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Old 04-16-2008, 09:10 AM   #1
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Question 5 Weeks in Europe

Greetings all! Me and my roommate have booked out tickets to Dublin on June 24th. Very excited. We are flying from Phoenix, AZ and plan on doing about 5 week flying back to Chicago on July 30th. So far I only purchased a one way ticket to Dublin. I found a $700 fair flying to chicago then from Chicago to Phoenix about a week later. I may snatch that up though not a great deal by any means. My question is, how much do you think we should budget for the trip minus the airfare I just mentioned? It looks like we plan on doing Dublin, Amsterdam, Prague, Italy and Spain then of course fly back out of Dublin. I'm getting really REALLY nervous as I don't think i'll have much more than 2 thousand dollars for all of this. Can this be done on 2K? What are the cheapest and most convenient ways to travel between countries? Where can we save the most?

Tips and budget estimates would be greatly appreciated.

peace
Mark
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:53 AM   #2
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I would take more money or cut some time. The dollar is already weak and I heard its going to fall more. 2k/35 days = $57 = 35 euro (at present exchange rate). Maybe, maybe you could do it, but you would be cutting it close and you will have to think abut every cent you spend which is not enjoyable. In Dublin, for example, a decent bed will easily run you 15 to 20 euro. A night at the Flying Pig (famous A-dam hostel) I just learned from hostelworld will cost you a whopping 42 dollars a night in the 32 bed dorm! A bed at Kabul Backpackers (famous BCN hostel) will run ya $35! If I was going to visit Western Europe I would bring maybe 50 euro or 75 dollars a day. If you've really got your heart set on visiting for 5 weeks do Central and Eastern Europe. Thats just beds, you've got to think food and entrance fees to museums and such, plus maybe a few beers at night. And transport costs.

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Old 04-16-2008, 10:33 AM   #3
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Should I have a seperate budget for transport? What do you think transport would cost between them all if those are indeed the countries. I think we are fairly set on the locations we are visiting. I hate cutting things close. What would you say should be my total budget for this minus the airfare to and from Dublin since that is paid for?

Thank you so much for answering my questions as well......... I'm very excited.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:04 AM   #4
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$2000 would be cutting it a little close, but you might be able to do it if you take advantage of couchsurfers.com. With 2 people in the group, this might be a little difficult, but it would free up your money for transportation between countries and food. With the way the US dollar is right now (and assuming it gets a little worse before the summer) it might be tough, but I'm sure you can find a way. If possible, save up some more money before you go. I'm planning on doing 4 weeks and I'm budgeting about $4000-4500 for airfare, eurail, accomodations, food, and fun stuff (booze, paying for attractions). Good luck, I'm sure the trip will be a blast!
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:24 AM   #5
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Thank you, thank you. I will take any other advice as well. I don't think we will be spending a great deal on attractions so hopefully that helps a bit. I think my main concern now is the cost of transport between countries and sights. Hopefully I can save up to at least 3K before then.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:31 AM   #6
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Check out Ryanair. They have hubs in most of the countries you are visiting. Check out the other low cost carriers as well. Between Dublin A-dam and Prague I'd probably wanna try to fly but once in Italy and Spain train it or bus it. You can also look at RickSteves.com as he lays out all the train pass options. There is an Italy-Spain pass you may be interested in but I can't recommend it as I've never been to Spain or Italy.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:46 AM   #7
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You might need to plan ahead in order to save some money, have a look now on www.ryanair.com and www.easyjet.co.uk for some cheap flights (you will need to book in advance when they have special offers on to get the best deals). Or failing that, look to take the bus between cities instead of the train as they are much cheaper.

Booking the cheapest hostels in advance on hostelworld can also gaurantee you get the cheapest possible accomodation. And as previously mentioned, depending on how adventurous you are you could try couchsurfing for free accomodation or hitchhiking for free transport.

Oh, and bring a student card (preferably ISIC), they can save you some money on museums and such.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:09 PM   #8
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Howdy all,

I am the roomm Fax was speaking of. Thanks for all the info so far. I think things are going to be pretty tight money wise, but so is life. Will make the best of things. Any other suggestions or ideas would be great.

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Old 04-16-2008, 12:31 PM   #9
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I'm also looking for tips on an inexpensive pack on this trip. Is it ok to ask about various things in this thread or should I create additional threads in other forums related to each specific question. Don't want to add to the clutter.

We have the important things so far, one way ticket and a passports lol.

Also, we have really small laptops that weight less than 3 lbs with a 7" screen. Useful or useless? I don't imagine we will take tons of time in internet cafe's but i'm assuming here and there quite possibly.
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:03 AM   #10
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couchsurfings a sure fire way to save up to $30 a day. Dublin and Amsterdam are going to be the real killers in terms of budget so you might like to plan more time in eastern Europe than the western countries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by faxman
Also, we have really small laptops that weight less than 3 lbs with a 7" screen. Useful or useless?
I'd go with useless, I'd hate to have the worry of a laptop and what are you really going to be using it for. They don't make good beermats.
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:13 AM   #11
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I have my laptop with me, it is not worth the hassle (although I haven't been traveling much--eg weekend trips from a homebase-- so it is cool).

You can get a cheap pack, but I don't recommend it unless you find it comfortable. This is going to be your home for 5 weeks.

Spain and Portugal are cheaper than Ireland, the UK, Holland etc. The old Iron curtain cheaper still. The rail passes within Iberia and Italy may not save you (much) money but you may find more convenient.

If you want to stay in one city for a while, you may actually look for an apartment. My sister and I found an apartment for the past 4 weeks (leaving Saturday) for a grand total of 370 Euros in Salamanca. The location couldn't be more central. So each of us is paying roughly 6 euros a night. Your mileage may vary in other cities but if I was in London for a month, I would consider renting a flat, or trying to rent a room. Not saying you want to do this but if a major factor in your decision to stay 5 weeks is money, you may consider it

Good luck!

--Joey
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Last edited by joe7f; 04-17-2008 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:31 AM   #12
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Reading your situation, I am thinking you could consider changing slightly your plan and spend more time in Eastern Europe. There, 35 euros a day is sufficent, not tight at all. Plus Poland, Hungary, Romania, etc, are super interesting.
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:02 PM   #13
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Definitely some food for thought. Thank you all. I can't wait to do this. We definitley have some things to consider. i will update as soon as we get more specifics! The couchsurf site was fantastic as well!
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe7f View Post

If you want to stay in one city for a while, you may actually look for an apartment. My sister and I found an apartment for the past 4 weeks (leaving Saturday) for a grand total of 370 Euros in Salamanca. The location couldn't be more central. So each of us is paying roughly 6 euros a night. Your mileage may vary in other cities but if I was in London for a month, I would consider renting a flat, or trying to rent a room. Not saying you want to do this but if a major factor in your decision to stay 5 weeks is money, you may consider it

Good luck!

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What would be a good site to find an apartment?
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:52 AM   #15
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I think most countries and cities have their own. In Spain, I used Loquo.

Living, even just for a month or two, in a foreign city gives you a different experience than backpacking around. Not always necessarily better, but different. I recommend it

--Joey
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:02 PM   #16
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Bump....ok, things are a bit more solid as far as plans go.
June 24th to July 16th.
6 countries in 21 days.

Depart Phoenix to Dublin on 6/24/08
We are still solidifying actual dates but so far we have
Dublin to Uk via train or fairy aprox $40
Uk to Amsterdam via air $80
Amsterdam to Prague via air $160 or so
Prague to Vienna via rail $50
Vienna to Rome via air $80
Rome to Dublin via air $150 or so.

I think that's accurate. I was doing the math and it looked like the best eurorail deal for the 2 of us was $850 per person so the one way air tickets will keep us on a good schedule and give us more time in each city plus save us a few hundred dollars. We have purchased our tickets to and from Dublin as that appeared to be the cheapest place to fly to in Europe. Next we will purchase the one way tickets to the countries within Europe.

I still need a pack. We are in the midst of moving and dealing with other craziness but I am getting quite excited. After all travel is purchased we are budgeting about $80 a day for meals, beers and hostels. We have also signed up on couch surfers and will be actively seeking out assistance from those on there as well.

Thanks for your continued help and guidance.
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:43 AM   #17
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Dublin over to the UK will have to be by plane or ferry as there's a sea in the way. It would be a good experience taking the ferry, try and avoid the big fast ones as there's no decks on them for going outside. Go for one of the older big ferries you might get to see the dolphins on that one they like to follow the boat. Not sure about price and you would have to organise transport from hollyhead in wales to where you want to go. You would get to see some nice countryside though.

www.irishferries.com
www.stenaline.co.uk

If your spending any amount of time in Ireland nevermind Dublin, come over to the west and see Galway we're much better craic over here.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:33 PM   #18
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Thank you for the information. I will definitely look out for older boats with decks. I actually met someone from Dublin at the Coachella Music Fest here in the states and they live in dublin and are picking us up and gonna take us to many a fine a pub and to see a few castles. I'm super excited now that this is all taking shape. I also just got approved for the vacation from work as well as for a new apartment so I have a job and a place to live upon returning to the states! Things are looking great. any other suggestions I am open ears to anyone with an opinion.
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:12 PM   #19
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Well ladies and gentleman. I have returned! It was a wonderful trip and now i'm only motivated and more excited to do more!!!

Dublin and Prage were the landslide favorites of this trip. Way too much hospitality, architecture and culture. Aside from losing 160 Europ in Rome and my camera being stolen from my backpack most likely by either an Amsterdam or Prague airport employee, everything went really well. I was disapointed with Rome of all places, mostly because I lost or was pick pocketed near the Colliseum. I found the best budgetary night in Rome was sitting on the Spanish steps buying big liter cans of beer while simply people watching. Amsterdam was really cool as well. I liked the Van Gogh and the Anne Frank House. We did a walking tour of the redlight district and a canal tour made out trip full. What an adventure this trip was. We mostly stayed in hostels and met lots of young people. I'm 33 and I almost started to feel a little old but I would not trade that experience for anything and I simply can't wait to see more of the world. I feel like I just wet my palet. So much more of this world to see. I am broke now so saving is the next step then picking some more countries. Probably mostly eastern europe this next time. Goal Winter 2009.
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:27 PM   #20
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Nice! Sounds like an awesome trip. I forgot I even posted in this to begin with. How did the budget work out? That sucks about the camera, but at least you kept a positive attitude about things.
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