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Plan your backpack trip to Europe with these 5 tips

Traveling with your turtle house might be a lot of work, especially if you are planning on visiting 3 countries in 9 days. Yet, it is doable with the following tips.

Tip #1

Don’t think overnight buses or high-speed trains are a good idea! They leave from pretty sketchy areas and if you are looking for one with a reasonable departure time, they are probably already full. There are a few options that monopolize the industry like Flixbus and Thalys & Eurostar. Flixbus offers a service that gives you exactly what you pay. You can buy tickets for $5. Imagine traveling between countries for only 5 dollars. Given the cheapness, expect the uncomfortable seats and the back pain coming right after it. You definitely can’t have fun afterward.


Tip #2

Leave your turtle house behind. Hotels and cafes usually don’t agree to keep your luggage or backpack but there are other services for that. I used Radical Luggage and having that weight off helps you enjoy the day. Radical Luggage was only for 6 dollars a day for a bag.

Tip #3

Plan early. This may seem like an obvious tip but I have never realized how much it could actually affect your trip satisfaction.

Ticket line for Louvre museum
Lines at Louvre Museum

If you have ever visited Paris, you know to expect long lines and crowded parks. For the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Palace of Versailles, the tickets can be sold out faster than jeans in Bershka on Black Friday. We could only get ‘climbing to second-floor tickets’ for the Eiffel Tower and overpriced Louvre ones. Versailles was out of the picture. It was long gone. By plan early, I mean the moment you buy your plane tickets.

Tip #4

Yes, you will get that chocolate, bottle of wine, book, and sweater. Leave some space in your backpack for what you will purchase in different cities. If you can, buy extra baggage for the return. If you purchase it at the airport, it will cost you much more. So, get that extra 4 or 5 kilograms of luggage space while you are planning. I am genuinely sure that this happens to every one of us.


Chocolatier at Brugge selling iconic chocolate boxes
Chocolatier at Brugge

Tip #5

BE SAFE! As two women travellers, Paris, Amsterdam, and Brussels Midi was full of scary moments. You might think that the Eiffel Tower is safe, right? Nothing can happen at the top. That is a big no. A man tried to carry me because I seemed tired. He didn’t think I might just not want that. He didn’t know any English and therefore didn’t even understand what I said to him. Another man in Amsterdam offered us a very unsafe-looking cigarette and wouldn’t leave us. It doesn’t end here! I was scared for my life at Brussels Midi. Remember the overnight buses?

Brussels Midi Train Station
Brussels Midi Station

Don’t get them if you are planning to board from Brussels Midi. That train station was hands down the worst place I have ever seen. I had to make a boxer friend to feel safe. Think about stuff you can do to feel safe, such as tools designed for this job specifically.

In short, the Europe scene was beautiful. I had the time of my life. The coffee I tasted, the unbelievable Eiffel view, the best artworks at the Louvre, the canals of Amsterdam… They all come with side effects but keep in mind these tips, and they will save you from unwanted adventures.

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