hi, iam justing wondering what is the best way to travel around europe. Do i just get on a plane to amsterdam and work my down to the bottom of spain and so on, or do i plan my route with an itinery with how long to stay in places and when to leave. ive been looking on various websites and talking to various people and it seems to work in some cases. so you can leave a place in a few days or stay in another for weeks. iam planning to leave in january 2008 and return in about 6 months. what kind of things to i need to do before i leave i.e. get a visa or fill out forms to say iam leaving the country for 6 months? i dont no i need to find out these kind of things.
thanks in advance, adam
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 8, 2007, at 3:34 PM by adambrooky ]
If you are from the UK like your profile suggests, you probably wont need many visas if any when travelling around Europe. If you go to Russia (which is well worth going to to see St Petersburg and Moscow), well you do need a visa arranged in advance and preferably before you depart your trip (meaning you'd need to be there on certain dates within 3 months of applying). It is a long and very painful job to get the visa, but if you are interested in history, architecture, photography, arts, palaces and more well then it is an amazing place to visit.
I'm not sure if being a member of the EU makes it so you need to inform your government that you are going to be travelling outside of the UK for 6 months, but I know you don't need to do that in Australia except when the person asks how long are you leaving for. Most the time when travelling within the EU, they hardly even care that you are changing countries as they hardly even look at your passport. I find it hard to imagine that they would require anything like that unless you planned on living in one country for a prelonged period of time like 3 or so months.
I think from my experience that the best way to travel in Europe is with a mixture of flights and trains. get flights for the extra long journies like if you were say going London-Ukraine, but if you were going from St Petersburg to Riga (Latvia), well getting the train is perfectly alright. The way I found best is if you have a few dates, but don't plan your trip every single day. So like if you were to go to Russia, you'd need to plan that due to the visa regulations, then if you then wanted to make your way from Russia-Estonia and then make your way down to Spain through various countries, well then say plan to be in Berlin on a certain date in 2 months (as an example) and then try and work the rest of your trip to fit that two months, so if you are liking Latvia a lot, then you could spend a bit longer there, and then you move on to Lithuania and you don't like it much, so spend a bit less time there to get to Berlin by that date. Doing that makes it so you aren't too lazy, and get to see plenty of great sites instead of finding yourself stuck in one place and having to miss out on loads of other great stuff. Then once you go to Berlin, you'd do the same thing by say working out a date you want to be in Rome (you have to go to Italy, it is such an amazing countries). Then if Spain is the next country, then instead of doing loads of overland travel then you might look at getting a cheap flight from Rome-Madrid or Barcelona if they exist. Doing that, you'd have to book your flight early, because otherwise the flight costs rise a lot. By doing things the way I have said, I was able to see an extra couple of countries that I wasn't expecting to, because I found I disliked a couple of places so as spending less time in two countries making time to swqueeze two others in.
How long you spend in a place, might also depend on what sort of budget you have, because if you went to Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden (to name a few), your money would be eaten up a lot quicker than if you spent more time in Eastern Europe (excluding Russia as that is expensive).
What you need to do before you go, would depend a lot on your living conditions. For example if you live with your parents you'd have a lot less things to do than if you are renting a house. One thing you would need to do, would be to phone the bank and let them know you will be travelling for 6 months and tell them the countries you are planning to go. If you don't do that, you might find you are needing to call the bank back home as they will have blocked your account for fraud protection reasons, thinking people in other countries are stealing out of your account. Another thing you should do before you go especially if Russia is if you are a student or under 26, get either a student or international youth travel card from STA travel. The student card will save you a lot in most countries, the youth card will still save you in some but not all. In Russia it will get you 50% off all entrance fees and free entry in to the hermitage. That discount is meant for a student, but they dont know hardly a word of english, so showing the card will have them respond student, and then you say yes. Then they'll give you the student discount which amounted to approx $110US just on entrance fees to tourist attractions.
Have a great trip.
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 8, 2007, at 11:12 PM by aharrold45 ]
thanks for the reply you have answered all the most important questions i needed to no, and gave me a few ideas on how to get around easier, and where to go faster. Just one more thing has anyone got an itinery of there trips that give me more of an idea on how they planned there journeys.