In one month I will be on my way to Europe! I can hardly believe it. My friend and I have been skypeing non-stop to figure out all the details. We have booked all our hostels and flights, bought our Eurail pass and have a loose itinerary!!
Planning a trip can be daunting, especially a big backpacking Europe trip. However, it can be incredibly exciting and even fun! Here are some tips for planning your European Adventure
Start saving early
This is huge! You can’t backpack Europe if you don’t have any money. I will have been saving for two and a half years by the time I leave. Part of every pay check I’ve gotten has gone into a seperate savings account just for my Europe travels. Money has never left that account unless it is for Europe related expenses.
You can read about my budgeting tips Here
Come up with a list of places that you want to visit
This was the first thing that my friend and I did when we decided to backpack Europe. We met at Starbucks one morning and made a list of potential places that we wanted to visit. Coming up with a final list probably won’t happen in the first sitting. My advice is to start with the list of countries you want to see first. Once you have a list of countries then start looking at the cities you want to see. Here is the itinerary that I will be following in Europe.
Figure out where you are staying, and how you’ll get there
Once you have your itinerary in place, start researching thinking about where you want to stay and how you want to get from city to city!
- One of the most important parts of planning your trip is figuring out how you’re getting from place to place. Start by looking at Google Flights and Eurail. Figuring out weather to fly from city to city or take the train really just depends on where you are going. I’ll be flying from city to city in every country except Italy. We are taking the Eurail in Italy because we will be visiting four cities there. To me this is the best of both worlds. We get to experience train travel but will also save time to flying to most of the cities we are going to.
- Another big part of planning your backpacking trip is figuring out where to stay. This is where Hostel World becomes your best friend! Seriously, they make it so easy to find hostels! They have reviews, list all of the amenities, show pictures, and you can book the hostels right on their site. We found all of our hostels on Hostel World and I could not be more excited to stay at all of them!
Why are you backpacking Europe?
To experience the culture and see the sights of course! Use guidebooks, one of my favorites is Rick Steves’ “Europe Through the Back Door.” Pinterest and travel blogs are also great sources of information. For each city come up with lists of sights you want to see and make note of whether or not you will need advanced reservations. My friend and I have a list of sights we want to see for each city but we’re going to take each day as it comes instead of making a rigid itinerary. We want to allow for spontaneity and don’t want to be stressed by a timeline.
Planning your Europe backpacking trip can be very overwhelming– trust me I know! However, it’s also incredibly exciting and once you start it’s not so bad! Happy planning!