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Toolbox: Europe

Posted on March 7th, 2016

Okay, let me introduce you to a new concept I am launching here on my blog: toolbox. Basically the idea is that for each travel destination I visit I will create a blog post containing all practical information (tools) needed when planning a trip to that particular destination. This will include information such as must-see sites, foods to try, public transport information, hostels that are recommended and other tips and tricks that will come in handy while there. My hope is that my blog will become more than just a personal diary, but also a space where people can find all sorts of helpful information.

To launch this I have included all of the basic information for travelling in Europe in this post and will add posts about particular cities as I go.

Toolbox Europe

Flights:
My go-to sites are EasyJet and Skyscanner. You are always sure to find an affordable option for hopping between European cities. I have only flown with EasyJet so far and found the service to be amazing. You can check in online and so your airport experience is completely hassle-free. Be sure to download the app on your phone to keep all of your boarding passes in one place.

Accommodation:
Booking.com has a very extensive list of accommodation with something for every budget whether that be a hostel, B&B or hotel. I booked my Amsterdam Hostel through Booking.com and was very happy with how that turned out. The best part is that you mostly don’t have to put down a deposit and only pay upon arrival. This allows you to secure a place in advance even if you aren’t sure and can always cancel later without paying anything.

Hostel World is also a super affordable site featuring lots of accommodation aimed at young people travelling on a budget. I booked my Italy accommodation through them and found some really good deals. I’m only going in April through so I can’t yet say whether it was good or not.  The one down side about Hostel World is that you have to pay a deposit. It isn’t much but it does mean that you have less flexibility and have to be 100% sure about your choice before you book.

Finance budget:
With the Rand/Euro exchange rate being as terrible as it is, travelling in Europe is not easy on your wallet. It is therefore really important that you budget properly before embarking on your great trip. It’s often quite tricky to have an idea of how much to budget for each day but I find it best to look up prices online for tourist attractions in advance. But when it comes to budgeting for food it becomes a bit more difficult as every city has a different cost of living. I found this REALLY helpful site The Savvy Backpacker which has a really comprehensive list of all of Europe’s major cities and a Price Guide for how much you should be expecting to pay per day in that city. Be sure to give that visit before you start planning your finances.

Train:
For those of you wanting to be visiting many places over an extended period of time it may be more economical to invest in an Interrail pass, if you’re an EU resident or citizen, or an Eurail pass if you don’t fit into that category. There are many options such as a global pass, one country pass or a select pass where you can choose up to 4 countries. You basically pay a once off price for the pass and then have ‘free’ access to all transport. There are a few conditions like having to pay extra for reservations, only being able to travel for a certain number of days over a period of time etc. But have a look and see if it’s something that’ll be worth your while. I haven’t tried it yet or researched it extensively but I am thinking of using it when I do my Spain and Portugal trip in October.

Toolboxes you can look forward to in the next couple of weeks:
Paris, France
Geneva, Switzerland
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Please remember that I’m trying to make my blog as enjoyable to read and informative as possible. So if there is anything you’d like to see more of then please feel free to drop me a message in the comments box below!

 

 



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