Hi fellow travellers
My partner and i are doing our first BIG trip OS to Europe next year in late August.... We plan on travelling by train/plane... We will be there for approx 4-6weeks.... and we were just wondering what sort of budget to allow for??? Flights, food, accommodation, spending money etc? We were thinking $20,000 between us would be plenty, or are we being too conservative?
This is a rough idea of our itinerary:
EUROPE ITINERARY IDEAS
Fly into London 3 days
London to Paris 2 days
Bruges – Belgium 2 days
Amsterdam 3-4 days
Berlin, Munich, (Dresden) – Germany 4-5days
Prague, Cesky Krumlov –Czech Republic 2-3days
Vienna, Salzburg- Austria 2days
Dubrovinik- Croatia 2days
Pisa, Naples, Rome, Florence, Venice- Italy 5days
Geneva, Bern- Switzerland 2-3days
Lyon, Nice, Bordeaux – France 3 days
Also is it best to book ALL our accomodation before we leave Australia or book over there?
What will the general weather be like in Europe then? Its all very exciting but a little daunting to plan on our own....
Also has anyone hired a car in Italy? Would you recommend it?
Appreciate any suggestions, input etc
Hi, that is similar to what a group of friends and I will be doing in the summer as well. We will be in Europe for a month and visiting:
Munich, Berlin, Prague, Zurich, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Riomaggiore, Pisa, Naples, Florence, Rome
Staying at each city 1-3 days trying to see as much as possible.
I did a little research on whether it is a good idea to rent a car but from what I've gathered, there are a few problems with renting a car. Mainly the cost is expensive, fuel is expensive, some places have restrictions on driving, parking can be limited in many areas, etc. Personally, I would stick with public transportation such as the bus or train.
As for the budget, I guess it all depends on how well you would like to live during that time. I'm currently budgeting ~$5k for everything except flights. So food, partying, lodging, Eurail pass, etc for approx 1 month. I am planning on staying at hostels throughout my visit. I'm thinking I will need to budget a few grand more just to be safe and also because I will be flying to Seoul, Korea from Rome and staying there for 2 weeks as well.
If a more experienced traveler can answer your questions that would be beneficial for me as well since our trips seem to be pretty similar.
Excluding flights and movement between the destinations on your wish list and as you have some expensive cities on there (why only cities?) - €55 (yes euro, you will have to do the maths.) per person per day is the minimum I would be using for lodging, breakfast, one small, and one large meal, one or two sites/museum entries a day (if not free) and a couple of alcoholic drinks. No huge frivolities and clubbing included.
I would not be just turning up in anyone of these destinations hoping to find something which suits me at my price in August.
If you are going to only cities, there is little point to a car. Generally, many sites will be walkable or public transport will get you around the city.
Plenty of time to do the research. You obviously have the web in Australia :-), do you not have libraries? Plenty of time to become undaunted.
I wonder whether there are too many places on this list and you have not recognised the time you will expend between destinations.
Aside from costs, I think your planned itinerary just doesn't give enough time in any one country to do them justice. You're rushing through some of the world's most interesting cities (Rome, Paris). Wouldn't it be better to double the time in certain places, and leave the rest for another trip. Why not see Western Europe now, and leave Eastern Europe for later (or VV)?
Eastern countries will probably be 30% to 50% cheaper than Western ones.
I would say that Italy is probably the worst place to rent a car (have you ever experienced driving with Italians ???)
[ Edit: Edited on 30-Oct-2012, at 07:06 by Daawgon ]
I agree that you are fitting an awful lot of places in that amount of time, I would cut it down to maybe 4 or 5 countries so you can spend a week in each.. I live in England and there is a lot more to see of Britain than just London! Same applies to the other countries... get out of the cities in some places if you can! It's also an awfully long way to come for a trip that is going to be spent in city after city with many of your days being taken up on a plane/train or bus.
Budget wise Europe is expensive, especially the cities but yours seems fairly healthy if you cut out a few places...
I'll take London as an example as I can speak best on this..
Hotel - budget around £100 - £120 a night for a room - you might get a place for less but it'll be way out the centre, best to be in the centre where you won't spend an hour on the tube every day
Travel card to most of London - £50 for a 7 day pass or £8.50 per day per person
Evening meal in chain restaurant with drinks - £35 - £45 for 2 people
Pint of larger - £3.50 (average price)
500ml Bottle of water - £1.50
Of course you can do it cheaper than this it just depends on what sort of experience you want to have.
If you start counting in costs to get into attractions these can be anything from £20 + per person. That said in London there are lots of free and excellent museums.
Tickets to West End shows cost around £50 - £70 but you can pick up discount tickets on the day from the ticket booths.
Travel between European countries can be cheap on budget airlines but they only tend to be cheap if you are travelling with cabin baggage. Budget airlines charge around £50 to check in a 15kg bag which really increases the price for each leg. If you are booking on the budget airlines book as far in advance as you can to get the cheapest fares, same applies for train (in the UK anyway), advance bookings are cheaper.
If you want to go to all the countries listed above you will be spending a lot of time travelling from one to the other and you'll prbably leave feeling like you haven't really experienced much of what Europe has to offer.
One more thing.. August is still peak season in most of Euope. If you wait until September you will find that things are a little cheaper as the schools have gone back after the summer holdiays. I can't speak for all of Europe but weather in August & September will still be summer so should be ok... of course there is always the chance of rain but temperatures will still be quite warm.
I´m from Germany ( Frankfurt ).
Well, Berlin and Munich offer a lot of sights and nice places. How much money you require depends on your demand. ( Hostel or ***** Hotel, Fish and Chips or Kaviar, comfortable or economic transport ).
I can tell and write a whole book - it would be better what kind of interests and hobbies you have.
For your travel plan I would recommand the train ( between the big cities). It s a benefit, if you know which ticket you ´ll need, in advance ( e.g. if you re heading to Munich, you can use the Bavarian Ticket ( Bayernticket). That´s a ticket for all local trains ( RB,RE and IRE but not the fast ones IC,EC or ICE) and local busses in Bavaria ( state province) , for one day ( up to 9 o clock a.m. = Mo-Fr). The ticket price range from 22 Euro ( 1 person ) to 38 Euro ( 5 persons).)
For the more remote areas it s a car recommandable. Are you a member of auto mobile club ? if you hire the car between Monday to Thursday it´even cheaper as on the weekend.
Thankyou to everyone for all your suggestions and helpful advice.
To "WomBatt" yes! we have the net in Australia, and libraries too! and i'am doing research, but like to hear from people who have actually been there and done that.... My partner and i have stuck to the "cities" because we thought that that would be a good starting point, and we are not sure what the smaller towns have to offer etc, but are very open to travelling out a bit further and having a "true" local experience.
Also i know a lovely German lady who has kindly offered us a few days accommodation in her home in Dresden, which is very exciting
We are trying to see ALOT i know but it's because we will probably never get back to Europe, (or not for a long time) and want to experience as much as possible...
Maybe cutting out Slovenia and Croatia might be an idea as we kind of added the in last minute.
Our main interests are Italy and Germany.
So it appears trains are the way to go then. And as my partner is a rail worker in Aus he is keen to try them out lol
I understand Britain has alot to offer apart from London but i really have no urge to suss it out much further then that, sorry Brits I will do the basic tourist things in london but thats it for us.
Also has anyone hired a car in Italy or germany?
Renting a car in Germany is not a problem, but your rental contract will likely have limitations as to which countries your can drive in. For example, the contract will say you cannot travel to Italy or Poland in your rental car. These limitations will only be of concern if your main mode of transportation is your rented car.
"Local/Rural" travel in a rented car in Germany is not a problem. However, given that German street names seem to be about 30+ letters long and all end in "strasse", you will need patience with your co-pilot if they are required to navigate and to read street names on the go...
Avoid airport rental locations as they can charge a substantial premium (30%) for the privelege and convenence of their renting at the airport.
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