Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Secret Travel Tip for Saving Big on Europe Hotels

Don't let a strong Euro keep you from planning the Europe trip of a lifetime. One of our best money-saving Europe hotel strategies is so simple, you can use it for your very next getaway across the pond. And the money you save will make your moneybelt smile!

Who can resist the allure of Europe? Many travelers have long dreamed of exploring classy Paris, vibrant Rome, charming Salzburg, and other eye-popping European cities. These wonderfully 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 us hard when we checked out rates for Ann's favorite hotel in Rome. In 2002 she snared a twin-bedded hotel room in Rome, Italy with buffet breakfast for a mere $85 per room per night. Now the same room costs almost 300% more...a whopping $285! We quickly do the math and realize our "bargain vacation" might be coming close to breaking the bank.

So, what can a Europe-bound traveler on a tight hotel budget do when the good ole dollar exchange rate is hurting? 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! Here's a Europe travel tip: begin your search by googling the European national rail sites. Search for something like German Rail Timetable or Austria Train Schedules. For a list of Europe train timetable links country by country, check out: http://europeforvisitors.com/europe/planner/blp_rail_countries.htm

Austria's, for example, is http://fahrplan.oebb.at/bin/query.exe/en . Maybe you want to stay in the Salzburg area. 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 stick in "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 that main train route. Notice that the towns of Hallein, Golling-Abtenau, and Werfen are each just outside of Salzburg on a main Austria 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 affordable acommodations like the cozy, family-run hotels we love. Often for 40%-60% less than just the per night cost of a hotel stay in a big city, travelers using The Trip Chicks "on-the-outskirts" strategy can pin down a delightful hotel room at a super duper price. And guess what? Your low Europe hotel rate probably will include not only a buffet breakfast but a delicious dinner too. What a travel deal! Happy travels, y'all.

The Trip Chicks

Monday, April 16, 2007

Cool Travel Tips from The Trip Chicks™

Hi there and thanks for taking a peek at our new blog! We are full of insider travel tips but also busy travel agents and tour managers. You know what they say about those good intentions. We'll try our best to post from time to time. However, if you don't see any new info here for a while, keep on checking in with us. We might be traveling, plugging away at the travel agency, or wrapped up writing our travel tips book. Our industry is amazing but unpredictable, that's for sure. You're in for a wild but fascinating ride. So, stay tuned for more from The Trip Chicks™ and do send us any comments or suggestions. Happy travels!

Wendy Swartzell & Ann Lombardi, Certified Travel Associates & Travel Pros
The Trip Chicks
Passport to Adventure, Inc.
Atlanta, GA.