Backpacking Europe will be one of the greatest adventures of your lifetime but without some form of planning, it could go from being a spontaneous adventure to a disorganized nightmare. You may be the kind of person who likes to do things without much planning but an extended trip to Europe does require some amount of preparation.

The Basics: Who, When, Where, and Why

Before opening up a backpacking Europe guide and writing down all the names of hostels and train fares, sit down and reflect on what the purpose of your trip is. If you are traveling alone, more power to you, but if you are traveling with a partner, discuss your priorities with him or her. If you are traveling with someone, realize that you are going to be with that person hours on end so you need to make sure you have similar interests in terms of travel. For example, some travelers may want to party all night while others want to spend the entire day museum-hopping and getting their much-needed rest at night. Make your priorities clear with your travel partner prior to departure so you don’t end up having conflicts later.

Also decide when you are going to travel. If you want to avoid crowds, research the low seasons for the regions where you are traveling and go then. If weather is an issue, research what the weather is like during the period you plan to travel and bring the right type of gear and clothing for those weather conditions.

Use a backpacking Europe guide and map to plan out where you are going to go and approximately how long you are going to stay so you can determine more or less how much money you will be spending day to day. Running out of money is definitely a problem so make sure you estimate the occasional splurge on a good hotel or restaurant. Sometimes only eating and staying in cheap places gets old and you will feel like spending big bucks on one night of luxury while on the road.

Backpacking Europe can cost a lot or a little depending on your habits. If you only stay in hostels, which Europe has plenty of you won’t have to worry about spending much on accommodations. Purchase a backpacking Europe guide to get information on the addresses and costs of hostels on your travel route. Remember that you’ll have to share a dorm room with other travelers in most cases. If you aren’t comfortable sleeping in the same room as people of the opposite sex, make sure the hostels you are going to stay in have same-sex dorm rooms.

To cut down on food costs, shop at supermarkets and bakeries to prepare your own meals and eat street food. Expect to visit the occasional restaurant but try not to make it a habit. Bring a pocket knife so you can cut and peel fresh fruits and veggies from the market while you are on the road.

So there you have it. There’s a lot to know about backpacking in Europe. Your best bet is to consult a backpacking in Europe guide at the bookstore or online so you can plan at least the framework of your trip to avoid future troubles. Without planning, your trip may end up a disorganized disaster. Use this information as a backpacking in Europe guide so you can have a stress-free adventure once you arrive in Europe.