Category: Eurpe

Best sailing destinations in Europe

dalmatian coast

Europe is one of the best sailing destinations in the world as you get to explore many countries during your trip. Each European countries have something unique to offer, and you’ll get to explore different cultures and places at the same time. No matter what kind of holiday activities you’re into, you’ll have plenty of options available. As you will be hopping from islands to another, it’s important to plan your journey ahead. Below are some of the best sailing destinations in Europe that you can add to your itinerary.

Dalmatian Coast (Croatia)

Croatia is a beautiful country filled with many beaches and small islands that you can easily explore using a boat. There are approximately 1185 islands in the country which is plenty for you to explore. The islands are situated just by the crystalline coast of Adriatic. An island that we highly recommend includes the Pakleni islands which have hidden lagoons and beaches. For a more historical tour, we recommend visiting the remote island of Vis which is another stunning location filled with history and cultural cuisines.

Rugen Island
Rugen Island (Germany)

The Rugen island of Germany is one of the largest islands in the country. It is also known for its holiday resort as it offers everything you will need on holiday including beach, seafood, promenade, warm weather and so much more. If you’re not into the regular beach holiday, you can explore other parts of the island including old villages, churches and museums.

Ionian Islands (Greece)

The Ionian island has amazing beach sceneries, and it’s also known for its blue sea water. It also offers plenty of natural attractions including mountains, waterfall and wildlife. The island can be explored on foot or bicycle. One of their wildlife attractions includes a zoo filled with turtles and monk seals. As with many islands, the Ionian has plenty of fresh seafood available in restaurants.

Travelling to Europe by Train

eurorail

The train is one of the best transport you can use to get around different places and countries in Europe. However, if it’s your first time, it’s ideal to plan your journey ahead. Travelling can be stressful and tiring so planning your route in advance can help reduce stress and hassle. Below are some of our tips on how to travel to Europe by train.

Rail pass

The first step is to find out as much as you can about all the different rail passes available to you. If you’re looking to travel to various European countries at once, the interrail pass will be the most suitable. With this kind of pass, you can find a different itinerary or create your route based on where you can travel to. If you’re on a tight budget, booking an individual ticket will save you more money.

Seats

When booking your rail pass, you may want to think about reserving a seat in journeys where it tends to be busier. Although seat reservation may not be available at all times, it’s ideal to reserve a seat especially when you’re travelling for long hours.

Packing

Travelling from country to country can be exhausting when you’re carrying a lot of baggage. For this kind of journey, it’s important to pack light which means only packing the essentials. It will make your trip easier especially when you’re hopping in and out of trains or buses. Ideally, you should pack a couple of clothes, snacks and a few things that will help you keep busy during your trip.

Safety and belongings

When travelling in different countries, you’ll always need to have your guard up and always look out for your belongings. It’s also important to be aware of pickpocketers in big cities. It’s wise to invest on bag locks and waist pack to keep your belongings safe.

The Most Impressive Palaces & Castles In Europe

Europe is famed for its fascinating and varied history, spanning a huge period of time and leaving behind many physical reminders of ages gone by. Many of these include grand castles, palaces and royal buildings which are dotted throughout most countries on the continent. Visiting all of them may be almost impossible, but here are just a few of the best places to see.

Neuschwanstein Castle – Germany

Bearing a striking resemblance to the classic Disney castle, this fairytale royal home is one of Europe’s most iconic and it would seem wrong to start our list with anything else. Dominating the landscape from its raised pedestal in the Bavarian forest, Neuschwanstein welcomes nearly 1.5 million tourists every year.

Château de Chambord – France

Incredibly, this extravagant castle was only constructed as a symbol of power, and was used as an elaborate show home but not properly lived in by its owner, François I, for more than a few days in total. The king’s grand design was completed in 1519, and is one of only a few French palaces which remains almost entirely the same today.

Palace of Pena – Portugal

Alongside the famous ruins of Sintra, not far from the capital of Lisbon, this impressive and colourful Portuguese palace dates from the 19th century. Although the building itself is truly unique and inspiring, the grounds were designed to be almost equally impressive, boasting hundreds of different types of trees.

Eltz Castle – Germany

The Germans really love their fairytale-inspired castles, and this beautiful example has sat in the heart of Eltz Forest for close to 900 years. Its wonderful blue roof tiles and timber-framed towers are immaculately maintained, so they look just as impressive as they would have in the Middle Ages.

Windsor Castle – England

As British castles and palaces go, you may find yourself somewhat spoilt for choice, with impressive royal homes from across the centuries dotted throughout the country. However, one of the most immaculate and impressive examples is Windsor Castle, which holds the impressive record for being both the oldest and the largest castle in the world to still serve as a reigning monarch’s official home. When The Queen isn’t at home, however, part of the castle is open to the public and is one of the finest examples in Europe.

Common European Tourism Mistakes to Avoid

If your European holiday is still in the planning stages, it’s the ideal time to sort out ways of saving money and planning for potential situations where things haven’t gone to plan. Just because circumstances are unforeseen, it doesn’t mean you can’t have some sort of knowledge and backup plan prepared in advance. There are plenty of stories out there which should give you a general idea of the possible problems you’ll face as a tourist and the most well-known pitfalls to dodge. Some of those include the following…

Wrong

1) Taking on too much

If you haven’t been to somewhere before (and perhaps you think you may only go once in your lifetime), it can sound like a good idea to cram in as many activities as possible. However, seeing everything in a short space of time will make everyone rush by in a costly blur at best, and if you’re not used to travelling there’s a high chance you’ll also be exhausted quickly. Schedule some downtime and you will enjoy everything more, even if you have to cut something impractical from your plans.

bags travel

2) Renting a car unnecessarily

Most European cities are surprisingly easy to get around, if you haven’t learned this for yourself. People who are used to driving everywhere may find it hard to adjust, especially those coming from America where many urban areas are on a larger scale. Generally things in Europe are simply more compact and there is little space for traffic, so everything is accessible by walking or local transport. If you rent a car, especially in a historic city, the chances are you won’t get to use it enough to make it worthwhile.

rent a car

3) Booking the first hotel that appears

Using a supposedly impartial comparison site to find your hotel will not always give you unbiased results. Paid listings can be confusing and make it look like you’re getting a good deal when it’s actually on the expensive side. Spend some time looking through the available options and focus more on the reviews for a place than where it appears in search results.

hotel booking

4) Staying in an inconvenient place

Whilst it is good to save on hotel spending as we have established above, sometimes when you arrive you’ll wish you paid just a little more to be closer to the main attractions. If you have to spend time and money travelling to and from your hotel on the outskirts of your destination, you have not really saved any money at all.

 

The Cheapest Way To Use Your Phone While Travelling Europe

Generally speaking, it’s easier than you may think to use your mobile phone while travelling round Europe without racking up huge bills. How exactly you go about this will depend on the specific offers available at the time, and the country you are living in currently, but overall it shouldn’t be difficult to work out how to save money and still make and receive calls, and even use your data connection to access the internet. Here’s how it works.

Save phone costs

If you’re in the UK…

For UK residents, many phone providers will currently let you travel around Europe at absolutely no extra cost! For example, Three now offer data roaming with no fees or price hikes at all, so you can benefit from the same low cost that you pay at home from anywhere in Europe. On some contracts you simple have to inform your carrier that you are going to a different country, and they will check that your phone can work there temporarily. Sometimes you may have to pay higher prices, if you are on a PAYG plan or with certain providers including giffgaff.

If you’re in the US or elsewhere…

It’s not so easy for tourists from outside of Europe to use their phones in European countries, but it’s also not that complicated to set up. You have a few options to choose from.

Mobile typing

Firstly, you might simply commit to not using your phone much, and inconvenience yourself slightly rather than have the hassle of coming up with a dedicated plan. If you’re willing to keep your phone off or on “flight mode” for the entire duration of the trip this may be OK, but for many of us that’s not ideal. Since the costs of spontaneously using your phone abroad with no pre-planning can be fairly high, it’s best to consider another option.

You might decide to buy an international package from your current provider. This would be a temporary package that could include calls, texts and/or data to browse the internet. You can often get them as a one-off add-on that’s easy to setup, and it could work out at a good price if you plan to use your phone a lot. However, you could waste money if you don’t need to use as much as you buy.

phone wifi

The cheapest way to use your phone abroad, and probably the best for most people, is actually to wait until you get to your destination and buy a SIM card from a shop. This will work if you buy a card on the same network you usually use, or if your phone is unlocked you can go for any provider. You just have to insert it into your phone and then you can start using it n whatever local plan is the cheapest. This means since you’re paying prices meant for locals, you can get better deals in general. This option might require some extra research but it’s really the ideal way to be cost effective with this aspect of your holiday spending.

The European Tourist’s Complete Price Guide

When travelling around Europe, the choices are endless when it comes to how much you spend and how you spend your time. Countries within the continent, even those very close geographically, can vary wildly in terms of average cost and the kinds of things on offer. If you want to take on the increasingly popular challenge of touring round different countries and having as many different experiences as you can, then Europe is a great place to do this as long as you start with some research into costs. Here is a master price guide to help you know what to expect.

europe_travel

The cheapest option for somewhere to stay on a European holiday is going to be a hostel of some kind. This choice is favoured by the majority of backpackers who are happy sacrificing some luxury to save on cost and see many different places for a low total price. In the cheaper countries, mostly in Eastern Europe, you could get a shared dorm room for as little as 6 EUR per night.

If you go to a slightly more expensive country or you’re after a bit more privacy, expect to pay closer to 30 EUR per night on average. Upgrading to a hotel room might come closer to 50 EUR per night on average, and if you go to the most expensive and popular cities such as Paris, expect hotels to start from around 70 EUR per night.

travel_costs

In general, when it comes to food you should try to aim for around 10-20 EUR per day if you want to eat well. This could easily get you one or two restaurant meals in most places, as long as you avoid the most expensive tourist spots. In Western Europe, food costs about twice as much as in the East, so it depends on where you’re spending most of your time.

Transport will be your third major cost to account for. You can travel on local bus or train services for just a couple of Euros per trip, and in many cities you can invest in unlimited passes to travel on the buses or subway services. For example, a full week ticket for the Paris Metro system costs less than 25 EUR which works out to amazing value. To travel between cities or countries, trains could be a lot more expensive, although slower ones will be cheaper.

iloveeurope

Overall you can save a lot of money with simple tricks. It’s mainly about knowing what to avoid entirely, to save you getting ripped off on a regular basis as you travel around. Buying drinks in bars, having too many restaurant meals for convenience and opting for expensive hotel rooms unnecessarily are probably the top reasons that people accidentally spend too much in Europe.

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