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Old 03-28-2006, 06:24 PM   #1
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I have a few questions for some of you experienced travelers. Ok so this Summer I am planning to go backpacking in Europe for the first time and I am so stoked! I have been to Europe only once ad as a tourist so I really have no idea what I am getting myself into. I want my trip to be as raw as possible and I want to go to the out of the way places that the other tourists don’t go and experience the culture as it really is. Now I will have a eurorail pass but as far as I know the trains don’t stop at places like this. I will be on a VERY tight budget so buses will probably be a rare commodity. I have been considering just walking and hitch hiking from place to place, is this a good idea? And when you get there and the town doesn’t have a hostel or a “camp ground” what do you do? Is it ok to just pitch a tent somewhere and call it good? Are there ever people who are willing to let you stay with them in exchange for some work? I have been hiking, climbing hunting etc. in the high country my entire life so discomfort due to the elements are not really issue for me. I also play the guitar and will be lugging my acoustic around with me. I hope to do some busking along the way to help prolong my trip. Is this possible? Can you actually make enough to live? My first stop looks like it’s gonna be Barcelona. so if you have the answers to my questions please help me out.
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Old 03-28-2006, 07:27 PM   #2
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Well, Barcelona would definitely be a good spot for "busking," along with all major cities. There is a lot to see all over Europe, so you can definitely do the hitchhike to small barely habited cities (view this site for more info), but you may also be surprised as to how small of towns the trains run through! My husband and I didn't want to spend a lot of time in really tourist cities, so we'd just pick a random city on the map and head there. We got to see quite a lot and picking places that weren't popular definitely gave us a more "local" experience.

If you find a place with no regulated place to stay, you could always try to find someone to stay with (you can also pre arrange a work exchange through this site). You could also try to find a place out of view to pitch a tent.
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Have some general questions such as whether or not to get a rail pass or how much money you'll need? Visit here!

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Old 03-28-2006, 07:37 PM   #3
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i've always been into the outdoors as well, i wouldn't hesitate to find some open space where i wouldn't bother anyone and pitch a tent. sleep in the frest air

good luck
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Old 03-29-2006, 08:33 AM   #4
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If you want really cheap travel and "off-the-beaten-path" places, go to Eastern Europe (I mean proper Eastern Europe, not central). Stupidly cheap transport and no where near as many travellers as the West.
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Old 03-29-2006, 09:02 AM   #5
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Europe has a very old and extensive rail network so there should be lots of places you can travel to using the rail pass.

Theres a guy in Galway city (Ireland) that's making a killing by busking at night for 2 hours after the nightclubs he makes up to €400 a night only works two or three nights a week. Most the time he doesn't even have to sing because the drunks do it all for him. That might only be the Irish singalong and may not work in the rest of Europe.

I'd say there are laws against busking in certain places at certain times but you can just put your hands up and say you didn't know as long as you don't get caught twice in the same situation you'll be fine.

Try couchsurfers for free accomidation.
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Old 04-02-2006, 04:21 AM   #6
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Well, making friends with the locals is one way to get invited to sleep at their place for free. Worked okay for me the first time I went to Europe (hmm...let's say a couple decades ago!). Just mix in a hostel or cheap hotel every once in awhile to sleep in a bed, shower, etc., it will do wonders for your feeling of comfort and satisfaction.

Check out a Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Let's Go, etc., and they'll usually list cheap places to stay, campground, etc.

Good luck!

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Old 04-02-2006, 01:56 PM   #7
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Camping can be a good option, especially if you are going "off the beaten path". Just make sure to be safe.
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Old 04-05-2006, 05:57 PM   #8
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Thanx I checked out help exchange.net and had some questions. Because I am a musician I am poor and will not be able to afford a work visa or work permit however, if I am working for room and board rather than pay and if I don’t stay in a country more than 90 days do I need a visa or permit?
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