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  • Cassius Downs

Save Time and Money on Trips to Europe

A map of Europe
Image via Wine By Appointment LLC Generated by AI

Want to travel to Europe for less cost? Want more time 'being' in Europe rather than rushing around Europe? Then read on and explore some of the many money and time-saving tips for travel to Europe this year. These are a series of blogs that provide specific topics for you to consider, so read on for this travel tip and why I recommend it.

Why read further? I worked for an airline for 15 years and have traveled the world for many years. I'm sharing with you my knowledge and top tips which can save you time and money. Once you read these tips, act on them to enjoy being in Europe.

Tip – Research

Image of travel guides in a bookstore
Bookstore Travel Guides Image via Wine By Appointment LLC

Why? - Research will help you make decisions and make bookings that meet your expectations.

Research – do you already know where you want to go and visit? If not, or if you are going to Europe for the first time, want to see something new, or just want to explore, the research will help you focus on the 'Where' and 'When' of going to Europe.

Tip 1 - Don't base your decisions on pre-COVID information or knowledge; many things have changed since COVID.

  • Restaurants may have closed, and many have simplified or downgraded their menus.

  • Hotels may have closed, been sold to a hotel chain, or changed the services offered.

  • Sites and museums may have reduced the days and hours they are open.

  • Costs have changed, the Euro is now stronger (more expensive) against the US dollar, and inflation has impacted Europe more so than in the USA.

Tip 2 – Don't base your decisions on travel guides published before or during COVID years (2020 – 2022).

  • If using a travel guide, get a current version with the latest information. Guides can take a year to research and then another year to get published.

  • Look online for travel guides for sale and look for the publication date to decide on purchasing it.

  • Look for travel guides that fit your purpose. Rick Steves has a good overview of the various travel guides and their intended audience.

Tip 3 – Use free online sites for current information and tours.

  • Look online and look at free travel sites like Trip Advisor and search for information and recommendations.

  • Look for local European city and country guide websites for more free information.

  • There is usually an icon in the upper left corner to select the language in which you want to see the site. Google also has a "Translate into English" option in their browser you can use.

  • Look for local tour information offered by both commercial tour companies and local tour guides at sites like Viator. Check TripAdvisor for more.

  • Here is a quick reference to some well-known tour guides. I like paper versions where I can tear out the sections I want and take them with me. Many of these publishers also have smaller 'Top Ten' guides.

Rick Steves: Written by a world-famous tour conductor of many years. The focus is on experiences in Europe for budget and mid-tier travelers. The locations, restaurants, and hotels recommended here tend to be very, very, very popular and booked up by Americans. I've used them to rip out pages about hotels or maps.


Lonely Planet: Used worldwide for budget travelers with lots of practical information. I haven't used these yet.


Frommer's Guides: A granddaddy of travel guides focusing on budget travel and older travelers. I've used them to rip out pages about hotels or maps.


Fodor's Travel: Another granddaddy of travel guides and an encyclopedia of information. I've used them to rip out pages about hotels or maps.


DK Eyewitness Travel: Visual guide with many great pictures and detailed drawings. Location information is not as in-depth. I've used these when I want to rip out pages for specific locations to know what I'm looking at and what to expect.

Rough Guides: Focused on the younger traveler and current social scene information. Location tourist information is well done. I’ve not used these yet, but my niece who wants to go to Berlin nightclubs would.


Michelin Green Guides: Written for travelers who drive on their vacation, with many maps and photos. Contains very detailed site information. I have used these when renting a car rather than taking the train around Europe.


Bradt Travel Guides: For sites to visit that other travel books don’t have. I haven’t used these yet.


Blue Guides: Full of deep-dive information and can read like an academic. I haven’t used these yet.

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Want to read blogs in this series? Check out the blog Travel  section.


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