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1. Posted by Breslino (Budding Member, 10 posts) 26 Dec '10 12:43

Hi,

This is my first ever post here!! An historic moment. I was just intrested in getting some feedback on my (very preliminary) plan on travelling through Europe.

Firstly, I live in England, in the north. I have always wanted to go travelling round the world, but think it would be best to scale down that idea to a Euro trip first, to gain experience, as I have never travelled before.

Ive been researching various websites giving advice on travelling and the main point at the planning stage seems to be choose everywhere you want to visit and then look into travel arrangements. I would love to visit Norway first off, then more eastern Europe. Belarus, Poland, Macedonia etc. One of the things I kind of wanted to do, though, was have no set plan and just go wherever. I see that this would be kind of naiave, but I don't want to be tied down to a set itinary, if that makes sense.

Cost would be another quandry at present. So far I have £3000 saved and think I'll need at least another 2 or 3 grand before I start. Any thoughts??

Accomodation wise I don't mind hostels, guesthouses, camping or anything really, although I am a little wary of the whole couch surfing idea. (Maybe me just being too cautious and paranoid.) I have worked in hotels in England for the last 3 years and thought maybe I could land some accomodation in return for work, but I haven't even begun looking into this properly yet.

In all honesty I don't know when I would go, probably when I feel I have enough money saved up I suppose.

I guess the long and short of it would be that I'm looking for a Europe roaming trip, with no set duration, plans etc throughout Scandanavia and eastern europe, with some of the more traditional tourist trails in between. I would be travelling solo as well, any thoughts as to whether thats a positive or negative would be appreciated.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated as I really want to make this trip happen!!

Thank You

2. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 26 Dec '10 17:50

Hi, with 3000 pounds you already got a serious warchest for a trip, especially for a low-budget stint around Eastern Europe. 2 months of travelling is definitely possible if you are careful.

How do you plan to travel, by train or by car? Because if you plan on driving you could look into sleeping in the car, reducing the travel costs down to fuel, food plus some money for laundry, using telephone/internet and activities (=entry fees to sights, money for river rafting, having a drink at the most touristy and most expensive place within a 1000 kms radius and watching people walk by,...)

With public transport and paying for accom. you are looking at around roughly 60-70 pounds per day, depending on where you are going and how thrifty you are.

Norway is expensive for example, Macedonia isn't.

For Belarus and Russia you need to apply for a visa before you leave the UK, watch out for that.

3. Posted by Breslino (Budding Member, 10 posts) 27 Dec '10 01:00

Thanks T_MAIA for the advice.

Unfortunatly I can't drive, so would be using public transport, or preferably hiking.

I am planning on maybe visiting Ireland for 6-8 months as a starting point, no language barrier and potential to work there easily too. From there probably Norway in the winter, to try and get a job in a ski resort while I'm there to subsidise my trip and ease the expense.

From there, hopefully France, Germany, Luxembourg and on to the east out to Russia, then work my way back to the UK through southern Europe.

I guess I'm thinking of a long term trip. Two-Three years.

I appreciate the heads up on the visa issues for Belarus and Russia.

Thanks

4. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 27 Dec '10 05:18

Well, if you are thinking about a real long-term trip look at Working Holiday Visa.

Instead of going to Ireland for 6-8 months I would look at going to Canada, Australia or New Zealand for a year on such a Working Holiday Visa.

You could then make your way back to Europe from Australia overland via South East Asia and maybe Russia.

There are a number of people who have set out to Oz with nothing but 3000 pounds and managed to do exactly that. (Ok, I agree that having something like 5000-10,000 pounds will be much better for such a thing.) They managed because they worked their way around Australia amd saved all their money they earned there for travelling around South East Asia. The duration of their trips was usually between 6 and 9 months, depending whether they could secure work down under.

However, if you are planning on a 2-3 year trip around the world on a low budget without working at all you are looking at roughly 15,000-20,000 pounds for that.

For Norway I would definitely try to have a job lined up when you get there, because Norway is one of the most expensive countries in Europe and world-wide.

BTW, if you have worked in hotels in the last few years (at the reception???) I can strongly suggest that you seek some experience with professionally run budgethotel/hostel chains. Places you could look at in London are the Generator, the Meininger, the A&O chain,... An internship with HI Hostels (http://www.yha.org.uk/) would also work well. Each year the YHA/HI offers internships in other EU countries to young people, so you can apply in the UK for a job in France or such.

With that sort of experience it will be easy to secure accomodation in return for work in the hostelling industry.

5. Posted by keith16 (Budding Member, 4 posts) 1 Jan '11 17:06

Also, the tourism industry has been hit pretty hard in Ireland and jobs are very hard to come by here. Given that you live so close, I would say skip Ireland alltogether, you could visit anytime and you get easily get in all the major sights in a few weeks. Even though the recession has hit hard, Ireland is still an expensive place for visitors.

Norway would also be a strange jumping off point. Cheaper flights are widely available from the UK to eastern Europe from whole host of airlines. Just guessing here, but a flight to Oslo say with BA or SAS may not be that cheap even if you book in advance. And you could always hit Norway on the way back home.

A good jumping off point might be Vienna or Bratislava. From there head to Prague and then to Wroclaw in the southwest of Poland. You could then take in some wonderful towns and strecthces of country side in south Poland on the way to Krakow. From Krakow you could take a number of other routes. Continue heading east to Zamosc or head North to Warsaw. If you choose Zamosc, L'viv in the Ukraine is easily reached from there. You could then head to the south of Ukraine exploring the black sea resorts before heading back to Kyiv and Moscow.

If Warsaw, you could then get a train to Moscow (an expensive city but still can be done cheaply if you know how) and then on to St. Petersburg and Scandinavia (via Helsinki). The baltic countries such as Estonia and Latvia are also within easy reach from here. Then from Turku in Finland, Stockolm is easily reached. Or you could head North to arctic Finland and then travel back south through Norway. You could then easily go through Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, even on to France and Western Europe.

Hope that helps!

6. Posted by Breslino (Budding Member, 10 posts) 5 Jan '11 01:47

Thanks for the advice. You guys sure do know alot, some great advice, thanks.

I am trying to find someone to go with, but not having much luck. I'll probably be flying solo, which is a little bit daunting.

Another question that I have is that I have been looking for hotel rooms in various different cities throughout Europe and found some real cheap ones on LateRooms.com. The prices are brilliant and the hotels look pretty good, my only concern is that I think I would be unlikely to meet any other travellers their. If I am going alone I obviously do need to meet people along the way, are hotels good for this or would hostels be better???

I was looking at places like Macedonia and Estonia, real cheap prices, pretty nice looking hotels, but I am unsure whether I would meet anyone here or even if anyone would speak English, the guests the hotel staff etc.

Maybe a hotel every now and then but mainly hostels???

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You

7. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 9 Jan '11 12:33

If you are looking to meet other young people who speak English stay at hostels, not hotels.