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Inexpensive Europe

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My husband and I are tossing around ideas for a trip next year and I am looking for ideas. The trip will be in October or November (2012), so plenty of time, but we like to use FF miles for flights if at all possible, so planning ahead is a must. And I am looking for ideas for places that are less expensive for travel than the average for Europe.

Last month we went to southern Germany and to Prague, which was great. We have also gone to Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Austria, and Germany once before. The last couple trips though, with the really lopsided US$-Euro conversion, Europe is really stretching our budget. Prague was pretty good - not as expensive as Germany. Our budget was more confortable there.

IF Europe is going to be on the list of possibilities for next year, then I need to find some places that aren't as expensive for travel as say Germany. Of course we could change our travel style and go super budget and pretty much go anywhere, but this is vacation, and we only have so much time off a year - I'd rather choose less-expensive places and set a reasonable budget that we can easily live within than spend our time counting pennies and worrying about overspending - even if if means not going to Europe for awhile. We don't travel lavishly, but we like to be comfortable.

We are late 30s/early 40s, no kids - we like history, architecture, castles, photography, beer, wine, good food (not really foodies, just like tastey food), big cities, small towns, the outdoors, live music, walking and biking tours, climbing towers. We are pretty low-key people, not really into shopping - except for museum gift shops. I have a serious weakness when it comes to a good museum gift shop. I also like to shop for locally-made things - soaps and lotions, jewerlry, scarves, pottery, etc. We aren't big on high-end restaurants either - we like to splash out once in awhile, but for the most part, we are quite content with small family restaurants that have good food at nice prices. We also prefer to take public transportation rather than renting a car.

So - any ideas you can give for places to travel in Europe that won't break the bank are greatly appreciated.

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