Planning a Trip to Europe? Check out these resources for your next trip.
There are so many things to plan when it comes to planning a trip to Europe. Not only do you have hotels, but also airport transfers, trains or busses, tours & activities, and the list goes on. After traveling to Europe several times, I’ve complied a list of my go to resources below.
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Expedia is by far my favorite way to book hotels, and I highly recommend it. Expedia has so many available hotels and apartment rentals at a great price. The best part is they have a points rewards program, which allows you to earn points to save money on future stays. I personally use Expedia and book hotels with free cancellation, that way if plans change it is super easy to change or cancel the reservation.
Booking.com is a similar platform to Expedia, and can be used to find and book your hotels. Booking.com offers thousands of hotels and apartment rentals and is a great way to book your accommodation. I use it mostly for their apartment rentals, as most airbnb properties are now listed on booking.com and are typically at a cheaper price than airbnb due to less fees.
Backpacking Europe on a budget? Hostels are budget friendly option. Hostels offer bunk rooms, where you reserve a bunk, but most hostels also offer private rooms where you reserve an entire private room just like a hotel. Hostels can be more social and encourage meeting other travelers through walking tours or other activities. I recommend it for solo travelers or people looking for a social atmosphere, and Hostelworld is the best place to find and book hostels.
Book Guided Tours & Activities
I recommend using Viator to book day trips, guided tours, or other activities for your trip to Europe. Especially in busier times (like summer season) many attractions and tours sell out in advance and so pre-booking is essential. Many of the Viator tours will also have free cancellation until the day before which allows for great flexibility!
Another option to find day trips, tours, and activities. It is very similar to Viator, so if you can’t find a tour/activity on Viator then check on Get Your Guide!
I like to use Discover Cars to book a car rental for Europe. While you don’t need a car in major cities like Paris, a car is the perfect way to explore small towns, castles, and other attractions that are difficult to reach by public transport. After several trips to Europe, we’ve found that we love renting cars as it gives us so much freedom to explore at our own pace. I highly recommend Discover Cars as it compares local car companies, shows the reviews for the company and car, and is very easy to book and manage your booking. The thing I love most about Discover Cars? They are reliable and have great prices.
I’ve also used Expedia to book a car rental. I recommend Expedia, the only thing to note with their car rental’s is that the price typically doesn’t include the insurance. If you have car rental insurance through a credit card you can sometimes use that or you may have to purchase insurance from the rental car company.
Omio is a great way to book trains in Europe. It offers easy access in English to thousands of different trains across Europe. I find it easier than using local train websites which can sometimes be tricky with translation issues. On Omio you can also search for flights and local busses as well.
I have used Welcome pickups several times in a few different cities and can highly recommend this transfer service. A professional, English speaking driver will meet you in the airport and take you directly to your hotel. It is such a stress free way to arrive! I especially recommend this service when arriving in Europe from a long overnight flight.
For flights, I recommend booking directly with the airline. This way, incase of major delays or cancellations the airline can quickly assist and/or rebook you. To find the best flight prices, utilize Google Flights to search different days and airports. Once you find a great deal, you can book directly with that airline.
Google Flights is also great for finding short flights within Europe. There are several different airlines in Europe. Some of the larger airlines include British Airways, AirFrance, KLM, and Lufthansa to name a few. Additionally, there are many “budget airlines” such as Ryanair, Wizzair, Easyjet and Vueling. The budget airlines are similar to the US budget airlines of Allegiant, Frontier, Spirit, and so the biggest thing to check with these is the baggage limits.
Phone Sim Cards
Sim Cards for your phone allow you to access data plans in the local country, and therefore stay connected to the internet even when you don’t have Wifi. Traditional sim cards require your phone being unlocked and you have to physically take your sim card out and replace it with a local sim.
Airalo is a digital sim card, meaning you don’t have to physically remove your sim card to use it. Instead simply activate your package and the sim card will start and allow you to use a data plan in that country. Airalo offers several different packages from 7 to 30 days. You can also buy a package for a single country, or a multi-country pass like their Euro-link package.