I’m going to Europe in May 2016 for 10 weeks! I already have a detailed plan of what days I am going to each city/country.
Here are some websites that I’ve been using to plan my trip. I will update this over the next 5 months. Please feel free to comment with any tips or questions!
- My trip: London, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Greece…. plus or minus a few 😛
- Tours from Canada: Contiki Tours is useful to get an idea of a good route
- Use this to get started & then plan the actual trip yourself
Finding Places to Stay
- Hostel World: Sometimes cheaper than Airbnb, sometimes not
- Couchsurfing: Free! Search the city & contact the people who are Accepting Guests.
- Airbnb: Basically renting a room. More privacy than hostels. Hosts may/may not be there.
- Sometimes, hosts rent multiple rooms to different travelers.
- If you’re new… USE MY REFERRAL TO GET DISCOUNT!!! airbnb.ca/c/npark44?s=8
- Read through the host’s reviews before booking a room
- Make sure the location is convenient and not sketchy
- Confirm the currency in which the website is displaying the cost
- Air Canada: I just use it for long flights
- GoEuro: Traveling between cities or countries
- Gives you the cheapest options for flights (RyanAir)
- Mostly useless for bus/train routes, but sometimes useful!
- CLEAR YOUR COOKIES BEFORE/AFTER EVERY SEARCH if you want to save money.
- Skyscanner: Other cheap flights. Sometimes doesn’t show the cheap options on GoEuro.
- Eurail Pass: you can only buy this FROM Canada. They need to ship you the ticket & you need to validate it with an officer in Europe within 6 months of purchase.
- You can check timetables (frequency & duration of trains) here
- Some trains for Portugal/Spain are missing for summer schedule but are included in the Eurail Pass.
- g. use this site to check for Spain. You’ll have to do your own research for other countries with missing trains (but the timetable site is good for most countries!)
- Eurail Pass 2: this is another site that sells them. I haven’t yet looked into the difference.
- Rome2Rio: AWESOME SITE that tells you all the ways to get to places with ticket price ranges
- Good for places that the Eurail Pass might not cover
- Good to get an idea of whether to go with bus or train, considering time & cost
- BlablaCar: not sure how useful/populat this is yet, but it’s like carpooling
- Check the weather: this site gives you some weather and other information about cities
- Consider citywide passes: they give you discounts/free entry into many places! For example, the Paris Pass.
- Blogs: Nomadic Matt is a good blog to read to specific hostels he stayed in and whatnot.
- In my opinion, he has too many posts and needs to be more concise…
- But here’s a good place to start, especially considering cost-efficiency
- Since this isn’t actually part of Europe…
- BritRail: train pass for going around England (if you’re visiting places outside London)
- Transport for London: self-explanatory
- Map for coverage https://tfl.gov.uk/maps
- LondonPass: discounts/free entry into many places