Well the days are passing quickly and it is officially time to start major preparations! First and foremost, finalizing the itinerary is a MUST for any budgeting.
/ / Italy
Fly into Rome
(& spend a few days!)
/ / France
Other day trip towns near Paris
While Studying Abroad
/ / Germany
/ / Austria
/ / Switzerland
/ / Denmark
/ / Tips on picking a realistic backpacking itinerary
This was the absolute hardest part in planning for me! Like you saw in the post here, my travel buddy Erica and I dreamed really big. Once we we started looking into the dollar signs associated with those dreams… we were forced to reevaluate. Here is how we picked what was do-able!
1. don’t be afriaid to dream a little bigger darling… But then don’t be afraid to wake up and get real.
In the early planning stages, we literally looked at a google map of Europe and made a list of EVERY place we wanted to go. The was inspired by my extensive wanderlust board on Pinterest and what every friend and family member who had every traveled told us we needed to do. After we made that list, we realized that we had two weeks to fit in roughly every country in Western Europe. (I’m not exaggerating… this plan went from London to Spain, around Italy, France, Denmark and then ended with Erica dropping me off in Germany)
So as you can imagine, we showed our parents this extensive list and they openly laughed and asked where the money and time to do this travelling will come from. Uhh… ok take fine mom and dad. Take two: We narrowed down our absolute MUSTS. Compared lists, and then chose only the places that overlapped on both of our lists. Those lucky cities are the ones listed above!
2. do your research
Fun fact: even when all your friends say that getting from country to country is just like going on a quick trip to another state… thats not true. Look at a map with a legend so you arent that American who thinks you can spend ONE day in London, two days in Spain, and then three days in Rome… cough, cough.. that wasnt my original plan…
3. talk to your friends and family
Ok, you definitely want to get everyone-you-know’s input on what to do, but like I said earlier dont feel like you actually have to do it all. This took Erica and I a while to grasp (because we did and still do want to do it all) so I am just telling you now.
4. do it while you’re a student!
There are SO many discounts and deals available exclusively for students in different cities. From hostel discounts and museum passes to discounts on food, it only makes sense to travel while you can take advantage of that! I will be writing a post exclusively on those discounts that I have come across in the coming weeks :) Stay tuned!
5. know your limits
How much sleep do you need a night? are you a princess who cant sleep with others in the room? how far can you walk in a day? how much do you need to eat/drink?
6. pick a REALISTIC budget early
Erica and I did this by scouring travel blogs pretty thoroughly. We set our budget at $1200 for the two-ish weeks with everything included. Another post on the budget will be coming soon!
7. start the process early!
If you start the big dreaming process of picking your cities early, you have plenty of time to narrow things down as well as get the best deals on hotels/hostels, plane tickets and sometimes attractions tickets as well.
Do you have any tips or experience with picking your trip itinerary? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!
For more of my backpacking adventure tips and stories, check out the link in my sidebar!