Backpacking Through Europe 5 Things to Know Before You Go
Backpacking across Europe is a rite of passage for many travelers. People have been doing it for decades, long before the advent of the Internet and Instagram. If you're considering this kind of adventure, here are a few things to know.
“Backpacking” usually means traveling around with an actual backpack, not a rolling suitcase or other type of luggage. This means you'll be carrying everything you have on your back – onto trains, up and down stairs, and as you roam around trying to find your accommodations. So you don't want to be bogged down with too much stuff. Even if you're planning to travel for a couple of months, remember that you can do laundry along the way or even buy new clothing as you go. Definitely don't feel like you have to pack a different outfit for every day of your trip. Your back will thank you later!
Have an itinerary, even a rough one
If you plan to travel around Europe for a few weeks or even months, having a basic itinerary before you go is always a good idea. This is especially important if you'll be traveling in high season (e.g. European summer) or around popular festivals – since accommodations can book up fast. Knowing where you want to go and what you’d like to see will also help you budget your trip.
Weigh your transport options
Getting around Europe is fairly easy – from planes to trains to buses. Some options (like buses or slow trains) can be inexpensive, but take a long time, while other options (like planes) cost a little more but get you from Point A to Point B much faster. Use sites like Rome2Rio or GoEuro to compare various transport options, and look for flight deals on budget airlines like EasyJet, RyanAir, or Jet2.
Hostels are your friends
The typical backpacker in Europe will be staying in hostels – but don't let the word scare you off. While “hostel” might conjure up images of a dirty dorm room shared with 20 other people, that's not today’s reality. Now there are plenty of funky, modern hostels to choose from, with small dorm rooms (some even gender-specific), and private rooms you can upgrade to. Staying in hostels is a great way to meet other backpackers on the road.
It can be tough to budget for a backpacking trip through Europe. If you know you'll be running short on cash, consider heading east. Central and Eastern Europe – with countries like Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and most of the Balkans – are much more affordable than popular countries in Western Europe. If you need to save a few bucks, head to cities like Budapest, Prague, and Warsaw instead of Paris, London, and Rome.
Most important of all, HAVE FUN. And try to see the sights with your own eyes, not just through your smartphone screen.
Do you have any additional tips for backpacking around Europe? Let us know!
*All content provided in this blog is supplied by Amanda Williams and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.