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Europe on a shoestring budget

mumbai Updated: May 21, 2012 01:28 IST

Paella in Madrid, skydiving in Valencia and partying in Ibiza. What sounds like the script of a big budget film, is actually an itinerary created by four college students for their backpacking trip across Spain.

“I’ve been abroad before, but with my parents. This is something we planned ourselves. We’ll live in hostels and traipse about through a whole country, living some unforgettable experiences,” said Soham Shah, 21, a final year student of VJTI college, Matunga.

Shah and his friends will leave in a week for the quintessential student sojourn to Europe – small budget, big plans, street food and a whole lot of walking. “We want to experience their culture, use public transport and interact with people there. Of course, we’ll also save money by staying in hostels,” he added. By skimping on food and stay and travel, which would work out to only about 35euros a day, the group plans to go skydiving as their one extragavagance.

With the new academic year around the corner, students are keen on using their last few weeks of freedom. And what better way to do so than by embarking upon a trip to Europe on a shoestring budget – an idea endorsed by all forms of popular culture.

“Going to see the Eiffel Tower was on my list of things-to-do-before-I-die. Now I’ve managed to find a way to make that a reality with a friend who was up for the task of chalking out an ambitious holiday with a miserly amount of money,” said Aditi Nayak, 22, a student of Government Law College, Churchgate. Nayak and her friend have been planning her trip since December. “We’ll visit London, Paris and Brussels. I’m so excited,” she said.

Those who have been on such a trip are testimony to how surreal an experience it can be. “Once there, you really can’t waste even a second. You might get back to your hostel exhausted, but it’s still worth waking up the next morning at 6 am and setting off to another new place, to create a new postcard memory,” said Mansi Sheth, 22, a student of St Xavier’s College, Dhobi Talao, who backpacked across Europe last year with her friend and sister.