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First time travel in Europe... questions from an Aussie dude.

14 Mar 2009 Perth_dude said

Perth_dude
Hi guys,

I'm about to set off for a 50 day journey through Europe with a mate.
I land in London and am planning on seeing as much of Europe as possible.

I know nothing at all about backpacking or staying in hostels, and have these questions...

1. Do I need to pre book at hostels, or can I just rock up and be guaranteed a place to sleep?
2. What are the room/sleeping arrangements? Will I be able to book a room just for myself and my mate, or will we be sharing with strangers (I'm concerned about theft)
3. What is provided by the hostel during the stay... pillows, linen, towels, washing machines etc?
4. We are looking at driving through Europe rather than taking trains and buses to save time travelling between cities.. is this a good idea or will public transport be as quick?
5. Do I need a Visa for certain countries? The travel agent here told me I only needed a Visa if travelling into Russia (which I won't be visiting)

I have searched and read up on here already, if these questions have been answered previously can I please be linked.

Thanks for your time
Cheers
  • 14 Mar 2009 said

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    1. You can normally walk up and get a bed, when in High Season(end of June to the start of September) it is sometimes harder to find a place walk up, but I have yet to not be able to find a bed when I needed one.

    2. It depends on the type of bed you buy, you can buy into a private room, a shared room, or a dorm room, normally the privates have one or two beds, shared are two to three bunk beds(so 4 or 6 people) and dorms can be anywhere from 8 people to 100 depending on the size of the hostel.

    3. Again depends on the hostel, some you rent out the linen for a couple euros, sometimes its included, but normally you can expect a bed with pillow, linen. Towels are normally rented out, I have yet to stay somewhere that has towels for free use, if you can find a “Quickdry” towel before you leave from a camping store, it’d be a good idea to take along. Washing Machines are sometimes offered, but most of the time they can give you directions to somewhere close by to wash your clothing.

    4. Driving in major cities is annoying, splitting the cost between only 2 people on a rented car is normally more expensive then taking the train or even airfare, you can buy tickets from London all the way to Wien for around 25pounds with Easyjet as long as you prebook.

    5. Visa issues depend on which passport you are traveling with, different countries have different relationships. You should be fine traveling within the EU countries. People from Most countries can pull out their passport and have it stamped in France, and can travel down to Spain, over to Austria and up to the Netherlands and not need to use it again. Id research this on the countries you’d like to go to tourism’s websites though, just to double check.

    sites like www.wikitravel.org are great for planning and gathering information on things. So I would say spend some time on there and just get a feel for things!

  • 16 Mar 2009 Perth_dude said

    Perth_dude

    Thanks for the info mate, great help.

    Another question I forgot to ask..

    6. What is preferred when traveling throughout Europe, a backpack or suitcase??

  • 17 Mar 2009 said

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    That is a bit more personal, Oddly enough lol I normally travel with a small duffle bag that has wheels and a handle incase I get lazy, and a day bag, which used to be a normal sized backpack, but now is a messenger bag(If you have ever seen the show “Digging for the Truth” its pretty much the same bag the host has)

    Most people find it easier to travel with a backpack, some find it easier to use a small bag with wheels. You wont be looked at differently either way, just be sure to pack light, and if possible keep the bag on the smaller size. Doing this will make it easier on your back on travel days, and easier for you to find places to store your bag.

    So to keep it short haha use whichever you think will be easier for you to use. Only thing you really need to do is keep weight under about 20KG’s as thats the limit for most airlines, Its also cheaper to fly without any checked bags, so if you can keep your travel bag small enough for carry on, you can expect to save around 10-25euro a flight!

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