Everyone should travel abroad and explore the mysterious corners of the world at least once in their lifetime. And what better place to start your journey than Europe, which literally has it all. From quaint little hamlets to breathtaking natural wonders, bustling spired cities to soul-soothing golden beaches, Gondola rides in the Venetian canal to romantic candle-lit dinners atop the Eiffel Tower. Not to mention, the friendly indigenous folk, the local cultural events, and the refreshingly unique food. Indeed, traveling across Europe is sure to turn your life around for the better, enriching it with precious memories of interesting adventures. But there are a lot of factors to take into consideration before you can begin this Euro-trip. Let me help you with a few backpacking tips if you prefer to travel on foot, and point you in the right direction.
Here are 5 Backpacking Tips for an Unforgettable Euro-Trip:
1. Seasonal Selection:
If it is during wintertime that you decide to begin your Euro-tour, then head over to the places with the best skiing facilities and the most tasteful New Year parties, like Finland, Sweden or Austria, etc. In the case of the spring season, perfectly balanced between the dying winter and the emerging summer, select Netherlands, Greece, France, or Ireland as your European destinations, in full bloom. For an autumnal golden view mixed with browns and greens, travel to the Mediterranean. As the tourist traffic dies down, enjoy the pleasant quietness of the coastlines and explore the eerie cities of Spain and Italy, etc. Finally, if the hot summer season is your choice for the trip, then make your way to the Baltic regions, the eastern Slovenian mountains and the wonderful Balkan coastline. Just make sure to pick your season wisely and not begin your journey haphazardly.
2. Euro-Train Travel
There are many ways you could go around Europe, but the best mode of transportation for backpackers is the railway. It is featured in many wanderlust movies, like Before Sunset (2004) which shows the characters getting the most out of their journey via train travel. You can order these movies by visiting here, for further inspiration. Why the train, you ask? Well, for starters, you can better enjoy the multi-colored view of the European landscape from your train window, rather than from an airplane. Other than that, if you sleep overnight in your cabin on one of those long rides, then you’ll save on accommodation costs. Plus, most countries require a single train pass, like a Eurail or an Interrail Global pass, in order to become accessible. Cool, right?
3. Accommodation Options
Everything depends on your budget. If you can afford to stay in one of those pricier hotels, then go for it. But if you’re a backpacker, then you might want to save in on the accommodation costs, for which there are plenty of options.
- Guesthouse: This is a private mode of lodging, where the hosts allot one separate section of their house to a paying guest for staying in. It also goes by the name of the bed and breakfast. You can book your spot in such guesthouses online by going for digital accommodation apps like Airbnb etc. They give a much homelier welcome than the super-formal hotels, so you won’t feel home-sick.
- Hostel: Also known by the name of an ‘inn’, this accommodation system goes way back to medieval times. It is an establishment that gives inexpensive lodging and food to students, workers, and travelers mostly. Book your rooms beforehand to avoid any sort of inconvenience.
- Camp: If you want to truly test yourself and connect with the nature on the rawest level, then book your spot on a well-equipped camping site. It is not only quite affordable, and but comes with a special bonfire bonding.
- University Stays: Most of the universities in certain countries offer cheap lodgings to students. You can avail of this option as well.
There are other accommodation options too, but these are the ones which I’d recommend.
4. Cultural Delve
Once you reach a place, be sure to collect as many experiences as you can, and such experiences begin once you indulge in the local cultures. Festivals are a major part of any culture, so plan your trip around such events in advance. There’s the orange battle festival in Italy, the bullfight in Spain, the shamrock-jeweled St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Ireland, and the interesting naked run Roskilde festival in Denmark, etc.
In addition to such events, be sure to savor the curious, indigenous cuisines. Instead of going to the expensive restaurants, save on your backpacker’s budget by eating like the locals. Refresh your taste buds with the multi-colored street food. Popular dishes include French crêpes, Denmark’s smørrebrød, the Italian trattoria, currywurst of Berlin and the Belgian fries, etc. Apart from this, the best option would be to cook your own food. Handpick ingredients from the local markets, which come with their own titillating flavors. Markets are a hubbub of interesting activity. Don’t forget to add them to your tour. Do buy small souvenirs, like key chains, to hang from your backpacks.
5. Nightly Forays
One word: pubs. Even though the days are full of invigorating explorations, nights are equally alive with inebriation in the European countries. So, there are plenty of reasons to stay up late and go on nightly forays. There are hipster dives in London and Berlin, ruin bars in Budapest, and wine tastings in France and Italy. Moreover, the flamenco music scene in Seville, historic pubs of Oxford, and cafes in Brussels are a must-visit too. Do not miss out on these dark, happy hours by wasting them away on sleep.
One important tip that you should definitely keep in mind is that your safety is your own responsibility once you go backpacking tips across Europe. So, do not take any chances with expensive cameras or jewelry, and always be on your guard. Especially, when you go on the roads less taken and explore under-the-radar areas, like Berat or Olomouc. Be sure to take the basic precautions to stay safe.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: How long is the backpacking trip to Europe?
A: For larger Europen sites you will need 2 to 4 full days and 3 to 5 nights. For smaller sites, you will need 1 to 2 days maximum. So it all depends on how much time you can spend on your trip to Europe.
Q2: Is backpacking to Europe is cheap?
A: If you choose the peak time which is the Summer season, then it is going to be expensive for you as well as the place will be crowded. To have a smooth trip to Europe with any crowd and also where accommodations are 50% cheaper, travel during the shoulder or offseason.
Q3: Are hostels in Europe safe?
A: Not that much, the common security issue you will face is theft, especially in larger cities like Paris and Rome. therefore the hostels have lockers that save your belongings from getting robbed. But always carry your purse along with your passport, credit cards, IDs with you.
Q4: Is there any age limit to take a trip to Europe?
A: Hostels and Hotels will only allow you if you are 18 or above, otherwise a guardian accompanying you will be nice. Exception when counted, Germany’s Bavarian Region does not consider this age thing in most hostels.
So, whenever you plan your backpacking tips journey, be sure to pay attention to the aforementioned tips. These will surely benefit you in the long run and make your Euro-trip bump-free.