For years my best friend and I have been planning to go on a 3 month trip to Europe after our first year of University. It is a year away now and it's time to officially plan! We will be going from mid April to mid July. We are both 19 year old women and love to have fun and meet new people but also like to see the cultural sites.
Feel free to answer any of the following questions you wish to answer! All advice is helpful!!
-What places should we go to? (Feel free to give me a whole list if you have many places in mind!)
-Hotels or hostels?
-Are hostels safe and are my things secure?
-How much should I pack?
-How much money should I bring? (Not including cost of Eurail pass)
-Should I book my accomodations ahead of time?
-Are there any rules in certain places that are crucial? (travel rules, religion rules, dress code, purchasing things etc)
-Should I book my Eurail pass ahead of time?
-What is the weather like from April-July?
-Any safety procautions I should take? (We've seen the movie "Taken" and are kind of nervous...)
-Are taxis safe?
-Any specific attractions/festivals I should see?
-Any budgeting tips?
-And any other helpful tips you can think of! THANKS IN ADVANCE!!
The short answer - it depends! Europe's varied so it depends where you're going.
Pack light. If you need something you can easily buy it in Europe. Test pack - take a walk up the street wearing your loaded pack and if you're uncomfortable after half an hour, go home and discard some stuff.
Dress codes - maybe if you're big into visiting churches you need something that covers your shoulders and legs down to below the knee, but Europe in general can be pretty casual. Personally I'd be planning to live in a pair of jeans or shorts and a couple of shirts.
Weather. The inland "continental" climate gets hot in summer, coastal areas are tempered by winds. Norway in April differs from Spain in July! Depends where you're planning to go...?
Safety: Europe isn't really any different to Canada. Be sensible, don't flash jewellery and electronics and your wallet, split your money into a couple of places, don't walk alone at night, stuff like that. Hostels are safe enough just think about where you leave things as not everyone is honest - that applies to hostels, hotels, trains, buses, worldwide!
Where to go, now that's the interesting question. What do you like? Europe's not going to be all that alien to you, but it's got plenty of history and culture to see. The top spots are, of course, expensive, but you needn't linger in them too long. My top choices: Venice, Rome, St Petersburg. But all the capitals are worth a visit. Scandinavia is the most expensive budget-busting area; the former Soviet Union countries are cheapest. The landscapes in Norway, Switzerland, Scotland, Iceland are top notch. Are you looking for partying, hiking, architecture, famous landmarks,...?
perfect advice from Andyf really, Europe is as safe as anywhere else in the world so long as you keep streetsmart and use common sense, the same as you would at home really.
Budget is alway a contencious issue really, ie Paris and London are expensive, (but must see), out east is less expensive, equally as rewarding as the west imo. Basically with limited time and budget pick out a few must sees, then work an itinerary to suit. I would always advise a certain amount of flexibility too, some places you may want to spend longer in than others and there are always those little out of th way gems you don't plan for .
Good luck and happy travels,