CNN Travel has a great — if somewhat obvious — article by Rick Steves, travel expert extraordinaire, on 20 ways to save money in Europe, an important topic for anyone looking to hit that beautiful continent, for business or pleasure. Especially given the fall of the U.S. dollar against the continuing rise of the Euro, maximizing your hard earned cash is paramount.
So what’s the problem with Road Warrior Ricky’s article? Well, it’s really truly awfully long, you see. So I’ve taken the liberty of condensing these ideas into easily digestible bits, the Tums to Steve’s tall glass of milk. My way there are only 13 tips for luck instead of 20.
- B & Bs are more comfy and less expensive than hotels.
- Hostels are even cheaper.
- Budget, chain hotels are another good option for families and singles alike. So are the more meagerly star-ed hotels. Get a room with shared bathrooms in the hall and you’ll save even more. (Thanks Steve! These sound swell.)
- Double up in your lodgings.
- Avoid tourist hot spots: They’re rip offs.
- Or take a picnic/ bag lunch that you’ve shopped for at a grocery store, not at a convenience store.
- Open-air markets are inexpensive as they cater to in-the-know locals. Just ask around.
- Share food. Don’t splurge on drinks.
- Don’t over-tip. Many places in Europe include tip with the cost of a meal, so don’t tip twice when you’re pinching pennies.
- Fly, seriously. So-called “open jaw” flights can be cheaper, from a round-trip standpoint, than the time and energy of two or more train tickets. Shop around.
- Don’t drive.
- Buses, both local and travel, are dirt cheap. Rub elbows with the common man and locals.
- Use ATMs instead of travelers’ checks, and take out your money in larger increments to minimize fees.
I hope these were helpful. For the complete article, click here.