5 Countries, 2 Weeks, 1 Backpack: Flights, Hostels, and How to Pack

About two weeks ago I returned from a two-week trip backpacking through Europe – and this time I’m serious… I really had just one backpack.  I told my friends back home that I was only bringing a backpack and everyone had their doubts, but I did it.

But before I get ahead of myself… My friends Ryan, Zack and I had planned a trip to Europe and got lucky with a flight that was about 650.00 USD from Chicago to Paris, One-Way.  Zack’s was a little cheaper about 500-something USD I believe, and he stayed about 2 and a half weeks.

If you are looking to book your own Euro-Trip here are a few tips on Flights, Hostels, and How To Pack.  

Our Itinerary and Prices:

May 1: Chicago O’Hare to Paris = 650.00 USD

May 3:  Paris to London = 30.00

May 8:  London to Copenhagen = 23.00

May 9:  Copenhagen to Budapest =32.00

May 12:  Budapest to Berlin = 34.00

May 14: Berlin to Paris = 60.00

May 15: Paris to Chicago

So 5 countries: 829.00 USD.

  • I bought all of my flights on Skyscanner.com.
  • We booked our International Flights in February, 3 months ahead and our country-to-country flights in March, so about two months ahead.
  • I try to fly on Mondays-Wednesdays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest day to travel and purchase flights, I am told.
  • I only brought one bag so I did not need to check anything or pay baggage fees.

Where to Stay?

The Hostels my friends and I stayed at include the following, I will also provide a star* rating, with how likely I am to recommend the hostels we stayed in.  You can book through hostelworld.com, I love this website because it compares prices and has many reviews so you can decide a place to stay yourself.

  • Paris: St. Christopher’s Inn Canal : *****; 5  = 35.00 USD/ a night
    – wifi, a cool bar and restaurant, a club, outlets by the bed, and curtains for privacy. (Pictured Below)
  •  London: Clink261: ***; 3 = 19.00 GBP/ a night
    – This hostel had free wi-fi, breakfast included, a lounge and fridge, however, I did not think the security was as great as other hostels and the beds were all pushed next to one another so it was practically like you were sleeping with the person next to you.  Oh, and the room had a musty smell and dirty ceiling.  Not a bad hostel though besides these two things though! (Pictured Below)
  •  Copenhagen: Sleep In Heaven: *****+; 5+ = 170.00 DKK/ a night
    – This was the best hostel I have ever stayed in, wi-fi, super clean sheets, big nice showers, a huge lounge with a bar, and the nicest staff! (Pictured below)
  •  Budapest: HoBar: **’ ; 2 and a half = 2,200.00 HUF/ a night
    – The half is questionable…. the security in this hostel is very, very low, being a female solo traveler I would not recommend to other females, I was with two male friends, however, so it wasn’t too bad.  The room smelled very bad, the sheets were questionable but I (hope) were changed between every guest.  The other guests also made me a bit worried, they seemed to be older men who would just stay for a night then leave, with the exception of one man who I think lived in the room….  The showers were also… ugh.  Overall, it was a bed to stay in and that was it.  It was however, very cheap. (Pictured Below)
  • Berlin: Berlin Youth Hostel: ****; 4; 16.00 EURO/ a night
    – Very nice hostel, huge breakfast buffet included, cool lounges (which are perfect for charging your phone because…) no outlets near bed, so good luck charging your phone!  Really nice, clean rooms though.  Definitely a very nice hostel minus the outlets. (Pictured Below)

ALL of the hostels had lockers for your belongings (thank god) and they all had Wifi! Being Twenty-Five I would have to really be in a pinch to choose to stay in a hostel again, but I definitely would stay in the hostel in Copenhagen over a hotel in the future – as for the rest?  I’d go with a hotel room…

What I Packed?

SO- how did I make it two weeks with only one backpack?  Let me tell you what I packed and wore on the planes so I could travel light.

What I wore:
Black Cami
Doc Martin Boots

What I packed:
Flip Flops (for the showers..ew, definitely a good idea in Budapest)
15 pairs of undies
2 Calvin Klein Bra-lettes
7 pairs of socks (yes I double wore socks, whatever)
A white t-shirt
A black t-shirt
A striped quarter-length shirt
Yoga pants (pajamas)
An old shirt (pajamas)
A long sleeve blue shirt
My makeup bag
Shower stuff (shampoo, face/body wash, conditioner, razor)

The best way, I have found to fit a lot of items in to a bag are to roll them up as opposed to folding, and invest in one of those bags you vacuum the air out of!  They really do work.

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