I took my father had a Rick Steves book permanently attached to his hand the whole time and almost every restaurant that we visited was full of tourists that were also using his book (surprise). I recommend writing down the addresses and names of some of the restaurants that you want to try and play the rest by ear. Go where the locals go and you can’t go wrong. Hope this helps!

7. Posted by asmera (Budding Member 15 posts) 10y

Thanks for all the replies. I am trying not to get myself to worried about having everything all planned. I just want to make sure we have a place to sleep at the end of the day!

Have many of you gone through organizations that hook you up with host families, that let you stay with them?

I found one website where you can contact people(hosts) to arrange time to stay with them, in exchange for work...usually things like gardening, helping with renovations, house maintenance, some childcare, one person even wanted someone to walk their goat! This particular site is http://www.workaway.info. Anyone here ever use it? Are there others you have used and can be trusted?

Thanks.

8. Posted by NORIEGDI (Budding Member 17 posts) 10y

It depends,
I am going to Spain for a couple of weeks and I am afraid I would like to see everything, and that costs money...

9. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 10y

I travelled in the UK and Ireland for 4 weeks a few years ago, using a railway pass and it was the best investment I ever made into my trip. All travel cost was taken care off, I only had to worry about ferry fees and cost of accom. I went from London up to Inverness, isle of Skye and down to Glasgow and over to Belfast, on to Dublin, Cork and back to London. I spent about a week in London and if I hadn't come down with high fever and pneumonia due to sharing a dorm with an ill girl in Newcastle and the infamous Scottish weather, it could have been one of the best trips in my live.

BTW, on occassion the ferry prices from Newcastle to Hamburg in Germany for foot passengers get to be ridiculously low, check with a travelagency.

I'm looking forward to helping you with the Germany-section of your trip. Since you are interested Sweden, does that mean that you might be interested in visiting the North East (Meck-Pom) where very few non-German tourists ever dare to go?
If you have limited time, you will need to decide whether you go north, south, west or east of Germany and how that fits with your other travel plans.

10. Posted by citygbg.se (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y

Hello Asmera and welcome to Europe. I'm a guy living in the cold northern part of europe and would suggest during the summer going to the north of Sweden. If you get to Gothenburg http://www.citygbg.se you are able to take a train up north with sleeping wagon for ca 100$ U.S a person. Make it to the finnish border and take a trip to where the sun never hits the ground, called Jouksengi. While your going by Torne river take a paus now and then. Get a cup of coffe and just enjoy the nature around it.
I put some pictures from the very special nature on this page http://www.drivrutiner.net/eng/happis/index.html
Please write a couple of lines in the forum on citygbg.se when you get here.