For those of you who, like me, love to plan summer in advance so there is a great holiday to look forward to, I would like to give some ideas and tips to find your perfect get away.
Planning in Advance
Planning in advance can be great to grab some amazing deals and see where will be cheapest in those popular summer months. Hotels can be expensive, so if you are planning on getting away and have to time to plan your trip, you could consider Airbnb’s! They can be so much more homely and natural and is a great way to accommodate yourself within the centre of a city or a countryside location. When I went to Budapest last summer with my friends, it was much, much cheaper to get an Airbnb! It was in a fabulous location, right in the centre of the famous ruin bars and was very quirky and unique! This saved so much money between us all and felt much more accessible.
Travelling doesn’t always have to be a struggle. If you plan on doing a road trip through Europe it can much cheaper in a group compared to the Euro trains. Trains from place to place can be expensive, I know many people chose to Interrail, but I felt that there were still certain restrictions. If you don’t drive and don’t want to take trains, I would highly suggest Flixbus! They run over 300,000 daily connections to over 2,000 destinations including popular places like France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and so much more. The majority of my solo travel through Europe was done on these buses and I managed to get tickets as low as €5! And that was from country to country!
I only encountered one difficulty when travelling from Innsbruck in Austria to Salzburg. The only bus I could get would take me back to Munich for a transfer then to Salzburg. This would have taken me all day and I had already stopped in Munich the day before. So, another option, which some people may not be comfortable with, is carpooling. I used BlahBlah car for this journey. I shared a ride with a student who was home for summer and driving back to Salzburg. It was really simple, and for me helped out a lot. There was only one other woman and the journey was really pleasant. I would advise, if you were to travel this way, that you read the driver’s reviews and make sure there is another passenger, just in case There can be a lot of concern by friends and family when travelling alone, but as long as you are careful and aware, everything should be fine!
Through my time travelling Europe, I used hostels. This is an extremely cheap way of staying in multiple countries in one trip. If travelling alone, it is also a great way of meeting new people and getting involved with activities or free tours arranged by the hostels. Hostelworld have a variety of hostels from low to higher prices depending if you want to share with other customers or not. There can be a lot of unique and interesting places to stay; but again, read the reviews!
Here are some of the places I found to be best for certain types of holidays:
- Amsterdam – I was only there a couple of days, but the city was buzzing with people! It can be a great location for a different experience. Nice coffee shops and relaxing walks along canals (be careful it is a bit of a maze!). Great place for art enthusiasts or history lovers. Or if you like your partying, then there is a lot of bars and pub crawls and other things which are legal too…
- Belgium – I loved Belgium for its food and beer and there was also a Jazz festival on in Brussels at the time I stayed – so look out for that if you love music! Brussels was a good HQ for doing day trips to their smaller towns and cities which I found the most exciting way of seeing the country.
- Switzerland – This was my favourite stop on my trip. It is a beautiful country with gorgeous rivers and old-fashioned buildings. I did a lot here and would say it is the best place for hiking, water sports, extreme sports too. Obviously, there are many places to do so. I kayaked on Lake Brienz in Interlaken and para-glided above the town. If you do visit Switzerland, make sure to head to Lauterbrunnen, the most dream-like place I have ever been. On one negative note – it is expensive! The Swiss travel pass will save you money if you are travelling around the country – get access to their trains and a lot of secondary transport such as trams, and gondolas!
- Austria was beautiful too. Great for hiking and skiing. Though I didn’t do this at the time, they had great mountains, lovely towns and great cities, famous place for classical music such as Beethoven.
These are just a few ideas to get your ball rolling. A great way of researching where you would like to go is by buying a Lonely Planet guide for Europe or looking online. I often get on to google maps as well and click on random towns and cities to see if I would like to visit. Then, sometimes I look on to Instagram as well! Trust me, you will find somewhere that screams to you!
Hope this helps with your planning of your summer months ahead and gives you something to drive you through the rough second semester!