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looking for less pricey european countries to visit next summer

looking for less pricey european countries to visit next summer

Old Aug 29th, 2013, 07:30 PM
  #1  
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looking for less pricey european countries to visit next summer

Having carefully stored up our frequent flyer miles we would like to start planning a wonderful 2 week or so vacation somewhere in Europe next summer. I'm wondering if there are countries where one's dollar goes a bit further than say France, Italy or England which I am imagining are the most expensive, especially in the major cities. We are history buffs and also love just seeing beautiful countrysides. ease of travel by train would be nice too. I'm thinking maybe Greece (ok ferries instead of trains lol), Portugal, Spain, Croatia (just read about it in the NYT) any suggestions would be most appreciated
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Old Aug 29th, 2013, 07:34 PM
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Poland and Romania are possibilities. But not knowing what you consider expensive, it is difficult to suggest anything but the obvious. My experience is that the French provinces are cheaper than Italy or England. Germany is affordable, depending on what one finds acceptable in terms of accommodations. You might want to take a look at my trip report on central Germany; click on my name to find it. I give prices.
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Old Aug 29th, 2013, 07:57 PM
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Hotels in Berlin are very reasonable priced.. A perfect place for history buffs!
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Old Aug 29th, 2013, 09:33 PM
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very reasonable priced.

according to which level of income?
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Old Aug 29th, 2013, 10:00 PM
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I think you should look at actual numbers. Traveling in summer, you will be hit with peak season rates for accommodations. While "generally" Greece is cheaper than Italy or France, the only thing that really matters is what happens in particularity. If you are looking at Santorini or Mykonos the accommodations in summer are high. Also even though you might be staying in "cheap" countries, if you move around much, you will be losing time and money in the process. Those with single focus to save money can end up not realizing that they ended up booking a shorter vacation. Look at the actual total cost. If you are content saving 100€ without realizing that you need to spend 200€ more elsewhere, your saving is imaginary.

Unless you have a lot of miles, redeeming minimum miles will constrains you where you can fly in and out of. This is especially true for traveling during the summer peak travel season. Do you really have many choices of countries?
greg is offline  
Old Aug 29th, 2013, 10:34 PM
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Who do you have your FF miles with and how many do you have?

Using FF miles for a summer trip is probably the worst way to use those miles because the cost will be on the high tier. Looking at the Star Alliance award chart, one round trip coach ticket from the U.S. to Europe would be 120k miles. That's a lot considering the price is half that if you travel off-peak.

Italy is pretty inexpensive compared to England and France.
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Old Aug 29th, 2013, 10:39 PM
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I find Spain and any country East of Germany to be inexpensive.
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 03:09 AM
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We definitely found Portugal much cheaper (and underrated) than other European countries! Lisbon is wonderful and there are lots of great places to see like Sintra, Obidos, Evora etc close by. Porto is another great city but there are many more!

We haven't been to Croatia but I have heard it is very affordable.

Some areas of Greece are certainly cheaper...Naxos we found to be well priced, but getting there may cost a bit more and popular islands like Santorini will cost more,
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 03:41 AM
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The Czech Republic and Poland are interesting and inexpensive. Of the two, the scenery is prettier in the Czech Republic. Poland (the parts I saw between Warsaw and Krakow) is mostly flat and not that pretty. Southern Poland is nicer for scenery because of the mountains.

Portugal (outside of the Lisbon area) is dirt cheap.

If you're looking mainly for history and cities then Poland gets my vote. You can easily travel between major cities by train although except for the Krakow to Warsaw high speed train the trains are slow. Getting anywhere from Krakow will be slow.

I didn't think Croatia had as much sightseeing as other places although it was inexpensive.
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 03:52 AM
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With Star Alliance, the Saver awards are not necessarily all off peak, but they are limited. Since the OP is planning for next summer, it's not hard to get RT flights for 60,000 miles. It is necessary to book now for next year though (mark that 330 days ahead on your calendar) and sometimes to take a two legged journey if you are going somewhere other than United's European hubs. London, Paris, Amsterdam, Zurich, Frankfurt, Munich are relatively easy to get direct flights to from the East Coast of the US.
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 03:53 AM
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Croatia is the new hotness thanks to that NYT article.

For history, I think Greece, Spain, and Turkey would be fairly obvious. Heck, depending what facet of history you find most interesting, any country would suffice.
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 05:13 AM
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First you want to avoid July and August.
Then look at Portugal, Southern Italy, the Dalmation coast, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Poland.

That is a lot space to visit.
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 05:55 AM
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Michael, a four star hotel in central Berlin for under 100 euros ( in July) seems reasonable priced,
unless one is usde to stayingin hostals.
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 05:58 AM
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Michael, a four star hotel in central Berlin for under 100 euros ( in July) seems reasonable priced,
unless one is usde to stayingin hostals.


like



It will never happen but it would be nice if when thread makers use phrases like "less pricey" and "budget", they actually quantify their statement with a number and a currency.
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 06:17 AM
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Actually Scandinavia and Switz are by far the most expensive, UK, France and Italy are moderate.

For lowest prices consider Portugal and the former countries of the Soviet bloc - and stick to smaller towns rather than big cities - Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria - etc.
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 06:41 AM
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Try Slovenia - absolutely beautiful, not that crowded (even in the summer), and a lot cheaper than the Western Europe. We loved it!
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 06:43 AM
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Turkey-not as cheap as before but still better value than Western Europe
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 07:09 AM
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Switzerland and Norway are the most expensive countries in Europe. In general, cities are always more expensive than the countryside. And renting self-catering apartments and cottages less expensive that full-service hotels. But if you stay in the countryside, you may well have to pay for a rental car. And if you stay on the outskirts of a city, you pay extra in commute costs and time, valuable vacation time spent on a subway or bus.

I'm astonished adrienne thought Croatia didn't have much sight-seeing. I'm wondering what she likes to see. Croatia has plenty of beautiful coast, islands, cute towns, history. And it's adjacent to Slovenia, Montenegro (Bay of Kotor), Bosnia (Mostar and Sarajevo). Croatia does have fewer art museums than places like London and Paris. And Croatia is better seen with a car.
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 07:14 AM
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love this forum. thanks everyone. by less pricey I was thinking in terms of cost of restaurants and staying in say 3 star hotels. we've been to Paris and London and the sticker shock was extreme. Unfortunately summer is our only time to travel as my husband is a teacher - am aiming for early June. I forgot to put Czeck republic on the list (have a friend who hails from there so could get good advice). I should probably start a new thread with this, but how reasonable does a week in Portugal and then a week in Spain sound as a trip - is there high speed rail between the two?
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 07:17 AM
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and bilboburglar (love the name), which bits of southern Italy would you recommend?
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