If you want to travel to Europe on a low budget, then check this out. With careful planning, the airfare can be your biggest expense. By traveling smart, you will have to slash away at the prices, but you don’t necessarily have to give up all the comforts of life. Best of all, you can have wonderfully exciting experiences and encounters that will help you learn about the landscapes, social life, city attractions, events, political situations, cultural offerings, language, local foods, beverages, and perspectives of people you encounter in the countries of your choice.
Briefly, here are some of the most important points to consider as you make vacation plans.
When planning your trip:
• Survey the status of your finances and interests.
• Evaluate having a base of operations versus moving about.
• Travel in an off-season time of year and off the beaten path.
• Decide where you want to go: Keep your focus narrow.
• Check on budget-bargain cities, regions, and countries.
• Think about going alone or with others.
• Evaluate the many alternatives to “taking a vacation.”
• Use the Internet as a resource tool for finding bargains.
• Reveal your intentions to your contacts that can provide assistance.
When preparing for your trip:
• Plan your itinerary with a budget in mind.
• Make notes of other points of interest along the way.
• Book your flight in advance (or at the last minute).
• Select your mode of lodging and make arrangements.
• Decide on one or more means of transportation.
• Start early to get your documents in order.
• Consider your insurance needs.
When commencing your trip:
• Know the importance of traveling light (and washing laundry more often).
• Travel with others to split the costs and realize savings.
• Use your contacts for inexpensive food, lodging, and transportation.
• Live like the citizens: Eat regional foods, drink local beverages.
• Become a mineral water aficionado.
• Shop wisely.
• Be careful with your money.
• Protect your belongings.
• Check on free days at museums.
• Buy standing room at operas and symphonies.
• Refrain from buying souvenirs.
• Ask about and use student, teacher, and senior discounts.
• Find and enjoy free entertainment.
• Leave your guidebooks, maps, and laptop at home.
• Make plans for possible illness or accidents.
• Stay in touch with family and friends by telephone and/or e-mail.
• Be prepared to tell your story, share artistic skills with people you meet.
Because this way of traveling on a low budget takes courage, stamina, and independence, you should go at a time when you still have the health, resources, and opportunity to do so. Don’t put off your dream trip, but plan for it now. Your trip will be an adventure that will change your outlook on life. In addition, you will be a positive influence on your friends and family as you relate your exciting adventures to them when you return home.
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