9 Things You Think You Know About Backpacking Across Europe (Until You Do It)

Just because you’ve spent your whole life envisioning your trip of a lifetime backpacking across Europe doesn’t mean things will turn out exactly as planned. Europe is a beautiful continent with an incredible diversity of culture, but it may not be exactly as you envisioned it. Here are 9 things you only think you know about backpacking across Europe:

Females-Can't-Couchsurf-AloneSyda Productions / Shutterstock

1. Women Can’t Couchsurf Alone

There are numerous couchsurfing websites that connect travelers with locals and a free place to crash. Solo female travelers may be more wary of crashing on a random person’s couch than their male counterparts, but they don’t have to avoid this awesome money saver altogether. Many couchsurfing websites have points programs and opportunities to review and chat with hosts. As long as you check out your potential crash pad and host well in advance of your stay and follow your gut if anything seems off, lone ladies can also take advantage of local sofas throughout the land.

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2. Accommodations Are Always Expensive

Budgeting for any Euro trip is difficult and travelers are always looking for ways to save money. One great way to lower your living expenses is to stay in hostels that will allow you to work to stay. Instead of paying cash for your room and board, many hostels will assign travelers with daily duties associated with the hostel’s upkeep in exchange for a bed and roof over your head. Do your research ahead of time and make sure the hostel will be in need of your assistance during the time of your stay, or else you will have to fork over some cash.

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3. Everyone Drives Automatic Vehicles

It is common in the Western world to drive automatic; however, Europeans are much more likely to drive standard vehicles. If you are planning to rent a car somewhere along your travels, be sure to check that you can either drive standard or that your rental company has automatic cars available for rent. Automatic vehicles often cost more to rent and use more gas than standard, so if you have time before your trip, a driving lesson or two could save you a lot of cash. That way you can focus all of your attention on driving on the other side of the road.