If you want to backpack through Europe on a budget you need to plan where to go. Each country, each city is unique where you could travel for 12 months and feel like you still missed a lot. The other benefit of planning where to go is understanding how much it cost to get there.
Remember that your budget will determine how long you are able to travel for. Or vice versa. Both need to be reviewed and decided on before you leave. You might hear stories of friends or people who just left with a backpack and was able to travel Europe and the world. I wouldn’t say they are lying, haha but those type of people are unique.
What is involved with Itinerary planning? Deciding where you want to go and when.
According to Rick Steeves
Peak Season – Summer is a great time to travel — except for the crowds and high temperatures. Sunny weather, long days, and exuberant nightlife turn Europe into a powerful magnet. I haven’t missed a peak season in 30 years. Families with school-age children are usually locked into peak-season travel.
Shoulder Season – generally April through mid-June, September, and October — combines the advantages of both peak-season and off-season travel. In shoulder season, you’ll enjoy decent weather, long-enough daylight, fewer crowds, and a local tourist industry still ready to please and entertain.
Off-Season – every summer, Europe greets a stampede of sightseers. Before jumping into the peak-season pig pile, consider a trip during the off-season — generally November through March.
Peak season has its advantages of nicer weather but are typically more expensive as opposed to Shoulder Season and Off Season, which offer more discounts for hotels and airfare.
For example, travelling to the Swiss Alps in October is still nice weather but less crowded since children are back to school. Early spring means less crowded beaches throughout Greece and experience less tourists and more culture in Provence during the Fall.
Now, where to go? Visit our popular City Guides or wander through the official Europe Tourism website for some inspiration.