Europe is the ultimate destination for people looking to do some independent travel. You’ve come to the right place for what’ll you’ll need for how to backpack through Europe. It caters to backpackers with it’s extensive rail system that will take you to almost every country, hostels in nearly every city and town, so much cultural richness and diverse scenery to experience you‘ll have an adventure around every corner. There’s a reason its so popular with students for their first big travel experience and why people keep going back. Here’s what you need to know about how to backpack through Europe.
Make a plan of where you’d like to visit for you’re big trip. This is your adventure and you’re going to want to have an idea of which places give you chills when you look at the pictures and imagine yourself there. Your dream backpacking trip gets to be a little taste of paradise by the Mediterranean, a taste of medieval times in the museums and whatever else you want it to be! The most important thing to know about how to backpack through Europe is to make a list so you can map it out and have a general idea of where you will go. Go to the bookstore and look up travel books and find the pictures that make you oogle. Go online and research the best spots to visit. Compile a list of destinations and activities to do. Chances are spontaneity will change your plans and you may not have time for them all but it’s good to have this list for your railpass and to pull out if your on the road and don’t know where to go next. Some of the nicest places aren’t the big cities but come from 10 best lists. Find the places off the beaten trail in advance.
Get your gear. A packing checklist for Europe is available online and will give you a list of what to pack. A lot of people actually get a backpack and find it is too heavy to carry around for several months at a time. Knowing a how to pack light will help you a lot in your expertise on how to backpack through Europe. A small suitcase with wheels is much more comfortable to roll around or if you’ve already bought a backpack, just purchase a cart with wheels you can attach it to. Buy the best travel gear such as ultra-light travel packs, toiletries and a camera. Err on the side of bringing less, its easier to buy an extra shirt if you need it and more difficult to throw away the stuff you brought if you’re getting sick of carrying it. Europe has stores with all the essentials or luxuries you may need if you forget something.
Get your rail pass. Now that you have your list of where you’d like to go and an idea of how long you will be able to make a decision on a rail pass. There are many options available. It’s not a big deal if your pass doesn’t cover everywhere you want to go or you run out of train days because you can buy extra tickets along the way if you need to. There are actually some countries where buying individual tickets is cheaper than using the rail pass (such as Croatia and Slovenia).
This would also be a good time to make sure your passport is current and won’t expire while you’re backpacking in Europe. It can take a while to get a passport, or get one renewed so do this early.
At this point in your travel planning there’s only a few details left to go. So far you’ve looked at destinations, a railpass, your passport and travel gear. The next things to look at for how to Backpack Europe include what to do about accommodation and your flight and what it’s like on the road.
You should have the following so far
- a list of places you want to visit
- your travel gear with checklist
- your rail pass
- a current passport
Now we’ll cover accommodation, the flight and considering writing a travel blog.
It’s best to only book accommodation for the first few nights when you fly in from home, otherwise it’s a big hassle booking in advance. Its just too hard to plan where you’ll be and with most locations even in prime tourist time you can find a spot if you look the day before. You can book hostels online or book hotels online and there’s probably a few websites you’ll use the most such as hostel bookers and hostel world.
There are a few places that’ll you’ll want to book accommodation well in advance. These places include the more remote destinations that have fewer hostels such as Cinque Terre, Italy or Hallstatt, Austria.
If you plan on getting involved with the CouchSurfing Organization to stay with locals make a profile and make friends early. If you’re requesting a place to stay people need lots of notice but this is an amazing option to meet locals, make some friends and save some money.
Book your flight and get travel insurance. Its a good idea to check with your airline if you can change the return date flight during the trip (some offer this for a fee). Having a flexible return is nice to have. Look around and look for good flight deals, at certain times of the year they flights to Europe are way cheaper and deals come around frequenty, you’ve just got to do some research. If you have Airmiles or some other kind of flight deal even better! Travel Cuts offers a good price on travel insurance.
Make sure to bring a camera and set up a travel blog for when you go. The people at home will want to know all about your adventures and you can go back to your blog and relive it again and again.
This will be your backpacking trip through Europe and it may be one of the funnest and most rewarding things you ever do. Learning how to backpack through Europe is something you gain through experience along with a lot of confidence and knowledge while you’re out there! This information will give you a solid basis backpacking through Europe before you hit the road.