Everytime I plan for a trip, I never tell anyone simply because I’m afraid of jinx. But this particular trip is an exception because I need inputs from people and the fact that this is a very long trip (even longer than our ultimate summer holiday on 2010).
This is my very first post about my European adventure plan and trust me, you will see many more of this coming. Hehe.
I’m gonna travel around Europe for total 24 days (exclude flights from Singapore). –>Even I get goosebumps just for typing that!
Bandi and I have been talking about this since we first met, that he wanted to visit Turin and I wanted to visit Parma, merely because we’re big fan of the football clubs (Juventus and AC Parma). However we didn’t think that we’re gonna do it together, you know, traveling to Europe (or Italy for that matter) because who knew our relationship lasts this long.
We were just a college student, it was impossible for us to save money to Europe trip (this doesn’t count for Bandi’s free trip to Europe for 10 days with his mom with the exclusive travel agent. Haha. My boyfriend was a spoiled brat) and then we graduated and I had my first job with a very horrible pay which probably won’t get me to Europe even if I had been saving for 10 years. Bandi, on the other hand went to Texas to study and during his first summer break, he worked two part time jobs every single day. I asked him why did he do that, he said, “I’m gonna bring you to Paris, just like I promised.”
Two years later, he came to Singapore bringing the hard cash he saved from the times he cleaned tables and became drive thru operators. He put that money inside his drawer all along. I asked him to just convert them to Singapore dollars and bank them, but he refused. Two weeks ago, we used that cash to buy our Europe ticket. He did it. He kept his promise.
Now that the hard cash is only left about $500, we must save our ass off these 7 months to the D day we finally fly to our dream. We already set our monthly saving target and if everything worked well, we’re gonna have our dreams come true. We even have our “Europe Funds” bank account opened long time ago.
At first, we thought we would only need 2 weeks for our Euro trip because we would need to ask permission from our offices for such long leave, and of course because Europe is expensive. We also only focused on Italy and would only go to Paris for France. And then we went to the library to do some research, borrow some European history to read and went to the book sale that got us 20 over lonely planet books for only $100!
Together with those books and the power of Eurorail website, we add more cities and more countries and suddenly it was 24 days. JENG JENG! Now there’s no way back.
The Dream Itinerary
I would love to hear advice and comments for my itinerary from fellow readers. But again, please remember that this itinerary had been discussed and changed hundred of times and that your comments might change my mind again and cause some trouble for Bandi. Hahaha. But hey, I would love this trip to be the best ever so I’ll do whatever it takes.
|Homebased||City Explore||Sleep at||Transport|
|Day 3||London||London||Eurostar Train|
|Day 4||Paris||Paris||Rent Apt||Metro|
|Day 5||Paris||Versailles||Rent Apt||Metro|
|Day 10||Lucerne||Mt Titlis||On train|
|Day 13||Munich||Fussen||On train|
|Day 18||Manarola||Cinque Terre||B&B||Foot|
|Day 19||Manarola||Cinque Terre||Train|
|Athens||(Transit)||Then go home|
The transport column with green color is covered by Eurorail pass. We put the most explored cities on the beginning and ending of the trip; which are London, Paris and Santorini, so that we can save up money by just buying the 15 days Eurorail pass and will start to use on Day 6 with train from Paris to Amsterdam and end it once we reach Rome. From Rome, we don’t need Eurorail pass anymore. The only train trip that we’re gonna buy separately is the one from London to Paris.
My blogger friends, both Colson and Candela, and my friend Angel recommended me to go to Prague. I really want to! Bandi was insisting like crazy to stop by Prague for one day, but then it’s almost impossible because:
- The only possible way to put Prague on our itinerary is between Vienna and Munich but it turns out that the fastest way to travel between Munich and Prague is 6 hours BY BUS. I hate bus trip.
- Despite the beautiful city and romantic walk, I don’t really have “thing” to see in Prague. I know I need to put the leisure city on my Europe trip beside the “hectic must see museums and places”-kind of city like Paris and Rome, and I already have Santorini and Cinque Terre for that.
- The only way to skip the Munich-Prague bus line is to change the route and eliminate Switzerland. =( I want to visit Switzerland so badly.
- Czech Rep has non-Euro currency. I know it’s not an excuse because UK and Swiss are also non-Euro, but this fact discourages me a little.
Guys, I really want to go to Prague, I really do. Do you have any idea how to do that with my already-busy itinerary? Comments and inputs are very welcomed.
About the “Sleeping”
It’s very fortunate that Bandi and I met a fellow traveler in Hanoi who would like to host us in London. He’s a very nice guy and we can’t wait to meet him again! For other cities, I avoid hostels because not only it will be more expensive to pay for two persons, I also can’t stand snoring sound. For touristy cities like Amsterdam and Rome, we could find hosts from airbnb, this website is so great for travelers and would freshen up your eyes with pretty pictures. We also found our Paris apartment here. For less touristy places, we’ll try to find a cheap nice B&B through people’s recommendation from tripadvisor or lonely planet forum.
Why do we rent an apartment in Paris? Because the only way to experience life in Parisian way is to stay in the Parisian studio apartment! Yaiy!
Things I’m excited the most
- Ennio Tardini. It’s my childhood dream to finally step my foot on Ennio Tardini in Parma. It’s very personal and meaningful to make that dream comes true. =)
- Santorini. Visiting Greece is actually the blacksheep of the itinerary. If only I didn’t fall in love with Santorini, I would probably explore west Europe more. I was thinking to go to Barcelona and Provence (and of course Prague) if Greece wasn’t in my itinerary.
- Cinque Terre. Another place I fell in love with just by seeing the pictures.
- Watching Serie-A LIVE. I have never watched football game live before and this is so exciting! Once the 2013/2014 schedule out, we’re gonna buy the tickets online.
- Having an overnight train ride. This is weird but I’m really looking forward to this simply because I LOVE TRAINS! I have done an overnight train ride before from Bandung to Yogyakarta and it was awful! (Of course duh! Because I bought the cheapest ticket with no aircon and uncomfortable seat.) Even though it was awful, I still love it. The second overnight train was from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, and again it was awful because it was so damn freezing cold and I didn’t bring any jacket. So hopefully an overnight train in Europe is gonna be a blast!
- Paris. Ah, come on! Everyone knows I’m obsessed with Paris!
- NeuschwansteinCastle. We didn’t know this awesome castle existed until Bandi saw it online and he said let’s go to this castle. We never pronounce it correctly even until now, so this is how we put it on our convo, “Eh, nanti dari Fussen ke Neusch-something itu naek apa ya?” or “Masuk ke Neusch-something bayar 12 Euro, masukin ke budget!” and so on. We just call it Neusch-something castle. I also never type it correctly unless I copy-paste it. We were about to just call the city where the castle is built, but the city is called Hohenschwangau, so we would also call it Hohen-something city. So yeah, we gave up with German names.
I love planning to the details, so I count every single possible expense in my Europe Trip and it all comes to this:
|Air tickets (SIN-europe-SIN)||$ 1,372.00||BOUGHT|
|Air tickets (Rome-Athens)||$ 116.00||73Euro (if buy far ahead)|
|Air tickets (Santorini-Athens)||$ 297.00||Return, 186Euro|
|Eurorail Pass 15 days||$ 762.00||From raileurope.com.sg|
|Fare London – Brus||$ 120.00||Book far before – best second class|
|Eat&Drinks||$ 1,560.00||Calculated roughly S$65/day or 40EUR (TOTAL 24 days)|
|Hotels/Hostels||$ 916.00||Calculated roughly from Sleeping Budget (PER PAX)|
|Hotel Tax and service||$ 170.00||roughly|
|City Spending||$ 1,247.12||Calculated from City Spending Budget|
|Visa||$ 266.00||UK and Schengen (60Euros + 160sgd)|
|Travel insurance||$ 130.00||NTUC income 25-27 days|
|Shop/Souvernir||$ 200.00||NOT URGENT|
|MISC||$ 300.00||JUST IN CASE budget|
|Total||$ 7,456.12||Per person (Incld. Tix SIN-EUROPE)|
This budget is quite high for a backpacking Europe Trip, especially I only stay in B&B and host’s house. That’s because I plan so much money for the city spending which is this:
|London +||Oyster Card||£30.00|
|Tower of London||£20.00||46 Pass / 56 pass+travel card|
|Brugg + Brux||Boat Tour||€ 7.60|
|Van Gogh Museum||€ 14.00||Bandi doesn’t need to come along lah|
|Anne Frank House||€ 9.50|
|Red District Tour||€ 12.50||Randy|
|Bike rent||€ 8.50||24hour|
|Damrak Sex Museum||€ 3.00|
|Luxembourg||Bus/ Tram||€ 3.00||1.50/one way|
|Paris +||Paris Museum Pass (2days)||€ 39.00|
|Metro||€ 15.20||A lot of options, please calculate|
|Paris – Versailles||€ 2.70||one way|
|Luzern +||Lucerne Tour||€ 100.00||Mount titlis viator|
|Vienna||Schoebrunn castle||€ 13.50||Grand Tour 40rooms/50mins|
|Transport 24 tickets||€ 6.70||24hour|
|Mozart Orchestra!||€ 39.00||Classical Concert|
|Munich +||Bus ride and horse ride||€ 6.00|
|Neuschwenstein castle||€ 12.00|
|Vaporetto pass||€ 16.00||12 hours|
|Murano +Burano admission||€ 10.00||not compulsory|
|Parma +||Bike rent||€ 8.00|
|Turin +||Juve tix||€ 100.00||If it’s not a big game|
|bus/subway||€ 6.00||one time ticket 4 ways|
|Cinque Terre||Hiking Fee||Free?|
|Rome||Colosseum+Forum+Palatine Hill||€ 12.00||Combined tix valid for 2 days|
|Vatican + Sistine Chapel||€ 15.00|
|Train around city||€ 13.00||2 days|
|Train to ariport||€ 8.00||very far leee|
And the worst part is, the city spending budget might still expand! X( But again, if we couldn’t hit that budget, or we must spare the money for other things, we would just eliminate Mount Titlis, the gondola ride, mozart orchestra, Bandi’s skipping museums (because I won’t) and eat more in picnic way. But any way we’re gonna do on our European Journey will be the fun way, because it’s a dream come true.
So, that’s all about our European Adventure that’s gonna happen in about 7 more months. OH MY GOD IN SEVEN MONTHS I’LL BE IN FREAKING EUROPE. Ok, be cool May, be cool. It’s gonna be the longest and the cheapest 7 months in my life. Haha. Come to think of it, I’m planning this trip as if I plan my wedding, or maybe even more serious. Funny, huh?! Maybe it’s because when little girl imagining herself in a white dress, I was imagining myself carrying backpack riding a Vespa in Rome. =) I will plan to the details. This is gonna be awesome!!!
Anyway, advices for cheaper things are so welcomed!!!
Cheers, May above the clouds.