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Travelling Cheaply Across Europe

Europe is currently plastered across various news sources as being “in a bit of a mess”, with
struggling finances and rather annoyed citizens. It’s true that things over here have been rather wobbly of late, but there is a bright side – sales. Everywhere, companies are dropping prices on everything from dinnerware and designer shoes to hotels and holidays, and it’s going some way to balance the unpleasant effects of the financial squeeze. It means cheap travel for you, too; if you’ve ever fancied visiting Europe but felt put off by its pricey reputation, now’s the time to check out car hire comparison sites for the most competitive rates, comb Groupon for deals on fancier rooms than you can usually afford, and head to Eurail for discounted rail travel from country to country.

Finding cheap flights in the first place
With air travel still heavily subsidised, flight costs haven’t really altered much, but there are always ways to reach Europe on the cheap. Sign up to all the airline newsletters so you’re first to hear about sales, and always compare multiple resellers for the cheapest deal possible.
Travel agents are competing heavily against online booking sites, so try calling them up to see if they’ll beat your online price just to get the sale. You may notice some airlines, instead of charging a return fare, are selling two singles – the single out will be nice and cheap, but they’ll try to recoup their costs on the one home. Get round this by booking with two separate airlines – if you’re touring Europe, you may well be travelling home from a different airport than where you arrived anyway.

Cheap accommodation using group buying discounts
Group purchasing sites like Groupon and LivingSocial have been a huge craze over the last
couple of years. Some of these deals offer good value, and some of them are just trying to
sell off hotel rooms during the rainy season, so really do your research before you buy them.
Look at when you can use them, and how close the hotel or hostel is to the centre of town, or
wherever it is you want to explore.

Does the deal include something you won’t use? Crucially, can you get a better price by booking somewhere else, instead? What about hostels, or camping? The trick is not to assume that group discounts represent unquestionable value for money, but do sign up to them in cities or countries you plan to visit. Even if you don’t get a good accommodation deal for a couple of nights, you might get some cheap tickets to the theatre, or a nice meal somewhere you’d otherwise be unable to afford.

East v. West

Eastern Europe is still typically cheaper than Western Europe, but it can also be harder to travel in, from a social as well as logistical standpoint. That said, some of Europe’s most astonishingly beautiful landscapes are in the East, with some iconic yet easily affordable train journeys, so it’s worth looking into.

Eating well for less

Food quality varies enormously across Europe, but trying any country’s food is part of the
adventure. Most people gain a few pounds in Italy, unable to resist its amazing cuisine and
good cheap wine, while in Belgium even the railway station food is better quality than an
embarrassing number of London restaurants, where profit seems to be top priority, at the
moment. The most affordable option is usually to buy food in the supermarket and prepare
it yourself. Otherwise, avoid the obvious tourist hotspots – usually near to major attractions – where quality tends to suffer and prices often rise disproportionately.

Bucharest Marathon 2012

Bucharest will host this year in October the great sport event called - Bucharest International Marathon 2012. At its fifth edition, the Marathon takes place on Sunday 7th of October and will start at about 9.30 A.M. when the weather conditions are considered to be the best.
If you would like to participate in the marathon or simply watch the runners, book an
international flight in order to get your best place in front. You can choose from various cheap flights to Bucharest and take this opportunity to enjoy a healthy show. If you want to be part of the runners team, then if you apply for the marathon individual, you will have to pay the fee of 33€, however, if you would like to run only half of the marathon, then you will pay 23€. Traffic will be closed and the area will be supervised by police. You will also have the chance to be photographed and you can later download the pic in exchange for 2 USD. All the competitors will be provided with drinks, energizers, coffee, everything they will need to feel strong. Food will be also available for buying. If you come from USA, then it is advisable to plan a 3 days vacation here. If you feel dizzy during the race, an ambulance will be present at each 5 km. The length of the marathon is 21.097 km/lap and there have to be done 2 (two) laps.
There are some minimum requirements for the participation – you have to be over 18, pay the
registration fee, provide an ID document and agree to bear the entire responsability for any
incident that may take place during the competition. Also, the participation fee includes a deposit and start bag, changing facilities, T-Shirt, refreshments, medical assistance, toilets, sponges.

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A Budget Trip to Vienna

Vienna is considered among the most expensive European capitals and not only – Austria is on the 13th place among the most expensive countries in the world. Therefore, a budget trip is always welcome. First of all, you should carefully book your flight in advance at very good rates. Flights to Vienna are now very affordable. As soon as you have landed in Vienna, you can take the Schnell Bahn (S-Bahn), which is the local train and is much cheapier than the CAT green train. You will pay only 4 EUR/way. If you want to take the U-Bahn or Metro from the city centre, then you have to stop at Wien Mitte, the central station, where all transfer trains stop. A good tip for your budget is to buy food from the local supermarkets – there are very many chains in Vienna – Billa, Spar, Merkur. However, please note that they are usually open from Monday to Saturday from about 9 A.M. to 18 or maybe 19. But, if you need something to buy from a supermarket on Sunday, don’t worry, you have two central possibilities to do this – at West Bahnhof the Merkur supermarket is open everyday from 5 A.M. to 23 and Billa at Praterstern Station is open from 6 A.M. to 21.
Also, if you drink a lot of water, take care to buy it from these stores, as it might be very expensive if you buy it from the Schonbrunn Palace, for instance. If you are in Vienna for a weekend, then it is very good if you buy the Vienna Card – it includes transportation for bus, tram, U Bahn and S Bahn for 72 hours from the moment you validate the tickets. Also, you get important discounts from museums and other attractions. If you would like to enjoy a cup of coffee, then avoid the central cafes and restaurants. As a tip, you can have a grand cup of coffee at Mc Donald’s, it is very tasty and strong!
Accommodation must be booked several months in advance in order to get the best rates. If you are on a tight budget, another tip is to save money by not buying too many souvenirs from the museums neighbourhood. You will find very nice items at local stores, and not in the city centre. Vienna is worth seeing all year round, but summer is the best time to enjoy the local atmosphere, a pleasant walk in the evening along the commercial streets or in some of the most famous parks.

Budget Trip to Vienna
Budget Trip to Vienna