After studying the map and choosing some must-see destinations, planning becomes easier. For a backpacking trip like the one C.C. and I are planning, we needed to outline a route through Europe to ensure we were hitting all our destinations to optimize our trip and minimize the cost of travel and board.
C.C. and I are starting our trips separately and will meet in Paris, France to start the joint portion of our backpacking trip. We decided that from France we would proceed to Switzerland, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and conclude our joint traveling in England.
For the majority of the trip we will be traveling by train. Europe has a great rail travel system which makes it very easy to get from country to country. Note: when choosing a Eurail pass consider whether you're traveling within a country, to only a few countries or all over Europe. The Eurail global pass for one month (youth rate!) is most suitable for our trip. http://www.eurail.com/
After choosing Eurail, C.C. and I spent a night reviewing the train schedules to consider how long it would take us to get from destination to destination. This helped immensely with planning our specific itinerary.
(Hint: some train rides ended up being 12 or 13 hours! instead of losing a day to travel, consider paying a little extra for a bunker car and taking a night train. You'll also save on hotel fare.)
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