Hey I'm doing a bit of research into my European trip at the end of this year....at the moment I am on school holidays(almost 17!!) but in a week, school goes back 5 days a week, sport starts up again - 2-3 times a week and somehow I manage 2 jobs in between all that....oh and my study....well back to the main point of this thread, I really don't have a whole lot of time on my hands and there is SOOOO much to do...however, I've talked and listened to many travellers and different peoples opinions on how to go about planning my trip and I was just wondering if anyone can give me some advice, maybe some tips that made your trip planning easier and less confusing!?!? I know the obvious things to do before I leave i.e plane tickets, insurance, passport(already got that) etc but is there anything that you would recommend to leave until I get over there? Some people have suggested, for example, to book my first week but then wait and see what I think of the area and what's around before I book into the next place.
I would love to hear any helpful tips!!
Thanks in advance,
Although i'm a big make it up as you go along person, especially if its your first time inEurope &/or first time traveling alone, i would highly recomend having the first few days planned - book your accom, know how to get there/what to do etc, so you can take it easy.
To start, Head somewhere large, obvious, easy and used to lots of tourists (Paris or London are good points) where there's so much to do that you want a few days anyway, and you can aclimatise/get used to being alone for a couple of days [in reality you won't be alone as you'll start meeting people, probably before you get on the plane over] as well as get a feel for whats going on. You don't have to plan what your doing each day, but knowing you've got your first 4 days booked in a hostel in Paris, for example, gives you alot of breathing space, and you can then plan what to do after that closer to the time or when your there.
Quite allot of people either come over for the first time with nothing planned at all and get overwhelmed/robbed (or sleeping in airports/rough because they get unlucky), whilst others try and plan so much they are completely knackered after 2 days...
After that it's up to you. Having a loose plan can be good (i.e. an approx circle that you want to travel in to see where you want) providing it's flexible that you can change as you go along/discover new things/places/ideas. Having no plan can be great, but for the first time you travel isn't neccessarily a good idea. Especially if you have no research etc either. If you are on limited time and want to see lots, it can be a good idea to book a few points on the way. For example, book somewhere for a couple of days each weekend, where you particularly want to go, but nothing in between. That gives you freedom to do different things/go with the flow for a few days, but also gives you some sort of direction/loose plan, and ensures you don't spend a whole month in one cmall area if planning to do a decent tour of Europe, or have cramed everything into 2 weeks and then wonder what the heck to do with your remaining time!
Basically, when travelling alone and when quite young, don't under plan and don't overplan. I know that's hard to know if you've got the balance. And always trust your instincts.
I agree with the above post, But would like to add that it might be usefull to book a place for atleast your first night. That way on arival you dont need to worry about it and you can get sorted quiker. Beats wandering the streets jetlagged looking for a hotel all with your backpack and everything on you.
If you like the place you booked stay there some more nights otherwise just find a new place.
Sorry, yes, i mean't to say that especially on the first trip, always book the first night or 2 accom, and ideally in a fairly touristy/internationsl place, to give you a chance to settle into everything a little easier than arriving somewhere more obscure/less touristy with nowhere to stay.