How To Plan a Backpacking Trip Across Europe: Part II


In continuation of the first part of our series (check here), we tell you, how you can easily plan an amazing adventure and vacation across the beautiful lands of Europe.

Submit Your Visa Application: Once you have collected all the required documents and fill up the visa application form, submit it at the embassy or the appropriate VFS centre. Do remember to carry 2-3 photocopies of the first page of your passport in addition to all the other required documents. There would be a visa fee that you would have to pay to get every visa, and this fee would not be refunded even if you are denied a visa. If you are not a frequent traveller then you would most likely be called for a visa interview at the embassy.

2. The Visa Interview: As you would most probably apply for a visit/tourist visa, most questions in the interview would revolve around your reason for the visit. Commonly asked questions are, “What is the purpose of your visit“, “For how long are you going“, “How many people are going along with you and how do you know them“, “What is your current profession” and a few more. Do remember to take along bookings of places where you plan to stay, your travel itinerary, a letter from your company/college and proof that you have enough money to fund your trip.

3. Start the bookings: Congratulations, by now you would have most probably got all the visas that you were seeking. Half your job is done, now comes the part of making all the bookings and planning how you would be commuting from one place to another during the trip. Once you get the visa, try to book your return ticket as soon as possible cause the sooner you book it, the cheaper it is. As far as commuting on the trip is concerned it all depends on your plan. If you plan to visit a lot of countries especially the West European ones then you could buy the Eurorail pass. This pass would allow you to board any euro rail train, and the whole of Europe is quite well connected by these trains. If you plan to visit only a few countries that are quite far apart from one another, then you can think about taking internal flights as Europe has quite a few low-cost carriers that offer cheap tickets, like Ryanair and Vueling.

4. Decide what you want to carry along: Well the date is now coming closer and the excitement is increasing, but try to keep yourself in control and start thinking about the things that you’ll need on the trip. Make a list and start working on it. Your list should include stuff like clothes, medicines, toiletries, printouts of important papers and any other stuff you think you might need. Travel light and if possible, try to make sure that your backpack should not weigh more than 15 kilograms. Do remember to check the baggage limit of the airline that you would be travelling on. As far as possible try to get a direct flight to your destination even if you have to pay a little more. The golden rule while going on a euro trip or any other adventure is Stay Alert and Protect your belongings. You would always be carrying your passport while on the trip, so try to carry some clothes which have hidden pockets.

5. Improve your knowledge about the places of visit: It’s always advisable to read a bit about the places that you would be travelling to, the proverb “Ignorance is Bliss” is a strict no-no on this trip. The best place to learn something about the place that you are going to travel to is Wikitravel. Wikitravel contains information regarding the hot-spots of the city, how to get there, places to stay, places to eat and general guidelines.

6. Get Your Forex: Euro is the most commonly accepted currency in most European countries except for a few eastern and Northern European countries. So either you can carry Euros from your place of departure or carry Dollars and get them converted at the airport. It’s always better to carry some euros with you and split your forex into Cash, Traveller’s Cheques and Travel Cards, the last 2 being more safer. Forex is easily available with the banks and the travel agents.

7. General Guidelines: We don’t wanna sound like a nagging mother but these general tips if followed would go long way in making your Euro Trip enjoyable and memorable. So Be Alert, Take care of your belongings, Always carry your passport and some money, Never Leave your bag unattended anywhere, Always carry the important documents with you and never buy anything from unauthorised dealers, Play Safe and Be Safe.

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