Travel is almost always exciting, but it can also be exhausting when we keep to a very low budget for an extended period. Particularly for backpackers going from hostel to hostel, it can feel like a chore after only a week or two, so breaking things up with a cheap splurge can be critical.
The worst way to do it is to just suddenly become so fed up that you book into a big chain hotel on the spur of the moment just to get decent shower pressure again. The best way to do it is to plan your splurge day or two in advance, which will give you something to look forward to as it approaches.
Even as cheap flights within Europe are easier than ever to find, it’s clear that Eurail Passes are extremely popular based on the endless questions I get about finding the best one. It seems that everyone is aware that flying is a minor nightmare each and every time, and the romance of stepping onto a train just before it pulls out is infinitely better.
The new challenges are that people are seeing more of Europe than ever before, and the Eurail Passes also come in countless variations so finding just the right one is difficult. Many people ask me questions at the bottom of my which Eurail Pass to buy article, and I enjoy answering those questions, but there are some tips and tricks that most people miss unless they read every last comment. Click to read more
Europe in particular really opens up with some great deals in cities that actually have their best weather of the year at the end of summer. Airfares get lower and hotels and hostels get cheaper and easier to find, so this is really perfect if you’ve got the time off. Click to read more
Whether you are the type who loves pre-trip research, or the type who prefers to just wing it upon arrival, the issue of how long to stay in each place is a major one. We all want to maximize our time in the better places when on multi-stop trips, but figuring out which those are isn’t quite so obvious on your first visit to any part of the world.
Some of the best and most famous tourist cities on the planet are actually best visited in one well-planned day, while many others require 3 or 4 days to even feel like you are scratching the surface. Having been around the world a couple of times while studying these places as I go, I’ve sorted out some “best practices” on itinerary planning.
The Eurostar is the train that famously uses the Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) to connect London with Paris and Brussels. In many ways the experience is similar to riding any other train in Europe or anywhere else in the world, but there are a few key differences that are important to consider.
There’s also a totally independent ticketing system, so getting the cheapest fare requires more planning. Generally speaking, the trick is to book your Eurostar ticket as soon as possible, but we’ll discuss that more in the money-saving section below. Click to read more
We continue with this year-long series of articles highlighting cheap cities that have great weather during a particular month, this time for August. If you are a global weather-watcher you might already know that August weather tends to be nearly identical from the previous month, so you’ll also notice quite a few similarities with our list of cheap cities with great July weather.
So not only is the weather in these two months similar, but it’s a similar predicament for budget travelers in that Europeans (even more so than Americans) tend to cram a huge amount of vacation time into the height of summer. This means that any city with a beach that is in or near Europe will have its highest prices of the year during August. There are a few cities on the list below that aren’t nearly as crowded in summer, so let’s have a look, shall we? Click to read more
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