How to Plan a Backpacking Trip Through Europe

With summer upon us, it’s not too late to start planning your Europe backpacking journey with your friends. Organizing, especially amongst a group of friends, can be a pain. With so many countries, places, and bars to see across Europe with so little time, it can be a nightmare planning it all.

Here are a few things to keep in mind for your backpacking adventure…

 IMG_7849

Planning your dates – With a continent to explore and everyone one of your friends having a different idea about what to see and do, Doodle can help you plan your travel schedule together. Doodle simplifies the process of agreeing on a date and time for a holiday with friends or family members cutting out the endless WhatsApp chats. Simply suggest the possible dates, send to the participants via the app, email or iMessage and then let them instantly vote on which options work for them. Doodle will do the rest, confirming the best time for everyone. The best times to travel in Europe are in the shoulder seasons of Spring and Autumn since European cities in the summertime can be packed tourists and cruise guests.

Transport – Getting around Europe can be a breeze, from cheap discount airlines like Ryanair offering £10 flights to bus companies such as Flixbus offering €5 bus fares between cities. Europe has it all. Despite the number of options, planning ahead will save you lots of money as fares in the summer can shoot up quickly last minute, especially if all your friends voted with Doodle on going to La Tomatina. Make sure to tackle landing cheap tickets as soon as possible so you avoid paying over-the-odds for transportation. Train travel is a great way to travel around Europe since you can purchase a Eurail pass that will allow you to travel to multiple countries using the one, global pass.

Festivals – No summer backpacking journey to Europe would be complete without attending one of Europe’s many festivals. From the world famous music festivals such as Tomorrowland to Spanish cultural festivals such as Las Fallas and Running of the Bulls – there is a festival in Europe for every occasion. But before diving head first into a festival, it is important to pack the proper gear. For example, if you plan to head to Oktoberfest in Munich, make sure you don’t forget to pack the lederhosen, or you will miss out on half the fun!

Budget – While running out of money happens to some, it is not in the life of Doodlers. Before you leave on your trip with your friends it is important to hash out your travel priorities, because there is nothing worse than getting to Paris than finding out you can’t afford to see any of its amazing museums. At the same time, while saving on accommodation can increase the longevity of your journey, don’t be afraid to splash out every now and then on experiences that you will never forget. Create a budget to stick to, and make use of apps such as Venmo or Splitwise to help you split your costs fairly.

Accommodation – There are many ways you can save money on accommodation, such as staying in hostels or booking an apartment on AirBnB and splitting the costs. Apartment shares are actually a great way to save money when you’re travelling in a group since you can buy groceries at the supermarket and cook your own meals at home.

Backpacking with your friends around Europe can be a life-changing experience that you’ll never forget. With the correct planning and communication with your friends, you can have an incredible journey. There may be a few unforeseen hiccups along the way, no doubt, but that is part of the entire travel experience.

 

About the Author

Victoria Brewood is owner of Life Hacks and Tips – a site offering life hacking tips for every situation. She has been travelling the world since 2008, visiting over 50 countries including Madagascar, Iceland and Japan to name just a few. Victoria’s favourite countries to backpack in Europe are Portugal and Montenegro.

On the Cutting Edge: Android Instant Apps at Doodle

Get your mobile out – at least if it runs on Android – and look what we’ve got for you! We are among the first ones Google allowed to implement the new Android Instant App feature. It’s now available for all our Android users!

Google’s Android Instant App technology was introduced last year. It enables you to use certain parts of a native App without having to download it. We’ve been testing the beta version during the last couple of months and now we have it live for you. Give it a spin!

If you happen to be reading this article on your Android phone, try it out immediately by clicking on the following link: https://doodle.com/create

What advantages do I have with the Instant App?

You will immediately notice the improved usability. While mobile websites look the same for both Android and the iPhone, Instant Apps were developed specifically for Android and deliver the same native app experience. It features both the natural interaction elements of a real Android App and its high performance.

That means that even if you’re reluctant to download our app (actually, why would you…?), you can still create polls with the great user experience of a native App. This makes creating polls on your phone even easier!

Last week Google used the Doodle app as a use case and introduced it live on stage at their massive Google I/O developer conference in California. So: we’re again on the cutting edge of implementing new mobile technologies and we’re super proud of our Android development team.

Don’t be sad iPhone users, there are some cool things in our pipeline for you as well 😉

Seek and ye shall find 🐣🐰

easter fb post_EN_header.png

Dear Doodlers

The days are getting longer, the streets are lined with blooming trees and the shy, warm sun announces the long-awaited, coming spring – Easter weekend, come at us!

Or maybe not that fast? Are dates, places, food and beverages set yet? Is everyone in the loop? Who will be bringing what? Stay calm and doodle. Whoever’s still in search of an overview, will find one easily with Doodle. And the foundations have been laid for the actual egg hunt and a relaxing, fun weekend!

Doodle wishes everyone Happy Easter and a relaxing holiday with family and friends.

easter fb post_EN_footer.png

Doodle gets a fresh look!

Mainpage

You might have noticed that things are looking quite different on our website. That’s for a good reason: our new redesign! Today we’re rolling out our completely redesigned online service in the United States. Currently, the fresh look will be visible for free Doodle users. Premium and logged-in Doodlers will get the chance to join the fun in the coming months too!

 

The redesign has already gone live in the UK, Australia, Canada and many other parts of the world. The launch in the United States marks the largest release of the new design so far. 

The goal of this redesign has been to make Doodle visually more appealing and even easier to use. Our users have been part of the redesign process since day one. Based on your input, the new design features less steps, a decluttered calendar view and other optimizations that speed up the process of scheduling.

We’ve caught your attention? Watch this video which highlights some of the awesome improvements we’ve made.

We’re excited for you to use our redesigned online service to organize your next occasions. Thoughts and feedbacks on what you like and we can improve on are greatly appreciated.

We’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the entire testing process throughout the last couple of weeks with their feedback and patience and help us achieve this amazing, very good-looking 😉 result!

 

April 1st Special Offer: Doodle’s secret recipe to keep calm!

Doodle‘s mission has always been to get rid of the stress when scheduling. We at Doodle took our mission quite literally. According to the credo “Treat yo self” we have set you up with all the tools you’ll need to, for once, just say “no”, lean back and enjoy life. Head over to Doodle and check them out!

Cal@1x

Spring isn’t only calling for Kick-Offs but with its warming, inviting sun currently tries to lure us out of our offices to relax. With all the time you’ve saved with Doodle, why not invest it in productive unproductiveness, put yourself first and just lie back? Spend time with friends, treat yourself to some yoga sessions or just go outside and tan (if you don’t happen to be a I-never-tan-I-just-burn-person).

Everything’s set up to provide you with the necessary tools to do so. Let us clean up your calendar by removing anything that involves stress. Work? KPI’s? More like I‘m Keen on Partying!

May we also introduce you to Al? Al is really important. Al is driving our suggestion machine. Al will replace all of your meetings that sound complicated with anything related to sleeping, relaxing or eating in just one click. Al’s great. You’ll love him!

Dashboard

Speaking of suggestions. Our excuse generator will avoid all your meetings that sound complicated, preventing you from getting any more goosebumps triggered by the sole thought of all the related To-Do’s. And last but not least it will entertain the poll organizer with witty responses rather than a formal “no”: The link you’ve sent doesn’t work #sorrynotsorry

Replacing all your meetings and trying to keep your stress levels at the record low, we are wishing you a wonderful, calm, relaxing and sunny weekend! 🙂

Doodle Kick-Off – let’s bring people together

Spring is here – for Doodle this is the time for the yearly Kick-Off, to clear our heads and bring some fresh wind into our office.

DSC_8025.jpg

The Doodle team on Rigi Kulm, the highest peak of Mount Rigi in Switzerland.

Where do you start when your teams are based in three different countries and you want to bring everyone together? First of all, find a date that suits everyone. Peanuts with Doodle. A few clicks later and the date was set – let’s do this!

The teams from Tel Aviv and Berlin packed their bags and flew to Zurich.

It became a little cozier in our Swiss office. The whole team in one place: counting 35 people, 10 nationalities and feeling like 20 different languages. But one mutual goal in mind: our Retreat Day!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our aim was to get out of the office and up in the mountains. For our workshops we rented a location on Mount Rigi. The journey featuring a mountain railway, a wonderful sunrise and a view on snow covered mountains were reason enough to start the day early yet motivated.

But first coffee – afterwards we started our morning with intense power-workshops. When the Engineer meets the Sales Manager and discusses our product… and the Product Manager receives a different view on how to approach our users.. We communicated, interacted, designed, developed, presented and last but not least laughed a lot. Courageous ideas, crazy approaches and one question: What can we improve?

Now it’s all about implementation. It’s going to be an exciting year for everyone!

Who still was in need of some more action had the opportunity to go sledding in the afternoon. Still healthy and well supplied with fresh air we brought the day to a close with a delicious dinner and a couple of beers. Some might correct: got set for the night 😉

Android: Notifications & App Shortcuts

It hasn’t been very long since Google rolled out their annual Android update (7.0). This year we were treated to some sweet Nougat and along with it came some thrilling new features, e.g. improved battery life with Doze on the go, customizable Quick Settings, and  Daydream Virtual Reality.

Here at Doodle, we’re focusing on your productivity so  we were most excited about the new split-screen mode and notifications. We’ve already shown you the very convenient multi-window view, but you might not know about our bundled notifications. With Android Nougat 7.0 we bundle your Doodle notifications per poll so that each notifications can be expanded to give you detailed information on the activity of your poll. On top of this you can use any notification to leave a comment on the fly via Direct Reply.

notifications.png

Google’s most recent Android update (7.1.1) makes Nougat even sweeter. Pressing and holding an app on the homescreen or inside the app drawer now reveals a list of App Shortcuts. Doing so on the Doodle app allows you to quickly create a new poll. In addition to poll creation shortcuts, we introduced another shortcut that will lead you to your most recently visited poll.

shortcuts.gif

What do you like most about the Android Nougat update? Leave us a comment below if you would like to see something else in our Doodle app!