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Europe Backpacking Itinerary

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Muswellbrook...
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Europe Backpacking Itinerary

Hi,

Myself and three friends are planning to backpack Europe from March - October 2001. We are going to attempt completing it on a budget of $100 per day. So far, we are planning:

March/April - England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales - hiring a car and doing a self drive tour staying in hostels

Fly from London to Gallipoli for Anzac Day - Does anyone have any suggestions on whether to do a tour, or book private accommodation? What would be the cheapest option?

May/June - Greece, Italy, Switz Alps (hopefully fit Ibiza in here somewhere), Spain for running with the Bulls on 7th July - We are planning to travel this section with a ticket off busabout.com. We are thinking we might do a tour in Greece. Any comments on whether a tour for Greece would be cheaper than travelling it idependently?

July/Aug/Sept - France, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, finish up in Munich for octobkerfest and if we do a tour for octoberfest we will get a free ride back to London. We are planning to do this all through a ticket from busabout.com again. In between Vienna and Munich, we would like to do a sail tour in Croatia. Any suggestions for budget tours?

Do you think this will be possibly in the timeframe we have set?

Any suggestions on tours, hostel accommodation, budgeting etc will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Essex
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1. Re: Europe Backpacking Itinerary

Sounds like you have already done a good bit of research of your own. Hiring a car in UK is a good idea to get you around, you can really travel at your own pace then, and enjoy what you want.

Have a look at Lonely Planets Thorntree Forum, they have lots of info on there for backpacker types, it is a bit more specialised for that kind of travel.

Good luck and enjoy your trip.

London
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for Thirassia, Fira
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2. Re: Europe Backpacking Itinerary

Myself and three friends are planning to backpack Europe from March - October 2001.

_______________________

Was this meant to be for 2010 or 2011? I ask because ANZAC Day has been and gone (April 25). From memory, the area around Anzac Cove is strictly controlled during the time of the commorations due to the number of people heading to the area and you may only be able to access it with a guided tour. Certainly, we had to drive our coaches in convoy to be there for the dawn service. Tthere are many London-based companies that organize trips of varying duration, just find what length/price suits you.

Manchester
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3. Re: Europe Backpacking Itinerary

With several of you travelling with a car in the UK it may be as cheap to stay in budget hotels as hostels, and considerably more flexible to location. Check out Travellodge, Premier Inn etc and watch closer to the time for their cheap advanced deals - often as low as £10 per room, especially inMarch/April. Do note that many country houses and other major sights in the UK close over winter and will only just be opening up again in March - check dates. For instance, many National Trust properties open only from mid March.

The cheapest option to Turkey is probably a charter flight or package tour, again as you will be well off season. However, these will go to southern Turkey. Check out deals with Turkish Airlines to Istanbul - they often do cheap flights from regional airports such as Manchester (direct). Travel by bus in Turkey is affordable and very pelasant indeed. Book accommodation well in advance for Gallipoli itself. Istanbul is a highlight of an trip to Europe I think.

You can cross directly into Greece from Turkey but it was for a long time a war torn border, and has an 11 km band of land mines along it. Check visa requirements (most nationalities can get a visa on arrival if flying to Turkey. Take some time to see the rest of Turkey - its an amazing country (actually, its Meditteranean coast was originally part of Greece). Ephesus is superb and Cappadoccia an amazing sight if a bit of a trek.

I hired a car when I visited mainland Greece. Once again it is full of superb historic sights, and this is the easiest way to get to a lot of them. It should be cheap enough with four of you. Delphi, Mystra, Meteora and Olypia are all must sees, Naphthlion is charming and nearby ancient Mycaenae is one of the oldest cities on Earth. And of course then there is Athens.

A common route from Greece in summer is to take an Adriatic ferry, either across to Italy (where trains are an easy way to travel - check out rail cards) or up the coast to Dalmatia (Coratia etc) and then finally Venice. It would certainly make more sense to include your Dalmatian sail tour here (do you really mean you want a sailingboat tour, or just a cruise which can be done on any of the many ferry lines).

I would favour train travel in Italy over bus any day if you can find a suitable pass.

Its perfectly possible to find affordable palces to stay in Italy (though in Venice it can be cheaper to stay in mainland Mestre). You could think of basing yourself in somewhere like Bologna to save money (its a superb historic town that tourists tend to ignore), which is only an hour by train from the likes of Florence and Verona.

Switzerland and north are going to be more expensive countries, unavoidably, so save money for these - you will certainly not spend your budget evenly.

Timing wise I think you are fine. In my student days I did half the palces you are aiming for in a 1 month rail pass tour.

Muswellbrook...
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4. Re: Europe Backpacking Itinerary

Thanks so much for your comments! We are planning the trip for next year, 2011. Does anyone have any comments on our budget? We are planning AUD$100 per day.

London
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5. Re: Europe Backpacking Itinerary

Do post on the country specific forums for advice on how to best enjoy a budget trip in each of the countries you are interested in. For Switzerland, take a look at this thread to start you off:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g188045-i336-k3104…

If you can, do try and go to Switzerland from June onwards, as summer hiking becomes more possible in the high mountains and cable cars/funiculars open up after their Spring breaks.

Surrey UK
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6. Re: Europe Backpacking Itinerary

With regard to costs, you can research in advance what you would plan to spend on accommodation and travel. Don't forget fuel if you're hiring a car, and also (quite high) tolls in France and most of Southern Europe plus the scandalous Swiss "user fee" for their motorways, whether use them every day for a year or just a one-off transit. For food, the (very serious) Economist news magazine runs what it calls the Big Mac index which gives you the price of a Big Mac in US$ in a variety of markets. Check out the latest version herehttp://www.economist.com/daily/chartgallery/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15715184 . Note that the data was obtained in March, so you need March exchange rates to convert back to AU$. I don't suggest you eat only in McDo's, but you can get an idea of the relative cost of a basic diet.

You don't say if you contemplate cost-saving measures like camping, but even if you do, your budget looks tight to me. And that's even at today's exchange rates with the AU$ at historic highs against sterling and the Euro. The trouble is that foreign exchange markets are exceptionally volatile at present and no one can predict what the rates will be in March-October 2011. If you have the funds available, you might like to investigate converting a fair amount to, say, Euros right now. You might end up very happy in 10 months time. Alternatively, you may end up kicking yourselves. If you can put the Euros (or any European currency) in an interest-bearing account for the next 10 months, you will get a derisory rate of interest compared to the AU$. That's the way things are, but you will have bought certainty and avoided the experience of UK nationals for whom the Eurozone was cheap up until 2 years ago, but now looks expensive - without any significant change in the prices that French, Spanish or whatever busineses are charging in Euros.

With regard to Gallipoli, you may already have been directed to dva.gov.au/COMMEMS_OAWG/…index.aspx. It's still showing 2010 info, but it gives a very comprehensive explanation. If Gallipoli proves a bridge too far, you'll see there are also Anzac Day celebrations in France. And the daily Last Post cremony at Ieper (Ypres) in Belgium is very moving.

This is all rather a long way off the topic for the London forum, but do enjoy your travels.

7. Re: Europe Backpacking Itinerary

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