A friend and I were planning a 6-12 month trip around the world starting next summer (July/August). Our plan is to start travel in Ireland, cover as much of Europe in as little time possible (2-3 months), and migrate southeast towards Asia, and possibly Australia and New Zealand. We're seeking advice from experienced travelers who can provide us with any info on any of those regions. ***Weather patterns, best times to be in certain places, sights to see, fun places to go, essential things to pack, expenses to expect (average cost of food, hostels/campgrounds/crashing on a couch, entertainment, transportation -bus/cab/boat/train- (is a eurorail pass really worth the money?), anything else that would call for mandatory budgeting, anything else to expect or plan for.***
I understand this is an incredibly vague request but we have been stressed out with researching random websites and books for information on backpacking. With a planned budget of roughly $10,000 - $15,000 we'd like to get the most out of our trip. We are looking to spend the majority of our time outside major cities and avoid doing too much of the touristy stuff however, would also like to see as many cities as possible for a night or so.
ANY suggestions and advice is much appreciated.
Thank you all!
If you browse most the posts in this forum you will find almost all of your questions answered many times over. As for the Eurail pass I personally don't think it is worth the money with Ryanair in Europe where flights can be dirt cheap even though they usually fly in to the airports a fair way out of the city.
Most of the whole travel experience in Europe is seeing the big cities especially places like Rome, London, Amsterdam, St Petersburg, Moscow etc
St Petersburg is one of the great cities of the world if you can stand the frustration and pain in the bum that is getting a Russian Visa as well as all the annoying restrictions and rules the Russian government has on tourists when they eventually get to the country. It would be a disaster to only spend 1 or 2 days in places like those cities I mentioned above and would be even more so to miss them out all together. As a general rule you can scrape by living it very cheap on 50-60Euro a day in most of Europe (except Scandinavian Europe which is very expensive). Australia and New Zealand a budget of $50 a day is a rough guide depending on how little or how much fun you want to have.
If you browse the threads in the RTW forum you will see so much information and also in the Europe forum most your questions have been answered at least once in the last 2 weeks but probably more.
in europe i would recommend that you do NOT miss (in no particular order, just as i come up with them!)
Amalfi coast (italy)
Rhine river cruise (Germany)
Alps (just go wherever is closest to your itinerary!)
some of them are smaller places but beautiful none the less, and not big huge cities. most of them are fairly well, if not very tourist-ed, but ya know, there IS a reason for that... I recommend Bamberg because its a smaller german town, which is very beautiful and its not as touristy as other places!