If you are planning to visit Europe anytime soon and you are on a tight budget then that budget should not ruin your European tour in any way. In fact there are some effective tips that will help you come up with an enjoyable trip to Europe even when your budget is a way tight.
Here are five essential tips that will help you enjoy a budget-friendly and cost-effective European tour:
Join Free Walking Tours
Many of Europe’s key cities offer free walking tours, mostly allowing you to walk for three hours to enjoy your exploration of the city’s cultural hotspots. For instance, Paris offers free walking tours to visitors, giving them the opportunity to walk and explore the captivating Boulevard Saint-Michel, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde and the cathedral of Notre Dame. It is encouraged togive tips to the guide and 10 euros is quite acceptable.
Cook Your Own Food
It is usually tempting to eat and dine in European restaurants but the truth is that they can be very expensive. To help you stretch your budget, it is highly advised to cook your own foods to help you save your money for other purposes.
Avoid Staying in Chain Hostels
In Europe, no two hotels or hostels are ever the same. To get a bang out of your buck, you should get rid of accommodations that offer hotel-like services and amenities.
Utilize Bicycle Rentals & Day Passes
Punch cards and day passes should be the thing you need to look for when traveling around the city through bus or train. And if your city trip is not that far, bicycle rental is a thrifty and practical option.
Avoid Constant ATM Withdrawal
The more often you withdraw from the ATM the more withdrawal fees are collected from you and such fees are really high when you are in another country.
Nice is a well-known seaside destination in the south of France, making it the ideal place to visit if you’re after a bit of relaxation in the sun. While the city itself is home to several stunning beaches, it would be a shame not to explore some other parts of the coastline.
The easiest way to do this is to hire a car when you arrive, as this will give you plenty of freedom to travel outside Nice should you wish to (check out this websitefor information about car rental). To give you an incentive to explore, we’ve put together a list of some of the top beaches in and around Nice.
One thing to remember about Nice’s beaches is that there are private and public seaside stretches, with the private options generally thought to be the best.
Our first pick is Nice’s Blue Beach, a private cove that’s got excellent facilities and is renowned for its brilliant restaurant. As well as the high-end eatery that is a must-visit for gastronomes, there is also a volleyball court and a table tennis table, so there’s a lot to keep you from getting bored while you soak up the sun.
You’ll find Blue Beach just off the Promenade des Anglais and close to some of the city’s best hotels, such as the Palais de la Mediterranee.
Around a 20-minute drive to the east of Nice is the charming seaside town of Beaulieu-sur-Mer, which happens to boast some of the most picturesque beaches in the French Riviera.
You don’t need to look hard to find that perfect sweep of sand, either, as the main beach is wonderful. It’s around 1 km long and is made up of a mixture of sand and pebbles. Running along its entire length is a promenade where you can go for a leisurely stroll if you tire of lying in the sun.
Plage de la Mala
Plage de la Mala is in Cap d’Ali, which is roughly 30 minutes to the east of Nice. This is the ideal seaside spot if you’re hoping to avoid the crowds, because the steep steps you have to climb down (and back up again after your day of sunbathing) put many people off.
This secluded cove is well worth the effort to get down to, though, with azure-blue waters lapping gently at the shore and few people to fight over space with. There are private areas on this beach, which are backed by high-end restaurants – perfect if you want to treat yourself to an indulgent meal before heading back up the steps.
Our final pick is the bay in Eze, a delightful perched village that is worth a visit regardless of the quality of its beach. The village itself is located high on a hill overlooking the coast and dates back to the medieval era. At its highest point are the ruins of a 12th century castle – so drive up to the fortified centre and explore before hitting the seaside.
The beach is made up of pebbles but is very picturesque. There’s a private section – known as Anjuna Beach – where the restaurant and sun terrace are decorated to give visitors a taste of India and Bali. Head down on a Sunday and you’ll be treated to live music at the beach club as well.
Family holidays are amazing and, in terms of the chance they give you to spend some quality time together, utterly invaluable. But, going away with the kids (no matter what their age) isn’t always easy, so I’ve put together a few basic tips to help make sure your trip goes smoothly.
Now, there are about a million tips I could give on planning family holidays – like packing lots of activities to keep the kids occupied in the car/on the plane – but telling you every single one would take all day. So, the below are what I think are the most basic elements you should start with – use these as your foundation and you won’t go too far wrong.
1) Choose a family-friendly hotel
Choosing a family-friendly hotel is the most crucial step. Admittedly, it’s probably also rather obvious, but often it’s the simplest things that make the biggest difference, so take your time over choosing where to go.
I’ll give you a few examples of decent hotels below, but for now let’s talk about some of the key factors. For me, one of the most crucial is remembering that the holiday should please the whole family – that means you too.
So, go ahead and pick somewhere luxurious where you can really relax – just make sure it’s child-friendly too. Look for kids’ clubs, children’s swimming pools, early meal sittings (if you have toddlers) and kids’ menus. Also, see what activities the resort offers – complimentary water sports, tennis and suchlike can provide great family fun.
2) Factor extra time into your journey
Travelling with kids is never going to be as simple as a getaway for two. If you have toddlers, for example, your journey will likely be peppered with stops for them to look around and gaze at whatever interests them, as well as the occasional tantrum.
The difficulty of carrying a family-load of luggage, kids’ getting distracted by airport shops and frequent toilet stops are all things that will add up to make your journey time much longer than you’d expect. Instead of battling this and trying to rush the kids (which will only make them grumpier), factor plenty of extra time into your journey.
3) Go for simplicity
It’s the simple things in life that are often the best, and this certainly rings true where holidays are concerned. Nothing makes tempers fray more quickly than long, difficult journeys, so make simplicity your friend when planning your holiday.
Short-haul destinations, hotels that are easy to reach from the airport and resorts close to the attractions that most interest you will all help make your break as relaxing as you want it to be.
Examples of good family-friendly hotels
Atlantis, the Palm
On the face of it, Dubai may seem more suitable for a sophisticated sojourn for two than a family holiday – but hotels like Atlantis, the Palm mean that’s not the case. After all, it’s not many resorts that boast their own water park. Aquaventure is the biggest in the region, and offers free entry to hotel guests. Plus, there are kids’ clubs, interconnecting rooms and babysitting – all of which are good news for children – and plenty of ways for mum and dad to relax, like indulgent treatments at the ShuiQui Spa.
Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque
Thanks to attractions like Siam Park and Loro Parque, as well as gorgeous beaches, Tenerife is a natural choice for family holidays. The Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque on the scenic Costa Adeje is a fantastic place to stay. Like Atlantis, the Palm, it offers essentials like interconnecting rooms and kids’ clubs, while there’s also a children’s pool, playground and teen activities.
Driving into the dry, hot desert stretches of Australia’s Outback, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Coober Pedy was abandoned long ago. However the barren landscape hides a thriving community of over 4,000 permanent residents, who live under the earth’s surface. Coober Pedy was first established in in 1915, shortly after a mother lode of opals was discovered in the area. Prospective opal miners from around the world flocked to town to seek their fortune, establishing this settlement in the sun. The harsh weather conditions caused the locals to drive their living spaces underground, converting old mines into cosy houses.
Today, tourists visit South Australia’s Cooper Pedy not only to find out more about it opal mining heritage, but also to see what life is like underground. You can stay in an underground hotel, get a bargain on precious gems at the opal jewellery shops, and even enjoy a gourmet meal below the earth’s surface. The following are a few attractions that make this historic town a fascinating place to visit.
You may assume that the dugout homes in Coober Pedy will feel small or claustrophobic, but they rival many of the finest examples of real estate SA in cosmopolitan Adelaide. You can tour some examples of the homes, which feature modern kitchens, walk-in closets, and a warm glow from the red rocks that comprise their walls. Many visitors choose to stay in the Desert Cave Hotel, which offers 4 star accommodations and an on-site opal gallery. There are also underground gift shops, museums, churches, and cafes to keep you busy when the sun is at its brightest outside. The Umoona Mine and Museum contains an underground house, theatre, cultural displays, and Aboriginal interpretive centre to learn more about the region’s history.
Coober Pedy Golf Course
In the evening hours when the temperature drops, locals and visitors alike can enjoy a round of golf with glow in the dark golf balls. There isn’t any grass or trees in the area, so the course uses mounds of sand, oil and diesel pits, and a large sand trap. This makes it a uniquely challenging and bizarre golf course that will test even the most avid golfer’s skill.
If you want to try your hand at opal mining, you can visit the “noodling” area open to the public in Coober Pedy. There are designated areas that are open for noodling, so be sure to stick to these to avoid a fine. No permit is required if you don’t use a digging device, shovel, or pick. However, if you plan to use digging tools, explosives, or heavy machinery you’ll need the appropriate permit from the Mines and Energy office.
If you’re looking for an intriguing day trip from Coober Pedy, you might want to venture about a half hour north of town to the Breakaways Reserve. This includes bright and colourful rock hills which were once part of the Stuart Range, but have broken away over time. Be sure to pack plenty of water, as temperatures can soar. However, visitors are rewarded with amazing views of the Outback. The desert changes colours throughout the day depending on the position of the sun, creating a surreal and completely unique impression on viewers.
A day in Coober Pedy is unlike anywhere else on earth, allowing you to experience what life is like below the earth’s surface.
The Atlas Mountains offer endless fun to any outdoor loving person; from the southern Anti-Atlas ranges that give you fantastic views of the golden desert to the snow capped High Atlas Mountains dotted with quaint Berber villages where you can stay in traditional Atlas Mountains hotels. The Anti-Atlas ranges are less visited hence give an opportunity for anyone looking for a trip off the beaten track, the facilities are minimal as compared to the High Atlas ranges.
Jebel Siroua is an ancient volcano that is popular with hikers. For a more challenging experience the purple colored Jebel Lekst is the most popular and most difficult. Jebel Aklim though less visited is equally challenging; but after the struggles of getting to the top you will be rewarded by spectacular views of the High Atlas and Jebel Siroua. If you’re planning on trekking around volcanoes on your trip make sure you get a travel insurance policy which covers those kinds of activities!
The High Atlas ranges on the other hand gives you more advanced trails as its most frequented by visitors. For those fit enough the Toubkal summit which is the highest in Northern Africa awaits you, the Imi Ourlad to the beautiful village of Imli offers spectacular lush valleys, sparkling streams and moderate trails. Tizi Oussem route only a short walk from Imi Ourland lets you experience the Berber culture as you pass through their villages; it is an excellent break from the city.
Marrakech city is a must stop over: from its fun filled Djemaa el Fna square with charming story tellers, fire eaters, music and dancing. There is a lot to see, you can start by visiting the majestic Koutoubia Mosque with its distinctive traditional Almohad style minaret which is visible from near and far.
Wander along the narrow alleyways and spend some dirhams in the souks. The souks are lined up along the alleyways and comprise of small retail cubicles that sell almost everything from fine fabrics, carpets and spices to love potions and Berber lipstick.
Try out scrubbing yourself clean in the traditional baths known as Hammam and sleep in a riad to experience the rich culture of the Berbers. Before leaving Marrakech make sure you spend a night in the clubs and enjoy being entertained by the popular belly dancers who contribute heavily to the vibrant nightlife. A magical holiday in Marrakech won’t be forgotten quickly.
Fez and Meknes are recognized as ancient Morocco capitals. If you are looking for an inspiring historical tour then you are sure to get that and more from Fez. It is Morocco’s intellectual and spiritual center, boasting of one of the world’s oldest universities and the largest intact medieval quarters. It is a UNESCO World Heritage town whose biggest attraction is the old medina Fes el-Bali. Take some time to wander off in the narrow alleyways where you will encounter donkey carts or local artisans at work.
This fantastic town is also famous for its fabulous leather products that are sold in the leather souk. Visit the tanneries and witness the rigorous process of tanning and dyeing leather. Morning hours are perfect to visit when the colors are still bright and appear vivid on pictures.