Well, as long as every damn landscape in Europe isn't exactly the same, the train trips will be a good experience - the trains here hardly go past great sights, you can only see so many hills and sheep before they get extremely dull as well as that, it'll be a new experience using trains too, seeing, like I've said, the trains here are pretty crap... There's a possibility I'll fly to Greece, but that's completely money dependant, and Greece would be an extra leg off the main Europe trip. Greece will be my luxury of the trip if I get there
Oh, going over there, I'll take a huge suitcase, but seeing we also get 7kg on flight luggage, I'll probably take my big bag on that bit, seeing they weigh a fair bit and yeah, if worst came to worst, I am lucky that I do know a crapload of Musers over there - I am staying with a couple in my time over there hopefully!
If there's always people around, then that's fine by me! Although I'm not going over there specifically to make lifelong friends, I do know that I'm (hopefully) going to meet some really awesome people, whether it be on the trains, hostels, tours, anywhere. I do know that tourists just end up bonding, and you bond even more when you're from the same countries and September/October seems to be primetime for NZers to go over there, so maybe the rest of the world follows that suit?
In times of desperation, I know I'll become one of the most sociable people ever, especially in a situation like yours and I'll just hope they're an Aussie or a Kiwi however, something I'm not going to enjoy is all the "you sound Australian" or "are you from Australia?" comments/questions we hate that!
Yeah, for money, my only expenses will mainly be food, and as you've said, it's not really THAT expensive over there. Seeing prices of everything will be splashed all over the internet, I'm sure I can plan a fun trip while still having a bit of freedom for some random place or clothes shopping or something 'tis all about the fun, while I'm over there, I'm going to try not to worry too much about money, otherwise I'll just leave with regrets about how I didn't do this or that
Cities? Well, the UK/Ireland cities I'll have 'guides' but as for Europe, most likely cities so far are Paris, Rome, Berlin and perhaps Athens. I feel like I'm missing one... I've decided against going to Scandanavia now, though, only because I know it's bloody expensive over there... That said, all money dependant on whether or not I go to Greece, Norway (probably Bergen) or maybe even Spain (Madrid). Anything for free is good though, so I'll most definitely make use of that site at some point
Everyone seems to enjoy it over here... Although I'm very used to it because I've travelled here heaps, there are still some brilliant sights that you'll never really see anywhere else in the world here - some still manage to wow me, and I've seen a lot here! I suppose that's the main point of travel though, minus all the entertainment and all, it also really gives you an awesome insight of just how different your own home base is to other places in the world...
IMO trains are the best way to get around, especially in Europe. Airports are way out of town, you have to spend ages getting there and back, and if you're checking in luggage then there's a lot of boring waiting around. And I don't think it would be much cheaper, if any, overall. With trains you really get to see the country and its landscape. Sure, some journeys are kinda long (just had a 14 hour train journey back from Belgium last night), but I would recommend you do it. Flying is boring. And if you get the train pass, you have so much freedom and flexibility. With flights, you have to be somewhere at a certain time. With trains, you can take one at 12pm, or wait and take one at 2pm (ofc some you might need to reserve but yknow).
For luggage, get a MASSIVE backpack and just fill that, you should be able to fit most stuff in that. Much better than a suitcase or whatever
I'm sure you'll be fine in England, and if you find yourself without a home one night, just let me know, I'll be back in the country then
About hostels, really don't worry. There are always people travelling. This weekend I went to Amsterdam for 2 nights and Brussels for 2 nights and met tons of travellers there. The start of school and uni doesn't really affect it tbh, a lot of people go for quick weekends away in various cities as it's so easy to get all over Europe so it's really not a problem. Hopefully you'll be lucky and meet people on the train as well, it makes the journeys so much more fun. Last night when we got on the train back home, our compartment already had the other 4 people in it and we just immediately got to chatting: 2 girls from the USA, 1 Aussie, 1 Dutch boy and me and my friend (also an Aussie), which was super cool. When I was travelling a couple of years ago my train broke down en route from Switzerland to Venice (I think) and we had to somehow get ourselves from some random tiny Italian train station to Venice... I happened to be sitting opposite an Aussie guy who was going to Venice too so we just got to chatting and stuck together for that journey. I say all this... I think I'm quite a shy person! Honestly meeting people is easy and fun, just don't wait for them to talk to you, say something first. Most people in Europe always find it cool to meet Aussies and Kiwis over here, so you'll be fine And if you make a dick out of yourself, or you don't get on with someone, it doesn't matter, you'll be moving on in a day or so and you'll never see them again!
That's awesome about the money definitely save up as much as you can. It's worth sorting out a rough daily budget, just so you can keep track of how much you're spending. Excluding hostel I was probably on not more than €20 a day a lot of the time. It depends on what you do, sometimes I paid more to go into museums and stuff, but a lot of the time I did free stuff. Food-wise, just go to a bakery or something for lunch, they're everywhere and so good and cheap. Then in the evening it shouldn't be too hard to find a cheap cafe or bistro.
The thing to remember is, you will have saved up loads for this trip, and obviously you can't just go crazy and blow it all within the first week, but remember that you'll be in Europe, and if it costs an extra €10 to get something you reaallllllyyyy want, go for it. You have to enjoy yourself too. Like buying little souvenirs or whatever, don't restrict yourself too much, you can definitely survive on a good budget by just being careful.
Remind me what cities you're going to? There's a cool student company in Europe which provide free maps of some cities with all studenty and cheap stuff listed on it. They're really fun and point out local things. It's based in Belgium but they've started spreading out a bit now. The website is www.use-it.be and you can see the maps online there. If you're going to any of the cities where there is a map I can send you copies, I have a pretty good collection of them now!
The UK roadtrip sounds fun, and you can cut costs by camping places rather than staying somewhere, if you'd be up for that. Petrol is super expensive there though so yeah, it will probably be quite expensive, but you can save in other areas. Awesome about your aunts as well, always good to get insider tips from people who've been there
I hope flights won't be too bad. I need to start saving up for my own trip down under in the next few years. Met this Aussie girl here in Germany who's awesome so I wanna go visit her sometime, when I have the money, and then I want to do NZ as well. One day...!
Hi Alice! sorry for the late reply, I've been really busy with school stuff and work and all...
Dependant on how I get around Europe is whether or not I get the train pass, but it's likely (seeing I know very well there is train routes between all the places I want to go). Sure, train ain't my ideal way of travelling, but I'm very lucky that I have places where I can keep some of my luggage, as opposed to dragging 30kg+ of stuff all around Europe seeing my Europe leg of the trip will probably be ~3/4 weeks anyway, I'll probably look into getting one of those ones that is pre-planned (seeing I'm a planner, and there's no way I'll be variating my trip, I feel ).
I can't 100% rely on my UK accommodation (seeing I don't really want to burden them with me for that long), but I know that if shit really turned to shit, I have family friends over there and one of my teachers is moving back over there this year too.
I am just worried about the hostels because I know I'm doing my tour at a 'quiet' time, seeing it'll be September/October-ish when everyone starts back up at colleges and all in Europe, so I'm worried I won't meet that many people I'm also a very shy person with new people (although, oddly enough, the forum has helped me a lot with new people), so I just worry I'll make a dick of myself, but that's the least of my worries
Going back to money anyway, I got some good news last night... I did really well at school this year (I got top academic student of my school) so my parents said they'd save up and help me out with my trip but yeah, with things like food and all, I know that restaurants here can rip you a new one, and I will be going to restaurants here and there just because I can I ain't travelling half the world to eat stuff I'd eat here!
All I'm really concerned about is money - seeing I do want to have fun but be cheap at the same time, there's some sacrifices I know I'll have to make, like, I want to do a UK roadtrip too with my friend, but of course I don't have money just lying around to do so. That's looking at about £400+, and then I want to go to Leeds Fest with my friend (another £250 or so), and little things like that really add up. I know I don't need the Leeds Fest thing, but I do want to go to some kind of concert while I'm over there to experience a UK/Europe crowd.
I can find out later on this month how much my flights will cost around, but I know I can get them cheaper about April/May next year. Here's hoping I get $NZ2500-ish flights, then flights + insurance would only be $3000, which gives me a little more money
Another note is that I'm very, very lucky to have two aunties who are well travelled, because I can ask them about sights and all that I need to see. One of them backpacked all around Europe, similar to what I'm doing, so she'll know how to lash out but still be el cheapo like I want to be
I would say €2000 ish will be plenty. I can't remember whether you said you were gonna get a european rail pass or just buy single tickets for trains? If possible, I would recommend getting the rail pass, cos you can easily get your money's worth and it takes a MASSIVE amount of stress off you as you journey about, cos you can use it on local trains as well so don't have to fiddle round with tickets and stuff. Definitly look into it if you haven't already, you can save costs on it when you have a pre-planned route, because there are different ticket types: for example you can have a continuous one which is valid everyday, but there are also ones which are valid for travel on 10 days, within a 21 day period or something. If you get what I mean! And those are cheaper
It's great that you'll save on accommodation in the UK, because that's the most expensive place for it. Other places range from €10-€25 mainly, that's if you book in advance, if you leave it til the day you could end up paying €50 or €60 a night. Bigger rooms are cheaper (and better, cos you can meet more people )
Food stuffs you can do on the cheap pretty much everywhere, I wouldn't worry about that at all. A lot of hostels provide kitchens or cooking stuff so you can save money and cook something yourself if you want. Also, it's worthwhile going for hostels which provide breakfast, often it's included in the cost of the room which is great. Some aren't brilliant, but some I had were truly amazing, and I used to eat so much for breakfast that I wouldn't need to spend money on lunch haha.
For a comparison, I spent 3 months abroad in Europe, and I spent about £2000 (so yeah, about €2500) - but that's not including my rail passes which were £300/month. Also I did some really expensive stuff, like had a hotel in Paris rather than a hostel etc. So I think you'll be fine with that amount of money. It might be a good idea to have a backup in case of emergencies though: like I opened a credit card incase I lost my money/ran out etc, and it's a good idea to arrange something with your parents, so that if you do find yourself running out of money, they can transfer some to you so you can enough money to eat etc, then obviously you can pay them back later. Hopefully they'll be happy to agree to this!
Europe isn't really too expensive if you do it right. Just avoid big touristy cafes and restaurants, go to smaller ones off the main streets etc.
Let me know if you wanna know anything else! I'm going away tonight for the weekend to Amsterdam, hooray, but yeah I'm back next week sometime
Hey! My apologies for never replying in that gap year thread, I may/may not have forgotten
Anyway, update on the haps... It's extremely likely to happen now, I've got myself a job sorted and have a lot of support from my family... Now it's time to start planning the thing! and seeing you know your stuff about this, I want to ask you
Anyway, I'm looking at getting about only $8000 over the next 9 months saved, of which $3500 alone would be for flights/travel insurance so I'll have about $4500NZ (about €2500/£2000) for the entire trip. It looks like heaps (to me anyway ), but about £750+ alone of that will be travel probably... Then I have to take into account food, hostels/accomodation, shopping, etc etc...
I need to do it the el cheapo way, pretty much, unless I'm thinking too unrealistically about European costs (i.e. how much I would earn is plenty). I know that I have places to stay in the UK/Ireland while I'm over there, so at least accommodation will be kept to a bare minimum during that time...
Basically, my question is - would €2500 be enough for 8-10 weeks in the UK/Europe?