Category: Fun & Adventure

Why Family Holidays Are Actually The Best Kind

Many parents love the idea of a romantic getaway away from the kids, or even a trip alone after a particularly exhausting period of being around family-non stop. It’s not always practical to do this, but it seem the vast majority are no longer despairing.

In fact, there’s never been a better time to enjoy your family holiday to the fullest and really enjoy some quality time as a group. Here are the reasons why you might find that enjoying a trip with the whole family is actually the best decision you could make.

Travel isn’t so pricey

In the past, the only way to keep transport costs down was to drive around in a car, spending every waking moment together in a confined space. No wonder this could sometimes be a recipe for disaster, and less than appealing for both parents and kids.

Now, it’s much easier to get cheap flights to European holiday destinations, and even many countries much further away. This means the options available to larger families on a budget are a lot more open.

Accommodation is better

Families are now catered for much better in most hotels and apartments. Adjoining rooms are easier to find, and you won’t be limited to the most basic, cramped suites if you’re willing to pay a little more. In fact, larger rooms often give you better value for money than simple double rooms. Services are usually available to look after and entertain younger children, too, and standards for these have improved over the years.

It’s easy to keep kids entertained

Technology today means it’s way easier to keep your kids happy on a long journey, and even if they lose interest for a while when you’re there. Handheld devices can provide music, video, reading material, games and contact with other friends and family so nobody needs to be bored, and this takes some of the pressure off the parents.

It’s not only the journey time which has been made easier than it used to be for kids, though. Most tourist destinations now realise the value of appealing to children more than ever, since this appeals to parents by extension and keeps their attractions going. Even museums, restaurants and other grown-up places tend to cater to children much more than they used to, even just ten years ago.

Quality time for family bonding

In today’s modern lifestyle, even though a few advancements have made family holidays easier, those same factors can limit the quality time we spend interacting with our closest family members in day to day life.

A family holiday with less stress is the key to enjoying each other’s company a lot more, so hopefully your family will be able to strike the right balance here. It’s important that parents and kids all get to bond with each other while they experience brand new things and enjoy their leisure activities, so take advantage of the chance while you can.

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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