5'2 slight girl, first time & nervous traveller, travelling in Europe for 3 weeks in September
- What type/weight (L)/make of rucksack should I take?
- Any packing tiips on what must not be neglected
- Any tips on the destinations I will be visiting; Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Czech, Berlin (possibly Slovenia)
Thankyou so much
You're way more adventurous than me! I am heading over to the UK and Canada by myself (to attend a wedding) for my first trip ever, and am just terrified.
The only advice I could give I suppose is make sure you walk around a lot with that pack on to test it, I am being told over and over not to take more than you can carry.
I also found the best guide books are the Lonely Planet Encounter guides, I collected three of them.
I wish you all the best on your trip!!!
first of all: don't be nervous, you'll have great time and you will always meet some nice people in hostels who you can explore the place and hang out with.
ladies (i am a male) pack more than men. so, try with a 55L or if it is too big with a 45L backpack.
as three weeks is too short to really explore all these countries, i would just focus on cities.
hungary - budapest is very nice, try thermal bath, go up to the palace area, walk around in the center, visit heros' square. and go out at night to places like: "szimpla kert" or "nagy diofa", hostel receptionists will understand and guide you there accordingly.
you can also take a train to a nearby town "szentendre". it's a 45 mn ride from the center.
slovakia: bartislava is nice but small, however the mountains in slovakia will provide with splendid scenery. try go trekking.
poland: krakow is a very-very beautiful university town. you shouldn't miss it.
czech: prague and bruno are also amazing cities. you can easily take a comfortable bus from prague up to berlin.
berlin: is the coolest city in europe. try to get some info on cultural events, clubs, night life. also highly recommend renting out a bicycle and just to cycle around in the city. you will have great fun!
bus services are generally cheaper than train and still very convenient along the planned route.
very useful links - bus companies travelling on your route, the buses of both companies are very comfortable:
should you want to fly: try wizzair or easyjet low cost airlines. although you won't save much time as destinations are so far from eachother.
i am sure you will have a lot of fun!
enjoy your trip!
all these places are absolutely safe. however, be aware, especially in budapest, prague and krakow:
- use ATM, some money exchange scams exist, especially in prague
- take always a taxi that belongs to some company, not any taxi - better to ask hostel to call one for you. otherwise, they may charge you incredible amounts
- don't eat at tourist restaurants - you may find your bill will be much higher at the end - there are many good local places to eat cheap
- hide your valuable, pickpocket near train stations, busy places exist
- always validate your ticket when taking public transport.
these are things that most of the time even the locals are not aware of - simply because they are not tourists.
if you need help you can always ask local for guidance. sometimes they may look a bit grouchy but it is simply because either they don't speak english or too shy to speak foreign language. try to ask younger people who look educated - they generally speak some english.
but again, don't worry - you will be all fine and safe.
Wear dark grungy clothes and travel gear, you will blend in with the Europeans.
I'm 5'2 and slight as well, and would suggest taking a pack no more than 50L.. and you can definitely do with 40-45. Be sure to try it on before you purchase it (they usually have weights in the store to put in the bags to see how it feels), and make sure it's comfortable.
Don't worry about forgetting something, you can always buy whatever you're missing when you get to your new destination. The biggest mistake is to pack too much and then you have to cart it all over with you. There are a couple of excellent packing lists on the website if you run a search that may help you out.
You only have 3 weeks, so I would consider focusing on two to three regions and really get to know them as opposed to seeing many different ones. While I haven't been to those particular destinations (so cannot tell you an accurate time frame) it seems like you're trying to see too much in that period of time. Don't rush yourself - you'll want to take time to get lost in a city for a day, or go on random side trips with fellow backpackers!
In any case, it sounds like a great trip! Good luck!
Hiya, I too am female, 5.2 and thinking about doing a very similiar trip in September/October. I have previously travelled around SE Asia but I was with my now ex so wasn't lonely or scared like I am this time lol
I took a 45l rucksack and tried to keep it as light as possible. For a 3 week trip you will not need much. I would advise something with long sleeves to keep your shoulders covered (for visiting temples) and because it the temperature will dip at night. Deffo a combination padlock to lock your rucksack away in the hostels. Possibly a towel as not all places have them available to rent. Roll your clothes instead of folding them as it creates more room and always travel with a roll of toilet paper! You will be able to buy anything you need that you have forgotten for a reasonable price so don't worry too much about forgetting anything.
I'd be interested to hear more about your plans, could possibly link up together to help relieve some of the nerves?!