Good Travel Tips for an EXTENDED trip to Europe & Asia
Rather than this being a hectic & rushed, short vacation, I am intending for this to be an extended leisurely trip (at least 3 - 4 months (if not longer) through Europe & 1 - 2 months in Asia)
Because this is not only going to be my first "solo trip" without my parents & family (yes, I know, that's embarrassing!!) but also my first time traveling internationally to a foreign country/countries, with the exception of going to India with my family, to visit relatives, I would really appreciate any help, advice or travel tips that I can get from those familiar with travel in Europe and Asia,
In addition to the usual/classic European & Asian travel destinations (France, Japan Germany, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Holland/Netherlands, Italy, Spain, etc.) I am also interested in visiting many "off-the-beaten-path" places like Latvia, Lithuania, Thailand, Belarus, Malaysia, Poland and Ukraine.
The tentative list of all the countries I'm interested in visiting on this trip are:
England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Iceland, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Monaco, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Italy, Vatican City, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Kaliningrad, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Russia, Turkey, Cyprus
Japan, China, Mongolia, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Bali, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan
I am looking for advice on the best months to go where (with an estimated travel range between January & August of 2009, as I have to finish my travel and be back in the US by beginning of August 4-5, 2009 at the latest), what things to pack for an extended trip, the best & safest, yet most reasonably priced hostels, inns, or hotels, and ways to get around within or between any particular locales,
What kinds of clothing and other supplies should I pack and what stuff can I leave behind and just buy there?? For example do I need to
pack enough tampons/pads for the WHOLE trip or can I just take a few, or enough for a short time and get the rest in Europe and Asia??
What clothing should I pack? What about other supplies like toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, etc?? What, and how much do I need to pack of those??
Also, except for a 3 years of high school Spanish & a semester or so in college - a lot of which I have now forgotten, I am do not (yet!) speak the language(s) of any of the countries I'll be visiting, so I will be taking along a talking translator with languages for most, if not all the countries I'm going to. But would that be one-sided? I mean if I put what I want to say in the translator, and they translate it, how will I get the response of the person I'm speaking to?
Nevertheless, I would still like to get some tips from anyone who is familiar with the above named countries, and can help me.