A couple of years ago (okay, more than a couple) some friends and I found ourselves in Europe in February with two weeks off from work (gotta love those French school vacations!) and no plans. So obviously, we decided to travel…
“Where should we go?” was the first question.
All we knew was we wanted to get outside the country (France is lovely, but there was a whole continent to explore) and go places we’d never been to before.
Also, we wanted to do it on the cheap (French teaching assistants don’t get paid much). This ruled out most of the warm-weather spots (plus there’s nowhere that warm in Europe in February, anyways).
So how did we decide?
We went online and looked up where we could get to the cheapest.
“There’s an EasyJet sale on tickets from Paris to Berlin,” one of us said, and that’s how it started.
“Tickets from Berlin to Budapest are pretty cheap, too.”
“There’s a bus from Budapest to Vienna!”
“And another bus from there to Prague.”
After researching hostels in each respective city to confirm there were acceptable options (there were), off we went!
And we had the best time. We explored each frigid city to our hearts’ content, went on some very interesting tours, met some very interesting people, and even threw in a spontaneous day trip to Bratislava (a one-hour, 5-euro-bus-ticket from Vienna).
Since then, this has always been my favorite way of planning a trip. Go online, see what’s available, and then just book it! And yes I know cheap travel is way easier in Europe than here in the USA (curses) but you can still look around and find deals. See a cheap flight to Miami next weekend? Go! Is there an Amtrak sale going on right now? Go! To wherever it takes you!
I like this way of traveling a lot better than adhering to a strict plan. How about you?
Image taken by me in Vienna, Austria, February 2007