Don't let a strong Euro keep you from planning the trip of a lifetime in Europe . One money-saving hotel strategy is so simple, you can implement it for your very next getaway across the pond. And the money you save will make you smile!
Who can resist the allure of Europe ? Many of us have long dreamed of exploring classy Paris , vibrant Rome , charming Salzburg , and other eye-popping European cities. These time-honored destinations brimming with ancient history, colorful sights, bustling street life, and scrumptious cuisine are so tempting that we hardly can wait to escape to the continent!
Armed with our newly-issued passports, we nail a rock-bottom airfare, arrange an affordable rail pass or car rental from our travel agent, and then begin the internet hunt for "reasonably-priced" accommodations in Europe 's most popular places. Of course, we are probably familiar with the discounted bed and breakfast/pension stays, youth hostel options, camping, and others. But what if we still prefer the amenities of a European hotel?
City accommodations "sticker shock" hit me when I checked out rates for my favorite hotel in Rome . In 2002 I had snared a double room with buffet breakfast at this particular hotel for a mere $85 per night. Now the same room costs almost 300% more...a whopping $285! I quickly do the math and realize our "bargain vacation" might be coming close to breaking the bank.
So, what's a Europe-bound traveler on a hotel budget to do during times when the good ole dollar exchange rate doesn't command what it used to? Enjoy a more authentic, relaxing, and less costly experience in Europe . Just venture 20-30 minutes outside the city and overnight in a smaller town right on the main rail line to the big city!
First, go on the net and google the European national rail sites. Austria 's, for example, is: http://fahrplan.oebb.at/bin/query.exe/en Maybe you want to stay in Salzburg . Look on a map of Austria and locate a town that seems relatively close to your target city.
Let's use Zell Am See in this case. Then on the rail website, type that town in the "from" or "departure" space and put " Salzburg " as the "destination" on the "to" line. You then can then look up the "intermediate stops" between Zell Am See and Salzburg . Pick one of the towns only two or three stops away from Salzburg on the main line. Notice that the towns of Hallein, Golling-Abtenau, and Werfen are all towns just outside of Salzburg on a main rail line between Zell Am See and Salzburg itself.
The next stop is to google "Hallein tourism" or "Golling-Abtenau tourism." Each town invariably will have a website listing cozy, family-run hotels. Often for 40-60% less than the per night cost of a hotel stay in a big city, travelers using this "on-the-outskirts" strategy can pin down a delightful hotel room. The rate can include not only breakfast but a delicious dinner too. What a vacation deal! Happy travels.