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Trip feedback? Europe Trip

Travel Forums Europe Trip feedback? Europe Trip

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11. Posted by Jhon Carter (Inactive 20 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Please tell us about how long you want to stay, what is approx budget.

12. Posted by OldPro (Inactive 400 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Well with only 2-4 weeks, you are definitely trying to cover too much ground in too little time. It is also contrary to your intent to spend as little money as possible. The more you move the more it costs.

Received wisdom is that a backpacker staying in hostel dorms, eating supermarket food and paying for the odd museum entry or beer, needs 60 Euros per day and that does not include transportation. That is just a basic survival budget and will not allow for things like an actual night out clubbing or paying for whitewater rafting etc. Keep in mind there is a difference between surviving and enjoying your time. So the 60 Euros is not the number you should be aiming for with your budget.

I have met many backpackers who were so busy trying to stay within a budget and find the cheapest everything, that they had no time to enjoy where they were. There's little point in doing that. It is better to enjoy 2 weeks than to survive 4 weeks.

Some of your list will obviously cost you more. The major cities will cost more than the Adriatic countries will. You have to decide which places are of most interest to you and then decide how much time you can afford to spend in them if they remain on your list. I consider less than 5 full days in Rome to be a minimum for example. For that I would want at least 500 Euros even with hostels and mainly supermarket food. There is no point in saying that food is an interest if you aren't going to be able to afford to eat in a decent restaurant.

You have listed nowhere that you could expect to participate in the type of adventure activities you mention. That means you have in fact not listed all your potential stops really. It means more moving which means more transportation costs and it means more cost for the activities themselves obviously.

With 2 weeks, I would not go beyond Paris. Some days in London which presumbly is where you plan to fly in to. Some days in Paris, some time in France for activities and smaller towns, a return to London to fly home.

For example, you could visit the Gorges de l'Ardeche and the Gorges du Tarn if you want some outdoor activities. That alone could easily take up a week of your time.
http://www.francethisway.com/places/gorgesdelardeche.php

http://www.francethisway.com/places/gorgesdutarn.php

http://www.francethisway.com/places/pontdarc.php

I don't think you are thinking about how much time it actually takes to visit a place.

13. Posted by Peter (Admin 6348 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Just as a comparison on the time thing - when we visited Croatia some 10 years ago, we spent 2 weeks there driving around to different places. Really, even in that time we just scratched the surface. We didn't visit any of the islands at all.

Incidentally, we flew into Rome, spent 3 or 4 days there, then we caught the train to Ancona and the ferry from there to Zadar in Croatia where we hired a car.

For 4 weeks in the area, I'd consider Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia/Herzegovina to be a pretty good combo and it would keep you pretty well occupied without costing the earth. See if you can't fly in to somewhere a bit closer than London.

14. Posted by mapsandmoxie (Full Member 196 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I'm a little confused about your itinerary and interests.

First, 2-4 weeks is a huge difference in regards to time and what is available. Be prepared to cut your itinerary in half if it's the first, otherwise you won't see anything beyond the inside for trains / planes / busses / airports and their associated terminals. And believe me, that's not fun.

Secondly, how many of you are going? That will impact the best means of travel and the most economical options for accommodation - hostels may not be the best bet if there are 4 of you as you can save by pooling your resources and renting a cottage or flat through airbnb or other options. If you're travelling short distances it can also impact how you travel - there are fairs like eurorail (or interrail, depending on where you're from) that can be useful for groups depending on your age, plans and timeframes. This is also dependent on where you're going, as some areas of europe have better bus links than train links (eastern europe in particular) or you can look at alternative forms of travel like blablacar or renting something.

Scandinavia is very expensive - not just for drinks, also food, transport, and you will need to fly to iceland and/or norway compared to your more southern destinations. I would suggest picking a smaller area - around Slovenia, Poland, Estonia, or another region and really exploring there.

You've stated that you like the outdoors and animals in particular, but all your destinations are cities. Is there a particular reason you haven't tried to target some of the natural phenomenon on your trip instead? Europe has some beautiful geography from the Alps and the High Tatras, to the mediterranean, islands, rivers, and canyons... and basically anything else you can imagine depending on what you're after. If you like that kind of thing, I might suggest targeting a city and exploring some of the surrounding countryside instead.

In any case, good luck.

15. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 974 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Suggest a regional approach, such as a visit to Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria. Flights from London to major cities in the region are reasonable. If you like horses, visit Piber, about an hour from Graz in Austria.

See this link: http://www.austria.info/us/austria/1000-years-of-imperial-history/home-of-the-lipizzan-horses

My Austrian friends took me there. There are interesting towns and villages nearby.

Austrian Railways offer discounted Sparschiene tickets to neighboring countries such as Italy, Slovenia and Croatia; and also offers long-distance bus service as well. For example, a Sparschiene rail ticket from Vienna to Venice costs 29 euros; and to Rome, 39 euros. It's 19 euros from Vienna to Llubljana; and 19 euros from Graz to Zagreb.

See this link: https://www.oebb.at/en/

OBB also offers rail/boat tours, including one to the Benedictine Abbey at Melk, with its gorgeous library. I did this day trip several years ago. Current price: 49 euros.

See this link: http://kombitickets.railtours.at/wachau-ticket/austria/wachau/wachau-ticket.html

One possible itinerary is to fly from London to Vienna; take the rail/boat trip to Melk, continue to Graz and Piber, then on to Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. There are excellent hikes in all four countries; and it's easy to get the urban/rural experience. Accommodations often are less expensive in smaller towns and villages; and you'll be able to find convenient public transportation to many of them. For example, I've taken Austria's PostBus to several. I've also traveled by bus from Bled to Llubljana; and other destinations in the Balkans.

See this link: http://www.postbus.at/en/Timetable/index.jsp

You have many options. Check them out; and you'll have a grand time.

P.S. It's easy to book with OBB online. I use my U.S. credit card. For international trips on the Sparschiene fare, you collect your ticket at the train station, either at the ticket office or at a kiosk. For domestic trips, simply print out your ticket at home and take it with you. The conductor will scan it onboard.

One last thought. Like many things in life, change is constant in the world of travel. So it pays to keep informed; and an open mind. Don't foreclose anything. You have options; explore them. Visiting major cities doesn't have to be expensive. For example, some newer hotels cater to budget-minded travelers. They are clean and comfortable; and often are near public transportation, including train stations. And sometimes it's less expensive to fly than to take the train.

[ Edit: Edited on 28-Jan-2017, at 06:06 by berner256 ]

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