Planning Tips For A Successful European Backpacking Adventure
If you’re one of the fortunate few to spend a month backpacking in Europe after college, be very thankful. You’re about to embark on an adventure of a life time. So many memories will be made, new experiences will be had to share for years to come. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or this is your first major trip, proper planning will eliminate most surprises and allow you to fully enjoy this great experience. Follow these tips to prepare for your European adventure!
Plan on at least six months to take care of all the details involved in preparing for an overseas trip. The first order of business is to secure a passport. This can take up to four months, often longer in the months leading up to the busy travel season. If you already have a valid passport, check to see that the expiration date is at least three months after your planned return. Some countries require this for entry. As an US citizen, no travel visas are required for entry into the countries that are members of the European Common Market.
Use a reputable online travel site to book your overseas flight. It’s much cheaper to book a round trip flight than add multiple destinations. The train network in Europe is inexpensive for those under 26, and multiple passes for duration and destination are offered online. Taking the train also allows you to see the countryside and small villages and will most often arrive in train stations that are located in the city centers. Most accommodations in both inexpensive hotels and youth hostels can also be booked online. Increasingly popular are single rooms offered in homes or apartments for nightly rental. This will give you the added adventure of meeting local people in the country you’re visiting. All of these arrangements should be booked well in advance to ensure the greatest selection and availability.
Do research on quality backpacks. This will be either your friend or nemesis for weeks of travel. Choose wisely! Secure chargers for your phone and other electronic devices as well as appropriate cell plans to avoid excessive charges when using data in Europe. Often a simple Simm card can be purchased upon arrival. Have a grand time and enjoy your trip!