Dear European bees, please help suggest ideas for backpacking/camping honeymoon!

posted 3 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 2
Member
494 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

What time of year are you coming? And for how long? 

Lol and two fingers isn’t hugely offensive if given with a smile 😀 x

Post # 3
Member
889 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Cynderbug:  I’m not a fan of camping, so can’t share much there, but wanted to add Tia few other points:

 

1) please keep in mind that gas is insanely expensive here vs the US. Currently in Germany it’s close to 1.60€/liter, whatever that would be in $ and gallons. In many other European countries I’ve travelled, it tended to be even more expensive than here. 

In Germany you can travel by bus for really really cheap prices as regulations have changed and there have come a lot of companies onto the market. The buses take you for as little as 9€ through Germany. But if course buses also take the longest. 

Whats really popular here in Germany as well is car sharing. Not sure whether the sites are in English, but if you want to google it (if you even intend coming here), the word is “mitfahrgelegenheit”. Young people do it all the time, I’ve often taken people with me and have often gone as a passenger. 

There is a train program called interrail. It allows you to travel cheaply all over Europe. However I just quickly scanned the page and it said it was for European residents only. Try to find out whether there’s an interrail for non-European foreigners as this would be fantastic. You could take the night trains and save on hostels and travel time. 

If you book in advance, you can also get good rates (one-way within Germany ~40€). However with these you have to take the train you booked, so you’re a bit stucked if you want to change your travel plans. 

planes are not too expensive, but if you’re travelling a lot I think it would add up too quickly. The “better” airlines offer round trips within Europe for about 100€ (can of course get much higher depending on availability). The low cost carriers will start as low as 29€, bit you have to pay for additional stuff like if you didn’t print your boarding pass, for every checked luggage (and they’re very strict with the hand luggage), etc. I don’t like travelling with them and personally think it’s worth the extra bucks to fly Lufthansa, airberlin, British airways, air FrancE, klm …

3) I wouldn’t worry too much about this. Once you speak to people, you’ll be known as a tourist anyway 😉 and while yes there are a few signs that mean different things in different countries – would you be walking around showing pepole the victory sign? (Which would not be offensive in Germany ;)) I would just be careful if youre plabbing on going to Islamic countries like turkey or parts of Eastern Europe – be sure to bring sth to cover your hair when visiting the musques. Probably the same is true for very catholic countries and visiting churches there (covering legs / cleavage). 

4) wireless access is not as common here as in the us where your can do Starbucks hopping to get internet access 😉

in the bigger cities you’ll find enough hot spots, but again, not as often as in the us. In smaller areas, especially in the touristy ones, a lot of restaurants will offer wireless to their customers. Many will have signs on their windows. 

If you want to be truly flexible and not rely in having to find a location offering wireless, you could think about buying a local SIM card. Don’t know how Long you’re planning to stay in each country for though and how much the prices differ. In germany, you can get really cheap rates. my option costs 8€ per month, giving me an internet data flat rate and 300 units for text messages or minutes. It’s from aldI 😉 not sure about how this compares to options in other countries. 

 

HOpe this was a bit helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions. 

Post # 4
Member
4072 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

One of my American expat friends recently did a comparison between gas prices here in the UK and what she would be paying in her native Texas. Usually it would be around $40 to fill up her little car. But in the UK, she’s paying about $80 to fill up. So I definitely advise against renting a car! Public transport is the way to go.

Depending on where you go, different transport options may be better. The Eurostar is awesome and connects to so many places. However, I have found that in some cases flying is cheaper. For example, from where we are in England, it was cheaper to fly to Paris than to go into London and catch the train. I’d be open to both flying and going by train. And then within every country/city, the transport will differ. Some will have better bus lines and others a good metro.

The V, or the peace sign, is not offensive here if it’s done in the palm out manner (like a traditional peace sign). When you turn it around and the back of the hand is facing out, then it’s offensive. That’s the only quirk I know of! I’m sure there are more in other countries. And like a PP said, if you’re going to a very conservative country, make sure to have appropriate clothing. I also do think the best way to be a good tourist is to know a little of the native language. Even if it’s just the basics, I think they appreciate it.

As far as internet goes, there is always Starbucks! There are also more internet cafes in Europe for public access than in the US. We’ve used them a couple times. Sometimes you can get a few minutes free, then pay. It’s reasonable though if you’re not going to need a ton and if the place you’re staying at doesn’t have internet.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  bowsergirl.
Post # 5
Member
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

Ridiculously high gas prices— agreed!! 

Here in the Czech Republic you can take a train or bus anywhere you want to go anyway!

Internet access is fairly wide-spread these days. Most restaurants or cafes offer it for free; you just have to ask for the passcode.

I’m not really familiar with hostels these days. 🙁 I don’t know HOW cheap you want to go, but I can suggest airbnb– at least it’s cheaper than hotels!

Post # 6
Member
1965 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

lots of coffee shops or bars/restaurants almost always offer free wifi to customers here in the UK so there are plenty of places to use internet. Look for macdonals, costa, starbucks, even suparmarket cafes offer free wifi as do most pubs if you ask behind the bar. 

I would avoid car rentals are petrol and diesel are expensive here. I would opt for the bus. The train prices have gone up too so get a rail card if planning to use the rail systems. 

Its really not that easy to offend us british but dont get offended by our sarcasm!! The middle finger is far more offensive than the V sign fyi!!

make use of tourist information centres, there will point you in the right direction for safe places to stay. You cant go far wrong in places like cornwall those. More of an issue is the heavy populated towns. 

Post # 7
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’d strongly advise getting an InterRail pass. It’s the cheapest and best way to travel round Europe.

There are backpacking hostels everywhere although I’d also recommend the YHA if you are in the UK but be aware that they fill up quickly and early booking is essential. The quality and safeness of hostels varies widely but if you join Hostelling International (my son did this when on his Great Big Pacific Highway Cycle Tour) you get access to their list of safe hostels throughout Europe and the US. 

https://www.hihostels.com/info/membership

As for cultural gestures and the like, don’t really give it a second thought. If you are generally a polite and courteous person it is very unlikely you will commit an unknown and terrible faux pas! People will recognise you as a tourist anyway. I spend quite a lot of time in Italy where various interesting hand gestures say more than a thousand words could and to be honest, I’ve never found myself anywhere close to causing massive offence. You need to know the language and customs extremely well to fall foul of them! Giving ‘V’ signs are not exactly an everyday means of communication anyway! 

Wifi access is readily available throughout Europe. Most hostels will offer it and so will most cafes and restaurants as well as many other places. In the UK you can use the libraries too. What you need to be extremely careful to do is turn off data roaming on your cellphone so that you don’t get a horrendous bill for using 3G rather than wifi.

Have fun. Sounds like a great trip!

Post # 8
Member
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Where in Europe are you going? Generally Southern and Eastern Europe are more affordable than Western and Northern Europe.

For getting around I’d suggest an Eurail pass (InterRail is only for European citizens). Check out also low-cost airlines like Ryanair, Norwegian, or Easyjet (there are many more that I am not just aware of). Renting a car and paying for gas can be really expensive, like previous posters have said.

Before you book a hostel, check out its reviews online. I think hostels are generally more affordable than campsites, since they tend to be much more centrally located, so you don’t have to spend any money on local transportation.

Lonely Planet’s Europe on a Shoestring is a great guide to budget travel in Europe (or at least it was 10 years ago, lol).

Post # 10
Member
494 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Sorry it’s been a few days but if it’s August beware of France. It’s their holiday month and from our experience a lot of the cou try can be closed (not the major cities obviously lol) because everyone seems to go on holiday together 😀 generally though they’re really good months! August may be a bit hot in the Mediterranean countries but September won’t be 🙂 and even the UK should be nice! 😀

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