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Europe: Eastern From Russia to Croatia, the Danube, Iron Curtain era vestiges, Pilzner beer, Czech it out!

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Old 07-05-2003, 07:32 AM   #1
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Hi.

I've just come across your message forum and it looks great. I'm just starting to plan a trip to Europe, and I could do with all the advice I can get.

A friend and I are planning to backpack around Europe at minimal cost and see as much as we can - we have no time limits, just money restrictions. We'll be leaving Australia in mid-October and I'm trying to do a little planning now, i.e. where we'll start, our route, transport etc.

I've read some of the advice posted already. Our plans will be flexible, and we'll take things as they come. I've never been to Europe before and haven't done the full-on backpacking thing either. After the airfare, I'll have approx 4000 Euros.

Any tips or advice you could offer would be much appreciated, especially regarding any experience with travel routes (we'd like to see as much of Europe as possible with minimal backtracking).

Thanks for any help you can offer!


(Apologies for posting this in both Europe forums but we'd like to go east & west if that's realistic?)
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Old 07-05-2003, 10:56 AM   #2
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first off, welcome to the boards, glacier!
secondly, i am definitely in your boat. i'll be heading off to europe next feb., and money is DEFINITELY an issue. when it comes to the canadian dollar, we are S.O.L. basically, if you use your money correctly you can go to a lot of places. you can check out the cheapest and best hostels on this site. plan to buy a few groceries here and there, instead of eating in restaraunts, if your hostel has a kitchen, even better. you can basically find everything you need to start planning on this site, and a few other good ones are: www.bugeurope.com, and www.artoftravel.com. definitely check these out if you're the traveller on a budget!
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Old 07-05-2003, 07:23 PM   #3
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This is the same reply I put on your post in "Western Europe"

Glacier, Welcome with open arms!!! Always great to have new folks here!!!



With no time limit your adventures could be endless!!! You just need to work a bit to subsidize your travel costs after the 4000E is gone.

Have you considered this Australia to say Turkey ( I know there is alot of Australian History there) Making your way north through the former eastern bloc countries, Bulgaria, Romania,Hungary, Slovakia,Poland into the Czech Republic Those countries will be your most affordable I would have to say, then you could start making your way west through the mosre expencive countries, Austria, Switzerland,Italy, southern France you should get some $$$ relief in Spain and Portugal, heading north again through western France into Paris, here you could continue north into Germany, Netherlands and Belgium, or cross over into the UK...by the time you get to to UK you will be running short on money for sure, find some work for a while, Labor work, bar tender, waiter, what ever, get your wallet fat again and see England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland. You could end you adventure there

or

Keep on going...book a flight out of Dublin or London for New York, Boston, Montreal, or Toronto and trek across North America. Start in NYC take a train to Montreal, bus it to Toronto ( YEHA!), Bus it to Detroit Michigan USA, shoot across the border states which are a bit more interesting than the Canadian Praries When you get to Montana head north into Calgary Alberta Canada, hitch hike through the Canadian Rockies in to Britsh Columbia enjoy a much hospitality in Vancouver, make your south back into the US through Seattle all the way down into California and fly home to OZ from there.

Now the North American part is just an added bonus if you have the time and money to do it, but the rest could be a guide line for you to base your trip on, basically what I think will be the cheapest to the most xpencive.

Hope that helps even a little. You should be able to find most of the imfo you require for yout trip here, just browse alot and check in for new and updated information!!!
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Old 07-06-2003, 05:21 AM   #4
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Welcome Glacier! You´re definitely going with a great attitude by being flexible and taking things as they come.
Had a roommate that traveled for 40 days on $600. Ate at supermarkets-always! Made himself sandwiches and ate fruit. If you can control your budget you´ll be just fine.
Transportation and accommodations are going to make the biggest dent in your funds. Figure that out first. Doing the Eurail or Busabout will give you flexibility that you need as well as MAPS to help you plan your route better. Transportation will take a chunk out of your funds, so depending on how long you want to travel for, I´d get this out of the way first.
hostels will be cheaper at that time of year. You´ll probably stay in dorm beds because it´s a cheaper way to go.
Flying into London or Paris might be the cheapest route to go as they are the busiest hubs. From LA anyway. If you start from London, it´s cheaper to fly out of there as all the discount air carriers originate from there.

Pack winter clothes as it gets cold, like snow cold, in some of those countries.
Also, go here for a list of Australian Embassies in case of trouble and for travel info. You might also check to see if you need visas for any of the countries that you´ll be visiting, especially eastern Europe.

If I can think of anything more, I´ll post it later.
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Old 07-06-2003, 11:47 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the advice!

I've already started checking out all the sites recommended.

I tend to pop on the net every second night to do some trip research, so I'll definitely be frequenting this forum.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-07-2003, 03:21 PM   #6
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Another way you can save on hostels and pensions Glacier. Is by buying a eurail. and taking advantage of traveling at night that way you save one night of not paying for a hostel. I traveled around europe for two months, and I spend about $5,000 but that was because I was buying souveirs like crazy, since it was my first time. If you don't go crazy with that you should be fine for two months, or you maybe able to strech it a little longer if you don't buy drinks in clubs or bars. Like I did.
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Old 07-07-2003, 10:24 PM   #7
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Good advice Llemus! I hear you about the drinks and souvenirs! I spent just under 5 grand for four weeks! Not sure what I was thinking, but I just wanted to go all out and and spare no expense whatsoever. Looking back, I could´ve done the whole thing for way less than half of that money.

No worries, though! That 401k loan was already paid off, and what came out of the trip will pay off forever(maybe a wife we´ll see!)

I agree totally on traveling by night. You kill 2 birds with one stone Traveling by night also saves you money because you´re not out partying for that night and therefore you´re saving the club entrance fees and money that you would´ve spent on drinks. All in total could save you $40-$50(including what you would´ve paid for a hostel). So, if you had 10 travel destinations throughout Europe(let´s say 5 hrs in length or longer) and you left during the night and you slept on the train each time, you could save $400-$500 potentially(depending on hard of a partier you are )! Also, the seats on the Eurail trains are comfortable enough for you to get well rested before arriving to your destination point.
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Old 07-07-2003, 10:28 PM   #8
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Dude, $5000 in 4 weeks...fuc me!!!! was there room service and terry cloth robes with that???? LOLOLOLOLOLOL

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Old 07-08-2003, 12:42 AM   #9
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hahaha, and gold encrusted mints on the freshly pressed pillows??? lol
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Old 07-08-2003, 03:36 AM   #10
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I got a great keychain out of it (I´m such a loser )!
I had one hotel room that cost $105 for the night, but had less than 5 hrs to enjoy it What a waste! I also stayed in private rooms the whole time which averaged around $40 a night. Then the souvenirs, and a lot of partying in Madrid and them drinks ain´t cheap! ate really, really, really well too! And, had a girl in France then met another in Madrid, and going dutch just ain´t my style( hmmm...the good old days).
Looking back, that money could have quadrupled had I bought eBays stock!
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Old 08-07-2003, 07:39 PM   #11
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WTF!!!! TP!

I obviously haven't read this thread before or i would have responded waaaaaay earlier. TP $5000 grande in US dollars in FOUR i repeat FOUR weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you idiot!!!

i feel like i'm gonna throw up. dude and you call yourself a backpacker.. <_< tsk tsk...

B)
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Where to Next? Iceland!
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Old 08-08-2003, 08:37 AM   #12
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TP that is not bad at all. I spent last summer 7 weeks in europe and I spent $10K, how? well I took my girlfriend with me, and I was just getting those private rooms for both of us all the time. You know how that goes. Since it was her first time there. She wanted to do everything from museums to clubs. But I did not mind at all, just looking at her expressions on how happy she was, made it all worth it!
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Old 08-10-2003, 10:20 PM   #13
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good grief! my trip in November should cost me no more than 3000 with air for 4 weeks and that is with plenty drinks. would be nice to have the 5 gs to blow though.
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Old 08-13-2003, 02:21 PM   #14
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10 G´s! Holy smacks! That´s big time engineering cash, baby !
Hey man, when you got a girl, you gotta go first class (if you got the dough, that is)

Tui, where will you be backpacking through? Maybe you posted it somewhere else. I´ll check around.

Dio, I´m a pseudo backpacker trying to get down with the program like my board homies. next time around, I´ll be freestylin- guerilla style. Can you dig it B)
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Old 08-22-2003, 06:35 PM   #15
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Ye-Ye, thats the T-Punk i know and love!!!!! B)
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Old 08-22-2003, 07:15 PM   #16
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TP I had origanally planned quite an offseason trip through Europe for January but since I am moving to Brazil for 6 months I kind of tweeked it a bit! Now I hope to hop from London to Amsterdam down to Prague and then catch a flight to Greece to visit a buddy of mine! nothing serious. B)
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Old 08-27-2003, 07:38 PM   #17
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Dude no matter what you do, if your over seas, its serious, SERIOUS FUN!!!!
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