With 50 or so different countries, planning a trip to Europe (especially for the first time) can seem overwhelming. Many people head to London and/or Paris first just to get a feel for the place, but if you are going a long distance to get there it’s worth exploring more if you are able.
Having been fortunate enough to have explored most of Europe’s countries and highlights over the years, I continue to research and write about European travel on this site. I’ve been getting a wide variety of interesting questions on many of those articles, most notably on the article about Europe rail Passes and whom they are right for. Click to read more
So many of us starting in the US or Canada will be visiting multiple cities when we tour Europe that we have the luxury of flying into several different destinations. But with the airline business changing so rapidly, how do we know which are the cheapest cities to fly into?
Not too many years ago the cheapest flights into Europe were almost always into the largest and busiest airports, which are in London, Frankfurt, Paris, and Amsterdam, but times have changed. Several of the busiest airports have also raised passenger fees way up so now they are actually among the most expensive. I wanted to find out for myself, so I tested fares at over 20 airports to create the list below of the 18 cheapest European cities to fly to in 2013. Click to read more
This year-long series of articles highlighting cheap places with nice weather for each month of the year is a bit of a struggle during July and August. It may not be obvious until you really think about it or research the geography, but most of the world’s cheapest places are tropical and rainy during July, or subtropical and scorching.
Adding to the difficulties is that so many rigid Europeans hit the road during July (or August) that most of the better places fill up, even with peak-season hotel rates. Honestly, the savvy traveler usually sits out July and August, as good-weather deals are easier to find any other time of the year. Still, there are some places to consider, including a few surprises, so below are 17 (relatively) cheap destinations that have nice weather during July. Click to read more
Anyone who has considered a trip to Japan in the last 5 years or so couldn’t help but notice that the most expensive country in Asia had gotten even worse. The Japanese yen, which had hovered between 100 and 120 to the US dollar for decades was now so strong that you’d get under 80 to the dollar, but in the past few months that trend has reversed. At press time you get almost 102 yen to the USD, which is more than 30% better than only nine months ago.
But there has been another trend worth pointing out going on at the same time, which is that Japan’s economy has been famously stagnant for over two decades now, and that has actually lead to deflation in some sectors, but mostly to overall flat prices. In other words, these combination of factors have made Japan more affordable now than it has been in a very long time. Below we’ll discuss some examples of common travel expenses to put it in better perspective. Click to read more
Since June is an extremely popular month for vacations in the US and Canada, it can make for some interesting situations since nearly all Europeans wait until July and August for a long summer retreat. This means that many places have excellent weather and yet are not nearly as crowded as they’ll be the following month.
This also means that hotel prices are often lower, and planes are cheaper and less crowded, so a June trip can be the best of all worlds if you’ve got the time off. We’ve listed 22 cities from all over the world, so hopefully one or more are within your reach. Click to read more
A new flight-search website has launched to the general public only a couple weeks ago and it feels like the future. There are at least 10 major players for those looking to buy airline tickets and most of them have more similarities than differences. Routehappy.com looks like the others at first glance, but it is actually loaded with very useful information that none of the others have yet.
A couple years ago a new site called Hipmunk got a lot of well-deserved traction and buzz by changing the main fare-display screen to show flight and layover times rather than just a list with the cheapest on top. It proved that in today’s airfare market, where often dozens of flights are clustered closely in price, that there are more important factors than price alone. Click to read more
Anyone looking for an affordable destination with very good weather during the month of May will be happy to know that the list of possibilities is long. There are fascinating cities in most regions of the world that are worth a look, as well as many affordable beach areas for those looking to relax in the sun.
The list below is broken down by region to help you narrow the choices more efficiently, and there are also links to pages with information about the cheapest beach destinations in the Caribbean and in Europe, which both are loaded with bargains this time of year. Of course for each city mentioned there are plenty of smaller cities nearby that are usually even cheaper, so hopefully this gives you some ideas. Click to read more
If you have a European rail pass or are considering getting one then it’s a bit of bad news that most of the popular and fast trains in the region now require a seat reservation, even in second class. In many cases a seat reservation is optional so you’ll have to determine whether it’s worth the small hassle and fee for each journey.
For those planning on longer journeys and particularly in northern Europe, a Eurail Pass can still be a way to save money, but it’s no longer quite so carefree as you usually aren’t able to just climb aboard as the train is pulling out. Click to read more
Every July and/or August, Europeans famously flock to their beaches for a long rest in the sunshine. The well-heeled tend to head to the south of France or Italy, or even a beach area in their own country that has a couple months of reliably warm weather each year. But the budget-travel crowd generally has to fly off to Europe’s edges to find affordable hotels, and fortunately there are now dozens of low-cost airlines ready to take them there for a low fare.
As with almost everything else, the cheapest option isn’t necessarily the best option, but we thought it would be interesting to rank them by price anyway. So below you’ll find a list of all of the cheapest beach destinations in (and very near) Europe, along with a bit of information to help you decide whether they are a good fit for your purposes. Click to read more
I’ve spent 6 of the last 10 months living in hotels all over Europe and Asia doing research for this site, and I learned a few surprising things about getting the best deals. Since hotels pay commissions to online booking sites I assumed that booking directly or in person would get the best rates. In the past I think this was true, but now in the age of online reviews and cutthroat online competition, I discovered that booking online virtually always gets the best rate, even on the day of the stay.
Perhaps even more surprising I noticed that when I booked online through certain sites in certain areas I would usually get one of the best rooms in the hotel while walk-in guests were paying a bit more for an inferior room. When I studied the situation and talked to some hotel owners it began to make sense, so I decided to explain how it seems to work these days below. Click to read more