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Backpacking Tips & Advice

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1. Posted by eilse1 (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi All,

A friend and i are backpacking for the first time and we would be so extremely grateful if you guys have any advice to give!

We're backpacking for 12 days (I know..really little - but unfortunately that's all we have...!)
We arrive in London Heathrow and we were thinking about hitting:

Paris, France
Barcelona, Spain
Venice, Italy

Then head back to London Heathrow all within 12 days.
Does that sound like a completely crazy plan??
Is Florence, Italy worth visiting?

How long do you guys think we should stay in each place??

Is the cheapest/best way to Paris from London Eurostar?

Last question, would anyone know of any cheap storage places for luggage in London?

Sorry for the huge amount of questions,
Thank you, and much appreciated for any help!


2. Posted by Smirnoff (Budding Member 43 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,

Are you planning on spending time in London? If so, I'd personally leave out Venice (and save much more of Italy such as Florence and Rome for another time). 12 days minus travel time would essentially leave you with 4 days per big city.

If London is only a transit point, than you could squeeze in Venice and Florence. 12 days of high paced travel might actually be exciting!


3. Posted by eilse1 (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

We actually only have around four days to split between the two places (florence and venice) unfortunately..

Any advice on how to split the four days?
i.e. 1 in one city, 3 in another..etc..
We're not too sure how much there is to see in either place!

Thanks again!

4. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hello Elise:)

U have more than enough, on your list, without adding Florence.
I would choose just london, and one other city. If u find yourself well rested, and with plenty of time, while in the cities, u could go on day or a couple of night trips, to places near them.
If u have too many cities on your list, u will spend a lot of time at airports. Base yourself, in each city, for 5 to 6 days.
To get from Paris to London, check for cheap flights. U might find them on
That is often the cheapest way.

About luggage: Do u really need to bring so much, that u need someplace to store it? U are only here for 2 weeks. And in Summer, u wont even have to carry bulky sweaters and coats.


5. Posted by eilse1 (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Sorry about that mel,
i'll clarify what i'm going to do there,

i have a summer job in London, so a friend and i are backpacking before our workterm starts, so that's why i'll have another suitcase that i want to store somewhere.
also London would just be a transit point!

What we've decided so far is:
- Right from London, take a plane to Barcelona,
- go through the coast of Southern France,
- hit Florence and Venice (we're still unsure of how long to spend in each place though..)
- travel up to Paris.
Then we'll head back to London for our workterm afterwards.
All basically within 12 days!

Hopefully it's do-able!

The main thing we're trying to decide now is the Florence and Venice bit. Also, does anyone have any tips on where to get cheap accomodations in Venice? Or which area we should choose?


6. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I now understand why u need all that suff.;)

What I meant, by suggesting that u choose 2 cities, and stay for 5 or 6 days in each, is that if u do everything on your list, u will be rushing around a lot. Also u would be spending a large portion of your trip time, travelling from one location to the next.

Accomodation in Venice.

Ostelo Venezia
(it is a hostel)
Fondementa delle Zitelle,
Giudecca 86
Phone: 041 523 8211
It has an excellent location, facing towards San Marco from the island of Giudecca.
To get there take waterbus number 82, from the train station.
It opens for registration at 1.30PM
It is a good idea, to book ahead. It is often full.


7. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I think that with the Italy section instead of having either Venice or Florence, you should just specify that time totally for Rome. I've spent 11 days in Rome over the course of two trips and I still haven't seen everything worth seeing. I went to Venice for one full day and a half and that was enough to get a taste for it and how much of a wound it makes in your wallet.

In such a sort time, you'd have to seriously be looking at getting all flights maybe on Ryanair as early in the morning as possible or as late in the evening (after 6.00pm so that you can at least make use of a full day in a place). Sometimes this may mean camping in the airport overnight and trying to get a couple of hours sleep (which is almost impossible even after no sleep in 2 days, but that's when large quantities of Coca Cola, coffee or any other high caffiene or sugar drink come in handy when you arrive and want to make the most out of your day and feel like all you want to do is fall asleep).

Have a great trip.

8. Posted by stuthkfl (Budding Member 115 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

heyy, here's my trip, your route is very smiliar!

you can use the air companies to learn the current prices for your travel dates. that prices includes one check in baggage for ryan air as well...


[ Edit: Edited on Apr 21, 2007, at 4:40 AM by stuthkfl ]

9. Posted by eilse1 (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thank you everyone for the great help!

We've finally booked up all our hostels, and flights and trains!
so i'm very very excited to be finally going!!

For those who are interested, final itinerary:

Flight from London (transit point) to Barcelona
Flight to Pisa (as transit point)
Train to Paris

All within 12 days, hopefully it won't be too chaotic!

Any must sees in any of these locations? i would love suggestions!
Since we're only spending maximum of 3 days at each place we for sure have to do some quick sightseeing!

Thanks again though everyone!