Two Young Adults Eloping in Europe - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



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Europe: Western Cafés, castles, architecture, art, wine, the Euro, gastronomy, let´s meet up, and pub crawls.! Oh oui, backpackers paradise...

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Old 01-14-2006, 01:57 PM   #1
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Alright. By the time we go to Europe, my girlfriend and I wil be going out for quite a long time. We think it would be incredibly romantic to just elope in europe and get married wile backpacking, haha. While the idea is pretty cool, we both understand that it would probably be fantasy... regardless, we still plan to get out and enjoy the best of what Europe has to offer. With this said, we have NEVER backpacked before and we have so many questions. From what we've read, everything seems so amazing and we get very anxious when we think about our trip that we will be taking this summer. I will tell you our plans, and then it would be extremely helpful to get answers to a few questions, or even just general advice. Thanks!

Ages: 17 and 18 years old at the time of the trip.

Budget: 3000 a peice, possibly a little more, and a credit card

Languages: I know a little German, she knows a lot of spanish

length of stay: A month, a little more if we can. We will be going Mid-June to Mid-July

Countries: We dont know how many countries it is feasable to visit in our length of stay, but the countries that we'd REALLY Like to visit in order from greatest to least are: France, Holland, Spain, Greece and Itally, Germany

Student status: We are BOTH students, I am studying aviation, she will be studying marine biology.

Eating/spending plans: We are trying to get by on as little money as possible as far as transportation and staying in hostels go, but we do plan to go clubbing and possibly hit up a few bars. We arent going to go decadent or anything, but we do want to have fun. As far as eating goes, we definitely want to try a restaurant or two in each country, but we are fine with eating non-restaurant food.

Backpack luggage: We plan to pack very light. Just the necessary clothes (parachute clothes, a few pajamas, 3 t-shirts, 3 lightweight pants, then the necessary toiletries. The only two non-necessary items we really plan on bringing is a very tiny laptop (3-4 lbs) and an mp3 player.



Alright! Now time for the questions from us first-timers....

The biggest question is: Does the trip sound feasable with our budget? Can we actually survive in Europe doing what we plan for a month or more?

If so, are there any recommendations for the countries that we are visiting?

Another question... Hostels. What is the best way to secure a hostel for us to stay the night in if we do not know exactly what order we are traveling in? We plan to travel at a whim and change countries whenever we feel like it.

another question... will my being 17, not 18, affect the trip at all? From what I hear, drinking age and clubbing age is around 16 in Europe. What will I need to know being 17 instead of 18? My girlfriend is 18, so I dont anticipate many problems.

Last one. Debit cards. I have a mastercard, my girlfriend has a Visa. Both are checking account/bank cards. Should we get a credit card as well? Which will have the best exchange rates?

Thanks.


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Old 01-14-2006, 02:47 PM   #2
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Welcome first of all!!


Quote:
Originally posted by beholderseye+Jan 14 2006, 05:57 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(beholderseye @ Jan 14 2006, 05:57 PM)</div>
Quote:
Does the trip sound feasable with our budget? Can we actually survive in Europe doing what we plan for a month or more?
[/b]
It sounds like a pretty good budget. The best advice I can give you is to be uber conservative the first few weeks so that the last week you're there you can splurge on that horseback ride or river cruise. The major cities are going to be more pricey so be prepared for that.


Quote:
Originally posted by beholderseye@Jan 14 2006, 05:57 PM
If so, are there any recommendations for the countries that we are visiting?
I've only been to France, Spain, and Germany on your list so I'll try to help you out. I liked Spain the best out of all three (but all three were amazing!). In Barcelona: try to visit La Sagrada Familia (huge church can't miss it - its kinda fun to climb the towers), Parc Guell, and Las Ramblas. In Madrid, hit the Prado (even if you hate museums, it impresses the hell out of Professors to say you've been there ) and also Plaza Major. If you can try to get a day trip out to Toledo (about an hour south-ish of Madrid - lots of buses/trains run there). Totally the most beautiful place I've been to.
I stayed in a small town in Germany so I'm not too informative with that. And France was France. Paris is a given. Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, River Siene, Chateau de Versailles and of course the Lourve. All these places can be 'googled' and are pretty much easily accessible via bus, train or subway.


Quote:
Originally posted by beholderseye@Jan 14 2006, 05:57 PM
Another question... Hostels. What is the best way to secure a hostel for us to stay the night in if we do not know exactly what order we are traveling in? We plan to travel at a whim and change countries whenever we feel like it.
I'd suggest booking on-line (maybe use travelpunk.com) from web cafes a few days before you arrive in the new city. Or if you don't think you'll have internet access in a certain place copy down a hostel's phone number in each major city you plan on visiting. That way you can always just call.


Quote:
Originally posted by beholderseye@Jan 14 2006, 05:57 PM
another question...* will my being 17, not 18, affect the trip at all? From what I hear, drinking age and clubbing age is around 16 in Europe. What will I need to know being 17 instead of 18? My girlfriend is 18, so I dont anticipate many problems.
I was 17 when I went over and I got drunk just fine...this was in Germany and Spain. Just make sure you know what you're ordering...that's a dead giveaway if you ask 'What's in a martini?'


<!--QuoteBegin-beholderseye
@Jan 14 2006, 05:57 PM
Last one. Debit cards. I have a mastercard, my girlfriend has a Visa. Both are checking account/bank cards. Should we get a credit card as well? Which will have the best exchange rates.
Here's some Credit/Debit Card Advice. Also I suggest getting or chosing one main card to use. I used Visa Buxx while I was overseas. Very easy and you can link each of your accounts to it so both of you can transfer money into it.
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Old 01-15-2006, 05:12 PM   #3
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you want to get married when you are just 17 years old......you're a very brave man, very brave indeed.

From your list i've been to France, Holland, Spain, Italy, and Germany. All good countries, you can't go wrong.

You could visit all the countries you mentioned in a month on $3k, but it would be a bit of a whirlwind trip, but if that's what you wanna do then go for it. In Italy i would definately recommend Rome, Pompeii, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Florence.

What time of year are you going?? You should try go over while there are some cool festivals on like Oktoberfest or the Running of the Bulls.
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Old 01-15-2006, 09:47 PM   #4
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Haha. Yeah.. what can I say, man. If I find something, some ideal I want, I chase it and I make my dreams a reality. Both the marriage and the trip are good examples.



should we narrow it down to only 5 countries? It is SO hard to choose.
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Old 01-15-2006, 10:44 PM   #5
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since your gonna be there for the runnin of the bulls i would save spain till the tail end of your trip. the runnin this year is july 8-14.
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Old 01-16-2006, 03:38 AM   #6
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Since you're both students, be sure to get your International Student Identity Card (ISIC). It will more than pay for itself in discounts to museums, sites, etc. Heck, ask just about anywhere if they have a student discount!

Your budget should be fine. And as someone already said, just go to an internet cafe a couple days before you go to your next stop and book your hostels from there.

As far as guidebooks, I find the Fodors ones give a great overview of the sights to see, so read one of those (plus maybe a Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, etc.) to get your ideas on what you want to see.

Feel free to ask specifics -- have fun!

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Old 01-16-2006, 06:31 AM   #7
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I don't think you'll be able to elope in any of the Catholic countrys. The priest has to give marriages the OK. I can imagine that the Germans and the rest of those northern countrys would make you fill out reems of paperwork before getting married.

I'm not sure but I think there is a place in scotland that takes in young couples that want to elope. I haven't a clue where it is though.

I never booked hostels and it only caught me out once in Amsterdam, there was a big convention on so I couldn't even get a hotel room. I had to go out to a camping site. Which wasn't to bad as the publis transport was great.

Before you leave the last destination ring a few hostels in your next city (some hostels have a free phone for ringing other hostels).

Finding the numbers of hostels can be hard as they want you to book online. They usually are on the net somewhere though.
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Old 01-17-2006, 11:32 AM   #8
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I've had two friends get married in France in the past couple of years, and it was an incredible harangue - the reams of paperwork mentioned above. I don't know whether they have any age restrictions, but it sure didn't sound like a romantic experience in any way!

Why not give yourselves an awesome graduation present when you finish your degrees, in the form of a wedding/honeymoon in some place you discover on this first trip?
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Old 01-17-2006, 12:16 PM   #9
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Hey beholderseye, you may want to check out RickSteves.com Graffiti Wall: Getting Married in Europe for some tips and websites about getting married in Europe.
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:07 AM   #10
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you probably already know, but don't forget that the world cup is in Germany from the 9th June to the 9th July, which means the atmosphere all over germany will be great, but also that its gonna be expensive, and accomodation will be hard to find unless you book in advance.

so if you want crowds of tourists and a great atmosphere then go to Germany, but if you are wanting something a bit quiter and romantic then its maybe best to leave out germany?
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