Backpacking Europe - Guide
So you want to backpack Europe? Let me start off by giving you a good checklist. Remember if you are truly backpacking then you will have between 1 and 3 bags wrapped around your body. Eventually even a low weight on your back will feel like 100 lbs. So keep this in mind when packing!
Lightweight Mummy bag.
A good pair of shoes preferably hiking boots that you have broke in and a pair of comfortable sandals.
3 to 4 pairs of socks.
Flashlight, batteries, and a battery charger.
2 pairs of shorts and 2 pairs of jeans.
2 to 3 short sleeve shirts and 1 Long sleeve shirt.
Metal water bottle than you can attach if possible.
Lightweight metal utensils.
Small pillow or a pillow case that you can stuff clothes into.
Head wear: I preferred my bandana.
Gold Bond medicated powder.
Roll of toilet paper.
Lightweight snacks: beef jerky etc...
A good book.
A money belt that you can wear under your pants.
What to do before you leave:
1. Get pictures for your passport, make sure you get a few additional pictures.
2. Get a passport.
3. Get an International driver's license if you plan on doing any driving.
4. Check out different hostels before you leave. If you are under 25 you can get some great deals on youth hostels. Hotels in Europe can eat up a lot of your money FAST!!! so this is an important one. As an adult over 25 you can get into adult hostels, which is cheaper than hotels but usually more than youth hostels. Another note: There are two different types of hostels,official and independent. It is usually cheaper to go with an independent hostel. Some independent hostels can be found by going to www.hostels.com, www.hostelseurope.com, and www.hostelz.com
5. Look for airfare. The farther out you look for airfare the cheaper it is going to be. Once in Europe you can go to sites like http://www.easyjet.com and get some great deals!
6. If you do not have a debit card then get one. You will get the best exchange rates by having one.
7. Depending on where you are going in Europe. Double check to see if any vaccinations are required. If you are going to Western Europe then you probably won't need any.
8. Learn a few basic phrases in other languages or bring a book with you.
9. Take a short road trip somewhere and test your backpack and shoes.
10. Make copies of all of your important travel documents.
11. Get an account for Snapfish.com or something similar. This way you can go to a internet cafe and upload your pictures in Europe so you don't lose them and/or run out of memory on your camera.
12. You might want to look into getting a museum pass.
Traveling by train is one of the easiest ways to travel through Europe. You must purchase your Eurail pass before you arrive in Europe!!! You can purchase Eurostar tickets and point-to-point tickets in advance or while Europe.
Traveling by taxi can be useful in some situations. Just remember to get a price to where you are going before you leave. Some taxi drivers stick it to you any chance they get. Also, be aware before you get into the cab. Look around to make sure it looks legitimate. Most, countries in Europe should be safe when it comes to their taxi's. But better to be cautious.
Traveling by Airplane can be good or bad depending which carrier you are flying. I would go with Easyjet. They usually have the cheapest prices.
And remember to have fun
Wherever you go just make sure you have a good time. And make sure to talk to the locals. Through them you can make friends, learn a little of the language, find great food joints, experience some of the local culture, etc... It will be an experience that you will never forget.