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Keeping Things Cheap In Europe?

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Keeping Things Cheap In Europe?

Postby Wolfeye » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:53 am

I'm looking to finally take off for Europe & want to get there before my birthday (July 21). Figure celebrating that in Prague might be interesting, in more ways than one (although if you guys have other suggestions, please feel free to share). Obviously, I can't time getting laid- but I'm looking to start a new life there more than I'm trying to get casual sex.

How do I keep it cheap in Europe? I'm particularly worried about traveling (since I might not be able to get a quick cruise to Poland) & accommodations. I figured I'd take a cruise, since I don't like the concept of flying (if something goes wrong, I'd be shit out of luck). Freighters are cheaper, but might take months & I was hoping to be there before mid-July. Also, I don't want to get my balls busted about doctor's notes. That's something that it seems is a potential point with freighters- maybe a bribe would work? If so, how much? I figure it's probably cheaper than getting a doctor to sign off on something, since they'd probably try to coerce you into more shit since they know you want something that hinges on them.

As for accommodations, I know there are sometimes cheaper options than hotels (or are simply cheap hotels), but I don't know what they have in Czechia (where I'm looking to go) or Poland (where I'll likely travel to & across, since it has coast & Czechia doesn't). What is around in Europe for cheap, but not destitute, places to live? I don't know much about hostels & to be honest, might find them a bit of a pain in the ass- I'd at least have to lock up my sleeping bag, right? I remember hearing that they don't allow outside bedding, but not if they search your bags or anything.

I guess I COULD land in Portugal/Spain/Italy/etc..., but I figure traveling by land that far afterward would be very expensive. Also, I don't know exactly how to go about it- do I take a single train or is it a bunch of different ones? One other thing is that I don't want to land in the middle of a bunch of "migrants." Sure, I'm on a cruise ship, but they seem to be at or around the ports. Same reasons I'm not looking to stay there too much. These "migrants" are all over the place, but it seems they're more concentrated in Lisbon & Madrid than they are in Prague or Warsaw. I'd prefer not to be in Germany at all, for the same reasons.
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Re: Keeping Things Cheap In Europe?

Postby Yohan » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:06 pm

There is no good and cheap way to get out of USA/Canada to Europe and Asia except getting on a plane, any cheap economy ticket. Might be a narrow place but after a few hours you arrive at your destination, another continent.

Within all EU, you can go easily around by train, no need to get on an airplane. The train network is fairly good.

I am now too long away from Europe to give any advice about accommodation. I had my own motorcycle at that time, and I was earning well, so I stayed always in good hotels and guest houses and never in youth hostels or similar places.

In general, Europe is not such a cheap place, however most expensive is the North - Norway, Sweden etc, followed by Western/Central Europe, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria - cheaper is Southern Europe, Italy, Spain, Greece, cheapest Eastern Europe, like Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania...

About trains and rates in Europe, there are websites about it, also in English, like this one:
https://www.raileurope.com/index.html
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Re: Keeping Things Cheap In Europe?

Postby Wolfeye » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:46 pm

Thanks, Yohan! Seems you have to be pretty specific on that site, but I figure once I know when I'm going to be arriving that won't be an issue.
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Re: Keeping Things Cheap In Europe?

Postby gsjackson » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:37 am

I spent four days in Lisbon recently and didn't see any migrants. I got the last cheap transatlantic cruise of the season back in early April -- about $800 for a 14-day cruise. They're all expensive in mid-summer. As are flights. Norwegian Air is always the cheapest way to cross the Atlantic, though their prices about double in mid-summer, and you have to fly to Oslo, Stockholm or Copenhagen, all of which are very expensive. The day I left Copenhagen the cheapest hotel room there on Booking.com was $297.

If you're traveling long distances in Europe, flying is much easier and cheaper than train travel, and the budget lines like Norwegian, Ryan and Easy Jet fly many European routes. Prices to fly one-way are very reasonable, but don't take more than one checked bag, as you will always pay about $100 for the second.

Once you get to Prague you can find a half-decent furnished place for $400-450. The Czech self-employment visa is one of the easiest to get, if you want to stay longer than three months, but you'll need help jumping through the hoops. And will have to pay health insurance up front for the duration of the visa, as well as social insurance each month -- both together come to a little over $100/mo.
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Re: Keeping Things Cheap In Europe?

Postby Wolfeye » Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:06 pm

gsjackson: Thanks, that helps a lot! I don't mean to barrage you with questions, but I have some more:

What about this self-employment visa? Is this just a declaration that I intend to be self-employed or do I need to actually start some sort of business? I've actually been thinking of being a self-reliance instructor as a career, but my skills aren't quite up to par yet. I guess if I took some languages there (I'd imagine a student visa would be needed), I could be self-employed as a language teacher or a translator or something (maybe to do with tourism). Do any of these seem like they'd work?

Also, the health & social insurance- is this with any visa & do you get locked-up if you don't pay it or is it a fine? I'd probably be there for the 90 days where I don't need a visa, but I might want to get a visa & continue my stay while I'm there. Don't want to get things on a bad foot when I'm not even familiar with the place & might get an "Asshole American" reputation from doing so, especially so soon after arriving.

I've got more than a few holes in my logistical knowledge- like I don't know if I've got to give people my passport to stay in a hotel like in a lot of movies (they never give copies, I notice). Also, what about reporting where you'll be & such like that? I heard sometimes about checking in with police or something like that, but it seems this doesn't apply for the first three months. I know you CAN do without, but I don't want to have issues when I'm trying to do something later on.
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Re: Keeping Things Cheap In Europe?

Postby gsjackson » Fri Jun 17, 2016 6:11 pm

It's a declaration that you intend to be self-employed and are competent in the area you will be self-employed in. Don't need to have started.

I assume the health and social insurance are required for any long-term visa beyond 90 days. I'd imagine the penalty is simply having the visa cancelled and told to leave.

I had a hotel in Austria keep my passport 14 years ago, but lately -- and I've stayed in many different European hotels -- they just copy the information and give the passport back to you.

I guess you're supposed to register with the police for a stay of any length, but I never have, and there's never been any consequences.
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Re: Keeping Things Cheap In Europe?

Postby Wolfeye » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:03 pm

gsjackson: Great! I think I can handle that.
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