Aloha I am planning a trip to Europe and want to bicycle for months or even years
I'm an American don't know about the Visa process and going within Borders or transportation of trains
I don't really know anything about Europe maybe I'll buy a bike there maybe I'll ship a bike on the plane
I see some really cheap plane tickets like $350 round trip any information will help
anything that you learn from your tours there would help
I have 5 tours through western USA
I'm canadienne. I have visited Europe several times. I didn't need any visa to go in France. You have at entrance. Form other countries you just ride into. But for time I started as long as I needed to. But there is exceptions: Russia. You need to ask your visa from your country much easier.
You can get most Visa information here:
once you are in one of the european countries, you are free to cross borders throughout the Schengen-Region.
Hospitality: rule of thumb: don't be a dick. Most of us are friendly :)
Transportation: depending on where you are it is sometimes cheaper to fly, faster to take a bus or more conveniend to take the train.
check out https://www.goeuro.com/ to plan accordingly
Companions: depends on the route and season. But I've heard that it is common to find a buddy along the way (at least for some days)
Weather: that _really_ depends on the time of the year and the place. You can have texan-summers and minnesota-winters here. and everything in between. but you are pretty save of hurricanes and tornados.
Thanks ...Visa stuff Seems like a hassle, makes me want to just stay in western USA
I just double checked ... I gave you wrong informations. It seems like US Citizens don't need to apply for a Visa.
So just show up with passport and bank statement. Do I need travelers insurance?
It would be wise to have travel insurance, otherwise you will be billed for medical care.
it is advisable unless you intend to pay any possible visit to a hospital / physician cash.
this has always been an issue back when the US GIs lived in our city - despite having their hospital on the barracks-grounds, they sometimes went to the German hospital where they were turned off because of not being able to pay. Not funny when you really need help.
You can see here:
Hi Aaron, how is your plan comming along? Any wiser on the paper-work-front? Did you decide on a rough route oder itinery?
No need. For visa as I'm American. I'm seeking advice on route
Well, you have received a lot of input already. I wouldn't want to repeat too much. However, I'd still like to recommend that you head south on some Eurovelo-path which you will find easily on the internet. Going through Paris and further South through amazing landscape and quaint villages to Southern France, maybe your guiding light will become the Rhone river with old Roman settlements left and right still visible as the foundation of modern towns. And then on to Spain (along the beautiful Mediterranean coast) through the district Provence which might slow you down because of all the beauty you will see there. In Spain along the coast you will find many tourist places with un-beautiful architecture. But you will hit Barcelona pretty soon up north in the district Catalunia. A city you must not miss and must see and stay at for a few days. Mindblowing. Great tourist infos in town. Free guided walks every morning (like in so many cities nowadays!)
Before it gets too cold it might get windy and rainy during late fall and winter along the Med-coast. That will wear you out rather than snow and cold, which might not start until January/February. As you maybe live close to the coast, you might want to explore the iinterior of our small European countries. By all means do that. You will not regret it, never ever. Even if it gets hilly. Fromwhat you mentioned in your post/profile up and down is not a big deal for you.
Since you don't need a visa but still might feel a clock inside your guts. Somewhere down in Spain, Portugal or Gibraltar you will think of really slowinig down to hibernate somewhere along the Algarve coastline (Southern tip of Spain/Portugal). Listening to the regional music in some pub in some far off village, talking to the locals, eating their food and so on. Or you will ferry over to Norhern Africa (Tunesia or Marocco) which is so close you maybe can't resist.
Transportation: Keep in mind that trains are great in Europe, they run on a very dense railsystem for the masses. You as an US citizen have no idea - no hurt feelings please. Then there are buses like Greyhound but much cheaper. Travelling with a bicycle however causes a bit of a hazzle as you have to find those trains with special coaches. There are many trains running at all times, but you are - at the moment - not familiar with the cryptic logos that show them in the time tables. But "by then" you will be so relaxed and will have no problem asking somebody. And after a while you know the game.
As soon as you decide on staying longer, maybe a year and into spring an summer 2018, you will go further north to Swiss, Germany, Netherlands, Scandinavia .... There you will be in heaven as a cyclist. Need I say more ... No, I don't.
Anyways, google "Bed and Bike" and "Youth hostels" (for accomodation at like 20 USD per night), find the homepages of the many Eurpean rail companies - at least one in each country, just to be prepared. And don't forget the apps of cycling-related information and a list of nike shops (interactive world map, google-based, internet). Keep in mind that you need a set electric adapters for European countries so you can stay connected. Ask for Wifi-code in each café (I shouldn't mention that, I know). It is en passent a nice opportunity to start a conversation. Keep in mind, that we learn British English, so be patient with us Europeans and pimp your humor ( which you from the West Coast have plenty of, I am sure). Please, cut out urban English and slang, that doesn't mean much hereabout. "Dude" is practically unknown, "awsome", "gotcha", "absolutly" used in each or every second utterance is not convincing to "us" Europeans.
Whatever happens will happen. You will enjoy Europe and become a new individual, even though it will stress you out at times.
Here some more ideas for your remember-list or to-do-list: when out in the countryside/ittle villages ask farmers if you could sleep in their barn, if the weather gets too bad for your taste or when there is no Warmshower host available or in general, instead of wild camping. I don't recommend wild camping, because you "should" get in touch with people as often as possible for obvious reasons (may I use "should"?) Ask as long as there is daylight if possible. Another idea: Even if a campground appears closed for the winter, the owner or his worker might do maintenance work, then ask them if they let you stay there anyway.
Btw: in mainland (Western) Europe, trespassing is not the same dangerous issue as in the States. Loitering is not a judicial term or offence here, e.g. sitting on stairs in front of a church, sitting on a bench in the streett or in a park and eating/drinking something ... Health insurance: your are not forced to have one, but you will get a bill. However, medical services cost half or less in Europe compared to the US even when you pay yourself. My bet: you will not be charged. The major problems are big health problems of course, like hospitaliztion or when you for your own reasons feel like you would rather be at home in your familiar environment with that specific issue. Then you need a separaze vacation-insurance for foreign countries. Your health plan, if you have any, I presume doesn't cover travelling.I guess you have been running around researching the insurance-topic. Google "travel insurance Europe 1 year" and you will find out that you can buy one rather cheap and easy e.g. in Belgium at the airport or downtown in Bruxelles or online, tailored to your plans. Lonely Planet offers this info: https://www.worldnomads.com/travel-insurance/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0JiW9qKR1gIVBCrTCh2cbQJuEAAYASAAEgIl1_D_BwE and there is lots more awsome stuff to learn through your Google-research,
I hope I didn't anoy or bore you to death. Good luck to you and may the tailwinds be with you! Cheers, Matt
Your advise was very helpful! Thank you so much! I'm also planning a year long tour across Europe and Asia starting in March 2018.
Thanks Matt, you practical wrote a book for me . I'll take all your advice. I use slang so mich, ill unlearn ;) yes I want to meet the people of Europe so much, you have blessed me
Aaron Scott Bullock
You don't need a visa but you can only travel for up to 90 days within a 6 month period. This is from this site https://www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/schengen-visa-insurance/us-citizens-traveling-schengen-countries.php
"If you are a US citizen with a US passport traveling to the Schengen countries for tourism or business, you will not need a visa as long as you spend 90 days or less in these countries. Under this agreement, you can enter the Schengen area as long as your stay does not exceed 90 days within a 6 month period."
So I fly to London, Oct 10th , in route planning stages. Learned I don't need visa, europ e has become more welcoming to Americanz.
if you combine shenguen with non shenguen you could travel in europe without time frame i believe, you have many options.