Resources

It’s important to be open minded and not have too strict of an itinerary when you travel. I found that some of the most memorable experiences were from when I just went with the flow. A laptop or iPod Touch is essential to bring with you. You can book all of your hostels and transportation from where ever you are, and it allows you to make changes to your plans as you go. Here are some really useful resources to help you plan your trip.

The Essentials

Eurail

Europe has a great rail system that can get you almost anywhere you need to go. I would highly recommend not buying one of their package deals before hand though. I was able to get almost any train ticket I needed the day of or the day before I wanted to use it. Also, train tickets can be more expensive than flights or bus tickets depending on what cities you are trying to travel between.

Kayak.com

Kayak is a life-changing site. Get to know it, and you will love it. I use Kayak exclusively for booking flights because it compiles the results of every major travel site in one place to ensure you get the cheapest deals. Kayak also turned me on to Ryanair and EasyJet, two discount airlines that are huge in Europe. I booked several flights on them for under $50!

Hostelworld.com

Hostelworld.com is the premier site for booking hostels and finding a place to stay. Its ratings and user reviews are extremely helpful and rarely wrong. The site is also great because you only have to pay 10 percent up front and can wait to pay the balance in person. I reccomend using the full site rather than the iPhone app because the app does not let you book hostels the day of.

Castle

Useful Apps

An iPhone or iPod Touch is a necessity for backpacking. Almost every hostel has free wi-fi, and it is also available at a ton of other places around Europe. Here are a few of my favorite apps for traveling.

Skype

Skype lets you make international calls for only pennies. All you need is a wi-fi connection and you can call any phone number.

Frommer's Travel Tools

This app gives you a great background of information on every major city. It's easy to read and sticks to the important stuff.

The Weather Channel

It's always useful to know what the weather will be like where you are going.