I am planning to head out to Europe from the US spring 2011. I was wondering if anyone has any pointers; how much $$ to bring, hostels, best way to travel, etc..........You can research something to death but I think first hand experiences are best.
Make sure your American ATM card has a 4 digit pin other wise it's not going to work! Some U.S. banks use a 5 digit pin code.
As far as the ATM machines in Europe go, they work fine, but they are the target of organized crime and they can put a false front on the machine that looks exactly like the real machine and get your details when you use slide your card into it. So practice using your hand to cover the pin code when you enter it because they use the pin code to open your account.
Not trying to be a fear-monger...just a simple fact
Other then that Europe's great!
[ Edit: Edited on 24-Jul-2010, at 16:29 by Medsummer ]
Depending on your budget and time it's very much the question what you wanna see. Without exaggerating Europe is the most dens part of the world on the matter of different cultures, historic sites and so on. Traveling is nowadays easiest by plane, use Ryanair, Vueling, Easyjet or any local airliner. Prices are cheap and very much competetive with train tickets. All mayor cities are connected by excellent trainsystems though.
For overnight? cheapest way is camping out, mostly possible in any mid-larger town, but hostels are there as well.
$$ is always good, certainly if you wanna buy a coffee at the Champs Ellysee in Paris (don't ever do that, just walk to blocks further).
Well I hope it gives you an idea. I live in Holland so if you wanna know something about that just ask.