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1. Posted by HUSSMAN198 (Budding Member 20 posts) 8y

Hi and thatnks for having a read. I am a first time back packer and figure ill get the best answers here.
I am planning on seeing a whole load of east and west Europe later this year.

1. What to pack? I am definitely not afraid a doing it tough but what type of bedding is provided at the back packers i have a small sleeping bag should that be enough?

2. I plan to be doing alot of what the lonely planet advises ie Hostels... Does this mean most of these hostels are normally heavily booked due to other like minded travellers?

3. I dont like the idea of getting off a train and having nothing booked... does anyone know of a sim card that can be used in most of europe so i can book hostels whilst travelling?

4. I did to plan to just travel on the odd train or bus to travel from city to city but it seams to be expensive so am looking to ward an EURAIL 3 month ticket... Has anyone tried one versus the other to compare costs and having the flexibility of buses?

5. I only know english will this hinder my efforts whilst traveling in the eastern countries like croatia???

6. I will be travelling with my girlfriend.. Not that i am the jealous type but when sleeping in mixed rooms and so on is it like a big sleeze pit???

Thanks for having a read look forward to any suggestions...

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 8, 2008, at 9:44 PM by HUSSMAN198 ]

2. Posted by angela_ (Respected Member 1732 posts) 8y

1. Have a look at the packing list in the Tools section of this site. It has helped countless people (including myself) with that question. Hostels usually provide or rent to you bedding, but some might be a bit dodgy so it's a good idea to take a small sleeping bag with you. A cotton or silk travel sheet is enough in most places though.

2. It really depends on when you are going if the hostels will be booked or not. If your going in high season, you might not get a good choice of hostels, but you'll most likely always find one in the end. Usually when I was leaving a city I would find an internet café and get a list of hostels in the next place. That way you at least have a general idea of where you might be staying.

3. I can't really help with phone issues, cause I just use my regular Icelandic sim card when I go travelling. Have never used it out of Europe though...

5. I would think that knowing only English should be ok, but I guess it doesn't hurt to learn a few basic words in the language of the country you're travelling to. Just "good morning" and "thank you" will get you a long way..

6. I've slept in a lot of mixed rooms and have never had that experience.

Hope this helps at least a little.

3. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 8y

Hey there, mixed rooms are usually no problem, ive never encountered anything seedy, tho other ppl have!

Im kinda anti eurail tickets cos half the time u have to pay to book a seat, pay extra for sleepers, you cant take certain trains.... busses can be really cheap, as well as specials on the trains. check the countries rail websites for specials! www.eurolines.com also has pretty cheap bus tickets too!

4. Posted by NantesFC (Respected Member 531 posts) 8y

Computers are widely available throughout Europe. Just do your booking there. Almost every hostel (hopefully they all do) should have computer access. Even then there are tons of internet cafes (I counted 7 internet cafes in one block in Florence!). You don't really need a phone. I usually booked hostels a few days before actual arrival. You don't want to be forced into a tight schedule.

5. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 8y

1. What to pack? I am definitely not afraid a doing it tough but what type of bedding is provided at the back packers i have a small sleeping bag should that be enough?
U wont need that if u are always going to sleep in hostels. They provide sheets, blankes and duvets.
It will be useful if u intend to sleep on overnight trains without reserving a sleeper.

2. I plan to be doing alot of what the lonely planet advises ie Hostels... Does this mean most of these hostels are normally heavily booked due to other like minded travellers?
They are only heavily booked in the high tourist season. Mainly July in Europe. If u have a credit card u can book them in advance on the internet to save u roaming around cities when they are booked up.

3. I dont like the idea of getting off a train and having nothing booked... does anyone know of a sim card that can be used in most of europe so i can book hostels whilst travelling?
Book them on the internet.

4. I did to plan to just travel on the odd train or bus to travel from city to city but it seams to be expensive so am looking to ward an EURAIL 3 month ticket... Has anyone tried one versus the other to compare costs and having the flexibility of buses?
I am usually flexible about my destinations and that makes travelling cheaper because there are often very good plane and train special offers. sorry, I cant help with Eurails etc. I have not bought one for years.

5. I only know english will this hinder my efforts whilst traveling in the eastern countries like croatia???
I travelled in Eastern Europe and the former Yugoslavia countires a couple of times without knowing any of the languages. Younger people these days tend to learn English. Of course it is better if u speak the language of the country u want to travel in but not necessary.

6. I will be travelling with my girlfriend.. Not that i am the jealous type but when sleeping in mixed rooms and so on is it like a big sleeze pit???
Generally not. I often stay in mixed places when I travel alone. Most people are OK. U will be more likely to find the sleezos on the streets in certain countries.