i'm going to travel to europe this winter (oct-dec). not the best time of year, but i'll have friends in the uk, france, spain and holland, and they wont be there any other time so it just makes sense for me to do my travelling at that time. i've got my heart set on using stray travel, because it's offered all year, and i've never travelled on my own so it's a nice way to get around without feeling totally lost. i was wondering if anyone out there has any advice about stray travel, if they'd tried it or anything, and some tips on how to backpack through europe in the winter time, any tips would be welcomed.
Unfortunately I can't help you on Stray Travel, only heard about it recently. But as for travelling in Europe during winter that shouldn't be a problem at all, don't worry about that. Another option for travelling is Eurolines, a bus company with routes all over Europe and quite cheap as well, they also have travel passes.
Let's hear about your trip later, that would be quite fun, not a lot of people do backpacking in Europe during winter time, so it might even be a lot less crowded than in the summertime
i'm thinking about getting a euroline pass too for the last half of my trip. i can buy that when i'm in europe right? because with stray travel i'm going to end up in venice and i'll need to find a way from venice back to london, and i figure if i can get a euroline pass when i'm in venice, that might be a nice way to find my own way back to london. so euroline is a good deal? good to know. i've bought my flight to london so i'm geared to go from oct15-dec15, theres no turning back now.
I think Eurolines is a good deal. I've never used them myself but have friends who have and one friend who uses them about 5-6 times a year to go from Denmark to Paris or the South of France.
You can check prices on their webpage, a travel pass for 15 days, 159 EUR. But you might be able to get a good deal on flights, maybe Ryanair, if you want to go directly from Venice to London with no stops. Did a search on Ryanair, travel Venice to London on December 12th, app. 25 Euro for a one-way ticket. Easyjet is about the same price. I've flown both and have had no problems. That's a lot cheaper than Eurolines, so if you're going directly with no stops and you know now when you want to go, then I'd book straight away Of course you have to add the cost of getting from the airport into London, but it should still be cheaper than the bus..... and a lot faster :-)
Depending on what you want, the lowbudget airlines in Europe might be an option for you as well. Need any more info on that, let me know and I'll be glad to help you out on that.
thanks for all ur help with travel arrangements. i really can't wait to go to europe. it all sounds so great. i'm still terrified, since i've never travelled on my own before, and theres just so much to do and see in europe. i'm really excited. thanks for all ur imput. i really appreciate it. it makes me a little more comfortable with the whole issue of travel.
You're welcome, no problem at all, and remember, post here or e me if you need anything...
i just found out today that stray travel has gone bellyup, so they're out of business. the good thing is i didnt book anything with them yet, so i didnt lose any money, but it definitely puts a wrench in my plans. now i have to figure out if i want to spend the money on something like contiki, or somehow convince my overprotective parents that travelling on my own in europe without guidance is still safe and will be ok.
should i go with contiki and spend the extra $$? or brave europe alone?
Contiki??? Isn't that a travel agency? That would be quite expensive then, I imagine, depends on how much money you want to spend. You still have the option of Eurolines if you want to go by buses. Within UK Go By Coach might be a possibility as well, I've done that a couple of times in the North of England, quite OK and a lot cheaper than the trains.
Still, if you know your itinerary now, go for flights. I think that might prove just as cheap as buses.
Again, let me know if I can be of any assistance.
Yes, I think you should go on your own, it shouldn't be a problem at all.
I've traveled with Contiki, and did travel with Stray (unfortunately, /I/ got caught when they went bankrupt).
Anyhow...for the regional tours, Contiki is an /awesome/ way to travel if you can afford it. I took the 'Simply Italy' tour, and loved every minute of it.
However...what I've heard about the longer, multi-country tours is that they tend to be busses full of rich kids Mom and Dad sent on holiday who are all of 18 and can't handle their alcohol. So...being as they're legal in Europe, they spend most of the time drunk. I haven't experienced it, but that's what I've heard.
Now...because Stray went bankrupt when I was traveling Europe, I can tell you that it really isn't that difficult. In fact, if you want, I can recommend some wonderful hostels and hotels I stayed in in late July and August. I was, for the most part, very lucky in where I stayed. The one thing I'd strongly recommend is acquiring language phrase books for /every/ country you're traveling in and, if you plan to travel through Austria/Czech Republic/Germany...learn some German. There are areas in Austria and the Czech Republic where they really don't speak English. All of the people I met were wonderful when it came to trying to deal with the language barrier, though.