Planning your trip
Planning is the key to making your trip as cheap and efficient as possible – the alternative is expensive and chaotic. So let’s start planning!
Want to travel smart? Let the modern technology help you. Skyscanner mobile app is one of my favourite apps when it comes to planning trips. If you want to try my way of looking for cheap flights, there are some tips in this guide.
For European travel I use mostly low-costs, like Ryanair, Wizzair or EasyJet. If you plan well and in advance, the risk of running into problems or unexpected costs is minimal. And if your flight is cancelled or rescheduled, the procedure of claiming back the expenses is the same as for all other more expensive airlines, operating in the European Union.
When it comes to booking your accommodation in Europe, I mainly rely on Booking.com and Airbnb, depending on whether I am in the mood of living like a local in a flat or having someone take care of my surroundings in a hotel.
My rule of thumb when chosing accommodation is always considering beforehand this: What if the hotel/flat is completely not what I expected? Dirty, full of cockroaches, plays loud music at night? Am I willing and able to sort it out directly with the property?
If yes – I speak the language of the country or English is widely spoken there, the property belongs to a larger chain – I would compare the prices of booking directly via booking.com and chose the cheapest.
If no – for example, it is a small hotel, located somewhere in Eastern Europe – I would only go through the Booking.com.
I had experiences of staying in a little BnB in Polish countryside, where the night disco unexpectedly started at midnight and finished at 3 am. When I asked the host in the morninng whether they would be willing to compensate us for this minor inconvenience of not sleeping for most of the night, he was gracious enough to offer 5 euro discount.
Luckily, one call to Booking.com and describing the situation to them solved it all. We did not have to pay for our stay, and the property was obliged to put on their profile that Fridays and Saturdays the music at night can be loud.
For more tips, tricks and hacks on booking on Booking.com, head here.
And if you prefer local experiences, and staying more independently, did you know that you can get 25 euro off your first AirBnb booking just by booking it using this link? Try it!