Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Europe > Europe
Reload this Page >

New here. Few questions about Europe travel?

New here. Few questions about Europe travel?

Old Mar 3, 19, 10:38 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 29
New here. Few questions about Europe travel?

Hello, new to this site. I wanted some advice on my upcoming Europe trip. Basically the same typical question that most first timers ask. I'm trying to hit up roughly 7-10 countries in about 30 or so days (give or take) most people say its not possible or that it's to much travel. These countries/cities include. London, Paris, Madrid, lisbon, Switzerland, Venice, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Belgium. I will try to pack light to avoid lugging around to many things, plus baggage fees. But I know I will at least have a laptop bag, a backpack, and 1 check in bag.

*Cheaper to take eurail (10 day pass?) or individual flights (found them for $40 to $90 to certain countries within Europe)time + money plays a factor. For example I much rather take a plane if the ticket cost $50 but only takes 2 hours compared to taking a train that only cost $20 but take 8 or 9 hrs. But where as I rather take a train @ $50 for a 3 hr train ride than a $40 plane flight if the plane basically gets their within 1 hr of the train( I rather have the experience and site seeing of the train if its very close in time frame.)

*If I don't get the Eurail pass but still need a few rail trips through a few countries or even metro costs in city. What would be the best way about doing this?




* Probably going the airbnb route (I need my private space and private hostel rooms are pretty close in price to a private airbnb) how much should I budget for a total of 23 days (1 week of my lodgings is free) of airbnb in these countries. Trying to shoot for $50 a night. Do-able?

* Is $3,000 to $3,500 ( is roughly $130 a day going to be enough for a 30 day roughly trip to thse countries I listed above? I don't spend a lot on attractions and I budget wisely.

* When traveling between cities/countries whats the best way not to "waste a night" paying for a hotel/airbnb room if you get to the new country late and basically would only have enough time to sleep and don't want to pay a full day price for just a few hours of checking in?

* How much aprox. can I get a sim card so that I have some sort of internet capabilities on my American phone?

Any other advice is appreciated. I'm sure I will have more questions as my trip in May approaches.

Thanks again..




I posted this picture below of europe of the route I had in mind let me know if you see any flaws, or ways to change this. Or even if this gives you a better idea if planes, or trains are a better choice for me based on this route or a similar one. thanks




https://imgur.com/a/Jw6JUfx
carsearch1982 is offline  
Old Mar 3, 19, 4:17 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: NC
Programs: AA, Marriott/SPG, AMEX
Posts: 272
Start your search for the information you want here ->The Europe Forum Directory

Lots of great information
hipquest is offline  
Old Mar 3, 19, 8:35 pm
  #3  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: DCA or IAD (originally DUB)
Programs: UA 1K 1.8MM, Hertz PC, Marriott Platinum/Lifetime Gold
Posts: 7,659
Railpass information at seat61 ...
SIM cards ... SIM card for multiple countries and Google voice # , Whatsapp and using local sim cards and Flexiroam X Review - Pan-International SIM sticker among others
carsearch1982 likes this.
UAPremExecflyer is offline  
Old Mar 5, 19, 6:45 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 29
Please let me know what you guys think about these ideas for my trip. I have to fly into London (by far the cheapest from sfo to any other European airport $180 one way)
then since I have business to attend to (in Madrid) on about 7/8 days after landing I figured I would sandwich in Lisbon (proximity??) before staying in Madrid for a week.

Now here's where I need advice. I'm debating about going to Rome for a few days and planes are dirt cheap from Madrid (ryanir and easyjet under $50) so I'm thinking fly Madrid to Rome stay for a few days then do the same from Rome to Vienna. At that point, most of my trip then would be by train ( due to countries being shorter distance 2nd half of the trip as well as wanting to see more of Europe and not flying so much)

If that's the route I go do I need a Eurail pass or do I just buy individual train tickets to each country I go to? I was planning on getting a 7 or 10-day global pass. But if I flew the times I mentioned before it really wouldn't make the Eurail pass that great of a deal for me. So what are my alternatives to a Eurail pass BUT where I can still travel by train and not pay a ton of money and have the flexibility to get on trains to travel somewhat short distances (under 6 or so hours) through different countries?

Can you please tell me railways or websites (besides Eurail) that I can look up train ticket prices, times, and names of these train sites so I can research them if I don't do the Eurail pass?

Last edited by carsearch1982; Mar 5, 19 at 6:48 pm Reason: Left something out.
carsearch1982 is offline  
Old Mar 5, 19, 7:12 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 14,251
Originally Posted by carsearch1982 View Post
..I wanted some advice on my upcoming Europe trip. Basically the same typical question that most first timers ask. I'm trying to hit up roughly 7-10 countries in about 30 or so days (give or take) most people say its not possible or that it's to much travel.
Even though Eu is not large that is a lot of destinations in a short time. Just travel between destinations will take time. Overnight train trips, where available, can be useful. The longer overnight train trips can be better than short-medium trips.

Originally Posted by carsearch1982 View Post
Now here's where I need advice. I'm debating about going to Rome for a few days and planes are dirt cheap from Madrid (Ryanir and Easyjet under $50) so I'm thinking fly Madrid to Rome stay for a few days then do the same from Rome to Vienna. At that point, most of my trip then would be by train ( due to countries being shorter distance 2nd half of the trip as well as wanting to see more of Europe and not flying so much)
Ryanair & Easyjet make $$$$ on the extras. And then more $$ after that. If you have no flown these airlines before they will be different to any other airline you have flown. Read every word of the tickets t&c's. Do not assume anything. That includes the city you think you are flying to. Look on a map and transport options/costs where you need to get to. Read & understand the carry on bag weight & size limits. If the weight limit is 7.00kg and you have 7.01kg ---> fail & more $. Not checking on line-->fail & more $$. And more extras after that.

Do not expect to carry-on for an Eu airline to be the same as USA practise. If you have USA normal carry on then a full service carrier, that includes checked baggage may be cheaper.

http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=LHR-MAD...SU=kts&RS=best
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/euro...il-travel-654/
Mwenenzi is offline  
Old Mar 5, 19, 7:22 pm
  #6  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 83,873
The overnight train instead of a hotel is a standard student trick, but you need to have a way to secure your belongings/valuables while you sleep.

In your cost comparisons, don't forget that train stations tend to be in the center of town, either walkable to a hotel or on top of a major subway station with lots of local public transportation options. OTOH, even public transportation from the airport can be surprisingly expensive and can be infrequent/inconvenient too.

It's hard to estimate costs without knowing something of what/how you want to eat and even what activities you envision yourself doing in various locations. Also, a student ID (and the international student ID card--ISIC) can save you lots of money on museum tickets etc. in some places. In many places, certain museums are free at certain times, so some planning on when to go can save some additional money.
JBord likes this.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Mar 5, 19, 7:34 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 29
I will try to do a bullet point of what I want/dont want. My budget and overall experience. Maybe that will help. I'm traveling by myself and have basically no set plan (besides the 1 week of landing there) and will only be packing 1 carry on (osprey 40 backpack ) so that I don't pay checked bags and have to lug around a lot of things.

*Want to see the most cities/countries even if for a day or two. Biggest "BANG FOR MY BUCK" I prefer a city that might cost a little more but where theres a lot of things to do and a great experience, rather then just the city is cheaper but nothing to do or transportation is expensive or non existant.

*prefer not staying in a hostel (searching airbnbs I find i can get a private place close to the same price as a hostel )

*My biggest pro I guess I would say is that I'm flexible I can stay a little longer on certain trips or even extend the whole european trip a few days/ a week out. I have no set timeframe (besides making it work budget wise)

* I prefer to see a lot of free/cheap things (museums, natural landmarks, oceans, beaches, mountains, ) but at the same time I want to hit a "few" tourist/known type of places. London eye, skygarden ( I know its free but to make reservations ahead of time) Eifel tower (even just to see it) PLUS treat myself to a small amount of really good meals.

* I budget really well and don't see myself spending that much (probably less then average traveler) on souviners, shopping, things like that.

Overall I want to see and go to as many countries as I can (I'm probably trying to narrow it down now to paris, london, lisbon, madrid, maybe rome, budapest, and prague) I'm willing to stay longer to visit all those places if possible, or even just taking day trips to some of these locations.



So basically DONT WANT TO SPEND MORE THAN 3,000-3,500 ON THE TRIP. Don't want to miss out on seeing a lot of these places.. Don't want to get stuck in just 1 region of Europe, and don't want to stay in hostels a majority of the time. Don't want to live on a tight cup of ramen noodle every day budget for the whole trip. But at the same time will not be spending money on things besides airbnbs, good food, and "memories" or experiences ( at a reasonable price or what I would call VALUE DEALS)

Besides that I'm pretty much open. Oh and I would prefer to do train traveling but with taking a few of these cheaper plane flights it doesnt seem like eurail 7 or 10 day global pass will be worth it for me? Any other cheap train traveling you can suggest over eurail pass?

Last edited by carsearch1982; Mar 5, 19 at 7:45 pm Reason: MISSED A SENTENCE
carsearch1982 is offline  
Old Mar 5, 19, 8:21 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 14,251
Originally Posted by carsearch1982 View Post
......I'm traveling by myself and have basically no set plan (besides the 1 week of landing there) and will only be packing 1 carry on (osprey 40 backpack ) so that I don't pay checked bags and have to lug around a lot of things.
What is normal carry-on for USA airlines and permitted carry-on for Eu airlines can be a lot different. Low cost Eu airlines make their money with add on fees
You will need to check very carefully your Osprey 40 backpack carry-on size/weight is complainant.
100's if not 1000's of people, from outside of Eu, get caught every week.

https://www.osprey.com/us/en/product...-FARPNT40.html

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntr...on-e-g-ryanair
As above..I wouldn't try it with a backpack above 40l. And the dimensions are also important....Ryanair are generally quite strict on this. If it looks bigger or heavier,they will check it..they make a lot of money from excess luggage.
You have a few problems with Ryan Air:
1. Rather than think of volume, look at the bag manufacturers measurement specifications and consider only ones that are within the physical size-limits. Ryan Air are sticklers for size.
2. The planes do not have enough bin storage for everyone to bring hand-luggage. This means that when they get pretty full, passengers are forced to place their bags in the hold. You need to pack your electronics very carefully and keep them only in the smaller bag as they will be ruined in the hold.
Mwenenzi is offline  
Old Mar 5, 19, 8:31 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 29
Thanks for that advice I been non stop looking up everything about airlines, train routes, etc. Since I found out I was going to Europe. I'm an over thinker and over-analyzer too haha so that's one of my down falls. If I take the easyjet and ryanair route would you suggest skipping the eurail pass? What if I want to take mostly flights, but still want a "couple" train trips but don't want to pay the $400+ dollars for a eurail pass. Where would I look up specific legs of a train trip from say country x to country x? I feel a eurail pass would be great if I had a longer amount of time and did everything on the train. But since the first half of my trip will be flights I need to figure out how to buy individual train trips without paying a bunch of money for each train commute?

Thanks again.

Edit: it looks like after rough estimating and doing some calculations lodgings/airbnb is going to cost me the most. I roughly estimated on average overall about $50/60 a night x about 22 days ( 7 days of the 30 I will have a free room) so I'm looking at $1,100 -1,400 aprox for airbnbs during my trip. Surprisingly my flights will be a little cheaper than lodgings (due to really cheap plane flight into europe and cheap inter-europe flights) so probably another $1,000 or so. My question is how can I get airbnb/hotel costs down some? That's going to be my biggest cost. And I don't want to stay in hostels (maybe a night here and there when I arrive late into a new city/country but thats about it.)

Last edited by carsearch1982; Mar 5, 19 at 8:44 pm
carsearch1982 is offline  
Old Mar 5, 19, 8:45 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 14,251
Originally Posted by carsearch1982 View Post
Where would I look up specific legs of a train trip from say country x to country x?
I feel a eurail pass would be great if I had a longer amount of time and did everything on the train.
Thanks again.
The best place to read/ask about Eu rail is the FT forum--->https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/euro...il-travel-654/
Some very knowledge people on that forum
Mwenenzi is offline  
Old Mar 5, 19, 8:51 pm
  #11  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 83,873
In some countries/routes, train tickets can be much cheaper when purchased in advance (for a particular time, essentially a nonrefundable ticket). Business and popular tourist days and times are obviously more expensive. In some places, such as the Munich to/from Salzburg route, there can be local/regional train companies operating the same route (perhaps with a couple more stops) at a fraction of the price for a ticket on the longhaul train.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Mar 6, 19, 2:51 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 7,515
Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Ryanair & Easyjet make $$$$ on the extras. And then more $$ after that. If you have no flown these airlines before they will be different to any other airline you have flown. Read every word of the tickets t&c's. Do not assume anything. That includes the city you think you are flying to. Look on a map and transport options/costs where you need to get to. Read & understand the carry on bag weight & size limits. If the weight limit is 7.00kg and you have 7.01kg ---> fail & more $. Not checking on line-->fail & more $$. And more extras after that.
As with the poster in the rail thread you seemingly don't know what you're talking about here, at least with respect to easyJet.
Ldnn1 is online now  
Old Mar 6, 19, 7:13 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Heraklion, Greece
Posts: 6,549
Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
As with the poster in the rail thread you seemingly don't know what you're talking about here, at least with respect to easyJet.
I love it when I see FTers who correct other posters, providing detailed info in a really polite way!

Last edited by KLouis; Mar 7, 19 at 2:48 am
KLouis is offline  
Old Mar 7, 19, 2:13 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: somewhere between Europe and Africa, from SFO
Programs: A3*G, EY Silver
Posts: 7,671
Too many destinations for 30 days. Narrow it down to no more than 5-6 to have a comfy trip. Otherwise, you'll be dreading the constant moving around by the end of the month.

Also - do you REALLY need a checked bag? Unless you're packing clothes for multiple climates, a carry-on + laptop bag will suffice, saving you time and hassle in carrying things around.
TWA884, ajGoes and altabello like this.
Palal is offline  
Old Mar 7, 19, 2:40 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, Germany; Toronto, Canada; and SW Florida, USA
Programs: UA 1K, BA Gold, Hyatt Globalist, and assorted others
Posts: 22,911
Your plan is insane. You are trying to do far too much in your allotted time (and you will probably go way over budget.)

Let me keep it simple for you. 'Hitting up', as you put it, 10 countries or cities in 30 days (ignoring the fact that you'll be jet lagged at the beginning) leaves you with fewer than three days per place. Since you need at least one-half day (and in many cases travel the travel will take almost a full day) between places, you're down to fewer than two days per place. So you just got somewhere and are already planning the departure. Your quality time in each place will be far less than this since, if you are on a budget, you'll likely have to choose public transit from an airport to a city, rather than a taxi. I expect that you'll arrive in a city on the evening of day one, have possibly day two to look around, and have to leave again early on day three to 'hit up' the next place. Sounds like a complete nightmare to me.

You should also consider that, whilst taking the train has distinct advantages (scenery, going from city centre to city centre, etc) it is generally slower. LCC airlines can also be cheap, but often land at obscure airports far from where you actually want to be, and fly at unsocial hours. $50 per night accommodation is possible in theory, but you're looking at YMCA/hostel quality.

I think you should reevaluate where you really want to stay and what you want to see, and choose no more than about 5/6 places.
ajGoes and altabello like this.
LondonElite is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread