If you would like to travel cheaper, save money and have fewer travel issues, these tips for Europe will help:
1. Forget super-expensive Western Europe (England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy). It’s hard to enjoy travel when you are aghast at the costs of everything.
2. Focus on cheaper Central Eastern Europe: Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia with a quick 2 day side trip to Venice, a must-see in Europe.
3. Croatia and Slovenia are both as beautiful as France at a quarter of the costs for food and accommodation, and has an amazing coastline with hundreds of islands, as well as the incredible layered Plitvice Falls.
4. Austria isn’t quite as inexpensive as Croatia but go for the rolling green hills and charming mountain villages where you might get to hear the echo of live music across the hills.
5. Hungary is well-developed and Budapest rivals Prague as one of the prettiest cities in Europe. Take in a Roman Bath, and see the big white castle.
6. Trains are not that cheap anymore. It also costs to travel to and from each train station, and trains only go to major centres, so if you want to go to a charming remote village, you may have to change trains 4 times, if they go there at all. When changing trains, you are often allowed only 10 minutes or less. This becomes difficult when you have to lug suitcases up and down stairs to different train platforms.
7. A car gives you tremendous freedom to go where and when you want. The only place to rent a car with an automatic transmission is at airports. All other locations only have manual transmission vehicles.
8. Prices are always less in smaller towns and cities, both for food and accommodation. Bonus: the people in small towns are usually friendlier as well.
9. Stay in apartments downtown in any town or city for less expensive accommodation and to avoid the costs of internal city travel. Most of the historic and special sites are located in the “Old Town” centre of towns. We like http://www.booking.com/ because you can cancel at any time with no penalty.
10. Make sure you have a GPS with loaded maps of those countries. Getting lost is often fun in the countryside, but it can be frustrating in cities.
Got any other tips for folks? We need all the help we can get to save money and travel cheaper!