Summer is in full swing. The question, that has been nagging the soul since the end of spring, on June becomes all the more urgent – where to go? Preferably, at low cost and with comfort. All those emotions are mixed with a great desire to see more, and spend less.
Everything is possible, even the impossible. Uzhgorod.in will tell how to conquer Europe, beating the pitfalls of tourism industry. Of course, buying a vacation in travel agency, you do not have to worry about how to get there, where to stay. A tour operator usually provides with everything. Today we consider independent travelling, provided that visas in passports are already opened, and suitcases are packed.
How to get there?
Over the past 10 years, about 100 new airlines, that offer services at low rates, have appeared in the world. They are called low cost airlines. They do not provide any free service in aircrafts, chairs are close to each other. The baggage must be paid for separately. All this can hardly be called shortcomings since for 2-3 hours of flight one can endure the lack of food and proximity to neighbors. And most importantly, those little planes almost always depart and arrive in time.
The first low cost airline, which began working in Ukraine in 2008 was Wizz Air. Today, you can fly to Europe from Kyiv, Lviv, Donetsk and Kharkiv for 50 Euros (one way). Even cheaper it is to fly from Budapest or Bratislava. The largest low cost airlines there are Ryan Air and Wizz Air. They offer flights to over 100 cities. In off-season tickets, for example to Milan, are available for 5-7 euros, to Paris – for 10, to Barcelona – for 20. Given these prices, even 20-30 euros for the travel to neighboring capitals seem reasonable.
Tickets are bought on the internet. The only thing to consider when planning a trip to a particular city is the airport. Typically, aircrafts of low cost airlines fly to secondary airports. For example, they write "Milan (Bergamo)" or "Paris (Beauvais)." In reality, the plane lands in airports, indicated in parentheses. They are, in fact, located at the distance of about 50 to 100 km from the chosen city. However, in Europe everything is provided. Every half hour buses leave from the airport to the place you want to get to. It is reasonable to buy a round-trip ticket. It takes additional 10-15 euros.
Where to stay?
The choice of the place to stay during vacation depends on what services you want. The cheapest option is hostels. This is not a "dormitory" for 8-10 people (although such options and the cheapest). Sites offer quite comfortable, affordable stay in conditions close to that of a good hotel. A great advantage of hostels is that they are in the center. 20-30 euros is the cost of one-day stay in a very comfortable environment. Often at this price you can find options with breakfast.
Prices in hotels are higher – 40 euros and more for 3 stars. But they can not always boast an advantageous location. Those in the center are more expensive.
So one has to decide what is more preferable – to be close to all the attractions and travel by subway (about 2 euros in one way) or live far from roads and urban noise, but take time and money to get to the center.
Another lucrative option is called Bed and Breakfast (B & B). Those are mini-hotel where one usually lives in the house with the owners and for a few days becomes a member of their family. The positive side is that one can see a different life and culture from the inside.
The most popular site Booking.com offers a huge selection of various accommodation options. One can find great discounts on comfortable hotel there. The payment is usually made in place. A card is required for booking and guarantee of arrival.
Where to eat?
Activities take a lot of energy, so the issue of food is more than relevant. In addition, the gastronomic subtleties of any country are part of the vacation. Everywhere, even in the city center, next to expensive restaurants one can find not only fast food but also cozy cafes. Almost everywhere one can have a tasty lunch, say, for two people, spending 10-15 euros. Such cafes are easy to find. You should consider the number of visitors who speak the language of the host country. If locals dine here, that means thay are experts in this matter. Waiters do not speak English well. Sign language would be useful.
In Italy, for example, a portion of pasta with sauce in such establishments costs 3 euros, garnish – 2 euros. Famous pizza is not much more expensive than in Ukraine – 5 euros. Portions are big. Italian coffee – 2 to 3 euros. But in Italy, as well as in France, one should consider tips. They are included in a check – sometimes referred to as table setting, sometimes – as tips. 10 percent of the bill must be paid for "smiles and friendliness" of waiters.
In Spain, a hungry tourist can have plenty to eat in restaurants where "all is included" for 10-15 euros. You pay at the door – and eat and drink whatever your heart desires – from soups to fruit desserts and ice cream, wine and coffee. Also Spaniards offer inexpensive snacks that are called "tapas". Their price is 6 euros. Those are 3-4 different dishes – salads, hot dish and garnish. You can mix and match as you wish. As a result, tapas replaces a full lunch or dinner.
Gastronomic traditions in Austria and Germany are very similar. Where the beer flows like water, there are usually a lot of tourists. Accordingly, the prices are higher. Beer – 4-5 euros, traditional sausages – about 10 euros.
Even in popular among Ukrainian tourists Montenegro and Croatia, it is possible to dine for 7 euros. And also with a sea view. While in a neighboring restaurant prices are 3 times higher.
The whole range of national dishes is quite affordable for every tourist. You can ask the locals or at the hotel reception about the location of such establishments. Or you can just stumble upon them while walking. The main thing is to look around.
The itinerary, sightseeing, optional excursions – this is a personal matter of a tourist and depends on financial means available. Coming to Barcelona, one can not miss visiting the famous Sagrada Familia, to Paris – Louvre or the Eiffel Tower, to Rome – Colosseum. So you still have to provide about 100 euro for a "social program."
Instead of an epilogue
Advantages of independent tourism are obvious. A significant factor is cost savings. Travel companies usually offer standard packages. And you can go to new, unknown places. To live in a little historic town, where prices are half lower, and the fun is twice higher. And the first advantage of such a vacation is freedom.
Shall we go!
Favignan Island (Sicily, Italy)
Trapani (Sicily, Italy)