Europe: The One That I Started Planning 6 Months Ahead

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!

Getting Started

  • 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
  • TIPS
    • 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

Planning Routes

Flights

  • 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.

Busses/Trains

  • 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

Other Tips

  • 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.

England

Happy planning!

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