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This is the situation, I hope you can give me a hand:

On October 10th of this year I have an academic trip to Paris, it will take place from that date until October 22th. The trip is completely paid by my University, including tickets from my country (Colombia) to France, hotels, food and transport.

Now, It was proposed to me to stay some additional days if I want to, but the condition is that I must pay those days by myself.

This is what I've considered so far:

Time: I can not stay for more than 16 days starting from 22-oct since I'm in an active academic semester; more precisely, I can stay at most until November 7th (keep in mind this is only a time limitation and it's not related to budget or other type of limitations)

Budget: This is the hard thing. This opportunity got me with not so much money and I think I can only get about 1000 USD for the additional days (my local currency is very cheap compared to Euros and, it doesn't matter how much money I save here, in Europe, it will be only seen as one third of it).

The following is what I've planned based on other's opinions, travelers blogs and maps, among other resources.

The global plan: My initial idea is to travel Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and go back to Paris given that my return flight leaves from there (Yeah, I know it, it's a very long trip with a very adjusted budget and time, that's why I need some help).

The specifically plan: I finish my academical things in Paris on October 22th, but I have paid accommodation until October 23th. My idea is to leave that day and head to Belgium, where I want to visit Bruges, then Amsterdam - Netherlands. In that moment, I'll head to Prague, crossing the German territory. After that, I'll go down through Austria to Venice, then Milan and then I'll return to Paris crossing Switzerland.

How am I planning to achieve it: The first thing is that I'm planning to have and adventure, I'm not afraid (I know I must and in some sense, I like it) of having austere conditions or being limited. I plan to travel by hitchhicking, I've traveled my country by that mean and I've read it's even more feasible on Europe (I need some advices about this item!), however, I'm sure I'll need to make use of some public transport in order to get out from some cities or stuff like that.

About the nights, I had in mind three things: The first one is to use CouchSurfing, I've never used it and I have an account on it with no references so that's probably an issue, however, I'll give a try and see how does it go (any advice with this? how should I ask? what should I add to the basic information?). The other option was to camp, I've never been out of my country and I don't know what temperature should I expect and probably this is not a feasible option, but it's present anyway. The last one is to use hostels, I've booked some prices and they seem feasible but half of my budget would be spent on accommodation if I sleep that way all days.

I can buy my own ingredients and cook, provided I have a kitchen.

Additional info: I must add that my plan is not to visit "famous cities" or "touristic places", I'm a lover of nature, landscapes, small villages and towns so that's something to keep in mind (however, Amsterdam, Bruges, Venice, Praga, all of them are touristic places! but they're not the priority, for example, I'm not planning to sleep on those sites or stay for much time). Also, I'm a man and I'm 21, if that's useful.

Well, those are all of my thoughts, this is a very important thing for me and I really hope you will help me, I'm on Math Stack Exchange and I know the friendliness and will of help of this community.

All the info I've gained comes from blogs and that kind of things, I've never asked someone personally or asked on forums, this is the first time.

Please give me your advices, recommendations and opinions, with no fear, if you tell me You're dreaming, that's impossible and give me good arguments, I'll take it at the best way. Also, I can change the plan, of course, I hear suggestions about other possible routes (maybe smaller) and other kind of things to do.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: My budget is precisely 3'000.000 COP, USD is a little bit expensive these days so the convertion gives about 1.000 USD, but it can be a little bit more.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Karlson, CGCampbell, JoErNanO, pnuts, Gayot Fow Aug 6 '15 at 18:33

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Sounds like fun. Your agenda is too aggressive for 16 days, but that's strictly an opinion. Also given your preference for landscapes and small villages and the month of October, consider a heavier weight on the Danube valley. But all this is strictly an OPINION. Grain of salt and etc... – Gayot Fow Aug 6 '15 at 14:26
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    If you're on that much of a budget, I would recommend just completely avoiding Switzerland. Holy crap is Switzerland expensive (or at least Zurich was, that's the only city in Switzerland I've been, but last year, in Zurich, it was like 20 bucks for a cheap hamburger type expensive. Never doing that again.) Just the exchange rate alone was killer, but stuff was also expensive locally - put them together and it was madness. – neminem Aug 6 '15 at 14:57
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    Although the question sounds funny, i flagged as primarily opinion-based – Him Aug 6 '15 at 15:17
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    As you are short on budget, and most of your listed countries are in the expensive range, I would look for a change in where you want to go. Fast travel (plane?) to Czech republic, add Slovakia, Poland, maybe also Hungary. Go slower, less expensive as well. – Willeke Aug 6 '15 at 15:42
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    @SolidSnake my tips: use couchsurfing, hostels, and airbnb, camping is not an option in October. Use blablacar for car sharing. 16 days is not much time at all, so reduce the number of countries you want to see to 4 or 5 maximum I would say. – Adrien Be Aug 6 '15 at 15:49
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Is it possible? Yes.

I usually budget $1,000 per month wherever I travel. But...

But I use most of the tricks in the book, depending on the country, to keep prices down. Many people won't be comfortable with some or all of the tricks.

  • Hitchhiking. No trains, no buses. When hitching fails, use ride sharing.
  • Camping. Wild if possible. Finding cheap campgrounds varies a lot from place to place. In high season it's hard to get a space even if you can find campgrounds.
  • Couch surfing and other hospitality networks.
  • Stay at friends places whenever possible. Make friends during your travels who are from a country you intend to visit soon. But 15 days isn't much time to do that.
  • Cook your own food when you can. Or buy food from supermarkets, especially discount ones such as Lidl and Aldi. Street food and fast food such as kebabs are usually the cheapest hot foot in most parts of Europe. You can't afford restaurants very often on your budget - not even McDonalds really.

If the tricks I listed sound too harsh, consider a shorter time or allow for coming home early if the money runs out. The easiest way to stretch the money is to avoid the most expensive places like Zurich unless you have a relative or friend there.

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    Thank you very much for your answer Hippietrail, and all the other kind people that wrote in the comments section. All this information is extremely useful to plan my trip. My conclusion is that it is feasible but probably I must change my itinerary. It's a shame this was flagged as Primarily Opinion-Based, but you guys are right, I know how SE works. – Daniel Aug 7 '15 at 4:40
  • On my first Europe trip I intended not to visit Switzerland or England due to costs but along the way I made a travel friend from Switzerland and got an invitation from an old travel friend from another trip to stay at his place in London. So my advice is to expect to miss the most expensive places but be flexible because you never know. – hippietrail Aug 7 '15 at 4:45
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    @hippietrail what about busking? It does help when on a budget ;) and you meet great people! – Adrien Be Aug 8 '15 at 2:39
  • @AdrienBe: Yep I think I mentioned it in my longer answer on Quora. My answer here is smaller since the question was getting closed. Also I haven't tried it myself yet (-: – hippietrail Aug 8 '15 at 2:46

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