Travel stories, tips and suggestions for travel in Europe

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Planning A Romantic Vacation In London

As a major holiday destination and a travel hub, London is the perfect place for a romantic vacation. With a variety of things to do and see, it’s a city that can speak to any couple looking to get away. Though just being with the one you love sounds romantic in itself, finding a way to make romance a reality can be a challenge as you plan a trip, especially when you travel someplace new. To get you on the right track, we’ve put together some tips to help you plan a romantic vacation in London.

Eliminate the Stress to Focus on Each Other

While you’ll find that public transportation in London is an excellent way to get around the city, you’ll also discover that with a city so large, it’s easy to get lost. This can lead to stress. If there’s one thing that can kill the mood of a vacation, it’s stress. To reduce this possibility, there are several ways to make sure you are able to navigate London easily.

First, you’ll need to make it to the city from the airport. By using GoEuro’s London Airport Infographic, you’ll be able to find the fastest and cheapest way to get from the airport to the city center. Once there, downloading apps such as City Mapper or Google Maps will help lead you through the city itself, from stop to stop. You can plot your destinations beforehand or use the apps as you go. With these in your travel arsenal, you’re likely to focus more on each other and where you’re going rather than thinking about how to get there.

Set the Mood With the Right Accommodations

After a day exploring the city with romance in mind, you’ll probably want to return to a hotel that helps enhance the mood. There are lots of romantic hotels in London, and where you choose to stay depends on what you’re looking for during your time together.

You can choose to stay at a quaint bed and breakfast, a luxury hotel that takes care of all your needs, or a short-term apartment rental that offers ultimate privacy. Whatever you choose, you’ll want to make sure that at the end of the day, you return to someplace that’s the definition of romance for both of you.

Pair Off With London’s Top Attractions

london eyeImage via Flickr by pedrantos

Many of London’s top attractions offer a romantic experience. Try a turn on the London Eye at night as the city lights illuminate and create a stunning view. Take a stroll through Greenwich Park and gaze together over Central London and the Thames. Picnic on Hampstead Heath, an ancient park with some of the best views of the city. You can also spend some quality time together in Queen Mary’s Gardens in The Regent’s Park, where you’ll be surrounded by tens of thousands of fragrant roses.

Find Romance Away From the Crowds

The Ruins of St. Dunstan-in-the-East may not be unknown, but this isn’t one of the first places that comes to mind when visiting London. Hidden on a side street, it’s a parish church left in ruin after being bombed in the Blitzkrieg during World War II. With its overgrown vines and trees, the area is a romantic secret garden waiting for couples to stroll through, hand in hand, as they simply enjoy being with each other.

Step Back in Time With Romantic History

While many present-day attractions keep the romance flowing, London is also teeming with historical love stories and remnants of a romantic past. Stop at The Royal Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens to see an ornate monument constructed out of true love by Queen Victoria as she mourned her husband’s passing.

There’s also the Hampton Court Palace. Though the story ends in tragedy, the beginning of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s relationship was filled with sacrifices for love. You’ll find some of that at the gatehouse named Anne Boleyn’s Gate.

 

All it takes to have a romantic vacation in London is some prior planning and an eye for the romantic sights of the city. By keeping our tips and ideas in mind, you’re sure to enjoy a special vacation with the one you love in a city that offers romance around almost every corner.

 

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7 Best Places to Visit in the Mediterranean

By Andrew Larson

Turquoise water, so unbelievably blue your friends will think the pictures are Photoshopped. Warm sunny days. Delicious seafood. A nice ocean breeze blowing the dry air across your face. It’s no wonder the Mediterranean has long been a sought-after destination for holidaymakers and sun worshipers. And if beautiful weather and amazing food weren’t enough, the laid-back vibe of these coastal towns just adds to the relaxation you’ll experience on your next European vacation. As you’re researching your upcoming trip, don’t miss out on these seven best places to visit in the Mediterranean.

Top 7 Mediterranean Destinations You Won’t Want To Miss

7. Barcelona, Spain

barcelona spain

Most Mediterranean destinations offer sandy beaches or picturesque islands. Sure, you can spend your days in Barcelona lounging on the beach. But this fantastic city makes up for the elements lacking in many small coastal towns: excellent nightlife, world-class cuisine, and celebrated art and architecture. Home to famed architect Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona is dotted with his interesting works that give this city its unmistakable character. Nothing beats a day visiting the famed Sagrada Familia, an unfinished cathedral in central Barcelona, and then enjoying a glass of Spanish wine and some tapas at a local café.

6. Sardinia, Italy

It might not seem fair to include an entire island as a top destination, but only visiting one part of this massive Italian landmass wouldn’t do it justice. With a rugged interior full of mountains and forests, to beautiful coastlines of white sandy beaches, Sardinia might just be one of the Mediterranean’s least-touched natural escapes. And more than just natural beauty, the island boasts a nice collection of local wines and cheeses. Mountains, beaches, interesting culinary offerings, all in a secluded locale? The list of reasons to visit Sardinia on your next vacation keeps getting longer.

5. Milos, Greece

Milos Greece best places to visit in the mediterranean

With Greece’s abundance of islands, it’s hard to pick just one to visit. But Milos offers the spectacular beaches and delicious food of Greece, at a fraction of the price and without all the pesky tourists of the other islands. Covered in interesting rock formations, a relic of past volcanoes, you’ll leave Milos with more landscape pictures than your Instagram can handle.

4. Formentera, Spain

Located just south of party destination Ibiza, Formentera has gained the reputation as the more laid-back option for Spain vacation-goers. But this unforgotten island has another repute that can’t be ignored: some of the top beaches in the Mediterranean. The crystal blue water and white sandy beaches are unparalleled along Europe’s coastline. But it might take some effort to reach them. The only way to get to Formentera is by boat from Ibiza. But for those willing to make the trek, a nearly desolate island and beach beauty is sure to please.

3. Comino, Malta

Comino Malta Mediterranean

Not as well-known as its Italian neighbor to the north, Malta might be the Mediterranean’s best kept secret. An island located just south of Sicily, Malta’s removed locale makes it a more elusive pick for a Mediterranean vacation. But one look at the stunning Comino Island and you’ll be wondering why you waited so long to visit. A paradise for snorkelers and divers, Malta offers an adventurous seascape fit for exploring. And don’t miss Comino’s Blue Lagoon, a tiny enclave of strikingly blue water, surrounded by rocks and perfect for a relaxing swim.

2. Nice, France

There’s nothing better than spending an afternoon strolling down the sweeping Promenade des Anglais, a magnificent boulevard that follows the pebbly coastline of Nice. If small towns like Cinque Terre are the Mediterranean’s hidden gems, Nice is its brilliant diamond. A luxurious playground for the rich and famous, Nice, France emanates a certain extravagance in which one can’t help but indulge. And there’s no sense restraining yourself; with charming cafes and designer shopping, a trip to Nice is sure to pamper your inner celebrity.

1. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik Croatia

A list of top Mediterranean destinations wouldn’t be complete without highlighting this Dalmatian jewel. Old Town Dubrovnik sits on the edge of the sea, crammed inside a massive wall and surrounded by turquoise water. Strolling through town, up stairways and down tiny alleys, is like being transported back in time. And if cobblestone street charm isn’t your thing, an abundance of islands lay just off the coast. Kayak tours and boat day-trips offer a variety of options for exploring these beautiful islands.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

This post was written by Andrew Larson, a semi-retired software engineer turned globetrotter and full-time travel enthusiast who now runs Wanderlust 15. Check it out for more great travel tips & destination suggestions!


 

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Visit Finland: Ways to Disconnect From WiFi & Connect With Nature

By Dave Brett of Travel Dave UK

When it comes to the Nordics, normally ‘affordable’ is not a word you would associate with this unique area of the world.

However, Finland is the most affordable destination within this region that still packs a mighty punch for your hard earned buck.

Did you know that Finland has a national law called okamiehenoikeus (The Everyman’s right), which states that you’re free to camp anywhere on public land in Finland for free?

Finland Hammock

Simply pack a tent and a sleeping bag and you’re free to roam! Of course, this will limit you to travelling during the Summer months as Winter conditions in Finland can be harsh.

This is what first attracted me to visiting Finland. I’ve always been a big fan of the great outdoors and Finland has so much to offer in terms of huge contrasts between the seasons.



It’s not that difficult to reach the outdoors in Finland. The country is covered by thousands of lakes, millions of trees and endless amounts of archipelago islands.

finland views

It can be harsh in the winter reaching extreme minus temperatures, but the summer can offer so many hiking trail opportunities that are not to be missed.

Along many hiking trails you can find free public cabins to sleep in for the night, some ask for a small cleaning fee donation, but never too much.

finland cabins

The best part of Finland is the true beauty of Finnish nature and you can visit many national parks that offer free hiking trails.

One great national park worth exploring, and only a short drive away from Finland’s capital Helsinki, is the Nuuksio National Park located close to Espoo, Finland’s second biggest city.

If you fancy something a little bit different, head into Finland’s bear country, Ruka, Kuusamo. Located close to the border of Lapland, it offers stunning Finnish lakes and hiking trails such as Oulanka National Park, which will take your breath away.

You can also go off hiking in Finland’s Lapland region. One great trail is in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park where you can find a wonderful selection of cabins to choose from and enjoy life without electricity while really connecting with nature. The autumn time is truly stunning here when winter is coming and the colours start to change.

finland trails

Another incredible hiking trail to explore is the coastal paths close to Turku such as the Finnish Archipelago trail that offers free hiking or cycling trails around Finland’s thousands of small islands, all connected with local ferry boats.

Finland doesn’t have to be expensive if you plan on enjoying the stunning Finnish nature in the summertime.

Don’t let the winter put you off either! If you fancy something a little different, Finland is magical across all four seasons as you can really notice a drastic change in climate here.

For a true winter adventure, head to the Koli National Park located in Northern Finnish Karelia. Here you can look over incredible winter snow plains, grab a snowmobile and go on safari over the frozen lakes and even try your luck at a spot of ice fishing.

finland lakes

And of course, most important, be sure to see if a local will adopt you for one evening and invite you to try a local Finnish sauna experience!

Finland has a sauna per every 5 residence, it’s simply a way of life in Finland and Finns couldn’t live without going to the sauna at least once a week. The sauna has many Finnish traditions and that’s why it’s best to be adopted by a Finn who will happily run you through the whole relaxing ritual and make the experience more worthwhile.

finland free camping

Finland doesn’t have to be expensive when it offers incredible camping and beautiful nature all for free. No matter what the season, this country truly has it all when it comes to nature.

If you’re looking for an adventure, something unique and different like a relaxing nature experience, Finland is a dream destination which will offer a unique trip and allow you to reconnect and relax with nature.

 


Travel Dave UK profileABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dave Brett shares his travel stories and digital nomad lifestyle on Travel Dave UK while offering travel tips and suggestions for anyone travelling. His goal is to travel to every country and, as of the writing of this article, has managed to hit 86 of 196! You can also find him, along with his adventures and advice, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


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The Times And Trials Of Working in a French Restaurant

By Ashley of Curious Provence

I walked into the dining room to the sound of the repeated yelling of the word “merde!!” It was coming from the kitchen. The fear that had been a low rumble intensified as I was faced with the head chef/owner. All my French vocabulary escaped me. His face contorted as I began to speak, the same expression many French people adopt when I open my mouth. I’ve become somewhat accustomed to it. Minutes later, I was shaking as I was opening a wine bottle in front of a table of four french people. The more nervous I was the slower I was, the slower I was, the more nervous I became. At home I could rip into a bottle of wine no problem- and do so every night (when in France…) This was different. Drops of red wine dripped all over the white tablecloth.

French people take each job and turn it into a métier, or a trade. You specialise in what you do and you’re proud of it. The chef must have been desperate; I had never worked as a waitress before. Living in a rural village in France only gives you so many options.

provence wine

Shift work was not an option. As the team or as the chef called us, his ‘soldiers’, needed so much training, we worked both lunch and dinner service. I found myself in seemingly perpetual cycles of working, eating, sleeping and nothing else. My brain was exhausted not only to keep up with the French but the French slang that is so common with restaurant staff. Everything is abbreviated. On orders, cabillaud (cod) is KBIO, personnel is ‘perso’ a carafe of water is a circle with a line through it. My french vocabulary was incredibly slow to improve due to my inability to actually hear what anyone was saying. I tried to pick out words that I kept on ripped pieces of paper in my back pocket. Who knew there were so many expressions with the word fart in them?!

The clients participated in a constant guessing game of where I was from. Thankfully, there were exclamations of joy whenever I mentioned I was Canadian. This was swiftly followed by the interrogation of why on earth I would move here when all the young French people are moving there. I learned that being Canadian is oddly considered chic and la classe. Explaining the nationalistic difference between French Canada, where I’m from, and identifying myself as Canadian instead of Quebecois was a constant topic of conversation. This interest in my heritage thankfully disguised some of my inept shaky serving.

The drinks were tricky. The French love of sirops (syrups) meant that I had to learn, rather unsuccessfully, all the different names of sirops combined with water, pastis, lemonade and beer. For example, a ‘Monaco’ is a ‘panaché’ (beer with a little lemonade) with grenadine sirop. A gommé, or a demi acid, is beer with lemon sirop. Then, there are all the French and local specialties. How to serve pastis (aniseed liquor) with all it’s various sirops and their various names. Rinquinuin…what a name! Once, after the evening shift, the chef made me try Jet 27; it was like drinking toothpaste.

charcuterie board france

I had to learn how to say to say ‘non.’ As an anglo-saxon from a capitalist society, I had a hard time getting used to the fact that the customer is not king. Eventually, the long days and the lack of extra money for extra hours and the French inability to tip, allowed me to adopt some of the French waiter attitude. You want to eat at 7pm? The chef had no problem telling potential clients that we eat then, you eat afterwards. You want your beef well done? Impossible! Your want a special menu for your kid? Non. You want to eat lunch at 2:30 in the afternoon? Non. How dare you not order an entrée? How dare you not eat all of your meal. All this, along with the chef’s strong conviction that all vegetarians should be hospitalised, led to some interesting situations. Surprisingly, the French actually put up with this and indeed expect it.

A part of the job is getting to know the clientele. This is paramount in a rural French village. I’ll never forget the local olive producer’s exasperation when I made him spell his name for me on the phone for a reservation. You become adept at details. You remember to reserve the table next to the kitchen for the guy who comes every week with a different girl, you remember (after much tongue twisting practice) that 5A in front of the local sausage means: Association Amicale des Amateurs d’Andouillette Authentique.

provence france cafe

You learn that it’s rude not to do the 3 ‘bisous’ (kisses) with every single person in the kitchen when you get to work in the morning. You learn to keep a straight face as hot coffee spills on you. You program yourself, through sheer anxiety, to distinguish the ring of the bell from the kitchen despite the noise of a roaring restaurant. You can even tell the mood of the chef by his ring.

The pecking order of a restaurant is evident at all times. Everyone is asking something of you, even the dishwasher. You wouldn’t believe the effortless insults that can be utilised while amazingly still using the formal ‘vousvoyer’ form. You learn to jump at the chef’s exclamation of “Hellooo??” If you don’t stand up for yourself, you’ll be trampled. As you can imagine, defending yourself in another language is a constant battle. After shifts, in the early hours of the morning, I’d angrily punch into WordReference.com all kinds of words I wish I had known at previous moments during the day. I was exasperated that there isn’t a real translation of smart ass in French. In such a stressful environment you can be under attack at any moment.

After two months, I was replaced with someone who could handle six plates at once. I learned to carry only 2.5. I learned how to make foam for a cappuccino and the difference between a parmentier and a parmentière. I was able to have an insight into French peculiarities, such as leaving half bottles of wine and taking cigarette breaks between each course. I learned the incredible subjectivity of the restaurant experience and that, from now on, I’ll be leaving much bigger tips!

 


curious provence profile photoABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ashley is a Canadian living in Provence, documenting her life and experiences in the area on CuriousProvence. She shares her passion and knowledge of local food, wine, markets, festivities and other interesting cultural particularities. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

 


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Brody Apartments: The Best Hotel in Budapest Near the Danube

The flight was long, though not the longest we’ve had to endure. Still, between the first 8 hour flight, the layover and the last flight to land in Budapest, we were spent and our jet lag was starting to kick in.

Despite it all, it didn’t dim our excitement. We were anxious to explore Budapest and see the city so many others have raved to us about. Our excitement was only increased by the unique accommodations we knew were waiting for us. Weeks before, we had scoured the hundreds of options of where to stay in Budapest online and were frankly surprised at the huge number of options in the city where you can stay comfortably for a great price like the some of the most amazing hostels in Budapest.

We knew we wanted to choose a hotel near the Danube, as we were to board a boat docked along the river for a Viking River Cruise the following day. We also knew we wanted something different. Something beyond the typical chain hotels that kept popping up.

What we found was not only an incredibly unique accommodation in Budapest, it was also something we had not yet seen during our travels. And so, as we rolled our uncharacteristically large suitcases down the uneven sidewalks of Budapest, we felt a spark of excitement, despite being sleep-deprived, in anticipation of reaching our destination for the evening – Brody Apartments.

Brody Apartments – Boutique Style, Complete Comfort

brody apartments where to stay in budapest

Like much of the building fronts in Budapest, the inconspicuous outside of Brody Apartments opened to an incredible narrow building of fully furnished, serviced apartments. As the door to our apartment opened we realized just how deceptive the building was – the narrow structure and short hallways may have suggested a small building, but the size of the apartment proved that to be completely wrong. The two-bedroom apartment we were staying in was massive.

Entering the hallway, we had a glimpse of clean and modern decor before we got our thorough tour of the place. Two bedrooms and two baths, we first took a look at the “guest”, or second bedroom, near the front door before continuing down the hall to the kitchen area. Fully-functioning, the kitchen included a fridge, stove-top, oven, microwave and kettle. Dishes and cookware were provided which made it a completely usable and livable space.

brody apartment budapest Hotel in Budapest Near The Danube

The hallway opened up to the living room. Here was a place to relax and enjoy ourselves after a day of sightseeing in Budapest and walking around some of the many Christmas Markets in the city. The area was bright, modern and spacious with large, comfortable couches in front of a flat-screen TV and to the other end sat a large dining room table.  On the far wall there were tall windows to let in enough natural light to brighten the room during the day and in one corner stood a wood stove, if some added warmth or ambiance was needed.

bedroom in brody apartment budapest

As we brought our suitcases to the master bedroom, we were once again struck not only by the spacious rooms, but also the intriguing artwork that flowed throughout. The white of walls and linens in the room were contrasted beautifully with the dark of the furniture and accented by the colourful paintings that adorned the walls.  The en-suite bathroom was impressive, with a giant tub and multiple shower heads. As in the kitchen, every need was thought of, from toiletries and soaps to a hairdryer and plenty of towels.

As we mentioned, one of the things we absolutely loved was how complete the “full-service” part of the apartments really was. In addition to pretty much any necessity one would need to utilize the kitchen to the fullest, there was even a washer and dryer as well as an iron and ironing board. Then, the artwork too was a part of the full-service experience as some of the many pieces that decorated the large apartment were available for purchase.

To find more information about Brody Apartments, as well as current rates, click here

A Unique Hotel in Budapest Near The Danube

Brody Apartment Hotel in Budapest Near The Danube

While the style and attention to detail was definitely a draw for us to stay at Brody Apartments, the location too was a large part of our decision in where to stay in Budapest. With an upcoming Viking River Cruise we wanted to find the best hotel in Budapest near the Danube so that our trip to board would be as easy as possible. We looked at many different options throughout the city, on both the Buda and Pest side of the river, but when we came across Brody Apartment and saw all it had to offer, we knew we found something unique and special: exactly what we look for when booking our stays. We combined the benefits of the accommodation itself with the amazing location and decided there really wasn’t a better place to stay in Budapest.

And boy were we glad we did! Not only were we able to access the hotel easily from the metro system (and from the airport by taking the metro system), we were able to walk to the port and board our Viking boat in a short amount of time while taking in the city around us. In fact, we liked it so much we’ve already recommended as a great hotel near the Danube for others who are planning a river cruise departing from Budapest. Why not enjoy some luxury and comfort before making your way to do more of the same while cruising down the Danube?

Brody: Where Art Meets Budapest

brody house budapest

What we found at Brody Apartments was much more than serviced accommodation. We found an entire community based around hospitality and art. What started out as a private arts club in a neoclassical townhouse in Budapest, has turned into much more.  The initial meeting space of the arts club was transformed into a boutique hotel as well, called Brody House, allowing members a place to stay after attending arts events and gatherings. Brody House now boasts 11 uniquely designed and decorated rooms, each named and styled after one of the original artists of the club.

brody house boutique hotel budapest

With unique pieces of furniture, refurbished or created from unexpected items, and walls decorated with paintings, photos or unusual items, each room provides guests with a sensory-rich, technology-absent experience. The artwork is the entertainment.  We were fortunate to be able to enjoy breakfast at Brody House one morning and were pleasantly surprised at the spread laid out before us. Granola and yogurt, fruits and breads, cheese, meats, and cereals were part of the breakfast buffet, while hot dishes could be ordered off the available menu.
Brody House Boutique Hotel Budapest

While Brody House is ideal for shorter stays, Brody Apartments is perfect for longer ones, as is Brody Villa, a newly opened restored nineteenth-century villa that can accommodate larger groups of people or for hosting events. Though we’ve not had the opportunity to visit, we’d love to do so and see how the combination of history & art, present in both Brody House and Apartments, is brought together in this heritage listed building. With three accommodations, as well as Brody House Studios which serves as a venue for many of the clubs events, the brand is growing rapidly while leaving a strong impression on both the arts and hospitality communities in Budapest.

What started as a stay in a unique hotel in Budapest near the Danube quickly turned into a foray into the arts scene of the city. When deciding where to stay in Budapest, we know our decision will always include the name ‘Brody’.

 

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Why You Need To Take A Road Trip In Europe

Being the second smallest continent, Europe has some advantages when it comes to travel, and with Russia itself comprising a whopping 40% of that entire area, the majority of the countries occupy a relatively small amount of space. For those who are looking to explore an entire country, or several in one shot, this makes it even easier to do so in one trip. Added to the this is the general ease in which you can cross borders between most of the countries (at least those in the Schengen Area). Acting as one country for international travel purposes, the Schengen Area allows travel across the borders of the member countries without the need for going through customs or applying for any additional visas. Which, on its own, is a great motivating factor for a road trip in Europe.

Road trip in europe with one modern couple in germany

This perfect combination of close proximity and open borders comes together to create a continent that is fairly easy to traverse no matter what method of transportation you choose. And there are a myriad of options to travel Europe: trains and rail passes, budget and major airlines, bus routes and car rentals. For us, we love to travel by train, to kick back and relax as we watch the beautiful scenery pass by… but by far our favourite method of transportation while travelling is by car and when we’re in Europe we think car rentals and road trips, every time!

9 Reasons To Travel Europe By Car

We really do feel that a road trip in Europe is the best way to go. In 2015 we took a Germany road trip as well as a road trip in Spain, and both times our car rental from AutoEurope allowed us incredible access to both countries and opened up opportunities we otherwise would never have had. Here are our top 9 reasons we love to travel by car and why we think you need to take a road trip in Europe!

car rental road trip in Germany

1. Freedom to come and go as you please.

We love to set our own timelines, to avoid the restrictions of an airline or transit company’s scheduled departure times. We can choose where to go and when to leave and then choose how long we want to stay there before finding the next destination. When you travel by car in Europe, you are giving yourself the option to start and end your day when and where you want. It also means your travel days don’t equal a missed day of exploring.

2.  You can change plans on a whim.

Much like having the freedom to come and go as we please, we love to be spontaneous and having the ability to turn around, change direction, alter our timing or revise our schedule completely is not something we can do very often when we travel with other methods of transportation. But when we drive, it’s a whole other story. We’ve got the road ahead of us…or behind us, or to the left or right. Really, we can switch directions whenever we choose.

In fact, during our recent road trip in Germany, we found out a friend was flying into Munich the next day. We were in Frankfurt with no plans of heading to Munich but as soon as we heard, we changed our schedule hopped in the car the following morning and spent the day driving from one end of the country to the next. No looking up timetables. No worrying about getting the best prices or how we’d get around after. It was amazing.

road trip in europe

3. Sometimes taking the direct route, isn’t the best route.

Along with having the freedom to come and go as you please and to change your plans on a whim, is the discovery that there is often more to see between one destination and another than you realize.  During our recent road trip in Germany and our previous road trip in Spain, we found so much BETWEEN each of our destination points. Had we gone from Madrid to Almunecar and back again, we would have missed all the small towns and villages we got to stop at, the ruins and castles, old churches, local restaurants and a plethora of other hidden gems and parts of the country and culture rarely seen by travellers.

4. You can get outside the tourist hubs.

With a car, you’re really unrestricted. This allows you to get outside the major cities and transit routes where main methods of transportation for tourists, like planes, trains and buses, usually come and go. Instead, you can explore more of the country which means you can peel away the layers of the culture, experience some local flare and find accommodations that are more cost effective because they are outside the main areas. Not only do these accommodations have a better price tag than those in major cities, they also usually come with more amenities that you would otherwise need to pay for (breakfast, parking, complimentary water, etc).

Road trip in Spain with car rental in Europe

5. It can be comparable, or cheaper, in price… so why not take a road trip in Europe?

In addition to saving money on accommodation, we’ve often found that the price of a car rental was cheaper for us than booking transportation to and from the various places we want to see or need to be. While you do have to factor in any added expenses, such as fuel, we’ve noticed it still hasn’t impacted our overall budget.

We use AutoEurope and it has consistently found the cheapest rental price in each of the countries we’ve searched with an easy rental process. In fact, it was cheaper to rent a car, drive pretty much all day, everyday (filling up regularly as we went) in Spain for a week than it would have been to pay the quoted prices for bus, train or plane tickets between the various cities we were looking to see. Bring more people along for your road trip and you’ve cut down the price even more!

road trip in germany on castle road frankenstein castle

6. You can save on dining expenses and experience food like the locals!

We not only save on accommodation by having the ability to search and stay at the best valued hotels, but we also save on food. You can find local stores with ease and by stopping in at grocery stores and fresh markets you can purchase delicious local food and produce at a fraction of the cost of food in a restaurant. Because your transportation is also your storage space, you are able to easily carry your groceries with you. (Note: It’s important to choose your food wisely and plan to eat food that spoils first.) Finally, like accommodations, having a car also allows you to find and dine at restaurants off the beaten path and have some incredible local experiences.

Travel in Europe with car rental in Germany

7. Your luggage travels with you, not the other way around!

From checking luggage, to carrying it with you, to lugging it down the street, to bringing it on the bus and off again, luggage can get cumbersome and heavy. We seldom had to think about our luggage, let alone carry it with us. Whether we stayed at a hotel for a longer period of time, or switched frequently, it was easy to bring our suitcases and backpacks with us wherever we decided to go!

8. It’s a backup accommodation.

Yep, you read that right. We’ve taken numerous road trips during our relationship and almost every single one involved some form of slumber in the car itself. Whether we took turns resting up while the other drove, napped at a service centre or full-on slept at a rest stop, we’ve used the car to catch up on our Zs when we were between hotels. It can come in handy when you’re looking to travel longer distances overnight in order to maximize the daylight hours or when plans fall through and you just didn’t make it to the next destination in time to check into a hotel. If delays happen while you’re on a bus, train or plane you’ve got to hope you can find transportation to your hotel and that it has late check-in! Otherwise, you’re out of luck and wishing you had four wheels of freedom to rest up in!

dashboard of car rental

9. You can travel with your own personal soundtrack!

Okay, so this one may just entice us, and with the ability to play music on cell phones and mp3 players, it’s possible to listen to music pretty much anywhere. But we love listening to music while travelling. Associating memories and music can be powerful and it’s also just plain enjoyable. For us, turning up a local radio station or plugging in our own music with the car’s audio jack really enhances the experience. We can cruise along the roads, taking in the scenery and enjoying some great tunes we’ll probably largely associate with the trip for a long time to come!

 

There you go! 9 of our top reasons why you need to take a road trip in Europe. For us, renting a car in Europe is a no-brainer. Between the cost-effectiveness, freedom and ease of travel and our enjoyment of driving around and really seeing as much of a place as possible, it’s our favourite method of transportation and sightseeing.

 

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Visiting the Faroe Islands with MappingMegan

 

This photo is of a traditional wooden church in the small village of Giljanes on the island of Vagar in the Faroe Islands and was graciously provided, along with the below, by Megan from MappingMegan.com as our first guest blogger post.

The Faroe Islands are easily the most beautiful in the world. Between inspiring scenery, untamed nature, and dramatic landscapes, the islands are unspoiled, unexplored and absolutely unbelievable. Every scene is spectacular, and every view takes your breath away.

Faroe Islands is a small archipelago of Islands in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway. The islands are some of the most remote in the world, and as such, have remained largely unchanged by time, and uninfluenced by modern societies.

The islands are made up of small villages with beautiful traditional buildings, some of which date back to the Viking age. Traditional wooden churches are constructed across the islands, with each more beautiful than the next. One other particularly noticeable feature of Faroese architecture is the prevalence of houses with grass roofs. Look very closely at the picture above and you will realize many of the homes have green roofs. These are made from grass for insulation during the winter months. 

This is one of just many photos which will make you want to jump on a plane to the Faroe Islands

 

mappingmegan

 

About The Author: Adventure traveller and blogger Megan, is travelling, writing, photographing and experiencing the world with her husband Mike whom she met while in Africa. Together they showcase the best of adventure travel from around the globe. For more about their adventures, check out MappingMegan.com