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First Solo Trip in Europe

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First Solo Trip in Europe

Hello Everyone, In Nov 2014 I finish high school, I'll still be 17 and i'm looking to travel from the 1st Dec- around the 20th Dec.

I'm wanting to go to Europe, I'm happy to take trains to places and I'm wanting to take my time spend a few days in each place, i would like to see a few tourist spots but would prefer to see places with really nice scenery... ie. mountains, castles, etc.

I would budget around $3,000....

Do you have any reccommendations for nice places to go in Europe in the winter. Even some links to tour companies...

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! thank you!

Somerset
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1. Re: First Solo Trip in Europe

Leina, that is a huge request. There are around 50 countries in Europe all with amazing archicture and landscape. I think you need to do some research to see where you want to go.

That is not a very long time either and if you are planning on going this December you need to move very fast. Many flights and hotels are already booked with people travelling for the Christmas Markets and skiing.

You need to know which country you want to visit and what to see there. Then how much the air fare will cost, transport, accommodation.

Being the shortest days of the year in December you won't have much daylight.

Once you have narrowed it down then perhaps ask on the destination forum for the place/s you have decided on for advice. There are train forums, air forums, budget forums.

Good luck with the planning. That is half the fun.

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2. Re: First Solo Trip in Europe

Good idea! Thank you for your help!

Illinois
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3. Re: First Solo Trip in Europe

Leina said Nov 2014, so I'm assuming she means travel in Dec 2014. One thing I would ensure my daughter did (she will also be 17 when she finishes high school) is to book accommodations in advance to ensure that she had places that will allow 17 year olds to stay alone. There are a couple of threads about this on the London forum at the moment. It seems that it is easier to find somewhere in Europe to stay when you're under 18 than it is in the US, but that not all hotels (or even hostels according to one poster) will allow this. I would not try one of those trips where you find lodging as you go.

I don't think December is the best month for mountains, unless you like skiing. There are a lot of castles in Wales and along the Rhine in Germany, but I'm not sure they're all open in December. Personally, I would probably plan a few cities so that if the weather's bad there are inside things to do. The Christmas Markets in Germany are supposed to be really cool, but I haven't been to them.

It's warmer in Italy and Spain, so that might be something to look into. There are a lot of castles in Spain too. I think Italy has more chateau type places than fortified castles.

Do you speak any languages besides English? I've found that you can get around with only English in all the major cities I've been to in Europe, but when you get more out into the country (or even smaller towns) there may not be as many people who speak English. (Except in the UK, of course - even if it's a different English than we use in the US - I'm assuming US as you mention high school, but there could be other countries that have high schools, I just don't know about them.)

One place to start is at the local public library. Ours has (or can order) guidebooks on most of the major cities/countries in Europe. Even if they're a few years old, most of the major attractions will be the same. Then you can spend money on recent guidebooks once you decide where you want to go.

Edited: 12 November 2013, 07:37
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4. Re: First Solo Trip in Europe

Thank you so much! I never had thought of the whole under 18 thing till you mentioned so good idea, I'll have to look into that!

I speak Greek as well. And I can pronounce Spanish and Italian words quite well... Maybe Italy, Spain and Greece is the way to go... Maybe Portugal too.

Thanks so much for your comment!

Atlanta, Georgia
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5. Re: First Solo Trip in Europe

I've been all over Europe and don't speak any other languages but Spanish. There's always someone who speaks English wherever you go, even in more off the beaten path locations. I wouldn't limit myself based on language concerns.

You might think about basing yourself in Munich, which has Christmas markets, and has easy day trip access to a number of scenic areas like Salzburg, Neuschwanstein, chiemsee, berteschgaden, the markets of Nuremberg. Prague is a 4 hour bus trip away, and talk about a castle!

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6. Re: First Solo Trip in Europe

I like the idea of making Munich a home base and doing some side trips. Having been there a few times myself, this can work and I'm not sure you would need to set up any "official tours" per se.

Illinois
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7. Re: First Solo Trip in Europe

I'm not saying you can't get by with only English, but I have been to more rural places in France and Italy where no one spoke English. You can always use sign language, etc. However, if I were a 17 year old going to Europe alone for the first time, it is something I would like to be aware of.

8. Re: First Solo Trip in Europe

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