Category: Eurpe

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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