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Old 08-14-2011, 05:42 PM
 
Location: DFW
6,800 posts, read 11,767,775 times
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1) Try to book a flight to London, Amsterdam, or Frankfurt if it's convenient. I hear these cities are cheapest on average. Do not fly to Paris if you can help it.

2) Use a Eurail pass, especially in the Northern European countries. If you'll be traveling in southern Europe, carefully consider transit costs before deciding on a pass.

3) If you want cheap accommodations, consider hostels (Hostels Worldwide - Online Hostel Bookings, Ratings and Reviews). Not only are they significantly cheaper than hotels but they're usually conveniently located near the main train stations. The main downside is that you'll be sharing the room with others.

4) Get a Capitalone credit card (one that doesn't charge any foreign exchange fees.) If you need to get cash, use your bank's ATM card.. you might get hit with ATM fees but you'll probably end up paying less than exchanging cash at the bank. Another alternative is to bring whatever foreign cash you had left from your previous overseas trip elsewhere (i.e. China, Japan, Mexico, etc.) and exchanging those for Euros or the local currency in Europe. (That's more efficient than exchanging that cash for dollars then to Euros again.)
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,333,374 times
Reputation: 6670
Quote:
Originally Posted by English Dave View Post
The English travel all over Europe all the time because it's so near to us. I can understand
American reservations as I suppose to many it all seems so, well, foreign!! Also much of the
travel we do is not cultural, just to have a good time which usually involves a lot of drinking.
You have the advantage of (very) cheap flights; we don't. From Minneapolis or Duluth (now the same price, because the Duluth airport connects to the Chicago airport), for example, it is difficult to get R/T airfare to anywhere in Europe for under $800-$900 at any time of the year - and that's if you have a flexible schedule, plan ahead, and constantly watch airfares. Fares often shoot up to over $1,200 in the summer. That's a lot of money for most Americans.

The thought of going to Estonia or Latvia for a bachelor's party or to Prague or Venice for a long weekend are baffling to Americans.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:57 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,277,138 times
Reputation: 20413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Americanwoman54 View Post
Really?? I didn't know this as I thought only some of the Eastern Block was like this. BUT to be honest, how many do you think actually do register?
In Austria, you are automatically registered every time you stay in a Hotel, Hostel, Bed and Breakfast or official camp ground... it is part of the check-in process.

If you stay in someones private home... either you or the homeowner has to register you with the local police for a nominal fee.

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 08-15-2011 at 01:11 AM..
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:08 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,277,138 times
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My brother, his wife and their three children go to Austria every August and use miles to fly from San Francisco to Frankfurt on Lufthansa/United...

The tickets are "Free" except for the fees.

Before going he shops the best car rental rate and picks up the car off site from the Airport to avoid the 20% ??? airport car rental surcharge on pick-up... airport drop-off isn't subject to the fee.

His accommodations cost next to nothing... he exchanges his home with that of a family he knows in Salzburg.

Of course, there are the daily costs of groceries and gas...

Last year, his 4 weeks in Europe was about $100 a day, including air-fare and rental car...

When there, they do lots of hiking and going to the many lakes in the region when the weather is good... if the weather isn't so good, most cities like Salzburg offer a family pass that is good for admission to most of the museums and cultural attractions...

The kids have made friends and from what I heard they were invited to go on a camping trip somewhere in Northern Italy...

It is easy to spend $1000 a day and it is possible to spend very little...

I just got an e-mail from them... they are having a great time and are invited to visit and spend the day on a farm in the area with horses... the kids are crazy about horses!

He already has an invitation to go to Croatia camping next August...
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:26 AM
 
Location: England
24,794 posts, read 6,167,989 times
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What tvdxer says is sadly true, I think the days of very cheap international travel are over.
We visit Las Vegas twice a year, the last few years the plane ride has risen a lot. All I say
to Americans is yes, I understand the cost, but other than that you have nothing to fear
visiting Europe. Everywhere now caters to the tourist. For many countries like Spain, Italy
and Greece it is a very important contribution to their economies, plus England of course.
I know recent events must have looked very bad on your TVs, but this is still a very safe
country compared to many.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Central Florida
973 posts, read 1,489,421 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
In Austria, you are automatically registered every time you stay in a Hotel, Hostel, Bed and Breakfast or official camp ground... it is part of the check-in process.

If you stay in someones private home... either you or the homeowner has to register you with the local police for a nominal fee.

Wow, you have to pay when you register? At least you don't have to do that in Serbia.

To me it is very, very inconvient. Could you imagine if we made tourists do this in the USA???
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:09 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,592 posts, read 12,334,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by English Dave View Post
What tvdxer says is sadly true, I think the days of very cheap international travel are over.
We visit Las Vegas twice a year, the last few years the plane ride has risen a lot. All I say
to Americans is yes, I understand the cost, but other than that you have nothing to fear
visiting Europe. Everywhere now caters to the tourist. For many countries like Spain, Italy
and Greece it is a very important contribution to their economies, plus England of course.
I know recent events must have looked very bad on your TVs, but this is still a very safe
country compared to many.
Much safer than Philly, Dave!

I agree. I traveled to Europe in my teens at least four summers in a row between ages 17 and 21 ... that was way back in the early to mid '70's. My budget was $12 to $18 a day and I did not have to stay youth hostel (in those days you carried around a book: Frommer's Europe on $10 A Day).

Those days are long gone.

They are not coming back.

I think traveling in Europe - unless you're going in the very dead of winter - you should count on spending at the very least $250 a day ... and that's budget travel! It's not just hotel lodging and food, what about transportation, admission fees to attractions and museums, entertainment, etc. Are you not going out at night for drinks or to see a show? You are not interested in doing a little bit of shopping? If I can't do those things in Europe, I might as well stay home.

Get used to the idea that breakfast is going to cost you $20, a cup of coffee in a sidewalk cafe in Paris is $14, admission to see the Acropolis in Athens is $25.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,333,374 times
Reputation: 6670
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
I think traveling in Europe - unless you're going in the very dead of winter - you should count on spending at the very least $250 a day ... and that's budget travel! It's not just hotel lodging and food, what about transportation, admission fees to attractions and museums, entertainment, etc. Are you not going out at night for drinks or to see a show? You are not interested in doing a little bit of shopping? If I can't do those things in Europe, I might as well stay home.

Get used to the idea that breakfast is going to cost you $20, a cup of coffee in a sidewalk cafe in Paris is $14, admission to see the Acropolis in Athens is $25.
You said that most males with healthy libidos have sex as one of the primary motives behind their travel, and now you're saying that you should expect to pay at least $250 a day to travel on a budget through Europe? Like last time, I think that's a little exaggerated.

I went to Spain alone in 2008, when the Euro was at its peak ($1.60 = 1 euro), during May and June, and scarcely spent more than $100 a day. Some days I probably only spent $60. And that wasn't doing things the cheapest way possible - it was eating at restaurants for lunch (the main meal there) and bares for dinner, and staying in hostales (a kind of cheap hotel) rather than youth hostels. Budget travellers often self-cater for many of their meals and stay in youth hostels (though youth hostels aren't much cheaper than the lower class of hostales there).

Individually, traveling on $250 / day will get you varying levels of luxury depending on the country you're in, but in most European cities it should get you a nicer hotel, decent restaurant / cafe meals, etc. Traveling as a couple on $500 / day will get you mid-luxury accommodation in all but the most expensive European cities.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:43 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
37,981 posts, read 55,740,290 times
Reputation: 89666
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gudra View Post
In Germany and Austria, one needs to have the property owner or hotel to register you with the police with you presenting yourself at the district police station -for a stay that's three days or above . They traced some of the September 11 terrorists in Hamburg through the Meldezettel .

??? Not sure I understand that. I travel to Germany every year and never had to do so. Not in a West part of Germany or East, or even when the East side was still communistic...
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:01 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,587,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
Get used to the idea that breakfast is going to cost you $20, a cup of coffee in a sidewalk cafe in Paris is $14
Well, yes, a cup of espresso at a table on St Mark's Square in Venice cost $20, but it's foolish to pay that price. Go inside the bar, stand at the counter like everyone else and pay $2 for the same cup of espresso. It's the same in Paris. If you want to occupy a table *on the sidewalk*, then you pay the price. If you want to be among the locals and listen in to their conversation, then you do as the locals do and pay a fraction of the cost.

The last time we were in Paris, the Euro was at $1.57. Our breakfast for two (sitting at an inside table) cost us 14 Euro ($22).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
I think traveling in Europe - unless you're going in the very dead of winter - you should count on spending at the very least $250 a day ... and that's budget travel!
I don't think so. Up until the winter of 2008 when we moved back to the States, we paid between $100 and $150 a day for two people in all the European countries we visited, not including airfares, but meals, accommodation, local transportation, and an odd entry fee here and there were included. We paid a bit more ($175) in Norway, for the high cost of seeing the fjords. Even in expensive London, we stayed in many decent hotels for 55-65 pounds per night for two people, so our budget was intact every day except when we went to a show.

Last edited by Ol' Wanderer; 08-15-2011 at 04:23 PM..
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