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Old 02-03-2008, 03:06 PM   #1
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Default Itinerary: Version 1

OK, the deal....

What: My first foray into backpacking. (Although I have traveled internationally, and was a grunt in the Army). The plan: Europe

When: This is a kind of shady part. Est departure date anywhere from May 15 to June 30.

How long: Depends on a number of outside factors. Small chance it will be 6-8 weeks, more likely 3-6 months. Estimated Budget: $9,000-14,000 CAD.

Why: I'm 25, and have been dreaming of this for a long time. Time to metamorphize (personally), meet people (and party), experience new cultures/foods/etc, intellectualize study geography, architecture, history.

So now, I need your input! I would rather just fly in to Europe on a cheap flight, and do my thing - but I think a basic itinerary might be helpful. I am kind of worried about things being too busy at the height of summer (overcrowded, lines, booked, hostels). I am looking to see a variety of countries, and have ranked my potentials into three categories:

Reasons I am going: Spain, Morocco, Italy, Greece, Germany, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, and Ireland

Places I would like to see: Austria, Poland, Denmark, Netherlands, and Belgium

Places I'm not that interested in, but would see if it made sense (aka a portal or I am in the area):
Portugal, France, Switzerland, Slovakia, England

My Questions:
1. What do you think of my general itinerary?
2. Can you recommends a movement pattern through these countries?
3. What seasons are busier for various zones/countries?
4. What is my next step?
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Old 02-03-2008, 03:38 PM   #2
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I love your post, it's so nicely laid out, haha.

I'm pleased to see you have parts of Scandinavia in your itinerary, it's a part of the world I've never been to, but would love to go to.

Spain, Italy, and Greece will most definitely be busiest during the height of Summmer... not only will there be plenty of other backpackers, but depending on where you end up, there may also be a load of Europeans enjoying their summer holidays.

I think your next step ought to be to think about the cities you're most interested in seeing, and looking up rail passes or flights to see what works out most economical. Also start thinking about where you want to start/finish your trip so you can get your flight booked.

Good luck with the plans!
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:15 PM   #3
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Hey man.. welcome to the boards!

You were in the CF? I can definitley see it in your organization... haha... I have a couple of friends in the Forces.

1. What do you think of my general itinerary?

If you want to see that many places, even for your "reasons I'm going" list, plan 6 months to do it justice. Just think of it like this... you need minimum of 3 days in a big city. For 'great' cities like barcelona and paris, you'll need 4 days. Each country has at least two cities you should visit... so theoretically one country should be a week. For you to travel 6 weeks, that's 6 countries, and that's really speeding through those countries.

Your budget is more than enough for 6 weeks. For 6 months... that's another story.I went for 5 weeks of hostelling and eating out of grocery stores, cost me 3500 CDN.

2. Can you recommends a movement pattern through these countries?

With cheap air travel, there's no real need to have a "logical" order of travel. I travelled train, and i went counter clockwise from UK, france, spain, italy, germany, and holland. Usually backpackers choose a rough clockwise or counter-clockwise path.

3. What seasons are busier for various zones/countries?

Generally high season in europe in july-august... when all the europeans take vacation. You will see large amounts of north americans and oceanic ppl at any time, though.

4. What is my next step?

There are many possible next steps:
-determine if you want a loosely or highly planned trip... like do you want to plan city by city, or leave it at a general country basis?
-determine what sights in each country you want to see as a way of prioritizing certain places over others
-look into rail vs air travel (or a combination)
-book your flight(s)... this will be the biggest part of determining your trip. Usually real planning only starts once you do this.

Good luck!
Vincent: "So what you gonna do?"
Jules: "Well, basically, I'm just gonna walk the earth."
Vincent: "What you mean 'walk the earth'?"
Jules: "You know, like Kane in 'Kung Fu'...go people...get in adventures."

Trips (only counting recreational travel):
FIRST TRIP (2005): FIRST EUROTRIP EVER! UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland
SECOND TRIP (2007): First Solo Trip! Greece, Turkey, Syria, Spain
2008: China (Beijing, Shanghai, Yangshuo) ...right before the Olympics!
2009: Japan & HK, Southern Spain
[size=1]2010: All over Lebanon, Ibiza (Spain), Oktoberfest (Germany), Thailand.
2011: India (Goa), Jordan, Jerusalem, San Sebastian (Spain), Amsterdam (again), London, Driving from Vancouver to L.A. (stopping in Portland, Seattle, San Fran and all the little stops), Montpellier (France), Geneva and Lausanne (Switzerland)

"Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it."
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:24 PM   #4
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Your dates are good because you can hit probably two of the most famous festivals, if you are interested of course. I would probably start in Spain/Morocco (possibly Portugal depending on when you fly in) so I could hit Running of the Bulls in Pamplona (its like July 7th-14) then move on thru France (at least see Paris) then up thru A-dam towards Scandinavia. I think the weather will prob be good and all the crowds will be somewhere else. By mid/late September I would want to be in Germany for Oktoberfest. Now is a good time to hit Czech Republic (and Poland if you want). You could then go down thru Slovakia or Austria into Italy and Greece. All the crowds will have died down by now and you should experience cool fall weather. Depending on when you fly in and if you want to do Running of the Bulls I would save Scotland and Ireland for last or do it first.

Thing to remember: If you plan on staying over 3 months make sure you are planning some time outside the Schengen countries. You are only allowed 90 days within 180 inside the Schengen zone. Going into a non Schengen country for a few days after your 90 days are up unfortunately does not "reset" your time. =[

Last edited by Elizabeth; 02-03-2008 at 08:46 PM. Reason: i messed up the dates of oktoberfest =[
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:42 PM   #5
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You can also consider trying to hit La Tomatina if you're near Spain in August.
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