One of the most convenience thing living in Europe is travelling. European countries have the most reliable transportation system. So, it's such a waste if you don't know how to utilize such facilities. Since travelling is such convenience here, i can't afford to get myself missed out visiting cities around the Europe. To think of that, i have visited quite a number of cities.
For a cheap and affordable trip, you need to plan. "The early bird catches the worm" proverb is always true for early planning and booking.Because early preparation will enable you to get cheapest travelling ticket or desirable accommodation and save your money. But sometime, there will be last minute promotion. When i say sometime, meaning it will depend on your luck. So, early planning will still the best.
Today, i am gonna to share a little of my experience on how to plan. Of course it won't be the best way, but i do hope it will bean aid for those who are planning for a trip.
First of all you need to:
-Decide the locations that you will be visiting. It can be just a city or more than 1.
-Check the available date you wanted to go for travelling.
-Estimate the duration of you travelling.
-Approximate the amount you are afford money to spend for the whole vacation.
*Tips: Flexibility is important here. Give a range on your date, duration, and your budget. Different dates have different prices for travelling ticket and accommodation.
After you have set a range for above criteria. Now we proceed to transportation.
There will be 5 type of transportation available:
a) Train is the best way for travelling. The seating is spacious and will stop direction at the main train station(located center of the city). The only problem is the price! normally it will be the most expensive travelling option unless you book at least 3 months in advance or the is an ongoing promotion.
b) Airplane will be the cheapest way of travelling within Europe. The problem is, there will be baggage allowance and a lot of restrictions. Further more, you need to be on the airport at least 1 hour earlier. Most the airports are located far away from the city and you need to pay for about an hour bus ticket to city center.
c) Bus will be another option, but it will be the slowest. You will need to sit long hours of bus to your location. Normally it will come it package, where your accommodation or even your food will be included. Depend on the company that provide you the services and the price you pay.
d) Another option will be renting a car and drive yourself to the desired location. Renting a car is not expensive here provided if you are travelling about 4 person per car. Those who are new in Europe, you are allow to use your licence for the first 6 months in European countries. But, bear in mind, the driver seat will be on the left hand side of the car. So, everything will be exactly opposite compared to Malaysia.
e) The last option will be "car pool". Which mean you will be travelling with some random driver who wanted to go for the same destination. It's available in website where the driver will be posting out their vacancy and available seats. And you will be paying a small amount of money for it. Generally, it's safe but not really reliable. Definitely a big NO for destination which takes more than 4 hours.
Ok. Enough of the transportation option. Now we proceed will transport selection. Normally, we will just choose for the first 2 options (train or airplane). There will be a number of flight companies which offer many destinations with affordable price. Check all flight company for the air ticket and list out the price for comparison. For example Rynair, Air berlin or Easy jet. Do, keep an eye for train tickets too. For example in Germany, they train have ICE(www.deutsheBahn.de) and you will able get cheap tickets if you book few months earlier or you book more than 1 ticket in advance.
List out all the price and location for each travelling options which are in your range of the dates available and find the cheapest from it. Don't just list out 1 option, make more variation and give yourself more choices to choose.If you travelling to more than 1 city, list out all the routes. Do not fix which city will be the 1st destination. Just list out all the options available.
Below are the sample of the draft you can do for your destination and location selection with the price listed on each route.
After drafting the possible routes, we now proceed to route selection. For example, you can refer to the diagramme above. You can see arrows with different colours indicate the routes. Choose the best option that suit you.
There are few criterion you need to take into consideration for the selection:
-number of days for each city. Normally, we spend 3-4 days for each city. If you are travelling few places, do include the time spend for travelling
-the cheapest way to your desired destination
-the most time saving transportation
-transport that comfort you well
**Tips: in case the train ticket is just a little bit more expensive than air ticket, i would suggest you to go for the train.
Next, you need to start booking! Book the ticket via online. You just need to fix the date and pay with credit card. Booking through website of the train/flight company is easy and well guided.
When you keying your details when booking, make sure you give all the correct information. Double check all you details. Most important will be the name, passport number and the date chosen. After conformation of payment, there will be no amendment is allowed.
When you done all you transportation booking, now we'll proceed to accommodation selection. For the hostel booking, i am using hostelworld.com. There are a number of hostel/hotel or guest house available. Select the date and city, you will see a list of accommodation available with full descriptions, comments and rating. Choose the best place for yourself.
Tips: for better selection, please refer to the comments dropped by the previous visitors. The comments will be a great help for you. Do take note the distance for city centre and the facilities provided.
Great! with all 5 steps, you will able to get into your desired city with reasonable price. Hope this post able to give you guys rough idea how travelling within Europe countries. Below will be some useful website for travelling.
That all for this post. Next, i will be sharing wit you guys how to travel around the city.