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Do young adults still travel around/backpack through Europe?

Apologies in advance if this sounds stupid but it has been a really really long time since I was 22.

I have two nephews in their early 20s and I was thinking of using my delta miles to get each of them a roundtrip international airfare plus a eurail pass so they could travel around Europe and sleep in hostels and see the world a bit.  I don't think this is something they would do unless I encouraged them.  They haven't been able to get into/finish college and they're in a bit of a rut and I think this is something they might enjoy.

However, I'm wondering if I'm hopelessly out of touch and NOBODY goes to Europe anymore.

In my day there was no Euro and many countries in Europe were very inexpensive to travel through.  Italy, Spain and Greece were bargains, not to mention Eastern Europe.  Of course, this is not the case anymore and I'm wondering if there is now some other region that young people are going to.

This is not a veg-related question and these guys are definitely not veg but I know there are a lot of young people here.  Please clue me in if I'm on the wrong track.

Thank you!

Jennifer

I've noticed a lot of people going on cruises in the ways of travel.

I have a friend who went to Ireland, Germany, Sweden, and I think Russia all on different trips. I know a bunch of people that want to go places but money is the main reason why they havent.

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YES this still happens... An old friend of mine just did this not too long ago, big backpack and hostels... It sounded kinda scary though (for a girl anyways) i know she had a few scary experiences of creepy guys following her

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My college roommate did this about a decade ago and my other college roommate a couple of years ago.  

It's more expensive in the previously super cheap places, probably, with the Euro, but a Eurorail pass and one currency would also make it tons easier to move around.

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That would be such an amazing gift! I must say though, I tried to travel around Spain on the cheap 2 years ago by staying in hostels and whatnot... and it was still very expensive. Hostels are good because they have kitchens so at least you can eat on the cheap instead of going out for every meal, but it was hard to resist trying the restaurants when you're out all day. I would probably recommend Eastern Europe though... and I'm in Berlin, which is actually very cheap. Other big German cities, not so much. I think they could manage though, if they were given such a wonderful opportunity!

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I came over as an au pair to travel around europe, found the love of my life, got married and stayed :). but its really expensive here in western europe. Unless you have a rail pass, planes are cheaper.

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I'm not 22, but I wish you were my aunt.

I would just hope that they have/could get enough money to be able to move around once they got there! It would definitely motivate me.

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Thanks so much for all the feedback.  I am clearly living in the past.  I asked another person I know (in her 30s) who told me she was planning to go to Europe this summer and stay in hostels and it would cost between $60-$80 per night.  Even adjusted for inflation that is so much more than it was years ago.

I was planning on getting them a round trip ticket and a Eurail pass and let them save up for their food and lodging.  They are working so I thought it would be possible.  However, I had no idea that it would be so expensive even at the super-economy level.  Plus, if not as many young people are doing it anymore, then it might not be as fun as it used to be when you would meet tons of people in travels and share rooms and meals before parting ways.

I was going to mention it to them tomorrow when I saw them but now I will think about it more carefully.

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I think meeting other young people, sharing meals and rooms is the norm! It's just a bit more pricey now. There's just not much cheap food around (especially vegan). What about Asia? I backpacked through Thailand when I was 20. It was awesome! I might tons of other young people and it was incredibly cheap. But Asia is a bit "scarier" than Europe, but one of the best experiences of my life!!

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Oh, there are plenty of young people in hostels and there's no way it costs $60-$80 per night! go to www.hostelworld.com to find tons of hostels. they average more like $20 per night. It's no Europe on $5 a day, like my mom did, but if you're covering the transportation and they save some money then it's totally worth it, I think. They can work out their budgets and everything and plan it around that. Oh, ALSO! They can sign up at www.couchsurfing.org and stay people's houses for free! There are tons of people who do that in order to travel more cheaply. They might have to cook some meals for the people they stay with, but they can meet lots of people that way and save lots of money!

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yes yes yes yes yes.
My husband and I spent 8 months in Europe with absolutely no income, and we made it to 15 different countries and stayed anywhere from a mattress on the floor in Leiden, Netherlands, to an apartment in central Paris, to a 32-bed dorm in Copenhagen, to a room with a view in Lagos, Portugal.  We never paid more than 25 euro a night, and often, it was under 15.
You can totally still do Europe on the cheap, and your nephews are so amazingly lucky to have a caring relative like you to help them get there.

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definitely! also, maybe they could look at couchsurfing.com

i love that site and have hosted a lot.

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Thanks for all the great feedback.  We went ahead and mentioned it to them and they were very excited.  That couchsurfing.com is a tremendous website!

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Trust me, I live in Holland, and there are still backpackers aplenty! The only tips I would give them is to not carry their wallets in their back pockets - a telltale sign that they are North American and easy prey to pickpocketers and to be wary of people at train stations offering them hotel offers that seem too good to be true...They usually are!

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This totally happens, and I would LOVE to do this!!!!!!

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Damn, I'd do it if I could afford it. I think it's just something that a lot of young people don't consider.

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I think it's really important to do that! I only started traveling in my mid-late 20s and wish I had done it before college.  Really opened my world.  While traveling, most of the friends I made were Europeans traveling for a year before going off to university.  People in Europe do still seem to do that. That is a very nice gift you could give them--do it!

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European here :)

Can't answer your original question about kids from the US, but re. doing it on the cheap: a lot of my friends are fervent couchsurfers (http://www.couchsurfing.org/), and not one of them has had a bad experience with it. I've hosted a couple of couchsurfers myself, and they were lovely. Also, because you can review your host/guest, the community fairly quickly weeds out any axe-wielding murderers :)

For food, I realise your nephews are probably not vegans, but there are a lot of squatted but very nice and well-run vegan restaurants in many European cities - if they don't mind hanging with the scruffy crowds :)

Southern and Eastern Europe are generally cheaper than North/west. I really hope they can go, it would be a great experience for them!

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