EuroTribe

your guide to Europe off the beaten path

Category: Advice

The Ultimate Cruise Packing List For a Relaxing Holiday

Cruises can be some of the most enjoyable trips you’ll ever take. The feeling of trusting someone with the complete organization of your travel, while always being at sea is…

Cruises can be some of the most enjoyable trips you’ll ever take. The feeling of trusting someone with the complete organization of your travel, while always being at sea is incredibly liberating.

You can spend the day lounging in a deckchair or, perhaps, taking part in some activities. The fresh scent of sea air and sunshine will work their magic!

If you’ve picked a good cruise operator, you’ll be able to dedicate all your time to self-care and relaxation. Basically, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is packing ahead of the trip.

Although it sounds easy, sometimes it’s tricky to determine what you actually need and what is simply excess baggage.

We’ve prepared a very useful guide for all of you that plan on going on a cruise any time soon. This cruise packing list will help eliminate any trouble you might have while preparing for your voyage.

The first thing you must know is how much baggage you’re allowed to take. Usually, you’re allowed to bring two large suitcases (23 kg each), but rules do vary. Pack all the essential things in your carry on bag and follow our list of categories below!

Basics

Travel Documents

The first and most important thing on your cruise packing list are your travel documents. Make sure your passport and visas (if you need them) are in your purse or your pocket. It’s good to make copies of them, too. Although everyone knows it’s the one thing you can’t leave without, it often happens that people end up forgetting them.

Money

Also, bring your wallet, but don’t carry all your cash inside it. Always keep your money in more than one place! That way, if you end up losing it or being robbed, you won’t be penniless.

Prescription Medications

If you’re taking any prescription medications, bring them along. Also, don’t forget the earplugs! All this could be part of a first-aid kit (more on that below).

Electronics

In this day and age, it is very important to charge all your electronics. Therefore, bring your cellphone charger, as well as any other charger you might need. Although vacation is the perfect opportunity to limit screen time, we all love taking photos, so chargers are a must! Check this list of 50 fantastic travel products under $20

Print Your Travel Packing List

At last, definitely write down or print your cruise packing list. Having everything on a piece of paper will help with the planning!

Summary: documents (+copies), money, medications, chargers, cruise packing list

Clothes

You probably already know the first thing on this list – bathing suits! Yes, plural, since it’s better to have at least one spare swimsuit, while the other one is drying. Many boats have their own pools, while some cruise operators have swimming in the ocean as part of their program.

Other than that, make sure that you pack some lightweight and comfortable clothing. You are on vacation, after all! So, bring a couple of t-shirts, dresses, a pair or two of comfortable pants (depending on the duration of the cruise).

If you like dressing up for dinner or certain events, pack a formal outfit. However, don’t bring too many options, since you won’t end up wearing them and they’ll just take up space. Sometimes, some cruise events require formal wear, so check with your cruise agent in advance.

Another thing to remember is to not bring your most expensive clothes and jewelry. It’s just too much of a responsibility and cruises are all about winding down. 

Make sure you pack a jacket or a few sweaters, because the nights at sea can get very chilly. Even if it’s the middle of August, you must have something to throw over your shoulders. A rain jacket would be a perfect choice!

Your cruise packing list should also include underwear and pajamas (so, bras, panties, pajamas and socks). You should get a robe when you get to your room, but make sure to check. There’s nothing better than those lazy bathrobe vacation coffees. 

Summary: a few t-shirts, some dresses, a pair of pants, rain jacket, underwear, pajamas

Shoes

It’s crucial that you pack a pair of comfortable shoes that you can walk in for long periods of time. Some sneakers or running shoes are your best option, so consider perhaps packing multiple pairs.

Flip flops are necessary, no matter what type of a cruise you’re on. Wear them on the beach, on the pool, or just getting out of the shower. They also don’t take up a lot of space. 

If you have some extra space, pack the shoes you’d like to wear on special occasions and when going out. You are on vacation, after all!

Summary: comfortable shoes, flip flops

Toiletries

Although most things will be provided, you should still pack a cosmetics case. Bring your toothbrush, dental floss and anything else that’s a part of your dental hygiene routine. Speaking of hygiene, put deodorant on your cruise packing list. 

Also, don’t forget about skincare. Travelling can be rough on the skin, so bring some type of a face cleanser and moisturizer. Most importantly, pack some sunscreen. Sunburns could potentially ruin your vacation, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Bonus tip: bring some kind of insect repellent!

Summary: toothbrush, deodorant, face cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, insect repellent

Miscellaneous

If you’re travelling to a warm location, definitely pack a hat and some sunglasses. If you have room, pack a small umbrella as well.

Bring a scarf, since you’ll most likely need it. Some places you’ll visit will require you to cover your shoulders or you might just get cold.

Although you’ll spend most of your time enjoying the sights or activities, you’ll definitely have time for a good book. However, don’t bring too many, and, if you have a Kindle, just pack that!

Summary: hat, sunglasses, umbrella, scarf, book

First-aid kit

Last but not least, make a small travel first-aid kit. Pack some motion sickness meds, painkillers and bandages. Probiotics could help with digestive issues many people face while travelling, so bringing some would be a good idea.

Your prescription medication should be in your carry on or your purse. Make sure you don’t accidentally put it in your checked luggage. Once again – have your cruise packing list on paper!

Summary: motion sickness medication, painkillers, bandages, probiotics

So that’s it! You can make a cruise packing pdf list out of this blog post and bring it with you! Happy vacationing! But, if you haven’t made a choice yet, here are best cruises to take this year!

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How to buy a Sim Card in Serbia

Whether you’re planning a city break to Belgrade, a visit to Exit Festival or vacation at the mountains or spas having a SIM card is always useful. If you’d like…

Whether you’re planning a city break to Belgrade, a visit to Exit Festival or vacation at the mountains or spas having a SIM card is always useful.

If you’d like to buy a SIM card in Serbia here are a few things you need to know.

Companies

There are 3 most popular mobile network operators in Serbia. These are MTS, Telenor and VIP.

When it comes to the signal, all 3 brands cover more than 90% of Serbia’s territory and they offer 4G mobile network.

In my opinion, Telenor has the most interesting packages, while VIP offers more convenient packages for new users. Note that this applies if you’d like to sign up for a contract. If you’re buying a SIM card that you will use for only a couple of days the difference is not huge at all, which you can read more about below.

How

Buying a SIM card is easy. They can be bought at any kiosk, store or at the official stores of the mentioned brands. I recommend you buy it at the official store because the kiosks sell regular sized SIM card which won’t work with most new phones. You’d need to trim the card to make it micro. Of course this can be a hassle hence I recommend the official store. Offical stores have Multi SIM card which means you get standard, micro and nano card in one package. If you need the card immediately after you land you can buy one easily at any store at the airport. You don’t need a passport or an ID in order to buy a prepaid SIM card.

Costs

These are the prices;

MTS: 300 RSD; initial credit 25 RSD

MTS now also has a special offer for tourists. These are Super Tourist and Tourist SIM card. With Super Tourist SIM card you get 10 GB of internet, 30 minutes for international calls and 120 minutes of mts mobile network calls. The price of this package is 1,800 RSD (15$). Tourist SIM card gives you 3x24h of 4G mobile internet. The price of this package is 600 RSD (5$). Note that some of these options expire after 7 days. You can learn more about this offer by clicking here. WiFi is widespread in Belgrade’s coffee shops and restaurants so if you don’t plan to do a lot of instagramming or to make calls you’ll probably be okay with just a regular sim card too.

Telenor: 200 RSD; initial credit 25 RSD

VIP: 200 RSD; free calls in VIP mobile network for 7 days; 2 GB of internet for 7 days

That’s a pretty sweet deal. But VIP also offers a Visitor SIM which is a great option if you’ll be using internet a lot. For 990 RSD you will get 5GB of Internet and unlimited internet data for Viber. This deal lasts 14 days. You can also make calls with this card but you’ll need to refill it separately for that matter.

I hope this will help you in your selection 😉

Topping up

This is easy. You can top the card from any kiosk or store. You just need to state how much money you’d like to add and give the phone number. Note that this will only be possible if you have a regular sim card. The minimum amount you can add is 200 RSD. If you will get any of the special offers mentioned above or if you’d like to buy extra internet etc. head to the offical store.

You can also top the card with your credit/debit card through their online shops.

Coverage and data speeds

All three brands have a very good coverage and you won’t have any problems unless you are somewhere very close to the border and the signal might be a little bit messy. Using the online shop you can buy internet data and other extra options. Overall, getting a sim card in Serbia is good value for the money.

I hope this post will help you buy a sim card in Serbia. Do you have any questions I could answer? Feel free to comment below.

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How To Have Fun While Traveling Without Blowing Your Budget

Saving money for travel is one of the most shared travel advice on the Internet. But what about having fun while traveling without blowing your budget? Most people avoid travel…

Saving money for travel is one of the most shared travel advice on the Internet. But what about having fun while traveling without blowing your budget?

Most people avoid travel for this sole reason- they worry that they’ll be bored to death if they travel alone and that having fun equals blowing their budget.

I’ve traveled to more than 20 countries and undertook many solo trips and I’ve never been bored or left with no things to do. Here’s how you can travel for cheap and have a lot of fun at the same time! 

Use Couchsurfing

Vagabund bar Berlin -traveling without blowing your budget

Most people relate Couchsurfing to staying at someone’s home for free, but it’s much more than that. Sure, you can find people who would be willing to host you but if you’re in a new place and want to hang out with the locals Couchsurfing is a perfect fit.

You can leave a public message and leave it to people to contact you, or you can check out the website to see all events that are happening in your area. These events are almost always free. You can join weekly meetups, free walking tours, live music, picnics etc. 

Couchsurfing also has diverse groups so you can find people with similar interests.

No wonder why the sharing economy websites became so popular!

Go on a Free Tour

You’ll find free tours in almost every major city of the world. Instead of paying for pricey private tours that cost from 100 to 200$, you can go on a free tour and have fun! The offer is rich- there are free walking tours, free cycling tours, free cultural tours, pub crawls and more.

If you’re going to Berlin for example just google ‘Berlin free tours’. You’ll be swamped with the possibilities. Free tours are not totally free as you are expected to tip your guide at the end of the tour. However, it’s still a good value for money and you’ll most likely meet other people.

Visit Museums on a Specific Time

Nikola Tesla Museum - Belgrade travel guide

Did you know that you can visit some of the world’s most famous museums for free if you’re there at the specific time?

You can visit Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel for free every last Sunday of the month. If you’re in Paris, you can go to Louvre for free every first Sunday of the month. Check the website of museum you want to visit for more detailed information.

Also, never buy tickets from unauthorized sellers or from people just outside the building. You’ll most likely be a subject of scam and pay 4-5 times higher of the original cost. If you book your ticket online in many cases you’ll also be able to skip the line and you’ll avoid possible scams.

Free Cultural Events

There’s always a wide array of entertainment choices or a cool art exhibit going on with no entrance fee! Finding cool local spots and events is hard when you’re a tourist. Do some online research, check out the tourism board website of your destination, and locals’ blogs for insider tips.

Check out Meetup

Meetup is another good social networking site. The site can help you find and join groups that share your similar interests whether that’s politics, books, health, IT, outdoors, LGBT culture etc.

Walk and Explore

Heroes Square Budapest

Your two feet can take you far! Instead of going on those sightseeing buses or expensive private tours why not grab a map and explore the city by walking? Not only you’ll be more physically active but you’ll be able to have a better glimpse of the way of life by local people and save more money for other fun activities.

Check out Facebook events

One of my favorite FB features is their events tool. When you’re in a new place you can check out the events page and see all the cool happenings in your area. Most of the time these events are totally free or require a small entrance fee. Parties, free film screenings, language exchanges, group hiking, exhibitions- you’ll find it all on FB events. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to find new things to do.

Attend Free Festivals

Admit it, some festivals can be a serious blow to your budget. Luckily, there are many free and affordable festivals without big price tag, where you can still have a lot of fun. Check out the official tourism board website of the destination you’re visiting for the list of festivals and events happening in the area.

Stay in Hostels

Tirana Backpacker Hostel

Garden of the hostel

Sometimes just being surrounded by people makes everything better. Hostels are social environments with people from all over the world. They’re a great way to save money on accommodation and in many instances hostels organize free tours for their guests, prepare BBQs and other types of social mixers. No wonder why many travelers opt for hostels when they embark on a solo trip to Europe. Here’s a good resource on how to find cheap accommodation in Europe.

If you have camera, create art

You don’t need expensive or professional camera to take great photos. Your cellphone is enough too. Your time abroad is bound to be filled with new experiences and interesting people. It is something we like to memorialize and treasure – because life is made of experiences. Taking photos can be great stress therapy too! You can find out more about mobile photography in one of my previous posts here.

Spend time in the nature

Mother Earth gave us fantastic nature so why not enjoy it? You can have a light picnic in the park or go hiking. I love visiting botanical gardens as they’re so beautiful and peaceful. Some of them are free but most require a fee. Nevertheless, it will be more than worthwhile!

Go to Free Film Screenings

If you’re traveling during the Summer you’re in luck! Almost every city has outdoor film screenings! Imagine lounging in a park and watching Dazed and Confused or some other great summer flick. It’s also a great place to meet people. The atmosphere is always resembling to watching a movie with your best friends rather than being in a cinema. There is chatter all around as people yell out funny commentary much to everyone’s pleasure, and did I mention the street vendors bring out their best snacks?

Use your student card

If you’re a student you’ll most likely own a student card which entitles you to many discounts and free perks even. These cards offer discounts on accommodation, transportation, museums and other attractions. ISIC is the most famous card of this kind.

Get city tourist cards

budapest card worth buying

Almost every major city and their tourism office offer tourist cards. They range from 1-day, 3-day to 7-day passes and offer free transportation, a guidebook and more than hundreds of discounts. Besides the ordinary tourist passes there are also museum passes which can be a great deal and money-saver if you’re interested in art.

Language exchanges

Another fun thing to do is to go to a language exchange meetings. The entrance is free, you can meet a lot of locals and learn a bit of the local language or perhaps, you can help someone with your own! Also expect a lot of laughter 🙂

Drink in the park or utilize Happy Hour

Drinking in some cities can be really expensive so you may as well utilize those happy hour offers. If its summer, even better, you can buy drinks and enjoy them in parks and outside areas. That’s what people do in Berlin. Just make sure to read local laws, not everywhere is allowed to drink outside.

Check out local newspapers and websites

You can also hunt for fun things to do in local newspapers or websites. For example many cities have free magazines that you can find in tourism offices, your hotel etc. They have news on latest happenings and most of them have a listing with events happening in the area.

Also there are many blogs dedicated to a specific destination. You can research those too before traveling.

Use FourSquare

FourSquare app has been a life saver in so many instances. It is probably the best app if you’re looking for recommendations on restaurants, bars, activities, shopping etc. You can filter the results by distance, ratings and find the best match.

Check out coupon websites

Coupon websites sometimes have great deals on activities, shopping and day trips. You can subscribe to these sites and get all the great deals delivered directly to your inbox.

Food Kiosks

the Central Market Hall Budapest

Food markets and street food stalls are budget-friendly eatery places with a great atmosphere. You can try many different foods and enjoy the unique setting.

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How To Start a Travel Blog And Make Money

Travel blogging with all its perks seems attractive but it takes a lot of sacrifice and work before you reach that level of cool. It will probably take you a couple…

Travel blogging with all its perks seems attractive but it takes a lot of sacrifice and work before you reach that level of cool. It will probably take you a couple of years before you can call it a success but the key is to be persistent!

Starting a blog is fairly easy. I use WordPress and I recommend this platform to anyone.

However, if you want to get serious with blogging it will take a lot more than just signing up for a free account on WordPress. Here’s EuroTribe’s step by step guide on how to start a travel blog and make money;

Think of a Name

People often ask me what is a good name for their blog and that question has more than one answer. Nowadays many good domain names are already taken so this has to be taken into account. What you want may already be taken. My friends screamed in horror when all the names they could think of were already taken.

That’s why it’s really important to secure your name earlier, even though you may not start blogging immediately!

What’s the secret sauce for a good domain name? It has to be short and easy to remember! Yet, this will be difficult. You’ll need to do a lot of brainstorming.

Also think about the niche and what you want to write about. Avoid making a generic travel blog, there are thousands of them on the internet and it’s very difficult to break through in this field with such name. You know names such as ‘Nomadic-this’ or ‘Adventure-that’.

Thesaurus is a really helpful website when brainstorming site’s name. If your domain is taken, Thesaurus will show you a list of synonyms of your desired word and perhaps give you an alternative.

Avoid numbers and hyphens as this may lead to errors when typing.

Buy Domain and Hosting

So the next step is securing your name and buying hosting.

Hosting means buying the space on internet where you will store your blog’s data. You can get both through Lunarpages.

If you are just starting out get a domain and hosting from the same company. Lunarpages offers a very easy and quick installation. They also give you a free domain if you buy hosting through them.

The one option I really recommend is buying the domain privacy protection. This means that nobody will be able to see who’s the owner of the site, your address or phone number. It’s worth several euros more for increased protection.

Lunarpages Internet Solutions

Install WordPress

Once you buy hosting you’ll get a free and a one click WordPress installation with it through Lunarpages. This means that your site won’t be on a free WordPress account and won’t look something like this ‘myadventures.wordpress.com’.

Another famous platform is Blogger but believe me, you wanna be on WordPress. Most professionals nowadays use WordPress for their business but for personal uses too. You can install thousands of plugins and themes.

After you install WordPress from your hosting provider, you will be able to login into your WordPress account and here’s where the creative process begins. 🙂

Get a Theme

WordPress comes with many free themes but if you want to have a full control over your blog and better customization options you should buy a premium theme.

Professional themes cost from 20$ to 100$ but this is more than worthy in the upcoming run. Look for a theme that is responsive.

I buy my themes through ThemeForest and here you can find themes for different niches and budgets. Once you get a theme you also get access to support forums where you can post questions and see what others have posted.

theme forest

Download Plugins

Plugins can be easily installed from the WordPress dashboard. They give you more additional features and options.

Plugins that have been extremely helpful and that I love using are;

Akismet – Protects your website from spam comments.

Yoast SEO – Must have plugin if you want to rank higher on Google. It’s simple and easy to use! You’ll learn basic SEO fast. There’s a free and premium version of the plugin.

Digg Digg – Social share buttons.

W3 Total Cache – Reduces loading time of your website. The speed of your website will significantly impact your SEO.

There are thousands available plugins for WordPress. Some of them are free and for some you have to cash out. You can search for plugins from your WordPress dashboard.

Books and Courses

There are many resources online where you can learn more about the business of blogging.

The books I’ve found extremely helpful were 31 days to build a better blog and Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse.

Other great books that are not 100% about blogging but that touch this topic are;

 

Write

Obviously you can’t start a blog without content. A lot of people will tell you that you need to publish at least 2 times a week and I think that’s a good rule if you are just starting out. You should take everyone’s advice for granted, mine included and see what works best for you. I only write when I have something to say whether that’s two times a week or once a month. Quality over quantity.

Invest In Good Gear

If you want to have a successful travel blog you’ll need to invest in good gear as well. Photography will be one of the key aspects of your blog so you need a good camera. You also need a lightweight and portable laptop among other things. Check out full EuroTribe’s Travel Gear Guide.

Making Money

Yes you can make money with your travel blog but it takes a lot of work and probably this will happen only after two years have passed. There are different ways for making money with your travel blog.

These include sponsored posts, affiliate programs, display ads etc. You can even be paid to travel and write about destinations, hotels, tours. Companies will also offer you products on regular basis in exchange for reviews on your site.

This is not everything. There are endless opportunities to make money if you have some entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge of a certain topic. You can start a consulting business, tour business, create an ebook or a course etc. As I said opportunities are endless. 🙂

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How To Find Cheap Accommodation in Europe

Accommodation is one of the biggest expenses when traveling. So if you are wondering how to find cheap accommodation in Europe look no further! Here you’ll find all the options…

Accommodation is one of the biggest expenses when traveling. So if you are wondering how to find cheap accommodation in Europe look no further! Here you’ll find all the options and the best resources for each one of them.

Hotels

It’s true, hotels aren’t cheap. However, with a bit of planning and knowing where to look, you can score a surprisingly good hotel deal and enjoy the privacy and other perks hotels offer.

First it’s good to start with some booking providers. Here are the most popular ones;

Booking is one of the most popular providers for accommodation in Europe. They have a large section of different accommodation options and are great when booking hotels, hostels and apartments. If you make 5 reservations with them you become a genius member, which is the name of their reward’s program. The perks include discounted prices on accommodation and some other freebies.



Booking.com

HotelsCombined compares all top travel sites in search for the best possible deal.

Hotels.com can also offer a good deal. Their reward program offers discounted rates and a free night after collecting 10 nights.

HotWire is a site where you book accommodation without knowing where you’ll actually stay. That’s why their prices are cheap! You’ll be shown a general area grid, amenities, stars, the price and after your card is charged you are provided with the name of the hotel. The hotels are rarely below 3* so this can be a good deal.

Secondly, once you find the cheapest price on these booking providers check the price on hotel’s website directly to see if they match.

Hostels

If you want to find cheap accommodation in Europe then choose a hostel. They are great for budget-minded travelers. Hostels aren’t what they used to be in the past, their service and safety improved a lot and now there are even luxury hostels on the market and hostels that offer a wide array of entertainment options.

Besides cheap prices, hostels offer the chance to interact with other people, which can be handy if you’re traveling solo as you get to meet new people. Of course, there’s a risk you can meet a bunch of idiots too!

Nowadays I rarely stay in hostels. I like having privacy and peace so I usually opt for hotels, private rooms or a private apartment. If you don’t mind the lack of privacy, hostels are a great way to save money on accommodation in Europe. Make sure that the hostel will provide a locker for your valuables and I highly recommend bringing earplugs and a sleeping mask. I like the SleepMaster mask.

The best websites for finding cheap hostels are;

Guest Houses & B&B’s

Guest houses are, in most cases private homes opened for travelers. They are budget-friendly and calmer than hostels. They also offer more privacy as you can choose a private room. Some of them are lovingly decorated and set in beautiful surroundings making the whole experience that much better. Guest houses are very popular in UK, France and Germany.

The best website for finding guest houses is Booking.

Apartments

Book an apartment and live as the locals do! Staying in an apartment can really provide a glimpse into the way of life in a foreign country. It’s also cheaper than staying in a hotel. You can book a private room or a whole place for yourself.

Make sure to read reviews thoroughly and check the location of the apartment.

If you want to stay long-term in an apartment –  check the local ads, FB groups, Couchsurfing. You’ll find a much cheaper deal.

Best websites for short-term rentals are;

If you sign up through my Airbnb link you’ll get 25% off your next trip.

Volunteer

You can also volunteer for a good cause and get free accommodation and meals in exchange. You can volunteer for numerous causes at numerous places! South America, Asia and Africa dominate with these opportunities, but Europe also has plenty of them.

The best websites for volunteering opportunities are;

WWOOF

WorkAway

HelpX

Camping

Camping is popular in wilderness areas, national parks and at the seaside. Nowadays camping is a broad term, from hikers carrying light gear to campers who use recreational vehicles equipped with electricity, running water, furniture etc.

There are also numerous forms of camping: backpacking, bicycle camping, glamping (glamorous camping), social camping and more.

Camping is free in most locations but in some tourist places you may have to pay for it. You’ll also have to invest in good gear.

Best websites for camping are;

House Sitting

House sitting basically means that you can live in someone’s home for free while they’re away, in exchange for doing general house maintenance, pet sitting, picking up the mail etc.

If you travel long-term this could cut your travel costs substantially as you won’t need to pay for accommodation and could live in one place for a few months. Some owners will even pay you to house sit.

Best websites for finding house sitting opportunities are;

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a large travel social community. People from around the world would be happy to show you around their city and provide accommodation for free. Not all people host and not everyone uses Couchsurfing to stay at someone’s place for free. Some travelers just want to find company while they travel and someone to show them their city. Couchsurfing also has meetings in many cities worldwide where you can meet locals, expats and other travelers.

I’ve never used the actual website for staying at someone’s place. After attending meetings and showing foreigners my hometown, I’ve made friends with some of them. Later on wherever I went traveling my newfound couchsurfing friends would connect me with some of their own friends in places I was visiting. They’ve always  readily opened their homes to me, so I ended up staying with 3-4 Couchsurfers in total.

Also the biggest myth is that Couchsurfing is free. It’s not. If you care about your host you’ll bring them a gift or take them to dinner. Also you may not get a spare key and you’ll also need to spend time with your host which could limit independent roaming.

I find Couchsurfing best for finding like-minded people and meeting other travelers on the road. Their groups are especially helpful as you can find people who are interested in same things as you. There are groups for hikers, bloggers, expats, LGBT travelers etc.

Overnight Transportation

You can also save money by choosing to travel overnight on planes, trains, buses and other modes of transportation.

I’m not a big fan of this as I have a really hard time falling asleep in buses or trains but it’s definitely a good way to save money. Again, don’t forget earplugs and a sleeping mask.

Home Exchange

Home exchange is another example of sharing economy. Two parties agree to exchange their homes or rooms for a set period of time. It can include anything from houses to cottages. This is a nice way to save money and experience living like a local.

The best website is Home Exchange.

Farm Stays

Staying at a farm can cost money or it can be free – depending if a work exchange agreement was done. Accommodation includes cabins, cottages, guest rooms or tents. Farm stays are very popular in Italy, Iceland and Ireland.

You can find good opportunities on WWOOF and HelpX.

Monastery Stays

At first this may seem unusual but monastery stays are quite typical in some European countries. They also range from the ones offering very minimal service to those who are luxurious. They are usually cheaper than hostels and include communal kitchens. Some monasteries are famous for producing their own wine and food. Attending religion service is not a prerequisite for a stay.

Monastery Stays is a good resource.

Ask a Friend

We live in a connected world. You probably have friends who study abroad, relatives or friends you met while traveling. It doesn’t hurt to ask if they’d be happy to host you or if they know someone who would.

Purple Roofs

Purple Roofs is a great resource for LGBT travelers. It lists LGBT owned and LGBT friendly accommodations from hotels, B&B’s, hostels, apartments etc. There’s also a list of tour operators and travel agents.

Disclosure: Some links on the list are affiliate links. If you click them, I may get a small commission for your purchase at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I personally use and love.
Featured photo: Gery Bembridge on Flickr under CC

 

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How To Find a Cheap Flight To Europe (And Within Europe)

If you’re looking for ways on how to find a cheap flight to Europe or if you’re traveling inside the continent check out some of my favorite tips that could…

If you’re looking for ways on how to find a cheap flight to Europe or if you’re traveling inside the continent check out some of my favorite tips that could help you find a better deal.

Flying is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you know where to look for!

Search Engines

The first step we make on a quest for finding a cheap flight is to head to flight search engines. They are very easy to use and have a range of helpful tools such as fare alerts by email etc.

Here are the search engines I use the most;

Momondo almost always shows a cheaper deal than other websites and Skyscanner is great as it also shows the results from low-cost carriers. Kayak is great for US citizens. However, I recommend checking all three just in case. Don’t forget to set up fare alert and you’ll be informed if the price drops down.

Airfare websites

These kind of websites have really grown in popularity in recent years. They publish the best deals, error fares and most recent updates. Besides flights you can also find great deals on package holidays and accommodations.

Airline Website

Sometimes you’ll find a cheaper deal directly on the airlines’ website, so don’t rely on search engines only! You should sign up for airlines’ newsletter as their subscribers will be the first to know about any special deals. Also check out the promotions page on the official website of the airline you want to fly with.

Besides these two steps, you can also follow the social media of your favorite airline company or the one you wish to fly with, as promotions and giveaways are also advertised there.

Flights from nearby airports

If you live close to another big town do check the deals from that airport. For example, RyanAir doesn’t fly from Belgrade but it does from Timisoara, Nis and Budapest which are close to the Serbian capital. Bus and train rides are less than 20 EUR and this way I always save up at least 100 EUR.

Check the website of the airport for the list of all carriers including the low-cost ones which are not available on every search engine.

Be Flexible

This is very important if you want to find a cheap flight to Europe. The cheapest prices are usually found a month before the trip as airlines advertise their best deals. Most importantly – travel off season when there is less demand. August is always the most expensive month for flights, accommodation and everything else. Prices are also higher on the weekends than in the middle of the week.

If you are also flexible with the destination you wanna visit, many search engines will show you the cheapest flights from your nearest airport.

Fly With Low-Cost Carriers

Low-cost carriers are very popular in Europe. You can find one way flights starting from 2 EUR! Sure they have some drawbacks- alternative instead of main hubs, paying for extras, not so great customer support, but if you want to explore Europe without breaking bank, low-cost carriers are the way to go.

The most famous low-cost carriers in Europe are;

  • RyanAir

  • WizzAir

  • easyJet

  • Niki

  • WOW Air – cheap flights to Iceland

  • Air Baltic – cheap flights to the Baltics

  • Norwegian – great for flights to Scandinavia

  • Pegasus Airlines – cheap flights to and in Turkey

  • Blue Air – cheap flights to Romania

VPN

If you’re thinking what on earth is VPN, it’s a Virtual Private Network. Cookies and sometimes even your location can give you a much higher price for a flight ticket. For example you may find a much cheaper price of the same flight, just by changing your location.

If you want to travel from New York to Paris and you are checking the prices on Momondo or the site of your favourite airline, you may find that the price on US servers is higher than for example on an Australian one.

There are many VPN online and some of them can be downloaded for free.

Also don’t forget to delete cookies when you’re looking for a flight or browse in a private window.

Book Separate Flights

Sometimes you will also find that booking two separate flights instead of one return flight will save you money. This is not always the case but it’s worth checking out!

Other currency

Booking your flight in a currency other than your own can also save you some real money. Just make sure that your card waives the foreign transaction fees. British pound is stronger than the US dollar, so if you’re a Brit you may save money by booking flight in a currency other than your own.

If you follow these steps I assure you that you’ll save money when booking for your next flight!

I always start with the search engine called Momondo. They show all major and budget carriers, have a website in different languages and currencies and other great features.

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