Backpacking Trip to Europe
Backpacking may be defined as the act of travelling – not necessarily on foot – to new regions of the globe with all of your belongings and staying in relatively inexpensive lodgings, using local transportation, and exploring local life. It was once seen as a fringe sort of travel conducted solely for survival, but it has now become a mainstream form of tourism. While backpacker tourism is typically associated with young people during gap years, it is also popular among older persons taking a work break or retiring. Once popular amongst young bachelors now it’s a trend even for couples and even small families to go on backpack tour.
Tourist Visa Service for Europe Trip
What does exactly a backpack tour to Europe mean ? for some it’s the best of nightlife combined with best continental food and mouth watering cuisines. For others its experiencing rich medieval architecture and ancient cultures. Some are digitally possessed freaks who travel to enrich their blogs, posts on FBs and Insta accounts. And finally lets not forget those nomadic souls who just cannot rest in peace and have to make a hell of a trip every year to cover every nook and corner of a country or a continent. Whatever your purpose, this blog will take you thru the nitty-gritties of backpack tour to Europe and is especially meant for Indian travellers.
Most of the greatest travel locations in the world may be found in Europe. The richness of European culture is a wonderful illustration of how human abilities are not limited by language or geography. Europe is more than simply another travel destination; it is a fascination that no traveller can resist. Europe backpacking trip allows Indian travellers to travel and see a lot of the globe on a tight budget. You may need to drop your typical living standards a little by eating street cuisine and sharing a dorm and toilet with other people.
Many backpackers find it fascinating to go to European nations, but for many, the process of planning the entire trip may be rather scary, especially for first-time visitors. A successful international vacation requires careful organization, from the itinerary and accommodations to the visas and travel arrangements. Planning a budget-friendly trip to one of the apparently pricey tourist sites might be a little difficult. So let’s our guide begin to backpacking trip to Europe from India and understand the tourist visa service for europe.
Before we discuss finer points of planning your trip lets discuss ballpark cost for a backpack Europe tour especially for Indian Travellers. As per latest estimates and experiences of travellers a 15-20 days backpack tour (normally it’s a minimum duration trip) costs somewhere @ 70 – 80 K INR per person. For a 30 – 40 days tour it can go up to 1.0 – 1.2 Lacs INR. and so on. Now here its assumed that a backpacker will compromise on his / her comfort and ready to stay on Hostels and share toilets and not to visit costly pubs and restaurants. Covering more countryside, meeting more people, tasting local cuisine and experiencing foreign culture first-hand, these are the most important objectives of a backpacker.
How to Plan Your Trip
So let’s begin with some important points while planning your trip which are as below:
- How many days-
- Which countries to travel in Europe-
- Where to land in Europe-
- How to deal with Visa formalities (for Indians)-
- How to find cheap accommodation in Europe-
- How to travel within Europe(Cheap bus and rails)-
- What to Pack and not to-
- Insurance(Required/Not required)–
- Avoid travel scams-
Europe, a continent of more than 40 countries, is every traveler’s dream, all equally stunning, magnificent, and mind-blowing. People plan backpacking trips to Europe for years and save every penny they have for it. But when the time comes, most of them get confused about where to start and whom to ask.
So, for all those travel enthusiasts, here is a guide on how to plan a backpacking tour to Europe:
How many days
Firstly, determine the days’ you have in hand to travel, including taking off from your base country and coming back.
You can plan a Europe backpacking trip from 15 days to 3 months long. While 15 days is very short and you can only cover only a few places, a 3-month long trip gives you a great insight into the continent.
Also number of days will depend very much on the budget for the trip and it makes sense to cover some countries properly and maybe come back next year to visit the remaining ones.
Which countries to travel to in Europe?
Europe is full of amazing countries; however, traveling to each country in one go is impossible for many due to many issues.
So here is the list of top countries in Europe you need to visit:
- United Kingdom
- Czech Republic
Also, here is a list of the best countries in Europe to travel in a budget:
Any Europe trip normally covers Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy and UK (although not a part of EU).
Travellers who intend to make a dedicated tour to Eastern countries can opt for Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Hungary etc. along with some neighbouring countries.
Alternatively a dedicated tour covering 2-3 countries only like option 1- Portugal and Spain, option 2 – France, Germany and Italy, Option 3 – UK and Ireland, Option 4 – Hungary, Poland and Romania and there can be many more. Some useful links on the above subject can be as below:
Where to land in Europe?
It depends on the countries you have selected to visit. Make sure that you prepare the itinerary and map out your route. All countries have major international airports that connect you well with the world, including India. Most important point is that the country you select as port of entry in Europe is mentioned in your visa.
If you change port of entry to some different country after you get the visa it will be difficult convincing the emigration officer about it and therefore stick to same plan. Once in Europe you have access by land and flights to all 26 countries (except UK which needs separate visa) and can travel and stay as you like.
How to deal with Visa formalities – For Indians
When you think about backpack travelling to Europe, One of the most worried process is Visa Formalities.
Because as a backpacker you try to book all the travel bookings in advance and save money. So the Visa plays a very important role in it as your entire tour is dependent on this one thing. Most of you may think that applying visa for Europe is a very hectic process to do for some who hasn’t done this before, especially the first timers. To get the Europe visa is very easy once you finalize your travel plan and travelling countries.
Since too much information is already available on Internet about the Schengen visa one may get confused as to which is authentic information and which is not; furthermore, sometimes there are cases where visa got rejected and the reapplication took time and then entire trip was postponed.
But what if we told you getting a Visa for Europe is very easy and you need to follow some simple points and avoid some common mistakes which mostly travelers make while applying for their visas.
First point, to get the right information about your visa apply and then take steps towards visa processing, One of the most common mistake done by the applicant
while applying there visa they is they are unaware about the basic information about the documentation and visa formalities.
Second point; is to present you applying as per your documentation not as per your desire. One of the most common reason for rejecting Visa application is purpose of visit to Europe is not matching with your submitted application. Also in lot of cases
travelers submit their application with incomplete documents which make the negative impact on you Visa decision.
You just need to follow some basic points while doing any visa formalities in India and you will get the Europe visa for your travel and complete your wishlist.
But if you don’t want to get into it and want some professional for this work and let them due there work then you can fill the below form and our experienced
consultants will take care of all online and offline documentation for you.
Just let us to reach you and make your backpack travel hassle-free!
How to find cheap accommodation in Europe?
The best option is to crash in with a friend if you have one in Europe. Next best option is a Hostel (there is good network of hostels across EU) or Airbnb / Booking.com / Goibibo and many others. You can find several options while traveling through Europe, from budget hotels to hostels, depending on whether you are traveling alone, with a partner, or with friends.
Staying in a hostel will cost around 20 to 25 euros, including breakfast, and 25 to 70 euros in budget hotels.
If you are keen to enjoy the local cultural aspects of Europe, then try Couchsurfing or even Airbnb. It saves you money and also gives you a whole new experience.
Staying with local hosts will not only save money but the local host can share with you some valuable tips on places to see and visit, what & where to eat, unexplored places which you can visit, some local events festivals and rituals that you can experience first-hand.
Money saving Tips for fooding during your Europe backpack tour:
- Eat street food at local shops or cafes which offer variety of sandwiches, pizzas, Wok and breads. You can grab and go local cuisine at much cheaper prices that what you would spend at classy restaurant.
- Carry water bottle : For Indians the tap water in Europe is fit for drinking. There is no need to buy expensive water anywhere during your trip. You just need to carry your water bottle and get it refilled wherever you can.
- Don’t buy booze in Restaurant; always buy beers or other drinks at local supermarkets where its cheap. Also buying drinks at Hostel bars makes sense as prices are pretty low.
How to travel within Europe?
Public Transport & Budget Flight
Traveling in Europe is much easier with public transport. Some countries and cities have started free public transport. These are,
- Tallinn, Estonia
- Hasselt, Belgium
- Dunkirk, France
- Some parts of the Danish islands.
However, for most of European countries the Road and Bus network is fairly good. The tickets start as low as 5 Euro for short distances. Although you may need to compromise on the comfort during travel but it will save a lot of money if you look at other options like flight or a taxi ride. Some of Economy Bus services are Flexibus, Eurolines, Busabout etc.
Eurorail is also very good option for which you can purchase passes online during your travel or even beforehand when you are planning it. Flexipass system lets you buy cheap passes for say 5 days which you can use within next 15 days or one month at will.,
Country-specific places of tourist attractions in Europe
Being the land of more than 40 countries, covering everything in one go may be difficult. Therefore, here are some country-wise places you must visit and iconic itineraries to protect the best locations.
- Spain: Barcelona –>Valencia –> Granada –> Málaga –> Ronda –> Sevilla –> Córdoba –> Madrid –> Pamplona
- France: Paris –> the Provence region in the south or Strasbourg –> Colmar –>
- Luxembourg: Luxembourg city
- Belgium: Brussels –> Ghent –> Brugge –> Antwerp –> Dinant
- Netherlands: Amsterdam
- Denmark: Aarhus –> Copenhagen –> hamlets like Hillerod, Dragor
- Germany: Berlin or Dresden –> Cologne –> Frankfurt –> Munich
- Czech Republic: Prague –> Český Krumlov
- Austria: Salzburg –> Vienna
- Georgia: Kutaisi –> Mestia / Svaneti –> Tbilisi –> Kazbegi
- Albania: Tirana –> Shkoder
- Latvia: Riga
- Hungary: Budapest –> Lake Balaton –> Eger –> Szentendre
- Romania: Transylvania –> Bucharest
- Croatia: Dubrovnik –> Split –> Zagreb
- Bulgaria: Sofia –> Nessebar –> Plovdiv
- Italy: Milan –> Florence –> Venice –> Rome
- Portugal: Lisbon –> Porto–> Sintra–> Algarve
While traveling through Europe, it’s better to divide places into four parts according to geographical locations such as Central & Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Southern Europe, and Northern Europe. It will help you to sort out the route and save time and money. Take the help of Google Maps to plan your route according to the locations mentioned above.
Packing Tips - What to Pack & Not to
What to pack and how:
- Try to accommodate all of your baggage in 22Lb (10Kg) limit. This will help you to travel comfortably by Rail, Bus and Economy budget flights which charge heavily for excess baggage.
- Take a few shirts / tops and trousers of dark shades which go match with each other.
- For cold weather carry layered clothing instead of heavy ones. So T-shirt + Shirt + Jacket is better than one big overcoat. This saves your space, reduces weight and another advantage is that you can reduce / increase the layers of clothing as weather changes.
- Socks and Shoes – You can carry any brand of shoes and socks which you can comfortably wear all day during your travel, walks, bus rides and treks. One pair of shoes and 4-5 pairs of socks preferably wollen or synthetic which are well suited for cold weather.
- Digital goods: Mobile charger, Extra mobile handset (just in case you lose yours), charging powerpack, headphones/buds, Eelctrical adapter (suitable for EU),
- Personal medications if any along with prescription from medical practitioner + a small first aid kit comprising of bandage, cotton, painkillers, any common antibiotic, disinfectant etc.
- Misc necessities like Towel, Small flashlight, padlock, Notebook, ear-plugs, eye-mask, collapsing umbrella, zip-lock bags etc. Better to segregate the things and pack in packing cubes which will help in unpacking and using them.
Do not carry following items :
- Too many toiletries, gels, soaps, creams and lotions, scissors, knives. Can cause unnecessary stops and baggage checks at the security checks, will increase your space requirement along with weight while adding very less value to your travel.
- Travel guide books and directories which can be bulky, increase weight.
- Fancy clothing which you may wear for special occasions only. No need to carry lot of weight for sake of one evening.
Travel Scams in Europe
A few things which a seasoned traveler need not be told but first timers should keep away from :
Luxury goods at Bargain price: No they are not at bargain price and if you are caught while purchasing them it’s a heavy fine (@8000 Euro). So please stay away from such offers.
Spiked Drink: This is common method of duping strangers at tourist hotspots across Europe. So stay away if someone offers you a free drink.
Fake Police: If you are approached by a Police officer demanding to see your documents you should always demand to be taken to Police Station. Never allow anyone to examine your wallet and belongings at any public place. Sometimes con artists pose as police in order to dupe tourists of their wallets and purses.
Taxi Overcharging: Never hail a cab which doesn’t have running meter for whatever reasons. If you are new to a place chances are you will pay very dearly for a trip that shouldn’t cost much.
Mobile lost for a Snap: If you are approached by someone who offers to take your snap with your mobile, don’t take that offer very easily unless you are acquainted with the person well enough to be sure that he wont run away with your mobile.
These instances have happened to tourists even in places like Madrid, Paris and Hamburg.