Hello fellow travellers,
Me and my girlfriend (both 19) are considering taking a year off uni (currently studying in Melbourne, AUS) to save for 5-6 months at the start of the year, then travel for 6-8 weeks around Europe during summer and peak season, approximately July.
This is only the first phase of my research but some considerations:
We want to do the trip with approx 10k, flights not included (5-6 months work and saving at the start of the year should be able to get us around 12k)
We want to do the trip on shoestring - hostels, b&bs, backpacking with light luggage with some hotels for the occasional comfort
We definitely want to party, but also have time to relax and chill on the beach, and see the sights
I'm seeking advice on how much we need to budget? what's the cost for accommodation, alcohol, food, sightseeing, travel within Europe..will 10k cover it?
What are the the sorts of things we need to do before leaving? apart from having a valid passport obviously
And the main thing I want advice on is where should we go?!
All advice is welcomed!
10k more than enough.
30-35 EUR for 2 per night in a hostel, free if you stay in couch surfing
if you cook in a hostel prices are the same as at home.
transportation within europe is most expensive part, perhaps around 2k for both to move 20-30 times. Or go to ryanair.com if you book in advance its like 20-30$ per
Places to go oh well...45 countries...I would suggest to see Europe as Western and Eastern.
You will change your itinerary many times on the, way, in hostels they will tell best places to go around. Perhaps you want to stay in every capital of the western europe except few countries and in those hostels people will just advise you on places to go. There are those number 1 things like Eifel tower, Colloseum, but for some those are not at all number 1...you know...Just start your journey and it'll work out.
I agree with vanbest, it is possible to travel Europe during 2 months very comfortably with 10k (even if you are 2 and travelling during peak season) if you stay in hostels and b&b most of the time. There is a considerable difference in prices throughout Europe though - you will find lower prices in Eastern Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia, Serbia, Poland, just to name a few) and some southern countries (Portugal, parts of Spain, Turkey). Central and Northern Europe are expensive regions and you should expect prices to be high in most capital cities too. But to have an idea, in almost every country you will find hostel beds for as little as 6-20€/person. In some countries you can travel a distance of 100km by bus or train for 8€, in others the same distance will cost you 30 or 40€. You can eat a very decent meal for 5€ in some parts of Europe, but in some places that money will only buy you a cup of coffee. So costs will really depend on your choice of destinations, but i would say that no matter which countries you choose 10k will be enough!
Assuming you are both australians you can stay in most countries of Europe for at least 90 days visa-free. So no need to apply for a Schengen visa If you want to travel in european countries that are not in the Schengen area, you might need a visa (but, if i am not mistaken today almost all of them are issued on arrival). So apart from having a valid passport, it's better to take a look at the visa policies for australian citizens in the countries you want to visit. And, because i see you haven't decided yet which countries you want to visit, the other thing i would suggest you to do is to start looking for information about Europe: maybe purchasing a good guidebook or searching for guides/descriptions/images/reviews of places in Europe on the internet (the Travel Guides here at Travellers Point are a good place to start).
Considering you will "only" have 6-8 weeks to explore our continent, it might help to take a flight occasionaly to cover bigger distances. Unfortunately, during the months of July and August even the prices of low-cost airlines are not so low, but you can always take a look. If purchased in advance, a flight can sometimes be less expensive than a train. Some low-cost airlines that i have used and can recommend: Easyjet, Ryanair, Wizzair, Blueair.
It is hard to give advice on where to go, knowing so little about your preferences. But i will try to recommend you some places based on my preferences
To relax and chill on the beach: Portugal, Greece (especially the islands), Croatia (not many sandy beaches, but the beautiful turquoise waters compensate that!), some parts of Spain and Italy, southern Turkey
To party: you will be visiting Europe in its best period for party-lovers, summer is when Europe really comes alive with dozens of festivals for all styles. A personal favourite of mine is Boom Festival, in Portugal - tickets are not cheap, but it's definitely a unique experience if you like electronic music, sunny weather and smiling people. But there are many other festivals who can offer you a great time too, so again, if you are interested do some research about it! Apart from festivals, i can tell from my experience that southern countries are usually better (and cheaper) to party. But places like Berlin, London or Paris are also places with great nightlife.
My favourite cities: this is very personal though, so don't take it too serious, cause we are all different and what suits my taste might not have the same effect on you.. and i haven't visited all of Europe yet! i am not a big fan of cities, but in general i really enjoyed Istanbul, Ljubljana, Florence, Paris, Lisbon, Barcelona, Amsterdam. Berlin for the nightlife; and Venice would be great without so many tourists and all that comes with it.
My favourite countries for nature: Switzerland, Scotland, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, parts of France and Italy. But i bet nordic countries, for example, would be part of this list too if i had had the chance to go there!
So read and see as much as you can about european destinations and then it will be a lot easier to choose a route.
Wish you luck and have a great time here in Europe