Backpacking?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by phas3, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. phas3 macrumors 65816

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    Oct 5, 2008
    #1
    so I would like to start saving up for a trip I want to do, but I don't know exactly where yet. This is where you macrumors come in, where would be the best place to backpack across and want to gain lots of knowledge and experience the rest of the world. I was thinking south america or europe. Also I would like to know how much I would need to save up for a trip like this. I would like to go for atleast 3 weeks.
     
  2. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I would recommend Europe, its a beautiful place and there are tons of great museums, sites, food, etc. I am sure South America would be fun as well though, thats one of the next places on my list.

    Europe has an excellent train system, the Eurail, which will take you pretty much any where you'd like to go. If you plan on going to a lot of countries it may be worth getting one of the many passes they offer. A 21 day pass is about $600, but there are many other options. Here is their website, check it out: http://www.eurail.com . There is a map and such for route planning and all.

    My suggestion is just to come up with a list of a few cities and how long you would like to visit each. Wikipedia is a good free source to find a few major things you might like to see in each city. Then you can plan your route and make sure you purchase the proper Eurail pass.

    I don't usually stay in Hostels, but it is a good cheap way to stay. I'm sure some other members will have suggestions for websites to find a good Hostel, just looking, Hostels.com seems decent, but I've never used it.

    From my personal experience, these are the places I would really love to go again: London, Paris, Venice, Florence, Prague, and Budapest, but there are many other great places as well. I'd really recommend Prague and Budapest, they don't use the Euro right now and the exchange rate for U.S. dollars is quite good, so these cities will be cheaper than London and Paris (London and Paris are more expensive even without the different currency). Italy is my favorite country out of all the ones I've travelled to in Europe and I definitely recommend it for a first trip. Rome, Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre would all be excellent places to visit. Rome, Florence, and Venice especially offer a ton to see, you'll be overwhelmed.

    I usually spend about $3500 on a two week trip, you might be able to keep it lower, but I budget about $1700 a week (again, I stay in hotels and eat/drink pretty well when I'm there). I'm sure you could do it for less, but it's definitely better to have more than to come up short.
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #3
    Your budget including your flight?

    Depends where you go, where you fly into, and when.


    Where do you plan on going? If you don't know, then what type of things do you want to do? What sort of place are you planning on staying? Are you going with a friend, or yourself?
     
  4. BrettFarve04 macrumors regular

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    #4
    I was in Military school for high school, and for 6 months straight we were living in the Unitas mountains in Utah....and in the Arizona strip in the middle of nowhere!! It was breathtaking and i cherished every moment of it
     
  5. phas3 thread starter macrumors 65816

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  6. WatchSmart macrumors member

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    #6
    So have you figured out a plan?

    I went backpacking across Asia and a bit of Europe for a year in 2007/2008.

    Some highlights were: Mongolia, the Russian Far East, the far north of India, Syria, Serbia...

    In most of Asia, one can travel very, very comfortably for $40-$50 a day. And you could do pretty well for half of that.

    If you just have three weeks and you wish to visit a number of countries you could go to Europe, since the transportation is easy and you won't waste your time getting from place to place. But you might also consider just visiting ONE country and really getting to know it.
     
  7. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #7
    I'm not sure I'd call 40-50 USD-a-day real backpacking, even for Europe. That's borderline luxury travel. Hell, in most of SE and central Asia, that's excessive! You can do most of SE Asia for a tenth of that.

    For the TS if it's your first time out of the states and you only have 3 weeks, Europe is the way to go. Pick a region, don't try to do to much. Leave a transect of South America for when you have more time. You'll be arranging your own transportation and deal with a lot more delays if you're actually spending your time travelling there.
     
  8. callmemike20 macrumors 6502a

    callmemike20

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    #8
    I would have to agree with the guy who recommended Venice. It was a really nice place. Paris is decent, but I kind of think its overrated. The swiss alps are also really cool. But its been a few years, so I don't really know.
     
  9. WatchSmart macrumors member

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    #9
    Well, I did say that amount would let him travel "very, very comfortably." That's very times two! But actually one cannot put a price tag on "real backpacking."

    In SE Asia 40 bucks is a lot of money. In other parts of Asia, it's not. Forty dollars won't last too long on the Arabian peninsula. Nor in Japan these days. And, interestingly enough, it won't go too far in Siberia or the Russian Far East, either. :(

    (In my experience, anyhow...)



     
  10. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    Meh, none of the wealthy Asian countries are really foreigner backpacker friendly anyway. I assume when people say backpacking through Asia, they mean SE/Central Asia.

    You can get from Samarkand to Saigon on about $10-15 bucks a day, plus fuel if you're on a motorcycle. I worked with a guy who did Tashkent to Ulan Bator mostly on horseback and that guy managed on less than $5 a day.

    I'm guessing TS is a fresh faced young person. You're supposed be on a shoe string budget, stay in dodgy hostels with other dirty backpackers, all the while doing the horizontal mambo every other night with loose Australian women. I've traveled on the high end, staying in placed like the Mandarin Oriental, various Peninsula hotels, etc, and I've traveled on the low end. If you're young, do it on the cheap. You'll have better stories to tell when you're older.
     
  11. IntheNet macrumors regular

    IntheNet

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    #11
    Having some "backpack" experience of my own in civilian and military life to apply to your question, I am not sure, however, what you mean by "knowledge and experience" you want to obtain? Do you just want to travel to foreign nation or actually gain backwoods "knowledge and experience" first hand?

    If the former, then by all means go to foreign nation in Europe camping and risk kidnapping or worse. If the latter, we have some great camping opportunities here in the United States... I strongly recommend the Pikes Peak area of Colorado, northern Vermont/northern New Hampshire, or portions of the Long Trail. If you wish a more back-country experience, across the border in Quebec has some real lack country trails far from the presence of man.

    While South America is better in terms of safety than Europe, there is still a danger, particularly in Peru, Argentina, and Bolivia, to foreigners.

    Best of luck to you... stay safe!
     
  12. WatchSmart macrumors member

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    #12
    At least we can agree on the necessity of the horizontal mambo...


     
  13. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #13
    C'mon dude don't you watch movies. The naive tourist backpacker always gets tortured and killed by a psychopath. Seriously, don't go! I would say stick to something local, but you might have a "pretty mouth" and that would get you in trouble as well. :D
     
  14. ctt1wbw macrumors 68000

    ctt1wbw

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    #14
    Can't you just go down to Total Recall and buy a backpacking memory? It's much safer now that the new safety measures went in.


    Actually, any place in Europe would be great. I've been to about 7 different countries over there and it's great. As long as you try to say a few words in the local language, you'll go far. The rail system is great, from what I hear. And you can always take the Chunnel to the UK for a stay and fly out of Heathrow back to the States.
     

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