Travel

Planning a trip to Europe. i need lots of help!

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  • Feb 26th, 2005 2:46 pm
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Member
Jan 29, 2004
208 posts
I'm heading to Europe on Wednesday, I did all the bookings myself. I fly into London and out of Frankfurt. I also bought a train pass, the 10 days within 2 months, for 4 countries. For accomodations, I'm sticking with hostels. I didn't want to go with a tour because this way I can do my own thing, and if I want to stay longer in one place, then I can.
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Apr 26, 2004
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Mississauga
el_cheepo wrote:also, how early should i book the hotels and reservations?
If you're going this spring, book asap. If you're going to be in Italy during Easter, book NOW!
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Jul 24, 2003
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Talamasca wrote:As for accommodations, check out the Let's Go travel guides for their recommendations.
hmm, i think we have a philosophical difference on that one. . .i've found the lonely planet guides to be vastly superior travel books--i've used let's go before and found them to cater to americans, whereas the rest of the world tends to prefer the lonely planet guidebooks.

then again, if you want to guarantee to run into americans as you travel, you will find hundreds of them dutifully toting their yellow let's go guides around to all the same hostels and hotels.

really, it's probably 6 of one and a half dozen of the other.

what have you found?
Sr. Member
Feb 17, 2005
683 posts
40 upvotes
watch out for ryanair. they post super low fares on their sites, but you pay an insane amount in taxes. if they advertise a ticket for 20 pounds, total bill will be about 40...easyjet is pretty good...there's also

http://www.thomsonflights.com/

i flew to rome from coventry (crap airport by the way) but for only 28 pounds!! that was dirt cheap.
Jr. Member
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Feb 8, 2005
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2 weeks is kind of compressed, but London, Amsterdam, Paris should be done in a group. I found Ryanair to be reliable and cheap to fit in the Italy leg - take into account the time it takes to get to Stansted airport though.

Getting to/from airports is time consuming. A good itinerary would be to land in London, take the train through Paris, Amsterdam... cut through Switzerland (awesome view of the alps if you pick the right route), and make your way to Italy. Fly Ryanair back to London. Trains are extremely punctual, offer tons of flexibility, and you can get accurate schedules on the fly at www.bahn.de (click the English link). If you're short on time, the night trains may come in handy.


Make sure you use a money belt, and bring an ISIC to save lots.

You can read my travel logs from my backpacking experiences at my website
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Apr 26, 2004
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That's a really nice website, Jesse. Question: which hotel in Madrid did you stay in for $30CAN? Thanks.
Jr. Member
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Feb 8, 2005
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Can't remember, but it was listed in my Lonely Planet on a Shoestring. Also note that I was in Madrid just before the adoption of the Euro.... it was really a cheap city to visit back then.
Newbie
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Jun 26, 2003
81 posts
another cool option for hotels throughout Europe is Forumla 1...it's kind of like staying in a space station...but, it's VERY CHEAP....it's like an automated hotel:

http://www.hotelformule1.com/formule1/index.html

I stayed in one in Barcelona (actually on the outskirts of the city--took a train in) for like 27euros a night i think...looks like they're in about 7 European countries...especially cool if you're travelling with one or 2 other people...split the cost, and it's a joke for accomodation!

Good luck!
Sr. Member
Mar 17, 2003
561 posts
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Toronto, Ontario
I spent 2 months backpacking across europe a coupple of years ago.
here's what you need to know....

1. Buy Lonely Planet's Europe On A Shoe String or Lonely Planet's Western Europe.
2. If you don't have a lot of money stay in hostles, if you don't know of any hostles check out hostles.com . Remember, you'll probably have more fun at indipendant hostels over Hostel International (HI) which tend to be very steral and boring.
3. Plan your route. Consider travel time. Don't rush youself. If you like a city, stay and enjoy it.
4. London is very expensive. I spent more money in 5 days there than anywhere else in 2 weeks.

I'm going to stop counting.....

-Buy a backpack at Mountain Equipment Co-Op, they'll fit to you
-buy big zip-lock freezer bags and keep your shampoo and liquids in it
-bring a few green garbage bags for dirty laundry
-bring some vitamins, you won't always be eating right and you'll need your energy for sight-seeing
-bring some anti-diarhea stuff
-bring flip-flops for showering
-bring a bicycle cable lock (I like Kryptonite) if you want to lock your bags up when you leave your hostel or hotel room.
-don't lock the zippers on your bags when you check your luggage at the airport
-always lock the zippers on your bags when you're traveling (not on airplanes)
-rent a scooter while you're in Rome but don't rent it from the place at the train station. You can get a way better deal from other places in the city.
-If you want to get into the Colosium faster look for tour guides, it may
cost a bit more but you get a tour and you by-pass the line.
Also, in Rome go to Spanish Steps, Piazza Novana and Campo De Fiori, they're great places to hang out and they have great gelatoria's (ice cream parlours).
-While you're in Rome, the pope addresses the people from his papal window on Wednesdays and Sundays at 1:00pm, ask the people at the hotel, they'll know for sure.
-Never put your bag down or never watch other people's bags, you're asking to get robbed.
-Phone cards only work in the country you buy them in. And don't call home collect it will cost $20 per call.
-Dont take cabs around any city, travel by bus and find out which busses to take
-always have a eye on your back and know your surroundings there are very many theives waiting to rob you
-carry a day-pack (small back pack) with you when you're on day trips
-If you plan on bringing any electrical devices you will need a power converter/inverter you can get it from any <a href=../autolink/redirectpage.php?linkid=126 target=_blank>radioshack</a> or Henry's camera
store.
-Bring a pocket knife with you and carry it in your pocket
-Eating at restruants can get expensive, shop at supermarkets and make your own food.

more info...
http://www.soyouwanna.com/site/syws/eur ... kpack.html
http://www.backpackeurope.com/tips/index.html
Deal Addict
Sep 15, 2004
3309 posts
142 upvotes
Check these guys out... I booked through the internet the night before and got a $70 euro price for Greece to Brussels.

It looks like you're thinking CDN dollars... the prices of the hotels will kill your budget big time. If hostels are out... (they are the most common) at least consider backpacker hotels. Arrange as much of the accomodation as you can, last year I checked in with the lastminute hotels in london and the cheapest they had was 70 pounds a night. BurgerKing or MacDonalds combo's in London are 7 pounds!

Brussels -> Paris high speed train (GTV) is 68 euros and 2.5 hours.

If you're thinking backpack.... get wheels on it. Contiki tours are good.
[OP]
Newbie
May 22, 2004
36 posts
thanks again for all the replies!

well, pretty much everything is booked....flights/hotels....i'm still undecided as to whether to take a flight from venice to rome or take the train (www.trenitalia.com). We will most likely take the train as there's enough flying around already :lol: . The hotels we got are in excellent locations!
we came way over budget, but that's expected. Also, spending cash (credit card lol) budget has been increased to 1500 CAD each.

i know we are going to be tired but i hope we enjoy!

thanks for all the help!
Sr. Member
May 3, 2004
621 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
take the train. as another poster said earlier, the views are spectacular!
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Feb 19, 2004
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New Westminster
sankou wrote:take the train. as another poster said earlier, the views are spectacular!
depend on which route though.

the view on plane rides aren't too bad. I was on a flight that went over the Swiss alps; the day was clear and I was able to look down and saw the mountains and snows. I thought that was cool.
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