Europe Hotels Articles

August 8, 2010

Tips for planning a trip through Europe

So you want to tour Europe? You’ll have a ball! Here are some basic tips to help ensure your trip goes smoothly:

Getting around you have three options: Planes, trains, or automobiles.

Flying seems an obvious choice, given the wide range of cheap fares. However, to get those cheap fares, you’ll have to book well in advance, and conditions are strict (you may lose your money if you need to change the date). Also, be aware that budget airlines often fly out of small airports, a long way out of town. By the time you have traveled for an hour or more to get to the airport (and arrived at least an hour before your flight), then waited at the baggage claim at the other end, then traveled for another hour or more to get to your destination, a one-hour flight can easily eat up five or six hours of your time. Finally, bear in mind that cheap airlines are no frills: read the small print (for instance, if you get stranded because a flight is delayed or miss your connection, most won’t help with accommodation, and if they lose your luggage, they won’t compensate you).

If you’re considering driving, remember that road rules and signs (and driver behaviour) will be unfamiliar, so you’re going to get stressed and tired more quickly than at home and also that petrol in Europe is horrendously expensive. Car rental is not cheap, and it is often more economical to buy a car and sell it again when you leave. There are several schemes that offer this service, which includes a guaranteed buy-back price.

Trains in Europe are clean, efficient and so inexpensive these days that most Eurail passes just aren’t worth buying. You can cover long distances while you sleep for about the same cost as a hotel room. Of course, they are slower than flying so you have to factor in that extra time but the train stations are usually in the middle of town, you don’t have to get there hours beforehand, and you get to see the countryside as you travel! You do have to book a seat on most trains, but in most cases you can book up to a few minutes before the train leaves, either at the ticket office or at automated ticket machines in the station.

Accommodation in most European cities, there is a tourist office or accommodation bureau where you can simply rock up and book a hotel for the night however, you’ll pay a high price for the privilege! Once upon a time, booking at the last minute would get you a discount deal: nowadays, all the discounts are on the internet,

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