planning to go to europe in october - any advice? - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



Go Back   TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards! > Members Lounge > General Travel Tips, Education, Advice > Traveling Alone or Family Travel

Traveling Alone or Family Travel Whether you want to travel alone, or travel with the kids, parents, or granny, this forum is for you!

Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-01-2006, 12:49 PM   #1
Members
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Hi guys!

I'm so glad to have found this website. I'm hoping to get some advice on traveling alone in Western Europe. My trip is planned for a month - leaving in October.

This is my first trip alone so I am apprehensive. My questions are:

1. Should I carry cash or just go with a debit card?

2. Is it easier to travel by train between cities in Italy or fly? I'm thinking of going to Rome, Florence and Pompeii

3. How much luggage is too much luggage? Backpacks are heavy as hell.

4. Is it safe to leave stuff at the hostel?

5. Did anyone route their journey beforehand?

6. What are three things that a traveler should pack with them? Plastic bags? combination lock?

7. Should I buy a local SIM card for my cellphone? I've got a GSM phone?

8. Should I take the train from Paris to Rome/Florence or should I fly it?

Thank you so much for all of you for reading my questions and giving me any advice!!!!



vinn526 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2006, 03:50 PM   #2
Members
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hometown NYC, U.S.A.
Posts: 459
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to DJ_VeeeNoM Send a message via MSN to DJ_VeeeNoM Send a message via Yahoo to DJ_VeeeNoM
Default

!) Both, I would advise for you to carry small amounts of money on your wallet (about your daily expense) and hide the other in a safe place.
Do not keep the debit card with your safe money.

@)Depends I would recommened for you to do your homework on that, sometimes it's cheaper to go by train and sometimes it's simply faster and cheaper by plane.

#)Be a man!
No, try to take the essential and count with the stuff you are gonna embark your journey on. Try and think of the stuff that you really, really need, and discard the rest. remeber you can always buy a shirt in wherever you are at.

$) What stuff? Better be safe then sorry, yesleave the extra luggage and always check your surroundings, if by any chance you happen to crawl upon a Hostel/crackhouse I recommened that you take your stuff (all of it) and never go back!

%) Passport, Debit card, and uhm luck!

^) I'm sorry, I happen to work diff on cells then most people so I'm guessing someone else would give you a hand but I know you may get a 140 country SIM card for like 99USD$

&) Depends look that stuff up!

*) have fun dude! if anything just le me know.
__________________
Life comes and goes, stay in motion & it will never pass you by.
Live off your parents, until you can live off your kids.
DJ_VeeeNoM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2006, 07:48 PM   #3
TPunk Emeritus
 
Somnambulation's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: California
Posts: 1,698
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

1. Dont brng cash from home, just bring a debit card and take mone out as you need it. Be sure to bring a backup card as well.

2. Easier to travel by train

3. As much as you can comfortably walk around with. The lighter the better. Once you ave packed, try jogging for about 50 yards or so with it on. If that about kills you, then repack.

4. Pretty safe.Lock up your valuables and electronics. No one os really going to rifle through your clothes though.

5. Its a good idea to make a rough outline of where you want to be and when, but dont make accomodation or travel reservations far in advance, to give yourself more flexibility.

6. Swiss army knife, change of underwear

7. Yes buy a SIM card in Europe. You would do yourself a great service by avoiding having to learn the different calling procedures and phone card usages in various countries.

8. Go with the cheaper option, the train from Paris to Rome is probably pretty fast.
Somnambulation is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2006, 08:45 PM   #4
Members
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Thank you for your time and energy! I'm feeling less apprehensive about traveling by myself now that I'm aware of this supportive community!
vinn526 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2006, 01:39 AM   #5
TPunk Emeritus
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,115
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

1. It's a good idea to have a small amount of cash (Euros) on hand when you arrive in country - sometimes you have to make small purchases before you can find a cash machine - see if you can get about 100 Euro from a bank before you go, and if possible, try to get some change - for bus/train or cab fares, for example. If you can't get any change from the bank, ask anyone you know who's been to Europe recently if they have any coins left over - chances are they'll be willing to part with it. Check with your bank about fees for taking out money from foreign bank machines, and be sure to take out enough for a couple of days, you don't want to take out 20 Euros and get charged $2,50 for the privilege.

2. Trains work well in Italy.

3. As little as possible. On a six week trip, we took one backpack with clothes for my husband, me and four kids, so packing light is definitely possible!

4. Generally pretty safe. Use your common sense, if a place seems scuzzy and unsafe, it probably is.

5. We generally have a route planned, so as not to waste travel time. If you're planning on visiting just a half dozen or so cities, it's pretty easy to work out a logical and efficient route, but you can still be flexible about the amount of time you want to stay in each place. In October you won't have too much difficulty finding places to stay, so don't have to worry too much about pre-booking your hostels. Maybe call ahead the night before you plan to leave. It's also not a bad idea to read up on the places you plan to visit and get a general idea of the things you really want to do/see while you're there. This will give you an idea of how long you want to stay in each city and will help with the planning. In general, three days per city is a good minimum, but the longer you can spend, the more you'll enter into the rhythm of the place. But, don't feel guilty about leaving sooner if you're not enjoying a place, and don't feel bad about staying longer if you fall in love with somewhere.

6. Your ideas are good, also a swiss army knife (in your checked luggage on the plane, please!), two bungee cords (they're handy for securing your stuff, and twisted together make a clothesline), two different bank cards if you have them (keep one apart from your regular wallet stuff, in case of loss/theft), camera.

7. Do you expect to be calling a lot of people? If you're calling home, get a AT&T card (or equivalent), and I'll be heretical and say leave the phone at home if you're not going to be traveling with others - one more thing to remember (did you leave the charger at the hostel?!), and if you do plan on meeting up with people along the way, do it the old fashioned way - "I'll meet you at the bell tower at 2:00". It's part of the romance of travel...spontaneity, risk, adventure, chance...

8. I'd probably take the train from Paris to Florence - it's a long haul, but you get to see the country, and train travel is more fun.

Have a great time, and any more questions you have, fire away!


tumblezweedz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2006, 01:02 PM   #6
Members
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Hi guys,

Thank you for everyone's help! I just went to my local libary and spent hours there reading through Lonely Planet and Rough Guide.

My next question is this: How are the local bus systems in Paris and Rome? I've been looking at accomodations and some are far from the major tourist attractions.

In Paris I'm thinking of staying at the Hostel International Le d'Artagnan site. They say they are about 15 minutes from the city center. Has anyone stayed there? Any thoughts on other places?

Also, in Rome, I was thinking of going by train to Naples and Florence. Has anyone ridden from Rome to Florence? How was the journey?

For a month, is a backpack enough to carry everything? I'm just not sure what are the essentials and what you could just do without because it's easy to purchase in Europe!

Thanks again for taking the time to read my queries!
vinn526 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2006, 07:47 AM   #7
TPunk Emeritus
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,115
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Libraries rock, read not just the LP and Let's Go, also check out all the other guide books - even the ones geared to high end travelers have great info about sights and restaurants.

1. Transit systems in both Paris and Rome are great, it is definitely possible to get around the city, even if you are in an outlying area. Keep in mind though, that traffic can be pretty horrendous, particularly at rush hour, so if you're planning on traveling by bus or tram you'll want to leave yourself plenty of time. Metro in both cities are quick and efficient but can get pretty crowded, so be prepared for rush hour delays there, too. In Rome, our 10 year old daughter managed to squeeze on to a metro before the doors closed, but the rest of us didn't. Fortunately, my leg and arm prevented the door from closing and with the help of the other passengers we managed to prise the doors open wide enough for her to jump out, but it was a near thing. The next train, about 4 minutes later, was practically empty. Go figure. For sure in Paris, I don't know about Rome, you can get transit passes valid on all forms of public transit (RER, Metro, bus) for certain periods. These passes are well worth while, as you can hop on and off as you want, rest your tired legs or avoid sudden downpours. Just check to see whether your hostel is within Zones 1 or 2, as that is a cheaper pass than the all-zones one. We were staying almost at the end of one of the Metro lines, and were within the zone, so I think if you're near a metro, you're probably within the zone. It should say on the hostel site which metro/bus line, and you could email them to ask about public transit options.

2. We drove from Naples to Rome, I do not recommend driving in Naples to the faint of heart. The train ride is about two hours and from what I've heard, is quite straightforward. Some friends of ours live in Naples, and trained up to Rome a while back without difficulty. I believe the ride to Florence is about the same.

3. A proper backpack (not just a bookbag size) is ample for a month in Europe. We packed everything for 2 adults and 4 kids (including diapers) in one full size backpack, and trekked around for 6 weeks. Granted, we got pretty grimy, but what the heck. You can buy absolutely anything you need in Europe, except not always on Sundays! I would say essentials are a pair of convertible slacks, something to sleep in, a couple of shirts (ts, one long sleeved, one collared/polo type), swimsuit, undies, socks, a sweater or jacket, sandals and a pair of walking shoes. Bring a pair of flip flops for the shower, bar of soap, bottle of shampoo, whatever other toiletries are essential (I'm a girl, I need soap, shampoo, a comb and a toothbrush and toothpaste), and it's a good idea to bring a bath towel (smallish) and a face cloth. I always pack a sarong, though I wear it as a dress/skirt/shawl etc, even guys can use them as towels, umbrellas, laundry bags, picnic blankets, extra blanket, etc.



tumblezweedz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2006, 09:18 AM   #8
TPunk Recognized
 
BigE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: NB, MA
Posts: 1,091
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to BigE Send a message via Yahoo to BigE
Default

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(tumblezweedz @ Oct 4 2006, 09:47 AM) [snapback]141653[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
Libraries rock, read not just the LP and Let's Go, also check out all the other guide books - even the ones geared to high end travelers have great info about sights and restaurants.

1. Transit systems in both Paris and Rome are great, it is definitely possible to get around the city, even if you are in an outlying area. Keep in mind though, that traffic can be pretty horrendous, particularly at rush hour, so if you're planning on traveling by bus or tram you'll want to leave yourself plenty of time. Metro in both cities are quick and efficient but can get pretty crowded, so be prepared for rush hour delays there, too. In Rome, our 10 year old daughter managed to squeeze on to a metro before the doors closed, but the rest of us didn't. Fortunately, my leg and arm prevented the door from closing and with the help of the other passengers we managed to prise the doors open wide enough for her to jump out, but it was a near thing. The next train, about 4 minutes later, was practically empty. Go figure. For sure in Paris, I don't know about Rome, you can get transit passes valid on all forms of public transit (RER, Metro, bus) for certain periods. These passes are well worth while, as you can hop on and off as you want, rest your tired legs or avoid sudden downpours. Just check to see whether your hostel is within Zones 1 or 2, as that is a cheaper pass than the all-zones one. We were staying almost at the end of one of the Metro lines, and were within the zone, so I think if you're near a metro, you're probably within the zone. It should say on the hostel site which metro/bus line, and you could email them to ask about public transit options.

2. We drove from Naples to Rome, I do not recommend driving in Naples to the faint of heart. The train ride is about two hours and from what I've heard, is quite straightforward. Some friends of ours live in Naples, and trained up to Rome a while back without difficulty. I believe the ride to Florence is about the same.

3. A proper backpack (not just a bookbag size) is ample for a month in Europe. We packed everything for 2 adults and 4 kids (including diapers) in one full size backpack, and trekked around for 6 weeks. Granted, we got pretty grimy, but what the heck. You can buy absolutely anything you need in Europe, except not always on Sundays! I would say essentials are a pair of convertible slacks, something to sleep in, a couple of shirts (ts, one long sleeved, one collared/polo type), swimsuit, undies, socks, a sweater or jacket, sandals and a pair of walking shoes. Bring a pair of flip flops for the shower, bar of soap, bottle of shampoo, whatever other toiletries are essential (I'm a girl, I need soap, shampoo, a comb and a toothbrush and toothpaste), and it's a good idea to bring a bath towel (smallish) and a face cloth. I always pack a sarong, though I wear it as a dress/skirt/shawl etc, even guys can use them as towels, umbrellas, laundry bags, picnic blankets, extra blanket, etc.


[/b]

Your husband is a lucky guy.
__________________
You can't take a shirt from a naked man. - Arab Proverb

"An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger, or a beer."
-Confucius

Somewhere in England (maybe) - Spring (TBA)
Israel - Summer (TBA)
BigE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2006, 09:30 AM   #9
TPunk Emeritus
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,115
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

So I tell him.

tumblezweedz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2006, 11:18 AM   #10
Members
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Post

Hello hello. I'm also traveling alone in Europe in October. Leaving Friday and coming home around Halloween. I'm glad you started this thread. I'll keep checking here and we can compare notes.
Heydare82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply






Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Backpacking E. Europe in October ChrisP7683 Europe: Eastern 6 09-12-2005 10:25 AM
Planning Early, November Europe dxcody211 Companions Wanted 5 05-31-2005 09:20 AM
Europe Journeys!! (Aug-October) UneeklyCommon Companions Wanted 12 04-11-2005 11:51 AM
Going to Europe in October!! rc1078 General Travel Tips and Advice 3 03-14-2005 10:52 AM
Canadian planning to travel Europe Dorian General Travel Tips and Advice 6 02-02-2005 01:55 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:15 PM.



 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.2.0

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121