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Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
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Old 10-13-2004, 12:41 PM   #1
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Alright here's the deal: I'm a 24 y/o guy leaving for europe alone in early to mid November and having never been there before I was looking around for information and found this awesome website. Kudos to travelpunk. Anyway, it's going to be a very spontaneous, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of trip, but on my list of countries I'm interested in is: Spain, Portugul, Italy, and Greece. It's a very tentative list and could be completely ignored if something else catches my eye, but it's a start. I'm going to be there until next fire season (I'm a wildland firefighter in the summer), or until I run out of moolah. Guessing 2-4 months. So here's what I'm wondering:

1) What clothes to bring, how many, etc.

2) It seems to be cheaper to fly into london or paris than madrid. How much of a hassle would to be to get to spain from either of those places and would it be worth the money saved?

3) I'm American. How big of a deal is anti-american sentiment? How do I get around it? I've heard of posing as a canadian, or sporting an anti-bush patch on my pack. Where do you get such a patch, and is it even necessary or a good idea?
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Old 10-13-2004, 02:03 PM   #2
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1) Well, you'll be in the mediterranean area, and all my November travel is limited to the UK area, but I'd check an online almanac for weather patterns at that time of year. But anytime of year, you can't go wrong with a basic set of clothes (shorts, jeans, long-sleeve and short-sleeved shirt) plus something for RAIN.

2) It's always cheaper to fly into London, it seems, and that's what I generally do. But getting a budget flight out of Heathrow to Spain is prettty tough. Usually there are only BA/Iberia flights that cost just as much as the price difference. If you're willing to get out to a satellite airport, you can hop on a budget flight, but if your itinerary doesn't include the UK or France at all, I wouldn't bother. then again, you're gonna be there a few months, and France DOES border all them other countries

3) Don't sweat it. Sure, the image of America isn't so shiny out in the world, but most people you meet also know that any American they'll meet abroad is a lot more open-minded and cool than the 80% who choose never to leave the country. I wear my "NOT MY PRESIDENT" shirt sometimes, but it's more of an icebreaker than a "don't pick on me" thing.
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Old 10-13-2004, 02:49 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help. One more thing: How easy is it to do laundry while backpacking? I ask because I'm wondering how many of each article of clothing to bring.
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Old 10-13-2004, 02:53 PM   #4
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By the way, is my avatar showing up to anybody else? It's not working for me. My signature seems to be screwed up too...
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Old 10-13-2004, 03:41 PM   #5
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Welcome! In my experience, about half the hostels I have stayed at have had washers/dryers, so for me it was not very easy to do laundry considering you have to pack so light. But it wasn't a big deal; I would just wash stuff in the sink with packs of woolite if I needed to. And no, you are having avatar problems just like me....they aren't showing up! Damn! And I always find cute little pictures of U2
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:55 PM   #6
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Thanks for the help. Maybe I'll just buy new clothes when they get dirty.....
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