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So, due to a recent financial windfall, my plans to take about a 2 week trip to Europe have potentially moved up from "something for 2-3 years down the line" to "maybe next spring/summer". Since I haven't left North America since I was about 6, I was hoping to get some advice. I'll likely ask more specific questions as I get more of an idea, but I wanted to start by asking what are things that people recommend as part of the planning for a trip like this?

I don't really know where I want to go specifically. I know I've got friends in Portugal and England I want to visit, and a great uncle who works in Rome, but otherwise I don't really have any specific plans. Is it feasible to just kind of...go and wander and see sights, or do people recommend having at least a basic roadmap more complete than "start in England, go through Portugal, end in Rome after 2 weeks"?

How much should I be looking to budget for this? I honestly haven't traveled anywhere since I left high school, so I don't really know what hotel/hostel/motel rates run even in the US, much less in various places across Europe.

Would 2 weeks be enough for a trip like the one I mentioned above? My understanding is that moving between countries in Europe is relatively easy compared to going in and out of the US, is that true? How much of the languages of the countries I plan to go through should I learn? My European friends have said that you can generally get by on English, is that true for the most part?

Sorry this isn't the most specific question, but the eventual trip is still pretty far out and vague. I just want to put myself into a position where I can do it.

closed as too broad by Tor-Einar Jarnbjo, Uciebila, jcaron, Traveller, Chris H Sep 25 at 15:19

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    budgets can range massively depending on where you want to stay, how you get meals, how you travel etc. Someone who uses hostels/budget hotels, prepares their own food, and travels by bus would have a significantly smaller spending than someone who uses standard hotels, buys meals out, and travels by plane for example. Also depends what sort of things you want to do there, free museums and beaches, or lots of paid attractions etc. – Uciebila Sep 25 at 14:41
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    England, Portugal, Rome is more than enough to fill up a 2-week stay, especially if you are going to use trains and buses. There's your holiday planned out for you! And it sounds like you won't have to pay for accommodation in any of those places, is that right? – TonyK Sep 25 at 14:42
  • My current plans would probably involve eating out but not necessarily at super fancy places. Travel would probably be mostly trains when possible, buses if not (definitely not primarily planes). Lodging would probably be a mix of friends and budget locations (if I wanted to see something in an area that wasn't in their city) – Keledrath Sep 25 at 14:59
  • Travel by train can range from very very fast if there's a decent high-speed link to very slow if there isn't one. For instance, Paris to Marseille is 650 km as the crow flies and takes 3 hours, while Madrid to Lisbon is 500 km but takes over 10 hours. From the UK to Portugal or Portugal to Italy, unless you want to spend time visiting France and Spain on the way, you're definitely better off flying. Note that cost of accommodation may vary greatly with location (large cities and seaside locations are more expensive) and season (by the beach summer can be a LOT more expensive). – jcaron Sep 25 at 15:12
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    The question is far too broad to answer, and then only with opinions. I suggest you start doing plenty of background reading. – Weather Vane Sep 25 at 15:14