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Solo trip around Europe, any advice appreciated

Travel Forums Europe Solo trip around Europe, any advice appreciated

1. Posted by mdrowlands (First Time Poster 1 posts) 4y

Hi I'm Mark, 21 currently living in Essex, England

I have always wanted to explore the world and have decided to bite the bullet with a 1 month solo trip around Europe to get me started. I have already looked into rail passes and decided that a 1 month multi-country pass would probably be the best option for me (unless anyone can offer advice on a better way).

My main questions are:

A) I will be traveling on a low budget, so was wandering what would be the minimum amount I could survive on (was thinking maybe around £700-1000)?

B) any advice on cheap reliable hostels would be really appreciated.

C) I already know what the main countries i would like to visit are (France, Germany, Italy, Sweden well basically as much of Europe as i can) but I am very open to suggestions, so if any of you have had any amazing experiences anywhere or activities to do, let me know please :)

I know most of this has probably been covered before, but like I say, I appreciate all the help/suggestions that I get.

Thanks in advance

2. Posted by WomBatt (Full Member 133 posts) 4y

A) If £1000/£33 per day - this is an unfeasibly small amount for thirty days, even if excluding transport costs, if you intend to have much enjoyment from this. Clarify, for those that follow, what this £1000 includes.

B) You are asking for an extraordinary sized area! 'Google' the places you want to go to and read the reviews of accommodation. Or use the likes of

C) I choose not to waste my time on this. My experiences and what I want from travel and to see and do are surely not the same as your interests and what you want to experience.

'I have already looked into rail passes and decided that a 1 month multi-country pass would probably be the best option for me (unless anyone can offer advice on a better way).' - Possibly, as you are 21. As you do not seem to have a loose plan of the places you are going to, I do not see how you can say this is the case, as you have done no maths. comparisons with purchase of point to point tickets, discounted or not. Hopefully you have discovered this huge resource for train travel - and you should have found this - you buy a railpass or pay-as-you-go

All transport may have a place.

Recognise that every travel movement can possibly waste a day. Four countries in about four weeks sounds like enough to me, without anywhere else. Have you no interest in finding any kind of vibe anywhere? You live in a country adjacent to Europe, there will be time in the future. Do not try and do too much in this trip.

3. Posted by Talun (First Time Poster 1 posts) 4y

Hi Mark,

I've already done quite a number of such trips, and thus optimized the way I travel.

Ok, one thing first:

It mainly depends on what you understand by the term travelling, this one also defines, how good or bad your budget will fit your needs.

Generally speaking, I've travelled lots of time on much less - 1.000 Pounds a month is quite luxurious, you can even get by with a third of it without any larger trouble to expect.

A) Travelling by train via Interrail seems fine to me - although there are (sporty) alternatives to that as well. In my view it largely depends how much you will actually want to travel (i.e. to move about) or stay for days in the same place.
Another (quite sensible) option would be to use the special offers from Euro-Night-Lines between the cities of the continent - you can travel from Hamburg to Vienna for mere 39 Euro - in the night, while you sleep, and do not even loose a day of action. They connect most European capitals for that price, if you book in time (normally, depending on the weekday, this is some 3-4 weeks in advance). You only have to take a different approach to leave your "splendid isolation" in Britain, I'd recommend RyanAir with some 40 Euros from London Stansted to Salzburg. If you fly back the same route, and maybe make Salzburg the center of some "star-travelling" train rides, most of the time the flight back home via Ryan is free of charge.

B) Cheap accomodation can be a problem in Europe at some places - hotel rooms are on average 35 Euros up per night, youth hostels are on average 22-30 per night - so you end up with nearly 1000 Euros only for your accomodation during the night... is that worth it?

Suggestion A: Couch-Surfing - one of the best solution in my eyes, including being shown around, and getting to know a lot of great new people. No cost for accomodation, only for feeding yourself and spending it indeed on travelling itself.

Renting or even buying a motorhome is not a practicable solution, as I see it, because it needs a lot of money indeed. Caravaning is the most expensive way to travel - you need to buy or rent the Caravan, pay for gas and motorway tolls (which sums up to quite an amount in your case) and you spend hours and hours on motorways not seeing anything actually.
The only thing I could imagine possible is to fit your own car as a comfortable motorhome, which is actually not SO much effort. But the necessity to sleep on regular camping sites confronts you with costs of about 20 per night plus the gasoline for the ways you drive, so I'd estimate at least some 600 for sleeping in your car plus - you know how much gasoline you take. Also not really worth it, but a good compromise to some extent.

That's why I prefer biking - I'm driving a recumbent trike and on hard days I get up to nearly 300 kms behind me per day, seeing the landscape, still being able to stop and talk to people, ... and for no cost at all.

Suggestion B: Not so sensible in winter, although I've done that one, too, one or two times already - staying outside. It can be a great kind of adventure, and if you do a crash course by somebody who's experienced, it can be a quite comfortable thing to do as well. Recommended: hiking (or biking) the E8 - in my eyes one of the best transverse routes through Europe. But mainly depends on your sporting ambitions, I guess... :)

Suggestion C: Earning some extra money during the travelling through Internet-Jobs done on a laptop with 3G or WLAN connection to cover your accomodation cost at least partly. If you choose the right jobs, you end up with some 300-400 pounds in a month's time by not spending more than approx 2-3 hours a day on work. Seems to be worth the effort, in my eyes, as you can keep it as a regular side-job as well for later on. I finance most of my extended trips that way, as I've made a comfortable living out of it through the last 2 1/2 years.

One Important Rule: Do THOROUGHLY plan ahead before!!!

I've been to nearly every country in Europe meanwhile, and can surely help you with a lot of aspects, if you like - just write a mail if you like, and we can chat.

As for the budget, normally the biggest thing on the bill is always accomodation - so it largely depends on how you solve that issue for yourself.

The second largest part is meals - how you feed yourself makes a huge difference in budgets. That can be from some 4 Euros a day up to 40. Can give you some very tasty tips on that, as well.

Alright -
just give it a thought, and don't hesitate to write

  • ** uups, they don't let mail-addy's being posted here.... so just type in here, and we'll find a way... *lol*

So long,



Post 4 was removed by a moderator
5. Posted by mdrowlands (First Time Poster 1 posts) 4y

Hi guys thanks for the advice

My main ambition for this trip would be to, spend 3-4 days in the main places I'd like to visit (France, Germany, Switzerland & Italy) Generally taking in the sights of the main cities, exploring the more rural parts and maybe do a few activities ( I would be taking my skates and know the locations of a few parks in these countries so that's 1 activity taken care of) But any advice on any adrenaline / art&crafts activities available would be nice. Whilst then being able to spend a couple of days in other countries in between these to just relax/explore/sight seeing.

I was planning on travelling by ferry to Holland then making my way from there (I live in a town with a international port doing daily trips across which cost around £40, this is a much simpler, cheaper option as it doesn't require any additional traveling or cost to get to a airport) and then making my way by train to Germany - France - Switzerland - Italy, Then either having a flight booked from Italy home or making my way back to Holland and returning by ferry again.

@ Wombatt, Thanks for the advice on buying tickets as I go, after looking into it, it does seem that this option would work out cheaper than getting the pass.

@ Talun, I suppose travelling to me means, Being able to see parts of the world & cultures I probably wouldn't be able to experience otherwise.

The traveling by bike/trike does sound very good, however as i don't drive or anything yet, trains are the only viable option (I'd prefer to travel over land so i can still get to see the scenery the countries have to offer) although the idea of hiking is very appealing as I am a very active person and am fine with the idea of camping outside, definitively something I'l have to look into, along with the over night trains, as that would certainly help save some money on accommodation :)

It's a shame we're not allowed to post e-mails as I, get the impression you have a wealth of experience in this that would be very helpful, but guess we'll have to make do with this lol

Thanks again for the help and look forward to getting more


6. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4817 posts) 4y

Quoting mdrowlands

It's a shame we're not allowed to post e-mails as I, get the impression you have a wealth of experience in this that would be very helpful, but guess we'll have to make do with this lol

You can always just keep asking questions in the thread, or exchange email addresses through the private message function (we just don't want them out in the open to attract email harvesting bots (and a bit to protect people against themselves, as we already have had quite a few people come back years after the fact, trying to remove an overabundance of personal information which they carelessly revealed)).