Post by love2climb92 on Dec 25, 2007 16:17:41 GMT -5
hey im alli and im 16 years old..me and my best friend are wanting to go backpacking in 2010 in the summer....we both have already saved up $1,000. We rock climb on a team and our coaches completely support us, and so do her parents, but my whole family thinks that we should wait until after we graduate college....but im worried by then we wont want to do it anymore and be too focused on our new careers...should we wait until after college? or should we do it as we planned, right after we graduate high school? thanks.
alli, Welcome to the Boards! It's great that you're getting such an early start on planning a Backpacking trip to Europe, as that not only provides lots of time to work out the details but also to get the money together.
Without knowing more about your personal situation, it's not easy to answer the question on whether you should take the trip in 2010 or wait until after you graduate college? Based on my own experience in life, I found that once I started schooling and a career, it was just about impossible to get enough time for a backpacking trip. IMHO I'd suggest doing this before you start college as it might be many years before you get the opportunity again!
You haven't indicated how long you plan on travelling? Also, if at all possible I'd suggest moving your schedule and travelling during either the spring or fall shoulder season, as Europe is often hot and crowded in the summer!
Once you've got a better idea on which countries and cities you want to visit, I'm sure the group here will have lots of great advice! It would help to also know what sort of sights you're most interested in seeing in Europe?
You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.
Post by love2climb92 on Dec 26, 2007 10:49:26 GMT -5
Thank you both very much for replying you've been a great help! Sadly, I don't think we can move our trip to the spring or fall because we will be in school to finish in the spring and in the fall we will be in college... we were planning on going for a month and a half to Greece, Italy, Austria, Spain, France and Germany.. around a week or so in each country...is that too many countries in that amount of time? and I know its hard to estimate, but how much do you think it will cost? Some of the main cities we want to go to are Vienna, Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Tuscany, Athens, the Cyclades Islands, and Berlin. We really want to see the Coliseum, the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa in Paris, and the Acropolis are our main sights....are there and cities or sights that we should see that I haven't listed?
an alternative, depending your planned field of study, is a "Junior Year Abroad" thing. that's what i did.
in these days of low cost flights, you could likely take weekend trips all over Europe. this is even more true if the place where you study is a major air center: London, Dublin, Madrid, Paris, etc.
another option is to take a year as an exchange student at a European high school. <e.g., in America, high school ends after 12th grade. in Germany, Gymnasium - the academic high school, has 13 classes>
Post by WillTravel on Dec 26, 2007 15:23:40 GMT -5
I think this is a situation where you don't have to decide now, but you can prepare either way. Keep working and saving as best you can (although of course study is most important of all). Then around January 2010, you will have an idea of how your budget looks and whether a summer trip is a wise idea. Maybe it wouldn't have to be a full summer, but even two or three weeks would be great, and then you'd still be able to have a summer job.
around a week or so in each country...is that too many countries in that amount of time?
IMHO trying to see six countries in as many weeks is going to be a bit difficult, especially as you'll be travelling in peak tourist season. To provide an example, I spent two months in Europe last fall and only visited four countries. There's not much leeway in that schedule for travel times, especially to & from Greece. One could easily spend a week in each of the major cities (Paris, Rome), which doesn't leave much time for anything else. Given the travel times involved and perhaps budget considerations, I'd suggest leaving Greece and the Cyclades Islands for a future trip.
In any case, it's going to be very important to plan carefully and efficiently, in order to maximize both time and money. Using "open jaw" flights would be a really good idea, even if they do cost a bit more.
Could you elaborate on what you want to see in Tuscany? That's a region, rather than a city and there are lots of places in that area that you might visit.
are there and cities or sights that we should see that I haven't listed?
Yes, most certainly! The list is almost endless. It would help to know what your interests are, and what you most want to see? For example, architecture, art galleries, Museums, great scenery, historic sites or whatever? Most sites are going to be very busy, so minimizing queue times is important. For example, a Paris Museum Pass would be a really good idea for the Louvre (to see the Mona Lisa, which is located in the Denon wing). Also, when visiting the Colosseum in Rome there are some tips to avoid queues. A few of the favourite destinations of travellers here are the Cinque Terre in Italy and the small village of Gimmelwald in Switzerland.
how much do you think it will cost?
The usual "benchmark" is to allow at least US$75-100 per day for food, lodgings and incidentals. This doesn't include air fare or rail pass costs. Note that you can purchase Eurail Passes from the home page of this site, which helps to support our efforts here. Regarding Eurail passes there are a few points that you should be aware of when using these (ie: must be validated before first use). When your trip gets closer, be sure to ask for the details (these will also be supplied with the Pass).
As you're in the planning stages of your trip, I would highly recommend reading the Rick Steves book Europe Through The Back Door, as it will provide a lot of information to not only help putting your Itinerary together, but also has LOTS of info on Rail Skills, money issues, languages, etc. You should be able to find a copy of the 2008 version at your local Library or book store.
Post by danigosick on Mar 30, 2008 13:58:42 GMT -5
I agree with everyone else here that its really a personal experiance. But I will share my experiance.
I have always wanted to go to Europe. And I am graduating college in a month and after summer I will be making my big trip. I am actually really glad that I did things this way. I think I woud have been to young to go then... and i mean everyone is different... but i am much more equiped to do something like that right now. Also being in college I have learnt alot about myself and the things i want to see there. Honestly i bet 80% of my trip has been influenced by things i learnt in school. There are places that i now want to see that i never even could have imagined exised or that i would care. Although Im sure a trip to Europe at any time would be great... I'm glad I waited!
love2climb92... thats awesome! i was about your age when me and my two friends decided to do the same thing, were graduating in a few months and were all taking off a few months later, were leaving for europe in september! ill only be 17 years old but my friends will be 18 i dont have a lot of advice for you considering i havent gone yet, but all i can say is keep saving, and that i completley agree that once you go into school and get a job it will be so much harder to travel there's not enough young travelers like us!
Post by awesomesocks on Feb 7, 2009 23:44:32 GMT -5
That is so awesome, my friend and I are also going backpacking trough Europe in 2010. Both our moms want us to do collage first We're planning on going right after highschool too so I support you there! ;D
Post by amusedcoconut on Jun 21, 2009 18:52:29 GMT -5
I don't think that sounds crazy at all, I'm Irish (I realise that it's not as far away from home etc but it's still going out on your own) and here it's really really popular to go inter railing once you graduate or in a summer during college. 17 would be on the younger side but if you're mature then I can think of plenty of 20 year olds going who ... I wouldn't put in that category
I'm going this summer after first year college because plans fell through last year - can't wait!
I agree with some of the things other users have said, like considering a gap year or then doing a study abroad year in college. I did this in college too, and it's a great way to get to travel more because if you choose to study in europe then you have easy access to other european countries. As for being worried that after college you will all be preoccupied with career plans... I don't think that will neccessarily be true. I actually think it's one of the better times to travel because once you do get a real job, then you won't ever have such liberty or such flexible vacations like you do when you're a student or just out of college!