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Friday, April 16, 2010

Edition 15 : See Europe And Spend Less

Plan to Visit the Cheaper Countries Cheapest countries in Western Europe: Portugal and Greece, although the Euro and European monetary policies are tending toward equalizing the price differential in these poorer countries. Transportation: Where to find Cheap(er) fuel. Last year it was Spain, where petrol was frequently found at less than 80 Euro cents per liter. Compare this with a cost over 1 Euro for many other destinations. Fuel in Europe is expensive, but the automobiles in Europe are generally more efficient, so a balance is achieved. Train Italy is still known for its extensive rail network and low ticket prices. If you are traveling around Italy, a rail pass may not net you much savings. Just buy your tickets as you need them at the ticket window or ticketing kiosks. Admissions: Card it! Most large cities in Europe have discount cards that allow you to visit many museums at a discounted price. Check them out when you go to the local tourist information center--and remember that many have a time limit which may make them less useful to folks who don't want to see lots of museums in a couple days. When you go up to the ticket window in a European train station, be ready to spout off your destination, whether you want a one-way or round trip, and the departure time of the train you've selected. If you're getting your tickets in advance, ask at the window if there are other trains that might be cheaper that day. Rent Cars or lease Diesel Specify a Diesel car when you rent or lease. In many countries, diesel fuel is subsidized, and costs far less than gasoline. It is also widely available, no need to worry about finding it. Many turbo diesels get great gas mileage as well, sweetening the deal. Leasing, or buy-back deals, can also save you money if you're renting for more than 17 days. Lodging Vacation rentals are becoming more popular. You'll get room to stretch out and a kitchen to cook in, saving tons of cash over eating out all the time. There are still some one and two star hotels in Europe with bathrooms down the hall. In countries like Switzerland, sharing a bath can cut the price of a room almost in half. Look for small, locally owned, one and two star hotels or a family hostel. Most of them won't have an Internet presence, so you might have to ask at the tourist information point in or near a train station. Of course, you can improvise some tricks of your own. Saving money comes naturally to us. So with these tricks, you can have a bon voyage any time!

Remember, Every Trip Is An Exploration
Before you embark on a travel with your family, there are things you should better heed at. These will not only help you manage the journey very well, it will also make the trip an unforgettable affair, in positive sense. When you travel with the family, especially kids, the first thing to remember is that attitude is everything. Expect problems, go with the flow and everything will work out great. Travel is hard and traveling with kids is even harder. But if you treat your trip like an adventure, annoyances, missteps and mishaps simply become small obstacles for your hearty band of explorers to overcome. If you get stressed when you cann’t find your hotel, your kids will get stressed too. When you think of it as exploring the neighborhood, everyone will feel better. Things to have * Don’t forget the drugs. It is always a good idea to travel with some children’s medicine so that you don’t have to worry about tracking down a drug store in a strange neighborhood at night. Depending on how much space you have, you might want to bring small containers of cough syrup or tabs. With long flights, giving your child something to help them sleep can make everyone a lot happier. Kids get dirty, especially when they’re traveling. Bring a small container of special travel detergent so you can use your hotel sink to remove the damage from your child’s meatball mishap. Bring a variety of sizes if possible. A small and sturdy nightlight can help you turn a scary hotel room into a cozy den. Leave at the right time. If you kids nap, use their schedules to your advantage. For example, if you’ve got a long car ride, see if you can’t leave an hour or so before their nap time.

Getting The Most Out of Your Flight
* Do a little pre-planning. Map out aisles, windows and think about where to place your family. Do you want everyone in the same row or would you really rather spread them out a little? You can get creative here. * Special meals. For the airlines that still serve food, most have Children’s meals. They tend to include more kid friendly options and often come with toys or stickers. * Lots of airlines have dropped special boarding for families with small children. If that’s an option for you, consider using it, especially if there is only one grown-up. Keep Mom or Grandpa or whoever in the boarding area until the gate agents physically force you onto the plane. This way your kids can run around and burn energy in the much roomier boarding area than in the 672 square inches they will attempt to occupy for the next four hours. * Choose your toys and books wisely. Toys with lots of small, moving parts are bound to end up as vacuum food. Things like a good set of portable art supplies with crayons, markers and some paper can transform into hours of amusement (or at least distraction). One school of thought is to bring your kids’ favorites. * A lot of the things can be said about trying to fit in with your baby's schedule. Try to book flights that will not upset your infant's routine. Many parents prefer night flights or early morning flights particularly for longer journeys. Try to avoid connecting flights where possible.

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