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Accomodations For An Extended Trip To Europe?  
User currently offlineSan747 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4939 posts, RR: 12
Posted (7 years 3 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1893 times:

I'm planning an extended trip to Europe for this summer, at least a month, preferably two. I personally would like to try living with a host family during that time so I have a "home base" and I'm not living like some nomad from hostel to hostel. Plus I figure I can get to experience another country better If I do that.

The question is- is doing something like this worth the cost? Most places I've looked at are almost $200 a week, which is a lot over two months. Are there cheaper ways of doing something similar for accomodations, or is basically this or hostels for weeks on end?

Another question is, is it better to have a base somewhere (London for example) for the whole time and then take daytrips or weekend trips to other places, like I'm thinking of doing, or is it better to stay at several places for something like a week each and just experience that one place?

Thanks for all your help,
san747  wave 


Scotty doesn't know...
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRichardnhsv From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 473 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1893 times:

I would try to stay in a central location and try a Eurail Pass http://www.eurail.com/

This is a good place to look at general travel info in Europe is this place
http://www.visiteurope.com/ccm/portal/?nav_cat=128&lang=en_US

Good luck and have a great time!

regards,
Richard



"If you've ever had a filet this good, welcome back." - Ruth Fertel
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8621 posts, RR: 44
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1886 times:

Quoting San747 (Thread starter):
Another question is, is it better to have a base somewhere (London for example) for the whole time and then take daytrips or weekend trips to other places, like I'm thinking of doing, or is it better to stay at several places for something like a week each and just experience that one place?

The latter. Europe is sizeable, and even if we've got an abundance of fast trains and LCCs, you won't want to waste your time travellin from London to Oslo, then back, from London to Rome, then back and so on.

I've never tried it, but you could find help at the "hospitality club": http://www.hospitalityclub.org/



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineSan747 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4939 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1881 times:

Quoting Aloges (Reply 2):
I've never tried it, but you could find help at the "hospitality club": http://www.hospitalityclub.org/

I've looked into them, and I was this close to signing up... It is very enticing, seeing as accomodation costs which before were twice the airfare could be totally eliminated...

Maybe I should give them a shot?



Scotty doesn't know...
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8621 posts, RR: 44
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1877 times:

Quoting San747 (Reply 3):
Maybe I should give them a shot?

I'd look around the web for some info, as I said I have no idea how well everything works. Youth hostels are an option, but of course you'd pay and some of them are rather unpleasant.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineRunway23 From US Minor Outlying Islands, joined Jan 2005, 2158 posts, RR: 36
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1875 times:

Remember that both London and Paris are VERY pricey by European and worldwide standards.

You might think of going to some smaller cities which aren't that far away from a major one (say 70 miles away), most of these would be easily reachable by train regardless of location.

Instead of taking a day trip, you might consider getting a rail pass and just letting that take you all over the place and going to hostels, youth places, university accom (some open their doors for just a night). The rail pass would probably come out cheaper than flying all over the place.


User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8621 posts, RR: 44
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1874 times:

Quoting Runway23 (Reply 5):
The rail pass would probably come out cheaper than flying all over the place.

That's a given if you want to get around, but obviously no reason not to slip in a bargain flight here and there. Big grin Do however be mindful of the airports the LLCs fly from, especially Ryanair.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineSan747 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4939 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1862 times:

Quoting Aloges (Reply 6):
Do however be mindful of the airports the LLCs fly from, especially Ryanair.

Oh yeah, I've heard all sorts of things about how they fly to out of the way airports... I heard they even got sued over it?

Quoting Aloges (Reply 4):
Youth hostels are an option, but of course you'd pay and some of them are rather unpleasant.

I'd prefer not to stay at a hostel unless I had someone with me... But that's unlikely (I don't really have any friends who are in a position to just up and leave their entire life behind for 2 months...).

Quoting Runway23 (Reply 5):
The rail pass would probably come out cheaper than flying all over the place.

Would the rail pass really be cheaper than taking a couple easyJet flights or something?



Scotty doesn't know...
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8621 posts, RR: 44
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1832 times:

Quoting San747 (Reply 7):
I've heard all sorts of things about how they fly to out of the way airports.

Certainly... always check the name in fine print next to the destination Ryanair advertise, and then find out how to get from there to where you're actually going. HHN is a perfect example, they call it "Frankfurt" even though it's right in the middle of nowhere.

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Photo © TZ Aviation

In short, Ryanair works if you have a lot of time and patience to spare. If you don't, you should fly other LCCs.

Quoting San747 (Reply 7):
I heard they even got sued over it?

Correct, they got sued for calling NRN "Düsseldorf" even though it's about 75 km from DUS. However, that lawsuit hasn't (yet) gone anywhere AFAIK.

Quoting San747 (Reply 7):
I'd prefer not to stay at a hostel unless I had someone with me.

It depends on the hostel, but you can easily find people to join up with at the typical backpacker hostels.

Quoting San747 (Reply 7):
I don't really have any friends who are in a position to just up and leave their entire life behind for 2 months.

Are you a member of any special interest e-mail list? The LatAm trip I described in Kaddyuk's "Gap Year" thread was initiated by an e-mail I received over one I'm a member of; admittedly it's not your average we-all-love-Wendy's-so-let's-mail list but nevertheless she was a stranger at first and the trip went well.

Quoting San747 (Reply 7):
Would the rail pass really be cheaper than taking a couple easyJet flights or something?

Most importantly, the pass would give you independence, which you will want. With airline tickets, you need to book well ahead or be lucky at the last minute for them to be affordable, but the rail pass basically allows you to hop on any train and travel anywhere you want. That's especially good for exploring the countryside. In comparison, the first thing I usually do when I get to my destination is buying a day or week pass for public transport.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineSan747 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4939 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1820 times:

Quoting Aloges (Reply 8):
If you don't, you should fly other LCCs.

Yeah, I like easyJet better... BTW, does Ryanair serve an airport in the Paris region?

Quoting Aloges (Reply 8):

It depends on the hostel, but you can easily find people to join up with at the typical backpacker hostels.

You mean people just to hang out with and talk to?

Quoting Aloges (Reply 8):
Are you a member of any special interest e-mail list?

I think the only travel email list I'm involved with is STA Travel, which specializes in student travel.

Quoting Aloges (Reply 8):

Most importantly, the pass would give you independence, which you will want. With airline tickets, you need to book well ahead or be lucky at the last minute for them to be affordable, but the rail pass basically allows you to hop on any train and travel anywhere you want. That's especially good for exploring the countryside. In comparison, the first thing I usually do when I get to my destination is buying a day or week pass for public transport.

That is definitely a plus. I'll check the prices again, because I've heard that it can get up to 4 digits for the length of time I want to be over there... But if its worth it, I'll go for it.



Scotty doesn't know...
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8621 posts, RR: 44
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1796 times:

Quoting San747 (Reply 9):
Yeah, I like easyJet better... BTW, does Ryanair serve an airport in the Paris region?

Their closest one is Beauvais at 90 km from Paris. They don't serve it from any of their London area airports as anyone taking a shuttle to Stansted, checking in, waiting, flying to Beauvais and then taking a shuttle to Paris would be out of his mind; Eurostar (channel tunnel train) is much, much faster.

Quoting San747 (Reply 9):
You mean people just to hang out with and talk to?

Exactly. The common areas in hostels are for made that... very interesting places, in the positive sense.

Quoting San747 (Reply 9):
I think the only travel email list I'm involved with is STA Travel, which specializes in student travel.

Oh, it doesn't have to be travel-related. The one I meant is remotely linked to school and people talk about all kinds of things. She found two people to travel with her that way, one for the first half and me for the second... so you might be lucky.

Quoting San747 (Reply 9):
That is definitely a plus. I'll check the prices again, because I've heard that it can get up to 4 digits for the length of time I want to be over there... But if its worth it, I'll go for it.

Wow, that's a load of cash. I'd still consider it for the comfort and flexibility, but with that kind of price tag I'd surf endlessly to compare individual train and plane tickets to the pass.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineSan747 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4939 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1787 times:

Quoting Aloges (Reply 10):
Their closest one is Beauvais at 90 km from Paris. They don't serve it from any of their London area airports as anyone taking a shuttle to Stansted, checking in, waiting, flying to Beauvais and then taking a shuttle to Paris would be out of his mind; Eurostar (channel tunnel train) is much, much faster.

OK, screw that! I'll either do easyJet or the Eurostar...

Quoting Aloges (Reply 10):

Wow, that's a load of cash. I'd still consider it for the comfort and flexibility, but with that kind of price tag I'd surf endlessly to compare individual train and plane tickets to the pass.

I know... As I get closer to my trip, I'll keep checking to see if it gets a little cheaper.



Scotty doesn't know...
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