Mittwoch, 11. Februar 2015

[Train / Student Vacation] Euro trips per train: low-budget holiday with the Interrail Pass (Eurail)

Some info beforehand: There are different prices for different types of train tickets. As this is rather a guide / recommendation, I will create this sample vacation. The costs and duration may vary, depending on what you may eventually plan to do. As soon as you travel with - or as a +26 y olds, you will have to count with double the ticket price (for that person).

Estimated cost:
  • 5 days of travel within 10 days = € 163
  • accommodation depends... Let us say we are using the app "AirBnB". Prices for a room range from € 15 - € 35. You can also use night trains for a small service fee, thus enabling you to sleep while traveling. I'd say you'd better count with € 50 per night average. Just as a sort of worst case scenario. Always make sure you plan a few days ahead where you will sleep.
    9 x 50 = €450 --- That would be your total cost for accommodation. However, you can plan a few days ahead and make sure you get a place to stay for € 25 a night in a single/double room. It is also possible to get a room at a hostel for € 5 - € 15 a night, but you will probably sleep with more than 6 people in a room
  • I don't know how much you spend on food and such. I'd say that it would be wise to overestimate this one as well. € 25,- a day for sure.
    9 x 25 = € 225,-
  • The total will be around 163 + 450 + 225 = ca € 850
  • The alternative total - if you make sure you get a € 25 / night accommodation - will be much cheaper. 163 + 225 + 225 = ca. € 620

It's pricey but this is really a maximum. If you camp (spot = 5€ / night) in stead of renting a room, you could do it for € 450

Means of transportation: Train - using the Interrail card, you can travel anywhere in Europe.

Min. duration: 10 days, 22 days or 1 month

Sights to see: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, FYR Macedonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey

Accommodation: AirBnB, hostels or camping; depending on your budget

Season: all seasons

How to prepare for the holiday (requisites):

Granite Gear Cross-Trek 36 Liter Backpack - Black/Chromium

Earth Therapeutics: Relaxing Microwavable Neck Pillow

What you can expect: Inter rail permits you to see the most significant and monumental cities Europe has to offer in incredibly small intervals. I'll make a sample trip where I explain you how to travel.

I have bought a 5 days within 10 days trip, meaning I can only travel 5 days by train. I will depart from Poland, so I cannot travel within that country and I will start my trip on 16th of February.
From Poland I will travel to Berlin using a normal ticket. I will stay there for 2 days without using my interrail pass. The 18th of February I will depart from Berlin to Hamburg. Using the IC in stead of the ICE (high speed train), it will take me 2 hours until I reach hamburg and it would normally cost 64 euros. The 18th of February is the first day I use my Interrail, meaning that I still have 4 days that I can use this. I want to see Hamburg for only 1 day, meaning that I will depart the 19th. After Hamburg, I wish to see Copenhagen (Koebenhavn), which would take a bit less than 5 hours. I have a good feeling about Copenhagen, so I wish to stay there for 3 nights. 19, 20, 21 and departure on the 22nd of February. On the 22nd, I will travel to another city, meaning that I will use my fourth day. The 27th is the last day I can use the interrail ticket, so I have to fill 5 days with 2 days of travel available. I have decided to travel to on the 22nd Stockholm and return to Malmö on the 27th. There I will take the ferry to Swinoujscie and will get back to Poland.

In this example, you'll notice that I can plan perfectly ahead. I can also make it more spontaneous, but that will also increase the risk of things going wrong.

[Train / Student Vacation] Euro trips per train: low-budget holiday with the Interrail Pass (Eurail)

What are the rules regarding the Interrail pass? (From the interail site)

Youth promo Conditions - Global Pass
  •       Only European residents can travel with an InterRail pass. If you are a non-European resident, you can travel with a Eurail pass.
  •       You can travel in your country of residence InterRail Global Pass.
  •       The InterRail pass is valid for travel with the participating railway, ferry and transport companies.
  •       Most high-speed and overnight trains require a reservation for an additional fee.
  •       To travel with a discounted Youth Pass, you must be aged 12 to 25 on the start date of the passport.
  •       A 1st class Youth Pass is valid in both the 1st and 2nd class.
  •       Get 15% discount if your InterRail Global Pass between 1 February and 31 March 2015 at 16:00 clock CET (15:00 GMT clock at 17.00 clock EET) order itself.

Frequently asked questions regarding the Eurail Interrail ticket:

What is best suited for my trip?
This depends on the countries that you want to explore. If you want to see as much of Europe as possible, we recommend the InterRail Global Pass, which is valid for train travel in 30 European countries.
If you want to visit a particular country, you can InterRail One Country Pass instead of buying. If you want to visit 2 or 3 countries, just several One Country Passes.

What does 5 days within 10 days mean?

If you have an InterRail Global Pass order - 5 Days within 10 days, then you can decide every 5 days, within a period of 10 days on the road.
The travel days do not have to be consecutive and you can decide when to use them during the trip. A passage like this is ideal if you do not plan to go every single day.

Here are your options:

  •       InterRail Global Pass
5 days within 10 days or 10 days within 22 days.
  •       InterRail One Country Pass
3, 4, 6 or 8 days within 1 month.

How far in advance can I order an InterRail Pass?
You can order InterRail passes up to 3 months before your travel date.
If you order your InterRail pass, you must enter the date when you want to start traveling with your passport. This date is printed on the InterRail Pass as the start date of your passport. You can order your passport up to 3 months before this date.

When should I book the train?

Train reservations are required on most high speed trains and all night trains. Reservation fees are not included in your passport. It is often possible to make a reservation by avoiding a slower, alternative route.

Can I use InterRail in my own country?
No, this is an InterRail pass is not valid for travel in your country of residence.
This means that with an InterRail Global Pass you can travel in all participating countries other than the country in which you live. It is also not possible to use an InterRail One Country Pass for your own country.

Dienstag, 10. Februar 2015

[Bicycle Trip] The Donau Biking Route

[Cycling Route] Euro Velo: Donauradweg from Switzerland to the Danube (Donau)

Estimated cost: Money for food, depending on the time you want to travel. As soon as you have passed Vienna, things will get remarkably cheaper. If you would use € 20 per day for food, add € 10 to be safe and multiply it with the number of days you'll travel. Add the train tickets to the total and perhaps - depending on the way you travel - your accommodation. You need strong willpower to keep a budget though.

Means of transportation: Bicycle and perhaps a train ride to the route itself

Min. duration: At least 10 days for a short trip along the Donau route.

In case you want to go along the whole donau per bike, it will take you 55 days, should you ride 80 km on average and it will take 148 days, should you cycle 30km per day.

Sights to see: Depending on where you start. I will start the route from the Atlantic sea and we will reach the black sea. You will pass beautiful cities and amazing landscapes.

Accommodation: Either in a tent, airbnb or by couchsurfing. You can combine many methods.

Season: Spring/Summer

How to prepare for the holiday (requisites): This part can be split in things that you ought to buy and things you ought to plan.

What needs to be purchased:

quechua long distance cycle trip
Large Pop Up Backpacking Camping Hiking Tent Automatic Instant Setup Easy Fold back - Blue

Explorer Giant Tactical Backpack, 24 x 18 x 8-Inch, Olive Green

What needs to be planned (more extensively explained on the bottom of the page):
  • The cycling route (distance, duration, budget, camp sites/hostels/bnb, ...)  

    • Based on your budget, duration, distance, etc., you can make a GPS track of the route and plan it thoroughly

  • The train ride from your home to the city of departure; and from the final destination back home

  • Determining when you will depart is very important. As soon as you know when to do this cycling trip, you have to book a train ticket and some camp sites / hostels on your way

What you can expect: An athletic cycling trip that will push you to your limits and will make you a lot more fit. It will give you time to think while cycling for hours; it will enable you to make friends in some regions that aren't overran by tourists* and to see a very different part of a European country. *Note: in tourist areas, you will - without a doubt - meet interesting people, but these people are much adepted to the tourists. It is very different to meet people that aren't adapted to tourism per se. A direct consequence of visiting more remote areas is the greater language barrier. Most Europeans - even in remote places - speak English or can at least express themselves in a limited manner.

How to plan a low budget long distance cycling trip

Step 1: determining YOUR route to the Danube

Duration I only got time off from 28.02.2015 at 5 PM (17:00) until 11.03.2015 (I have to get back on that day)

Distance I do not want to cycle every day and will travel a maximum of 50km a day. I live in Basel and I want to cycle to the Donau in order to cycle along it for a few days. I cannot determine the exact amount of km, yet I can make an accurate estimate of the distance. I want to cycle 6 out of 12 days, so that will result in 300 km. I will get back on this later in the guide.

Budget I live in Basel and have a max of € 350,- for 10 days available. 
10 x (15+10) = € 250
I have the other € 100 for accommodation and a train ticket back. Let's see what is possible with this strapped budget. I will get back on this along the guide.

Accommodation You cannot plan too far ahead. Just decide what type of accommodation you can afford / - are willing to pay. I will go for camping spots. Let's keep it really low-budget.

Sights   I definitely want to see the "Donaueschingen", "Ulm" and the beautiful nature.

I have already made a first route (28.02.2015): 

Albruck to basil

If you look at the trip here, you'll see the distance. Unfortunately it's a bit more than the maximum distance a day. I've looked for a camping and found one here (near Albbruck).

albruck camp site spot

Step 2: plan per day

Second day (01.03.2015) route is also made on bikemap already:

Cycling map donau route

Third day (02.03.2015):

The fourth day (03.03.2015):

Donau campspot
Fifth day (04.03.2015):

(a small note here: we still have a while to go before reaching Ulm. This means I'd have to adjust something)

Sixth day(05.03.2015):

I've already planned a ticket in advance because you will get it cheaper. Click here to go to the site where can get your bahn tickets cheaper!

I actually have to get back on the 11.03.2015, but the soonest date I could go back would be 05.03, assuming I would cycle every day.

Only € 29,00 back! That means we only have to spend € 30 out of € 100 on transportation. The average price of a camping spot is around € 6 - and I have to say that it is a rather high average. 9 days x € 6 = € 54,- for accommodation. € 84,- is being spend on transport and accommodation. Add up the € 250 you were to spend on food and you've got yourself a really low-budget holiday!

Step 3: evaluate the cycling trip as a whole and fine-tune where it is needed

What we basically have now is a strucure where we can built our trip upon. We can not just cycle some time and sit on a bench staring the rest of the time. You start fine-tuning by deciding a few things. Where do I want to stay for what time and what do I do there?

After the third consequetive day peddling, I will reach Donaueschingen. Googling that place and after opening the wiki entry in German, I have actually found a manion / castle there: "Schloss Donaueschingen" and rather interesting sights to see ("Donauquellen"). The date is 02.03.2015. I want to stay here on the day of arrival of course and want to depart on the fourth of March in the morning. That means that I will stay in Donaueschingen for one entire day and depart on 04.03.2015. I want to keep cycling until Ulm for the next days. I will now reach Ulm at 06.03.2015 in stead of 05.03.2015.

I can stay in Ulm for 6 days before departing back to Basel or I can plan another few "days off". Maybe I want to visit Riedlingen as well for a day. Anyway, that is how you plan a low-budget-cycling-vacation!

Montag, 22. September 2014

No, we are not a travel agency

Hi everyone!

As the title might indicate, we are not a travel agency nor do I intend to make any money out of this blog. I am merely here to give you some ideas for a low-budget vacation. That being said, I hope you will find a cash-strapped holiday destination and - method that you will enjoy. Maybe you'll enjoy it even more than a luxurious resort in the Bahamas.

On this website I will put the following details in a post (blog entry).

Estimated cost: [ It's an estimation. Maybe you ought to put the estimate cost a bit higher, just to be on the safe side. ]

Means of transportation: [ Long distance coaches, special discount fares by train, bicycle (=trekking; track racing), hiking and hitchhiking. ]
Min. duration: [ A minimum is needed as people might have to get back to work. ]
Sights to see: [ What can you expect from my vacation recommendation. ]
Accommodation: [ Tent, couchsurfing, hostels, B&B, and so on. ]
Season: [ I assume that a tent isn't the best way to spend some time off during the winter. That is why I have added this. ]
How to prepare for the holiday (requisites): [ e.g. a tent, a bicycle, an English/French dictionary, etc. ]
What you can expect: [ Explaining what might await you on your adventure. Maybe you are unfamiliar with a foreign culture or maybe there could be something that might shock you. ]

Various hotels, hostels, camping sites, B&B, campuses, pub accommodations, night trains, home trading platforms and monasteries.

Modes of transportation like long distance cycling, traveling per train, roadtrips, coaches, ferries and hitchhiking.

Different target groups will find a good traveling destination, whether you are a young student looking for something adventurous or you're a middle aged couple who wants to relax and have a break from all the stress. Adventure, sightseeing, distant/close-by, athletic or relaxing at a beach. Everything can be done with a strapped budget.