Plenty of students and young professionals are opting to go globetrotting with a backpack in tow during a gap year or an extended holiday.
Many choose to explore the depths of Australia, South America or the Far East - but you don't have to jet halfway round the world to experience the backpacking experience of a lifetime. There are plenty of fantastic cities just waiting to be explored around Europe.
Depending on what you want to do, backpacking through Europe can be far cheaper than trekking through other continents. For starters, there's no need to book expensive 12-hour flights to get to your destination. Those living in Europe can start their journey by booking a train to the adjacent country. In fact, there are plenty of train services which can take you across Western Europe at extremely reasonable prices.
Accommodation is generally more expensive in the big capital cities of Europe than it would be in poorer countries on the other side of the world, but there are plenty cheap places to stay for those who are willing to have a snoop around online. Backpackers could save tons of money searching online for discount Paris hotels in advance rather than looking for somewhere to stay after they reach the French capital.
Restaurants and entertainment is generally more expensive as well, but there are plenty of cheap supermarkets and landmarks which can be enjoyed for free! It's generally recommended to save at least 30 euros per day you want to travel.
As mentioned previously, it really is worth planning where you want to visit and when. As great as it is being spontaneous, travellers can save plenty of money and make sure they don't run out, by having a basic idea of what cities they want to see.
Why not make a list of the cities you absolutely must visit and another list of those which it would be nice to see as well and then plan a route.
Who to Go With?
Some backpackers arrange to travel through Europe with a group of friends, whilst others would prefer to go with just one other person or even on their own! There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Travelling with a group means you will never be lonely, although the opportunities to meet new people are often few and far between as strangers can be intimidated by large groups. What's more, a lot of compromising has to be made when it comes to arranging activities.
Backpacking with one true friend is a popular choice, because there is the opportunity for more freedom without being completely alone. However, a great deal of trust needs to be put in that individual and it can be easy to fall out with anyone you spend every waking minute with.
Many backpackers travel alone in order to 'find themselves'. It forces them to meet and interact with new people and allows them to do exactly what they want to do.
Whoever you choose for company, there's no shortage of wonders waiting to be explored across Europe.
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