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Anyone willing to critique travel plans?

Travel Forums Europe Anyone willing to critique travel plans?

1. Posted by whitespydr (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

Hey everyone,

My apologies if this isn't the appropriate place to post this, and if it isn't, please feel free to move or delete it.

I'm planning on traveling to Europe this fall after graduating from grad school. I'm a 23 year old guy that doesn't mind roughing it, but I would definitely like to have enough cash to see some local sights and have some fun. I'm planning on buying a 3 month Eurorail ticket and staying at local hostels. Attached below is my tentative schedule and budget.

What I'm hoping you might be able to do is offer suggestions or point out any problems with the travel plans. Maybe I'm not spending enough time in a certain place, or there are train issues from one place to another, or I'm missing something from my budget, not budgeting enough, etc. I'm an American citizen planning on only spending 90 days in the Shengen countries, so I don't think i'll have any Visa issues.

Also, if you have any ideas for things to do in these locations or anything like that, please feel free to offer suggestions. I also want to hit up some gay nightclubs on weekend nights, so if anyone has any info for the gay traveler, I would love that as well. Really, I'm grateful for whatever info you can provide.

Here are my tentative plans...
[27 Aug 2009 - 01 Sep 2009] Dublin, Ireland
[01 Sep 2009 - 04 Sep 2009] Liverpool, United Kingdom
[04 Sep 2009 - 07 Sep 2009] Manchester, United Kingdom
[07 Sep 2009 - 10 Sep 2009] Cardiff, United Kingdom
[10 Sep 2009 - 17 Sep 2009] London, United Kingdom
[17 Sep 2009 - 24 Sep 2009] Paris, France
[24 Sep 2009 - 27 Sep 2009] Brussels, Belgium
[27 Sep 2009 - 04 Oct 2009] Amsterdam, Netherlands
[04 Oct 2009 - 09 Oct 2009] Berlin, Germany
[09 Oct 2009 - 15 Oct 2009] Prague, Czech Republic
[15 Oct 2009 - 20 Oct 2009] Vienna, Austria
[20 Oct 2009 - 25 Oct 2009] Budapest, Hungary
[25 Oct 2009 - 27 Oct 2009] Zagreb, Croatia
[27 Oct 2009 - 29 Oct 2009] Ljubljana, Slovenia
[29 Oct 2009 - 03 Nov 2009] Munich, Germany
[03 Nov 2009 - 07 Nov 2009] Venice, Italy
[07 Nov 2009 - 12 Nov 2009] Rome, Italy
[12 Nov 2009 - 16 Nov 2009] Athens, Greece
[16 Nov 2009 - 20 Nov 2009] Mýkonos, Greece
[20 Nov 2009 - 23 Nov 2009] Athens, Greece
[23 Nov 2009 - 25 Nov 2009] Rome, Italy
[25 Nov 2009 - 29 Nov 2009] Milan, Italy
[29 Nov 2009 - 01 Dec 2009] Monte-Carlo, Monaco
[01 Dec 2009 - 03 Dec 2009] Marseille, France
[03 Dec 2009 - 07 Dec 2009] Barcelona, Spain
[07 Dec 2009 - 10 Dec 2009] Valencia, Spain
[10 Dec 2009 - 14 Dec 2009] Madrid, Spain
[14 Dec 2009 - 17 Dec 2009] Lisbon, Portugal

and my projected budget...

1050 - Airfare (Denver to Dublin, Lisbon to Denver)
1250 - 3 Month Eurorail Ticket
1650 - 110 days at $15 a day for food
300 - 30 days at $10 a day for drinks/cover
3000 - 100 days at $30 youth hostel, 10 days on Eurorail
3000 - 100 days at $30 a day exploring, 10 days chilling
1000 - 100 days at $10 a day travel in towns
350 - Flights from Rome to Athens and back
300 - Ferry from Dublin to UK
250 - Ferries to and from Mykonos
200 - Ride through chunnel out of England
300 - Train pass for England
350 - 4 months Storage (saving rent by packing current apartment)

Total: 13,000 for 3.5 Months

Thanks Again! :)

2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 7y

Sounds about right, although I don't see why anyone would go to Monaco voluntarily. Milan can do with a loss less time; it'll save you some cash, the city is wildly expensive. You should allow a LOT more time for Rome, though.

3. Posted by JoyC (Full Member 99 posts) 7y

I agree with bentivogli, except I loved Monaco! Maybe spend a day in Monaco and focus on Nice instead. The one glaring omission from your list is Florence. It's an amazingly beautiful city. The Uffizzi Museum is not to be missed. Two days is plenty for Venice. I would skip Milan and visit Florence, Lucca, and spend more time in Rome.

4. Posted by whitespydr (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

Thanks for the responses! It seems like Monaco might not be ideal, but do you have any suggestions for other places in southern France, riviera type places, that might be good to visit?

5. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 7y

While I agree with Joyce on Florence and Lucca, you shouldn't cram more into your trip than there already is: there's always a next time to go and visit these places (as well as others in other countries: you rightfully omitted a number of highly noteworthy places).

6. Posted by OHCarlos (Budding Member 38 posts) 7y

Hey there!

It looks like you got a busy fall ahead! Plans look good to me although 10 dollar is not much for drinks. An average beer in Europe will be around 2,00 euros and even more if you want to hit one of the big Clubs like in Amsterdam or Barcelona, it might be a bit cheaper in some of the eastern european countries but don´t expect to have a wild night with 10 dollar.

I think it is great that you are planning to spend such a long period in Amsterdam. First of all I would advise you to check out the programs of ¨Melkweg¨ and ¨Paradiso¨ to see if there might be band or DJ performing that you like. These performances are often during week days so you will have time left in the weekend to hit the bars and clubs.

Another good advise while visiting Amsterdam is to do what all Dutch do and get yourself a bike! You can use it to cruise through the old Amsterdam streets and districts like the ¨Jordaan¨. If you rent it for two days you should definitely leave the city and bike towards towns like Purmerend and Volendam. Especially in the latter you can see some real old-Dutch life. It is a fishermans town and some people there even still wear traditional clothing, so if you are lucky you get a chance to see that as well. I have heard from many people that they enjoyed biking outside the city and enjoy the landscape.

If you have anymore questions just ask and I will try to answer them.

OHCarlos
(Oh-Barcelona)

7. Posted by OHCarlos (Budding Member 38 posts) 7y

forgot to send along a link for the bike rental so here it is:

http://www.orangebike.nl/eng/rentals.html

OHCarlos
(Oh-Barcelona)

8. Posted by renrew87 (Budding Member 15 posts) 7y

Sounds like an incredible trip to me! However, here are my thoughts:
- Have you thought about working your way around Europe in a 'circle'? For example, from London, fly to your furthest destination and then work your way back to Lisbon? This will save you on some one way flights and some train trips.
- Also, I'd advise you to do Brussels and Amsterdam prior to going to Paris. This way you actually free up some traveling time. From personal experience; I saw the whole of Brussels in one day, but then again, I don't go into museums and that sort of thing, so it's totally up to you. Same with Amsterdam; in terms of hostels its very expensive so I'd advise staying somewhere outside. I'm going there in May for my third time. Look at The Hague, Delft, Rotterdam. They may be 45min-1 hour outside of Amsterdam by train, but they are considerably cheaper. Also, be sure to check out Delft, it's an amazing little town. If time allows, look into 'Giethoorn' it's a small town built on a lake and you can only get around my renting a small boat.
- I'd also suggest going Berlin-Munich-Prague. Also; Hungary-Slovenia-Croatia. It'll save you from backtracking.
- I'd also suggest visiting Greece prior to going to Italy. There are ferries from Greece to Venice/Rome.
- I don't know what your plans are for Greece, but www.easycruise.com has very cheap cruises around the area and you visit all the major islands.
- I'm also with everyone else on the Monaco trip - maybe incorporate that into a day while you are traveling from one place to another, or just visit it for one day. That place is out of this world, and extremely expensive!!
- A further traveling tip; have you thought about visiting Morocco for a day or so? They have ferries from Spain and it's definitely worth the visit.

In terms of your budget...
- I budgeted $20 a day for food, and barely made it. Places such as Venice is extremely expensive; I paid E11 for lunch at small, 'cheap' cafe.
- Calculate your individual train trips; I found that the Europass would have been too expensive for the amount of train journeys I took. Remember, on some trains you need to make reservations, which cost you an additional E10+.
- As a side note, take as many night trains and busses as you can, this will save on hostels.
- Once again, look into the 'loop' theory, otherwise you might be spending more money on a round trip ticket (eg. from Rome to Athens) when you can simply get a one way. Ryanair, Easyjet, Germanwings, Transavia are all very cheap airlines. I'm flying from Berlin to Stockholm for E0.02!!!
- Unless going through the Chunnel is something you really want to do, there are also ferries that run from Hull to 'Die Hoek van Holland' that are fairly cheap.
-Some hostels to keep in mind that I used, and that are very good:
Berlin - HappyBed Hostel
Venice - Camp D'Oro (http://www.camping.it/english/veneto/albadoro/)
In some cities I used budget hotels because the hostels were just too dirty.

Some side trips:
Berlin - Be sure to visit Sachsenhausen, a Concentration camp.
Rome - Ostia Lido is a great beach!
Prague - Try and visit Auswitzch (sp?), it is in Poland but very close to the Czech border.

Well, I hope this helped. Once again, these are just my thoughts, don't want it to appear as if I was ridiculing your trip. All in all I think you're going to have an AMAZING time. Europe is unlike anything you've ever experienced before. Let me know if you have any questions.

9. Posted by lenin11 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y

Greets,

We are traveling Oct 15 to 7 countries (France, England (Chunnel), Beneux, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, End in Paris) (5 Country Eurail Flexi Saver Pass for 15 Days) ending Nov 11.

We are doing a semi circular route Paris start point (3 days), London (3 days), Brussels (1 day), Amsterdam (3 days), Berlin (2 days), Warsaw (3 days), back to Berlin to Frankfurt to Zurich (2 days), Florence (2 days), Rome (4 days), and ending in Paris (days left over).

We are cramming alot of countries into roughly 29 days but we are very flexible in terms of days per city.

The Lonely Plant books have been helpful along with Hostels European Cities by Paul Karr.

We also signed up for the hiusa.org membership for hostel discounts and booking (not required).

We are traveling very light (previous trip experience) with backpacks and duffel bags.

The major unresolved issues include;

When to get unlimited individual rail city passes (Paris Metro) versus booking in country city to city day trips (Paris to Lyon or Nice)?

What to do with Cell Phone service (google voice/skype competent) with 2 iPhones both unlocked for att/t-mobile usa?

Purchase Euros/Pounds via credit cards, at banks, or travelers checks (I prefer versus cash) upon arrival or prior to leaving the states?

Any advice or suggestions are appreciated. :)

Cheers

10. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive 627 posts) 7y

Quoting lenin11

Greets,

We are traveling Oct 15 to 7 countries (France, England (Chunnel), Beneux, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, End in Paris) (5 Country Eurail Flexi Saver Pass for 15 Days) ending Nov 11.

We are doing a semi circular route Paris start point (3 days), London (3 days), Brussels (1 day), Amsterdam (3 days), Berlin (2 days), Warsaw (3 days), back to Berlin to Frankfurt to Zurich (2 days), Florence (2 days), Rome (4 days), and ending in Paris (days left over).

We are cramming alot of countries into roughly 29 days but we are very flexible in terms of days per city.

The Lonely Plant books have been helpful along with Hostels European Cities by Paul Karr.

We also signed up for the hiusa.org membership for hostel discounts and booking (not required).

We are traveling very light (previous trip experience) with backpacks and duffel bags.

The major unresolved issues include;

When to get unlimited individual rail city passes (Paris Metro) versus booking in country city to city day trips (Paris to Lyon or Nice)?

What to do with Cell Phone service (google voice/skype competent) with 2 iPhones both unlocked for att/t-mobile usa?

Purchase Euros/Pounds via credit cards, at banks, or travelers checks (I prefer versus cash) upon arrival or prior to leaving the states?

Any advice or suggestions are appreciated. :)

Cheers

Try posting in your own new thread. Please don't hijack someone else's. People then, I'm sure, will be glad to help.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Sep-2009, at 01:11 by bluewaav ]