I am 23 years old and after finnishing my degree and finding it hard to break in to my industry of choice with the current climate, I have decided to go traveling around europe in September for around a month as i do not think i have enough money to say traveling for longer. I want to travel to see all the iconic galleries around europe, and also fit afew beaches in. I have looked at the interrail train ticket as this seems to be the cheapest way to get around and also get home. I wanted to visit France Portugal Spain Switzerland Italy and Belgium.
I was hoping that some of you may have any advice as i would be traveling solo i.e is it safe what should i look out for?
How much money realistically am i going to need?
How easy is it to find hostels or should i book in advance?
Also any other tips would be very helpful
Consider cheap flights as you do not have much time. A flight to Paris, then the shuttle to Beauvais airport and take a Ryanair flight to Barcelona. Train to Madrid, train to Granada and train to Seville and then bus to Malaga from where you can spend a bit of time on the beaches along the coast.
Alternatively from Paris Beauvais you can fly to Venice, then bus to Milan and head down south to Florence, Pisa, Siena, Rome, Naples and Pompeii.
You can always do the other places when you have a few days spare since they are a short flight away.
Galleries and other attractions can have long queues, notably the Uffizi in Florence but can be booked beforehand online. You can also book train and bus tickets online, as well as flights of course. Do remember to print off boarding cards if you use Ryanair. Many internet cafes do have printers.
Accommodation try hostelbookers (which also has budget hotels), lowcostholidays, travellerspoint, etc.
Be careful of pick pockets (Barcelona is probably the pick pocket capital of Europe). Lots of people do travel solo.
I just looked at Ryanair Paris to Venice on 12 September and at the moment, all in, it costs 15 euros one way. The same price as the shuttle bus:
How much to take? As much as possible. How much you spend depends on what kind of lifestyle you want.
September is shoulder season, so you shouldn't have to worry about the crowds too much. Nowhere near as busy as over the summer. It's actually a great time of year to go as the weather is still nice, most of the tourist sites are still open, but it's cheaper and less busy.
If you already know exactly what route you want to take, I would definitely look into RyanAir and EasyJet for cheap flights. It's not always a good option because airports eat up so much of your time, but it could very well be cheaper than the train.
If you're more interested in making it up as you go, I would stick with the train. You'll have more flexibility and your costs are definite. Booking last minute flights is hit or miss.
Hostels in September it is very unlikely that you would need to book ahead of time. They will still be busy, but not fully booked at that time of year. Guide books are your friend. Pick up a Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, etc for Europe. They have basic maps of the major cities as well as hostel listings and transportation tips/advice.
For money, more is always better. A hostel dorm room will typically cost you about $25-35 dollars per night. For first world countries I usually budget about $75 per day just for food/drink and lodging - that's high for some places, low for others. If you're a big partier you'll want to budget more, if not budget slightly less. The rest of your costs will depend on how much you travel around and how much you pay for entertainment/sightseeing/etc. Personally, I budget around $5500-6000 for a 30-day trip (flight on top of that).
As for security, there really isn't a lot to worry about in Europe. Pickpockets are always a risk, so be aware of your surroundings and belongings at all times. Otherwise, just keep your wits about you and use some common sense. Trust your instincts. Be careful being out alone after dark. All the usual things