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Old 08-12-2011, 11:32 PM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,854 posts, read 20,157,720 times
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After reading many of the responses in the Americans and Foreign Travel Thread: Americans and Foreign Travel ... I have a question for folks who thinks that Americans can travel cheaply in Europe ... HOW is it possible?

Aside from staying in hostels and other questionable motels (which I refuse to do due to safety and privacy concerns), how can Americans afford a European vacation when the currency rates does not favor Americans? Also, Please refrain from posting any drivel about cutting back on expenses as I, for one, have very few expenses and do not even own a car nor pay for cable TV! Thank you!
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:58 PM
 
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Chateress, I have two questions:

1. How much would you consider an acceptable daily budget?
2. Which countries would you like to visit?
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:22 AM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,854 posts, read 20,157,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miaiam View Post
Chateress, I have two questions:

1. How much would you consider an acceptable daily budget?
2. Which countries would you like to visit?
1. Acceptable daily budget? That's a tough question but I would prefer to spend less than $100 per night and possibly less than $50 per day miscellaneous (eating, sight-seeing, etc). Since food is an important part of any culture, I do not want to scrimp too much on eating as I want to experience authentic cuisines from each country I travel to.

2. I would love to visit London, Paris, Rome, etc but I'm open to visiting other countries ... To be honest, I would not even know where to begin in terms of planning a trip overseas as I'm not familiar enough with the countries and types of accommodations, etc. I just recently started traveling domestically and I realize that things are different in Europe so I do not even know where to begin.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:26 AM
 
Location: Dublin, CA
3,813 posts, read 3,655,959 times
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1. Plan in advance, which will allow you to save.

2. Some countries are cheaper then others. Greece, Turkey, and even Italy are cheaper then Switzerland and the large cities of Paris/London.

3. Watch the airfare wars. Its up to YOU to look at all the different travel sights: Venere, Expedia, Cheap Tickets, etc.

4. If you are hell bent on going to say Venice, yet don't have alot of money, look into staying in Mestre. Many hotels for half the price there and its about a 20-30 min water taxi ride away. Same holds true for ALL major cities: Rome, Paris, London, et al. Stay just outside of these areas and your hotel savings will very good. The trade off is travel time, however, most of Europe has very effecient subways, etc.

5. Look into Raileurope for train passes. There are many. You to research which one will fit your needs. The can take you all over Europe and many museum's/attractioins, in Europe, give you a discount if you have a railpass.

6. What do you want to see? MOST sites in Europe can be seen on you own. Meaning, you don't need a guide and you just buy all your own tickets. Of course, a guide is nice too. You learn alot from them, however, if you don't want to pay for it.

7. Look for city "travel cards." Barcelona. Berlin, Rome, Paris, et al all have tourist travel cards. They allow you to use the transport systems, unlimited, for a certain amount of time: 2, 3, 4, and 7 days usually. They also allow access into museums, for free, or a discount.

8. Finally. Do your research. Tripadvisor is great website with multitude's of information, but everyday traveler's, for all over the world. Go in, look, LISTEN, READ, and understand. If you have a question, its probably already been asked and answered.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:29 AM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,854 posts, read 20,157,720 times
Reputation: 35901
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil306 View Post
1. Plan in advance, which will allow you to save.

2. Some countries are cheaper then others. Greece, Turkey, and even Italy are cheaper then Switzerland and the large cities of Paris/London.

3. Watch the airfare wars. Its up to YOU to look at all the different travel sights: Venere, Expedia, Cheap Tickets, etc.

4. If you are hell bent on going to say Venice, yet don't have alot of money, look into staying in Mestre. Many hotels for half the price there and its about a 20-30 min water taxi ride away. Same holds true for ALL major cities: Rome, Paris, London, et al. Stay just outside of these areas and your hotel savings will very good. The trade off is travel time, however, most of Europe has very effecient subways, etc.

5. Look into Raileurope for train passes. There are many. You to research which one will fit your needs. The can take you all over Europe and many museum's/attractioins, in Europe, give you a discount if you have a railpass.

6. What do you want to see? MOST sites in Europe can be seen on you own. Meaning, you don't need a guide and you just buy all your own tickets. Of course, a guide is nice too. You learn alot from them, however, if you don't want to pay for it.

7. Look for city "travel cards." Barcelona. Berlin, Rome, Paris, et al all have tourist travel cards. They allow you to use the transport systems, unlimited, for a certain amount of time: 2, 3, 4, and 7 days usually. They also allow access into museums, for free, or a discount.

8. Finally. Do your research. Tripadvisor is great website with multitude's of information, but everyday traveler's, for all over the world. Go in, look, LISTEN, READ, and understand. If you have a question, its probably already been asked and answered.
Thanks for the tips.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:42 AM
 
Location: Dublin, CA
3,813 posts, read 3,655,959 times
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Rome, Tuscany & Venice, Air/Car/8 Nights, From $1,199 | Travel Deals, Travel Tips, Vacation Ideas | Budget Travel

Rome, Tuscany, and Venice. 8 days, including airfare: from $1,200.00.

Yes, I realize these are generally "teaser" fares and when someone wants to go, its generally 500+ higher. Still, even $2,200.00 for the trip is good.

Paris & London, Air/6 Nights, From $999 | Travel Deals, Travel Tips, Vacation Ideas | Budget Travel

Paris/London for 6 nights. 1,000.00.

I could go on and on. ALL night long, with deals like this. It just take some thinking and forsight in order to make your dreams come true. NO ONE is going to do it for you. YOU are responsible for your own life.
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:54 AM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,880 posts, read 6,166,282 times
Reputation: 1230
Another thing: check out some of the "free" tip-based tours in major cities. They're great for meeting others (especially since you won't be staying in hostels) and very informative/entertaining.

SANDEMANs NEW Europe | Home of the Famous Free Tour
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:59 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,909,074 times
Reputation: 13245
I wouldn't use Raileurope to purchase my train pass.

Actually, I have not bought a train pass in many years. It simply is not that cost effective IMHO, especially from Raileurope. Raileurope is a travel conglomerate/agency. It has a slick website and sells point-to-point tickets at “global” prices which are about 30% more than the standard fare you’ll pay at the train station. Additionally, a consecutive day train pass does not allow you much freedom.

I agree about travel cards, though. When we were in Germany for World Cup, the English-speaking train ticket guy helped us figure out the best possible deal for the three of us.

Chatteress, how affordable Europe is will depend on your comfort level and yes, as Phil says, how much research you do. I use Eurotrip for general research (including planes and trains) and many search engines for purchasing plane tickets. Kayak, Airfarewatchdog, Skyscanner are all useful.

We have Couchsurfed and used hostels as a family and everything was just fine. This winter we will be all getting together in Spain and we will probably spend Christmas in some sort of rental.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:45 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,571,346 times
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Stay outside the big cities and "commute in" via train. If you want to stay in the city, rent a flat for the week, shop at the local markets, and make your own meals--that's a huge money saver.

Look for hotels that offer free breakfast.

Research like crazy before you go, and know that in some areas (Italy is huge on this) you'll pay a "sit fee" if you sit at a table to have your coffee or eat your sandwich. If you do so standing at the bar, there's no extra fee.

Be loyal to one hotel chain and use the nights you accrue to help defray hotel costs.
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:05 AM
 
Location: New York
1,339 posts, read 2,252,854 times
Reputation: 1506
Research is definitely the key. I have stayed in hotels in Central London for less than 100 pounds a night and am staying next week at the Sheraton Heathrow for 59 pounds pre paid rate. I chose it because i have a late arrival and a lunch time flight the next day but you could easily stay there and get an all zone tube card and get the train into central London..... not ideal but doable and cheap.
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