discounts/budget advice Germany

Old Apr 18th, 2008, 06:09 PM
  #1  
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discounts/budget advice Germany

With the dollar falling daily against the Euro, does anyone have any tips or advice on saving money while in Germany?
Are there any discounts or bargains out there?
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 06:50 PM
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Stay in B&B's outside of the city. Granted it will be more expensive now, but you can read how we did it in 2006 in our trip report.

http://www.slowtrav.com/tr/tripreport.asp?tripid=1259

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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 09:02 PM
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Make the most of the breakfasts that come with the room. Be sure to get some fat and protein to curb your appetite later. After a good breakfast use the grocery store or the cafeteria atop a department store for lunch.

Research hotels to find bargains. I like to use HRS.com for this purpose. They will often have the best price for a given hotel.

We like to travel by train, so we research fare bargains and are willing to take slower regional trains over more expensive intercity trains.

Regards, Gary
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 09:06 PM
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The Bayern Pass is a good deal for train fare. It is only about 32 Euro for a one-day roundtrip ticket for up to five people. We used it to go from Munich to Fussen, and Salzburg.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 09:57 PM
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The Bayern-Ticket costs €27 for up to five people traveling together and is valid for unlimited rides all day long (after 9 AM on weekdays) on regional trains in Bavaria. There are similar deals from €26-€32 for each German state (Land).
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 10:01 PM
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Virtually every German town was its own website (usually at www.[town name].de. On the website will be a list of accommodations under Unterkünfte, Übernachten, or maybe Hotels. Some have email addresses and English. You get a better selection and better prices here than on any booking website.
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 03:29 AM
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ira
 
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Hi FT,

Where will you be in Germany and when?

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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 03:48 AM
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One of the keys to getting good value at a time when your home currency is weak (like US$ against euro), is to prepay in $ as much as possible: airfare (naturally), train passes, hotels, car rental. Then you only need to worry about day-to-day expenses like meals, snacks, fuel, parking, entry charges etc.
Fuel prices are always more expensive on Autobahn than in nearby towns or cities. Save on lunch by stopping at Schnellimbiss (snack bar) or putting together a picnic from a supermarket. Go to cheaper supermarket chains like Lidl, Aldi, Netto, rather than Spar, Edeka or those in department stores like Horten. Churches generally have free entry, and you pay only a small extra (like a euro or two) to see the treasury, cloisters, crypt etc. Park your car away from city centres. Just a block or two away you can usually find residential streets with free parking (but check notices). City transport is always cheaper by buying a day ticket than individual ride tickets. A group or family ticket is a bargain. Lunch is usually cheaper than dinner, when they have day's special - Tagesgericht. Only tip by rounding up the bill to the nearest 5 or 10 euro - not 20%.
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 05:03 AM
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If you are going to be in one area for a period of time, renting an apartment is a good way to save money especially if you prepare some of your meals.
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 05:43 AM
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fam, there may not be any particular discounts or bargains, but there are many small ways you can economize. Your main expenses are food, transportation and lodging. As for food, there are many places in Germany where you can dine pretty well for as little as 10 or 15 euros, and lunch can be had for 2 or 3 if you grab a bratwurst or sandwich along the street. Taking the train rather than driving can save a bundle, and the towns and cities are filled with small guest houses and pensions that are quite inexpensive. Renting an apartment, as suggested earlier, is a great idea for a family if you are going to be staying in one place. And there are so many places to go in Germany that have discounted admission fees for kids and families. If you work at it, you can really make it pretty cheap.
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 06:44 AM
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If you are an AAA member you can get discounts at some attractions under the "show your card" scheme. Check with the AAA for details.
Eating a big breakfast is a good idea if it is included in the price of where you are staying - you can often get by with just a drink and a snack during the day then. Some hotels offer a set menu for guests, at a reduced rate. This will be a good three course meal for maybe €15.
Of course renting an apartment or house and self catering will be even cheaper.
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 08:08 AM
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thank you so much for all the good advice.
We will be traveling as a family of 4 (2 teenagers) in the Munich area in May. I have only 4 more weeks to save and keep seeing my spending ability fall as the dollar falls.
I hear some museums are free one day a week. Does anyone know how this works?
Also I hear that children under 16 have free admission to certain attractions if they are with paying adults. Does anyone know which attractions?
We are doing day trips from Munich, but want to visit the salt mines in Salzberg, Fussen, and the Residence/Nymphburg etc.
All advice is very much appreciated.
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 08:25 AM
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The Hotel Uhland in Munich is fabulous for a family. I suppose you already have found a place, but thought I'd mention it. Their family room is large, with two twins and a queen, a new bathroom. It's in a beautiful old mansion, with a great breakfast included. Rates are very reasonable, but it gets booked up quickly due to its popularity.
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 08:54 AM
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ira
 
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Hi F,

Ditto Mambo on the Uhland.

Have you looked into the Bayern Pass for train travel?

(Enter the name in the "search this forum box")

Many museums have free admission for under 18.



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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 08:56 AM
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this 14 day pass might save you money if your family is visiting enough of these destinations
http://www.schloesser.bayern.de/engl...ts/jahresk.htm
It looks as though the family pass would cover all four of you

This link describes some free admission options but I am not sure it is all current--you should check museum by museum for the places you are interested in
http://www.best-of-munich.com/museum...in-munich.html
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 11:05 AM
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I can suggest a couple more ways to keep costs down.

1. Pick a smaller area to see. By not traveling all over, you save on transportation plus have more time to actually see things.

2. Learn to use public transportation instead of renting a car. The first week of my last trip to Bavaria cost me $590 for food, lodging, and transportation. Had I rented a car, rental (w/ no CDW) and fuel would have added $218 (37%) to the cost for the week.
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 11:15 AM
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bookmarking.

~ D
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 08:35 PM
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A family of 4 will find it much cheaper to stay in an apartment/vacation rental than in B&B's as long as you stay at least a few days. There are thousands all over the country; check these prices for Bavaria - under 50 Euros/night, mostly:

http://www.accommodation.de/List.asp...pper%2DBavaria

Search by region at the home page:

www.accommodation.de
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 09:54 PM
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On town websites, these apartments will be listed under "Ferienwohnungen", literally vacation apartments.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 08:33 AM
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bookmarking
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