Backpacking Europe will forever be one of the best memories in my whole entire life. I went for a little over four weeks from July until August with three of my best friends. It took a ton of planning in order to optimize the best route and to get more bang for our buck. I had a list of places I wanted to go to in my phone, so I whipped out a map and started to plan based on what countries were close by. I tried to google backpacking routes but it was unsuccessful. I hope you can use this post as a base of what to see and do and what to not do while Backpacking Europe.

TOTAL COST: $2,500

We even were able to attend Tomorrowland the music festival in Belgium while we were out there. So you might be wondering, how do I plan such a huge life changing trip like this? Here is how our trip went…


I was the brains of the operation for the planning of our trip. I prefer it that way because I like to be in control and ensure that everything is planned out successfully. We would embark on a journey to see 11 places in one month. It sounds crazy but I’m the kind of person that just needs to see something once and I’m ready to move on. If you’re not the type to go, go go and you want time to enjoy the places, then cut the amount of places down.

I started by entering our travel dates into Hopper, which is a useful app that watches flights for you and tells you when is the best time to get them. Ryanair is the most common airline used to get cheap flights in Europe. We found that flying from Oakland to London Gatwick airport would be the cheapest. It was roughly $350 each for the flight. We picked an overnight flight (which I prefer) so that we can sleep on the plane instead of figuring out what to do for 14 hours on the way there. I started a section in the notes of my phone where I laid out the flights, where we would be staying and the costs. It is good to get organized for a big trip like this so you don’t mix anything up. Many backpackers prefer to find some place to stay as they go, but I would rather book it in advance because you never know if places are too expensive or all booked up. I booked all of our spots on:

I compared all the above to see which ones would be the best option for each country based on price and location.

You’ll need to let your bank know you will be out of the country. Fail to do so and your cards won’t work overseas. You’ll also need to set up a phone plan. I have At&t so I purchased a travel plan but if you want to rely solely on Wifi, I highly recommend the Skyroam Wifi Hotspot. It helps you stay connected in over 150 countries. Next, I ordered a 60L backpack off Amazon for only $60. We wanted to avoid baggage fees from country to country. You’d be surprised how many outfits you can fit in one of these backpacks! I also ordered a fanny pack off amazon that you can wear underneath your clothes to protect your belongings since Europe is infamous for theft on subways, etc. It also protects against someone trying to steal your credit card information. There have been reports of people’s information getting stolen from a device that is able to detect your information through your bag, so this handy dandy fanny pack will do the trick. I have provided a link to the Skyroam Wifi hotspot, fanny pack and backpack below.

As far as packing, I brought two sets of heels, one pair of sandals and a pair of converses. I brought outfits that I could mix and match, so it looks like you’re wearing a new outfit. I brought a bathing suit, a jean jacket and a sweater. We were all set to go!


On our flight to London, we were surprised that they did not offer any complimentary drinks or snacks. It was the first time we’ve ever flown where you actually had to pay for the food and it was not included. Good thing we had just scarfed down some Panda Express before we got on the plane but we may have gotten a little spendy and ordered two bottles of champagne, which came out to $50 each. Whoops. We arrived in London the next morning and were starving. One of the things I love to do while traveling is to eat the local food and try new things. We decided to eat at a Fish and Chips spot at the subway aka the “tube.” Worst mistake. The fish was no lie, the size of my forearm. What kind of fish was it even? The server had no idea and just said it was “fish of the day.” Hmmm sketchy, but we were too starving to care and scarfed down half of it and the majority of the fries. We also took the time to exchange our money at the airport. ANOTHER big mistake. We failed to realize that airports charge a butt load in fees to exchange money and we didn’t notice at the time but we exchanged $500 into pounds, when London was the only place that took pounds. Soooo dumb of us. We were jet lagged and were not thinking about how all the other countries we are going to would be using a different currency. I recommend using a travel credit card, that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees so you can avoid all of that mess.

After that, we took the tube to London Backpackers, which was the hostel we would be staying at. When we arrived, the hostel was locked. Before we went into panic mode, the hostel manager finally came back to their post. We got all checked in and were sold on a pub crawl that was taking place that evening. I highly recommend that you take advantage of all the hostel events, including the free walking tours. They are at discounted rates and a great way to explore the city. Before we left, we locked all of our belongings that were in a bin under our bunk bed. MAKE SURE YOU LOCK UP YOUR STUFF, even if you’re using the restroom. Even if your hostel mates are awesome people, you just don’t want to risk it.

The pub crawl in Westminster was a blast. We stayed up all night going from bar to bar. The house music scene in London is on point. If you know us, you know our love for fire house music. One of my best friend’s and I’s songs is “Wish you were Mine” by Philip George and we actually heard that remix for the first time ever in person! It was a magical moment for us.

big ben londonThe second day we went on a walking tour that included a spot to see Big Ben. We had no shame in wanting to see all the touristy things, because it was our first time there and you should want to see them too! We also were able to see the Queen’s palace but were bummed to hear that this was just one of her many houses and not the one she was currently bunking at. Right as the tour started pouring rain.

The BFF and I headed back to our hostel. We had plans to go out to a disco event in Brickel that evening with an old foreign exchange student we had made friends with in the states a year prior. We took the hour long tube ride to the event. One piece of advice that I’ll add here is that we failed to incorporate how expensive riding the tube would be
Each time we went somewhere, it really started to add up. I suggest purchasing a day pass if you know you’ll be going around to multiple places.  We finally got to the Disco event and had an amazing time.


what to do in london
We ended up going to a 4 leveled house for an after party where we partied until 4 am and then took the tube back to our hostel (probably not smart). Oh boy, let me tell you, the tube at this hour is filled with a bunch of weirdos. We watched this drunk guy yell odd ramblings. Then across from us we saw a guy that was “sleeping” but he kept opening up his eyes to look around. He zipped down his jacket and I realized he was AN UNDERCOVER COP, just chillin on the tube. I’m such a spiritual person so I can’t help but think that that was my guardian angel watching over us, making sure that we would get home in one piece. We finally made it back and ended up sleeping the rest of the next day until our next flight. I have to say out of all the airports on our trip, London Gatwick gave us the most hassle. They made us place all of our liquids into one single bag. They even considered mascara a liquid. I pleaded with them to please cut us some slack because we need all this stuff for the rest of the month, but they didn’t care. I was tired and flustered and on the brink of tears. My friend and I had to decide which liquids we would both need for the rest of the trip and sadly, trashed the rest.



I have to say out of all the places on our trip, I did not enjoy Ireland. I disliked the Celtic and punk music at every bar. I didn’t vibe there whatsoever. Not to mention, I got bed bugs at the Abbey Court hostel we stayed at. It was only $10 a night (we were there for two nights), so I figured it was a steal. I probably should have trusted my intuition when I saw signs that said “these machines are to detect bed bugs”. If they had machines for that, then they probably had a case of them before. I was playing on my phone at 3 am (both of us couldn’t get on the overseas sleep schedule yet) when I noticed a red beetle crawl across my hand. I lifted up the covers and shined my phone light and realized I was COVERED in dozens of bed bugs. I jumped up and screamed. I ran downstairs and when the attendant came up, of course they were nowhere to be found. As you can imagine, I wanted my money back but they tried to make it seem like I BROUGHT THEM. Like no, I live in California. Bed bugs are not a thing. They ended up giving us half of our money back aka $20. If you happen to get bed bugs while you’re traveling, go to the nearest laundromat and get all of your stuff washed in hot water. Also, apply some itching cream. Trust me, you’ll need it. Below is a picture of my lovely bites.

bedbugs ireland

So what did we do in Ireland besides suffer? Well we did another walking tour and pub crawl from the hostel. We got to learn some interesting history on how Ireland came about but my friend and I got bored during the middle and just dipped. We also went to the Guinness brewery, where I discovered that Guinness actually tastes delicious. We got to become certified beer pourers. Some Asian family that couldn’t speak any English, kept wanting to take pictures with us. It was the funniest thing.

guinness brewery dublinAnother part that turned me off about Ireland, was the food. The food was very heavy. I felt like I needed a juice cleanse. We wanted to try everything they had to offer so we ordered pudding, which is actually cow’s blood. If you didn’t know it was cow’s blood, then it would be alright but the fact that we knew it was, made it taste like a penny in your mouth. We were over Ireland so we headed to the airport early. No matter how many times her and I tried to head to the airport early, SOMETHING would force us to end up running to the terminal. This time was because we waited in the rain for a bus that was supposed to take you to the airport. We waited and waited and nothing came. I kept having to go inside a subway to use their WIFI to check for the schedule. Then out of nowhere, a man says “If you’re going to the airport, you need to stand on the other side of the road” Once again, it was as if my guardian angel was pointing us in the right direction. We made it to the airport just in time (mainly due to the sprint we had to make after we got off the bus).


My friend and I stopped in Brussels for the night because we would be traveling to Boom, Belgium for Tomorrowland music festival the following day. This country was by far the hardest language to read and understand. Barely anybody spoke English so we were completely lost at the subway station. It was the first time that we felt helpless. Each person that spoke to us in their broken English gave us different directions than the last and we found ourselves going back and forth until we finally found the right stop. We walked for what felt like ages, with our heavy backpacks on our shoulders. When we arrived at the Sunrise Apart Hotel, they had no record of our reservation, which was definitely not what we wanted to hear in that moment. They were able to still accommodate us. As we walked up to the room, we realized we were staying in a very strange place. We realized that we are the only guests staying there. The light did not work in the hallway and there was random furniture cluttered outside of our room. Our room had a window that you could climb out of and on to the ceiling. We went outside to grab something to eat but all of the places were closed even though it was the afternoon. It was a ghost town. The only people walking around were the policemen and the weird part was, they had huge rifle guns with them. Brussels had weird energy. It felt like anything could pop off at any moment.

We hopped on the subway to go to the mall because we needed to get camping stuff for the music festival and I low key really wanted a Belgium waffle. You’d think it would be sooo easy to order but it was actually hard to find a place that had one. When I finally got to order a waffle, I asked for syrup. They had no idea what I was even talking about. They brought me Nutella and some jams to put on the waffle. It was very odd. We found a store that sold camping stuff, but it was so expensive. We ended up buying one tent, two little kid’s floral sleeping bags and decided one would be for the ground as cushion and the other we would use as our blanket. We decided we would use our backpacks as pillows. We were ballin on a budget and didn’t want to have to carry around all these supplies. We headed back to the hostel. Her and I were exhausted and decided to nap. When we woke up, it was evening time. When we went outside to get something to eat, a man told us that we shouldn’t walk around at night. He said the shops turn into some sort of mafia. We settled on chicken fingers and ice cream from a market and headed back to the hotel. This place was so creepy. I can’t even begin to explain how eerie the whole thing was. I saw that there was a local nightclub playing techno that evening but we both felt that it was too unsafe to go out. We watched movies and she tickled my back until I fell asleep ☺.

In the morning we were so ready to leave that creepy hotel. We ate their free breakfast which consisted of toast, fruit and yogurt. Then we headed to the subway to go to Tomorrowland.


Tomorrowland is an incredible music festival located in Boom, Belgium. Check out my blog post on Tomorrowland! We took the train, which took a couple hours. We were so lost and were exhausted from having to carry around all of our stuff. If it wasn’t for the sweetest guy from London (who actually ended up becoming one of our buddies at Tomorrowland and even visited me in Miami for my Birthday), then we would have taken forever to get there.



red light district amsterdam

After meeting up with the boys, our Euro squad was now complete. The first two weeks was just Jordan and I then the two boys came to Tomorrowland to finish out the rest of the trip with us. We arrived in Amsterdam, where we were supposed to stay with our friend’s cousin but she literally wouldn’t even let us stay because she could see I had bed bugs. It was the worst feeling in the world. Yeah I was itchy but I was in Europe so I wasn’t going to let it ruin the rest of the month. It ended up working out for the best because we found a dope hostel right in downtown Amsterdam. That night we walked around the Red Light District. Me, being a snapchat whore, had to get a video of the ladies in the window. Note to self: Don’t take videos of the prostitutes because they will yell at you and call you names. After that, we went to a sex show, which was very interesting to say the least. It consisted of a guy eating a banana out of a girl’s booty. Then the lady balanced a lit candle on her vagina. Then to top it off, two people had sex to the oddest fast paced Russian sounding techno music. We left and ended up bar hopping. The next day, I woke up sooooo sick. I don’t know if it was from all the traveling or because I just raged at a music festival but I could not keep anything down. I tried to be a good sport and rode bikes around with everybody but I kept puking on the side of the street. I decided to head back to the hostel. Everyone went to techno Tuesday without me as I curled up in bed and puked my brains out. I died in Amsterdam. I hope to go back one day to experience it more!



We arrived in Paris and got settled into an Airbnb. I have PTSD from Airbnb’s because I’ve had some bad experiences and this being one of them. It appeared to be a beautiful apartment but the only thing that was odd was that the lady who owned the place, only had pictures of herself up on the walls. Literally every single picture in the house, was just her standing there. She had a two-bedroom apartment and one of the rooms had kids toys. You’d think that she would have some pictures up of her kid, if she had one. We didn’t think much of it at the time and went to explore. In the subway, I couldn’t even breathe because there was a huge stench of body odor everywhere we turned. Not to mention, any time we asked people for directions, they were so rude to us. Everyone had an attitude and it was apparent that they did not like Americans.

eiffel tower parisWe went to the Eiffel Tower and had a picnic. And, yes we took an Eiffel tower pic in front of the Eiffel tower. Can’t take us anywhere. We scored some fresh meats, cheeses and escargot from a nearby market. It was heavenly. Somebody was playing music nearby, so we slow danced and had a magical time. We really wanted to check out the Catacomb tours but the line was way too long. I’m glad that we didn’t because we ended up getting our scare later that evening.

We ended up going on a boat one-hour cruise where you could see the Eiffel Tower shimmer at night. We purchased ticks off of:

Get Your Guide

This website provides discounted activities.

eiffel tower paris

That night we went to a restaurant near the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The food was mediocre but the part that made me not even want to eat there again, was the poor service. It was as if the waiters didn’t care, since they weren’t getting tipped. Tipping in Europe is not expected. Also, nobody in Europe believes in ice water. Every time we ordered a glass of water and asked for ice, they looked at us like we were crazy.





notre dame paris





The next day we went to the Notre Dame. My friend and I were wearing shorts and crop tops, so they made us cover ourselves in a blanket before we could enter it. We also went to the Louvre, which was beautiful. (I low key snuck in a full wine bag). I know, I know. We’re wild.




unnamed-8.jpglouvre parismona lisa painting

We decided to have a home cooked meal and went to the grocery store to pick up some stuff. It was going to be a battle of who could cook best between the guys and the women. The guys won lol. That night we all watched a movie on the couch. Everyone went to their rooms but I fell asleep on the couch.

What I’m about to tell you is not a fabrication whatsoever, these are real true life events that we experienced. After everyone went to their rooms, I could feel the blanket being pulled off of me. I wanted to move and I was half awake but I literally couldn’t move. Then all of a sudden the door slammed shut. I jolted up and booked it into my friend’s room. He went to check to see what made the door shut and then no lie, the door SLAMMED in his face. I have never seen my 200 lb friend ever so scared in his life. We ran back into the room and I begged him to let me sleep with him. I remember being drenched in sweat and wanting to move but I couldn’t. I could feel a presence in the room and I kept going in and out of sleep. I couldn’t decipher what was real and what was not. I kept waking up and asking my friend if he had said something.

He said the same thing was happening to him.

The next morning, we all sat at the breakfast table and I announced that something was weird about this Airbnb. My friend shouted “No way the same thing happened to us last night”. She began to tell stories of similar experiences on how she could feel and hear something in the room but couldn’t wake up. I don’t know if we just experienced sleep paralysis or if that place was haunted but I definitely did not want to stay there again. We also did not feel safe at the airport because there was a recent bomb scare the weekend before we went. Peace out Paris.



We arrived in Barcelona and boy was it hot. My friend speaks fluent Spanish so it was easy to get around and find our hostel. We stayed at the Mellow Hostel. It was a nice place except Barcelona does not believe in air conditioning. It was SO HOT everywhere. You could not escape the heat. We took the subway to the beach. Many of the women had their tops off so my friend and I decided to join in the fun. Mind you, I still had bed bug bites at this time so I didn’t feel the hottest in my bathing suit. I owe the salty Mediterranean Sea for curing my bed bugs. It was after I swam in the salt water, that my bites started to go away. That night we went full on “treat yo self” and ordered hands down one of the best meals of our entire life. Paella is a combination of meats and seafood and rice. We ate so much paella in the two days that we were there. Make sure you try Paella when you’re in Spain. We went out dancing both nights that we were there. Like I mentioned before, we love house music. Barcelona was my 2nd favorite place on our trek.



Ibiza is my FAVORITE place in the whole entire world. It is a breathtaking island completely immersed in house music. Everywhere you go, you see billboards of famous DJs playing at all the clubs. It was my kind of town. Don’t be caught dead pronouncing Ibiza with a Z. In Ibiza, it is pronounced “Ibitha”. We stayed at the funniest hotel I’ve ever stayed at. It is called The Purple by Ibiza Feeling. The advertisement said that it caters to gays and they were not joking. Throughout the hotel, they had dicks all over the walls. They had people doing wild acrobatics that showed off their dicks. It was pretty funny. They have a cute little restaurant in the lobby and although in America it is custom to take the woman’s order first, the waiter took our guy friend’s orders before ours. My two guy friends went to go lay out by the pool and immediately came back inside when they realized that they would not fit in outback.

That night we treated ourselves to a sushi dinner. They had a DJ at the sushi restaurant that was playing fire house music. Ughhhh I could die in this place!! That night we went to a techno party and had such an amazing time. Maybe, just maybe, we took a pill in Ibiza to show Avicii we were cool. The second day, I wish we would have gone to the beach but we ended up sleeping most of the day. We went to a pool party at a place I can’t even remember. My friend’s and I tried to finish a 3 liter bottle in one night, which was our worst mistake. It ended up being a wild day and evening to say the least. That night we were on the guest list at Amnesia. Gorgon City, Redlight and MK were headlining. It was so wild that the next day I woke up fully clothed with my wedges still on under the blanket lmaoooo I was a hot mess. I turned on my phone to all these text messages from my friends asking where I was and if I was coming to the airport. I missed my flight to Italy. I had to pay for a whole new flight, which cost about $150 to get to Rome. I left a piece of my soul in Ibiza and cannot wait to return.



We only had one day in each Italy destination so we had to make it good. I wanted to book the hostels beforehand but we decided we would just wait until we got there for our Italy stops. By the time I found my friend’s, they had found a hostel. We went out for an Italian meal and went to see the Coliseum. It was too late and dark to go inside but we still were able to admire it from the outside. I’m not sure I really wanted to go inside anyways. People would fight to the death inside of that place and something about that makes me feel uncomfortable.

trevi fountain rome

We then made our way to the Trevi fountain. I felt like Lizzie Mcguire as I made a wish into the fountain. It was late at night but it was still packed with people. Also, be careful of people walking around offering to take pictures. You think they are just being nice but they are really expecting a tip. We scored some gelato and called it a night. It was an eventful 10 hours in Rome. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to Rome. It was dirty and just like any other city town.



leaning tower pisa

Pisa was way prettier than Rome. We met up with my friend’s uncle to have lunch. We were right next to the ocean and it was breathtaking. We took a drive to the top of the mountain where you could see a beautiful view of Pisa. There was a church with candles in it. We paid our respects and went inside and lit our own candle. His uncle took us to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, where we made sure to have a solid photo shoot, in order to get the best leaning shot.
We drank and ate and drank and ate some more while we waited for our train that night. As a travel planner, sometimes you make mistakes. That night we all realized I did not book a nonstop train. The train I booked had a four-hour layover in some other Italian town. We had been going and going all day and still had not showered since the previous day. We saw there was another train that was nonstop but it was expensive. We snuck on and pretended that we were fast asleep. When the ticket attendant came to us, we had to cough up some money. It was worth it, in order to be able to sleep on the train and wake up in Venice.



gondola ride venice

Venice was not as beautiful as I imagined it to be. When we got off the train, we walked around trying to find a place to sleep. Everywhere was either booked or out of our price range. We finally got lucky with a place and I honestly think it was because he felt bad for us and could see in my eyes that we were desperate. The Italian food was much different than it was at home. The pizza was VERY different. The cheese had an odd taste to it. It also made me miss Domino’s and Dominos is so mediocre. I did however love the wine and the gelato.

We went on a gondola ride, which was beautiful but honestly a rip off. It was $40 and you are only on the gondola for 30 minutes.

We then explored the St. Mark’s Square, which is infamous for pigeons flying everywhere. The place lived up to their reputation. I have never seen so many pigeons in one setting than at St. Mark’s.
Three places in three days can obviously take a toll on somebody. At this point in the trip, my nails were all broken. I needed a fill so badly. We also started to get irritable. This is such an important aspect in the planning of your trip. My best friend and I were on the same wavelength and always wanted to do the same things. Make sure that whomever you travel with, is someone that you want to spend every waking moment with and is someone that you have good communication skills with. Otherwise you’ll be wishing you could go home instead of enjoying the sites.

venice trip



Budapest was a dream. The architecture was out of this world.

We stayed at Hello Hostel, which was comfortable but we spent most of our time at the Ruin Bar Hostel. The ruin bars are a series of bars that are also are connected to a hostel. They are so interesting to walk through. They give off an eerie vibe. Each bar/dancing area was unique. You would open up a random door and there would be a random techno club. It was a fun place to get lost in.

budapest bridgeThe next day we explored Budapest. We went on another walking tour with our hostel. It is crazy to see some parts of Budapest that are not completely rebuilt from World War II. You could see that some of the streets still had not recovered from the bombs. It has taken them years to slowly recover. That evening, we went to the thermal baths. I highly recommend that you experience these sometime in your life.

We went to the Szechenyi bath. You can go during the day if you want a relaxing experiencing, but we went to the party version at night that they have every Saturday. The water felt divine on your skin. However, it probably wasn’t the cleanest. People were getting sloppy towards the end of the night but it was a wild experience that I will never forget.

The boys headed back to the states and it was just the BFF and I for the remainder of the trip.



travel to prague

By the time we got to Prague, where the beer is cheaper than water, we were pooped. We had a layover in Berlin, where they took our bags. As we waited at the baggage claim, my friend’s bag was nowhere to be found. We spent the first few hours in Prague trying to get her bag back. The people on the phone were not helpful and as you can imagine, we were very much stressed. We stayed at the Czech Inn. It has a mini café and a bar downstairs, which made it have potential to be a fun hostel to stay at. We decided to go walk around to enjoy Prague a bit. We went to the Beer Garden but they only accepted cash, so we did not get a beer there. Prague was beautiful and I wish we had more time there but we were just too dead from traveling for the past month to truly experience it right. We had a beer at a local brewery by the hostel and then called it a night.



My allergies decided to flare up full force on the flight home. I was sneezing so bad that the people next to us asked to move. We had ordered KFC at the airport in hopes that it would excite us for American food but they didn’t even have the mac and cheese or the mashed potatoes. What is a KFC if they do not have those staples?! It was sad to have to go back to real life in the States. We had such an incredible time on our journey. We made a tradition of each sentimental night or a new place we traveled to, we would each take a turn making a toast. To this day, we still carry out that tradition. We saw and did things that people dream of doing and all for under $2,500. It truly is possible to make it happen.  I hope you enjoyed my backpacking Europe story and learned a few tips on the way. Maybe we will cross paths along the road! Happy Travels ☺.

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