Paris: A guide to ordering beer in France

While you may think of France as a place for only wine lovers, beer drinkers can be seen sipping away on just about any terrasse you come across in Paris. Available pretty much everywhere, beer is just as popular to drink as wine at a cafe or bar.

But the typical beer experience in France is a bit different from the one in North America or the UK, ranging from how pints are typically ordered and served to the types of popular beers on tap. Read on for the basics on what to expect when ordering a round in the City of Light

Related:


Tips for ordering French beer

1. Small or large?

In France, you don’t just get to choose the type of beer you want, but also the size of the glass. Your bartender will ask you if you want “un demi” (a half-pint that costs about €3 to 4), or “une pinte” (a pint that costs €6-8). The demi almost always costs half what the pint costs. If you’re not a big drinker, or simply want to pace yourself, the demi can make a good option, but the pint might save you a bit if you plan on drinking more than one demi.

2. Beer always comes with a glass

If you order a bottled beer, the bartender or server will always give you a glass to pour your drink into, whether you asked for one or not. This small cultural difference between France and the United States shocked an older French acquaintance of mine on a trip to Louisiana when, after ordering a bottled beer in New Orleans, the bartender just plonked down the bottle and left. “You always serve it with a glass,” he said to me, sighing, “because, it’s just, that’s just what you do.”

Paris Beer Glass

Bars always serve beer in a glass. Always. Photo: Matt Seppings

3. Cost depends on your seat

While the cost of beer in anglophone countries only depends on the beer type you’ve ordered, in France, the cost can also depend on where you decide to sit. If you choose a seat at the bar, your drink will cost about €1 cheaper than if you decide to sit at a table. And in some establishments, such as posh restaurants on the Champs-Elysées, your drinks will cost a few euros more if you sit outside. So when going for a drink, just keep in mind that if you find a great seat, you might be paying a bit extra for the privilege of being there.

Related: What you can expect to pay in Paris — and how to pay less!

4. Keep an eye out for happy hours

A welcome relief in one of the most expensive cities in the world, happy hours offer discounts on drinks in many bars and pubs around town. Establishments offering a happy hour usually advertise that fact on a chalkboard or easel just next to their entrances, making them easy to spot.

Related: 10 tips for saving on dining in Paris

Happy Hour Paris

Keep an eye out for happy hours like this one in the Latin Quarter in Paris. Photo: Elaine

5. Would you like syrup with that?

In France, sugary fruit syrups are not just for lattés. The French are known for mixing a variety of syrups with their beer. Popular offerings include peach, strawberry, lemon, ginger, black currant and mint. You can also order a beer with a shot of grenadine — just ask for “un tango“. It costs about €.20 to .50 extra to get a shot of syrup.

6. “Picon” mixes in citrus

Typical of the Paris region and in much of northern France, “picon” is an aperitif made from fresh oranges and distilled alcohol. It is also commonly mixed with beer. Ask for “une picon biére” at a bar and you’ll get a sweet drink with a hint of citrus. It will only cost you about €.50 to €1.50 extra.

7. “Panaché” mixes in lemonade

Called the “panaché“, this drink is half beer, half carbonated lemonade. A variation, called the “Biére Monaco“, is the same thing but with a shot of grenadine included. If you find yourself sitting on a terrace on a hot summer day, this mixture can be a really refreshing relief from the heat.

Pelforth

Pelforth is a classic brew from northern France. Photo: Clayton Parker

8. So, what’s on tap?

If you check the tap at just about any bar, café, bistro or restaurant in Paris, you’ll almost always find the following:

Kronenbourg 1664: A light, crisp lager produced in Alsace.

Grimbergen: From the Flanders region of Belgium, this brand makes a wide variety of popular ales and wheat beers.

Pelforth: A brewery which makes a famously light pale ale of the same name, produced in the northern French region of Nord de Pas Calais.

Other beers that make frequent appearances include the Belgian wheat beer brand Leffe, the Belgian pilsner Stella Artois, and Dutch lagers Heineken and Grolsch.

Related: Tasting the unique beer culture of Lille for less

9. Christmas beers

Some breweries whip up a batch of warming, hoppy specialty beers for Christmas, known as “les bieres de noel”. Brasserie Schutzenberger and Meteor, two brewers from Alsace, produce popular bieres de noel that can be found in bars and in supermarkets come December.

10. Traditional French beer from the Calais region

Known as “biere de garde“, these amber or gold-colored brews generally have a malty taste and have high alcohol content. Some well-known biere de garde brewers in France include Trois Monts, Jenlain and Brasserie Castelain. While not found quite as often on tap in Paris, they can be picked up at most supermarkets or in specialty beer or wine stores.

Bonus Cheapo Tip: If you want to do a beer tasting in your hotel room, however, this would be the cheapest way, with a 75 cl bottle of most domestic beers costing less than €3 at the supermarket.

Related: A guide to Paris supermarkets

Santé!

The post Paris: A guide to ordering beer in France appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.

Source: Euro Cheapo

August Roundup: Best Credit Cards

There’s hardly a better way to amass a pile of miles or points quickly than signing up for a new credit card and meeting the minimum spend threshold. Credit card issuers are currently competing for customers and offering better and better deals all the time—although they typically don’t last, so it’s best to jump on an offer if it appeals to you.

Here’s our selection of the top ten credit card bonuses right now:

1. IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Pros: IHG just unveiled their best-ever offer: 125,000 points after $3,000 minimum spend in the first three months. On top of that, you get 25 points per dollar at IHG properties for the first year, plus 4 points per dollar on all other categories. The card comes with Platinum status, a free night on your account anniversary at eligible hotels, a $100 rebate on TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every four years, and a free reward night on point stays of four nights or more. It has an annual fee of $89.

Cons: This card is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule: if you’ve opened five or more personal credit cards in the past two years, you’re not eligible.

2. Citi Premier Credit Card

Pros: Citi has increased the welcome offer to 60,000 ThankYou points for spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening. The everyday earning structure is also strong, with three points per dollar on travel and two points on dining out and entertainment. You can transfer your points to 15 airline partners, and the annual fee is $95.

Cons: The spending requirement may be too high for the average person. In addition, Citi is discontinuing some card benefits (car rental insurance; trip cancellation and interruption protection; trip delay, baggage delay and lost baggage protection) in September.

3. Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Pros: One of Chase’s most popular travel cards, the Sapphire Preferred gives you 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months—and Chase Ultimate Reward points are one of the most valuable travel currencies. This bonus is actually better than the current offer for the Sapphire Preferred, their high-end travel card. Points transfer to 10 airlines and three hotel programs (Hyatt, Marriott and IHG). The annual fee is $95.

Cons: Once again, the spending requirement is high, and this card is also subject to the Chase 5/24 rule.

4. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Pros: Previously known as the Ascend card, the Surpass is offering 130,000 Hilton Honors points and a free weekend night for signups through August 28, after meeting the $4,000 spending threshold in the first three months. In addition, the card gives you 12 points per dollar spent at Hilton hotels and resorts, six points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations, and three points per dollar elsewhere. The annual fee is $95.

Cons: Hilton Honors points are inflated, and there’s no fixed redemption schedule—point levels vary according to location and time of year. Still, 130,000 points will get you some free nights, and the additional weekend free night is definitely a plus.

5. Barclay AAdvantage Business World Elite Mastercard

Pros: Earn 75,000 AA miles (65,000 after only $1,000 in purchases within three months, and another 10,000 for making a purchase with an employee card)—the best offer to date for this card. The annual fee is $95.

Cons: AA miles have been notoriously difficult to redeem in recent years. This is a business card, so not everyone will be eligible.

6. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Pros: Within the past year, Capital One has vaulted into the top tier of travel rewards cards. This one offers a host of benefits: 50,000 miles for $3,000 in spending within three months; double miles on every purchase; one dozen airline transfer partners. Even better, the $95 annual fee is waived the first year.

Cons: Miles transfer to airline partners at a 2: 1.5 ratio, rather than 1: 1.

7. Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card

Pros: If you’re gunning for the coveted Southwest Companion Pass, this card is for you. You get 80,000 Rapid Rewards points for spending $5,000 within three months (the Companion Pass requires earning 110,000 points per year, and it provides gives you free travel for your companion even if you book reward flights). The card also provides free wifi on Southwest and covers the cost of four A1-A15 boardings per year. The annual fee is $99.

Cons: $5,000 is a hefty spending threshold. This is a business card, which means that not everyone will qualify (but which also means it is exempt from the Chase 5/24 rule).

8. Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard

Pros: This limited-time offer gives you 60,000 miles for spending $2,000 within 90 days and rebates the $95 fee for the first year. You also receive a one-time, 50% companion discount for roundtrip coach travel on Hawaiian Airline between Hawaii and North America, and a $100 annual companion discount for travel on the same route.

Cons: While Hawaii is a lovely destination, the airline’s reach is restricted; the number of airline partners is also low.

9. World of Hyatt Credit Card

Pros: The current offer gives new cardmembers up to 50,000 points: 25,000 for spending $3,000 within three months, and another 25,000 after spending a total of $6,000 in your first six months. You also receive a free night on your anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort. The card rewards ongoing spending as well, adding a free night for every $15,000 in purchases during the year. The annual fee is $95, and it comes with Hyatt Discoverist status.

Cons: Hyatt only has about 700 hotels in their portfolio, compared with over 5,000 for Hilton and 7,000 for Marriott.

10. The Platinum Card from American Express

Pros: If you’re serious about lounge access, this is your card. It provides access to the American Express Centurion lounges, as well as a Priority Pass membership and entry to Delta and Lufthansa lounges when flying on the airlines that day. The other benefits are also impressive: Gold status with Hilton and Marriott, a $200 airline credit, a $200 Uber credit and much more. The current offer is 65,000 Membership Rewards points for spending $5,000 in your first three months.

Cons: The annual fee is a hefty $550, so you have to determine that you can make the best use of the benefits before pulling the trigger.

Source: frugal travel guy

Pay Attention to that “When to Go” Part…

when to go to a destination - not during hurricane season

Every guidebook covering a destination has a “when to go” section and most comprehensive travel articles do too. The problem is, a whole lot of people never read that part. They just look at the #beautiful photos on Instagram and assume that’s how it’s going to look for their trip too. Then they arrive to […]

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Source: Cheapest Destinations

Which Credit Card Should You Use On Amazon?

If you loathe shopping like I do, you have probably transitioned to buying most of the stuff you need online. I personally go as far as having groceries delivered by Instacart and using Boxed.com for all my bulk household supplies. If that doesn’t show you how much I hate shopping, I don’t know what will.

I also buy a lot of random things we need on Amazon.com, mostly because it saves me time. Items I’ve purchased on Amazon.com over the last week include chemicals for my hot tub, balsamic vinegar, and hair scrunchies for my kids. I don’t spend a lot of money and I only buy things I need, but I use the service a lot to avoid heading to the store.

Which Credit Card Should You Use on Amazon.com?

If you’re a big Amazon shopper, it makes sense to connect your account with a credit card that will reward you for all your purchases. Any rewards credit card will work just fine, but some offer more bang for your buck. Here are a few to consider:

Chase Freedom

The Chase Freedom Card offers 5% back on up to $1,500 spent in categories that rotate each quarter plus 1% back on everything else you buy. While “bonus categories” change all the time, they usually include Amazon.com in the mix at least once per year — usually around the holidays.

The Chase Freedom Card was one of my first rewards cards, so I always pay attention and use it for Amazon purchases when it’s one of the bonus categories. The Chase Freedom also comes with no annual fee and a decent signup bonus.

Discover it

The Discover it is another cash-back credit card that works similarly to the Chase Freedom. Once you sign up, you’ll earn 5% back on up to $1,500 spent in categories that rotate each quarter along with 1% back on everything else. The kicker is, Discover will double all the rewards you earn the first year.

Discover has already announced its 5% categories for 2019, so we already know you can earn 5% back on Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com from October through December of this year. This card also comes with no annual fee.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is another winner when it comes to purchases from Amazon.com and Whole Foods. You do have to have an Amazon Prime membership to qualify, but you get 5% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases, 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores, and 1% back on other purchases.

This card comes with no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and no earning caps.

Which credit card do you use for your Amazon purchases?

 

[Image: Shutterstock]

Source: frugal travel guy

10 ways to save on a trip to Portugal

With its mild climate, beautiful beaches and inexpensive cuisine (including the wine!), Portugal is a paradise for budget travelers, especially when compared to other destinations in Western Europe.

That said, the savviest Cheapos are always looking for new ways to save a few extra euros. If that’s you, you’ve come to the right place!

Related articles:
10 Days in Portugal: A budget-friendly itinerary through Lisbon, Porto Braga
Saving in Sintra, a perfect day trip from Lisbon
How to save on dining out in Lisbon


Portugal budget travel guide

Here are 10 of our best tips to stretch your budget even further in Lisbon, Porto and beyond.

1. Embrace the off-season

For the best prices on flights, accommodations and pretty much everything else, try to plan your trip to Portugal any time other than peak travel dates. If you can, avoid June through September along with the Easter and Christmas holidays. Generally speaking, late January through mid-March (depending on when Holy Week and Easter fall) bring lower prices and fewer crowds.

2. Book last minute hotels

For the best prices on many aspects of travel, plan way ahead (months, not weeks) or wait until the last possible moment to book. In our experience, this works better with accommodations and package deals than with airfare. For the most extreme savings on hotels and hostels, the best prices are quite often found at the last minute, when rates tumble as push comes to shove. Search EuroCheapo to find a deal on Portugal hotels.

TAP flies non-stop to Portugal from the US. Photo: Miguel C.

TAP flies non-stop to Portugal from the US. Photo: Miguel C.

3. Keep flight costs down

Because Portugal is already a very budget-friendly destination when it comes to food and lodging, the best way to cut your expenses way back is to spend less on your airfare to Europe. While flying to Porto will usually save you some cash, TAP Portugal flies direct to Lisbon from the US, while Iberia makes one stop in Madrid.

Serious Cheapos should consider flying into another major European hub (think Paris, Dublin or London) and then hopping a low-cost flight to Lisbon, Porto or Faro. Since low-cost flights on carriers like Vueling and Ryanair are priced each way, to save time and money on ground transportation, consider flying into Porto in the north and back from Lisbon in the South or vice versa.

4. Sleep cheap in pensions

For a charming (and budget-friendly) local experience, stick to pensão, small, family-run inns. Some also offer inexpensive but authentic home-style meals, too. Hostels and apartments are also very reasonable, and if you plan to stay in one place for two or more nights, you may even be able to negotiate a discount.

In bigger urban areas like Porto (Search over 700 hotels in Porto) and Lisbon (search for budget hotels in Lisbon), pick something central to save time and money on transportation.

Related: Search for affordable hotel rooms across Portugal

Porto

Walking is easy in Porto and across Portugal. Photo: Raul L.

5. Walk

Pack comfortable shoes and walk as much as you can. It’s free, and Portuguese towns and cities are wonderful for pedestrians. If you must, take the odd joy ride on one of the old-fashioned cable cars, but after that, stick to your own two feet whenever possible to keep your transportation costs down.

6. Skip the taxis

Good public transit options, rideshares and reasonably priced rental cars make splurging for a taxi seem silly. Take the trip from Lisbon Airport to the city center, for example. Whereas a taxi fare will cost you around €10, public transit costs only €2, while a shuttle or rideshare option starts at about €5.

Related: How to save on your rental car in Portugal

7. Spend less on dining out

For the best way to save on dining, go for the fixed price menus at lunchtime. Many restaurants offer a menu of the day, “prato do dia,” “menu do dia” or sometimes “menu fixo” in Portuguese. When dinner rolls around, opt for snacks on-the-go from bakeries or supermarkets.

In restaurants, just say no to the bread and olives the waiters bring out unless you really want them. They’re an added charge on the bill at most establishments.

And don’t over tip. In Portugal, as in many European destinations, tips are a bonus, not part of your server’s salary, so most of the time a few euros are more than enough. Generally, you shouldn’t even think about leaving more than 10% on top of the bill. Also, check to make sure a service charge hasn’t already been tacked on to your bill.

Madeira market

An outdoor market in Madeira. Photo: lietz

8. Pick up a fresh meal at a local market

While eating and drinking out is cheaper in Portugal than in other parts of Europe, it’ll still save you money to pick up fresh produce, bread, and snacks at outdoor markets and supermarkets. Grab a nice Vinho Verde, some local cheese and charcuterie, and a few pasteis de nata (traditional egg custard tartlets) for dessert, and you’re all set — no complicated cooking skills or formal kitchen required.

9. Some of the best sights are free

You’ll find that many popular activities that normally charge admission are free some of the time. Wherever you are in Portugal, it’s pretty likely that local museums have a free morning, afternoon or day, so asking around is well worth the effort. For example, the first Sunday of the month, you can take in major museums in Lisbon (like the Tile Museum and Jeronimos Monastery) without paying admission.

Related: Free attractions and things to do in Lisbon

Porto’s sweetened the pot for tourists even further — every Sunday morning from 10 am to 1 pm museums and cathedrals are free — we recommend the Port Wine Museum or the Serralves Foundation’s modern art collection.

Want someone to show you the sights on the cheap? In both of Portugal’s major cities, there are free walking tours (tips are encouraged). Check out these walking tour options in Porto and Lisbon.

10. Slow down

Spending more time in one place is a sure-fire way to keep your budget in check and stay sane. Instead of rushing around on an organized bus tour, or driving from one city to the next, consider making a temporary home base in a small town, renting a nice room or apartment and exploring an area in a leisurely fashion.

Don’t overbook your time with activities. Instead, take your time and wander — it’s free. You’ll save money on transportation and have a much more relaxing trip besides.

The post 10 ways to save on a trip to Portugal appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.

Source: Euro Cheapo

Sign up for these airline newsletters to find cheap flights to Europe

Are you planning a trip to Europe? Finding a flight that won’t break the bank is one of the biggest challenges facing budget travelers. While airfare to Europe from the US might not be cheap, there are actually more deals than ever if you know where to look.

There are a number of websites that will flag interesting flight sales for you (including our flights blog!), but sometimes going straight to the source is the most effective way to score a great round-trip fare, especially when airlines announce flash sales. After all, being the first to book is almost always the key to scoring flash sale fares.

Related: Airline baggage fees for US to Europe carriers

Below, we’ve listed 18 airlines that fly from the US to Europe, with links to their newsletters. Signing up for all of them might be a little overwhelming (although it’s not too much for serious budget travelers to handle!). We’d recommend at least signing up for some of the airlines that serve the destinations you routinely visit.

Good luck scoring some cheapo flights!


Airline newsletter signup pages

Here are the top airline newsletters serving Europe from the United States.

Aer Lingus

Best for: Flying to Ireland and Britain

Sometimes “the luck of the Irish” can help you score a good deal. If you love traveling to Ireland or Britain, Aer Lingus should be near the top of your list when looking for deals. This Irish airline recently had a $499 RT fare to Dublin that would have put you in the middle of the action on St. Patrick’s Day. You can choose your departure airport when you sign up to customize the deals you receive.

Sign up for the Aer Lingus newsletter here.


Air France

Best for: Flying to Paris, Air France frequent flyers

Although it seems harder to find a great deal on Air France these days than it used to, it’s still worth subscribing to keep on top of their deals. They occasionally offer cheapo-friendly fares and often blast out frequent flyer specials (even as low as 12,500 miles one-way from the US to Paris).

Sign up for Air France newsletter.


Alitalia

Best for: Flying to Italy

Is your idea of the perfect vacation include sipping an espresso in Rome or drifting along the canals of Venice? Learn about the latest services and promotions when you sign up for the Alitalia newsletter.

Sign up for the Alitalia newsletter.


American

Best for: AAdvantage members

In order to hear about American’s deals to Europe, you must signup for their AAdvantage program, which is free to join.

Sign up for AAdvantage.


British Airways

Best for: Flying to London

Are you looking for deals to London and the UK? You should sign up for British Airways’ Executive Club to help save a few pounds on your next visit. If the name sounds too fancy, don’t fret. Anyone can register, and they’ll send frequent deals even to Cheapos like us!

Sign up for British Airways newsletter.


Delta

Best for: Europe-wide discounts, SkyMiles members

Sign up for their SkyMiles frequent flyer program to learn about their latest Europe-wide deals by email. Along with keeping track of your miles and Delta flights, you can also be the first to learn about vacation specials and promotions.

Sign up for the Delta newsletter.


Emirates

Best for: European flash sales and top-rated service

For one of the world’s highest-rated airlines, Emirates offers a surprising number of flash sales throughout the year. (Our favorite recent Emirates sale was $899 for two tickets to Italy from New York JFK. That’s a deal.) Remember that an Emirates flight, even in economy, includes fancy perks, like four-course meals (with wine), free Wi-Fi, and over 2,500 channels on the in-flight entertainment system.

Sign up for the Emirates newsletter.


Iberia

Best for: Flights to Spain

Be the first to know about flight deals to Madrid and beyond when you sign up for deals from Iberia.

Sign up for the Iberia newsletter.


Icelandair

Best for: Stop-over visits to Iceland

Well known for their fabulous stop-over policy that allows you to visit Reykjavik for no additional cost on your way to major European hubs, Icelandair often offers enticing deals and last-minute ticket sales. Be the first to find out about these deals when you sign up for the Net Club.

Sign up for Icelandair newsletter.


KLM

Best for: Flights to Amsterdam, connections throughout Europe

Be among the first to know about special offers from this airline based out of the Netherlands. With Amsterdam as their hub, you can find some excellent prices for connecting flights across Europe.

Sign up for the KLM newsletter.


Lufthansa

Best for: Flights to Germany

This German airline flies all over Europe, and they announce major sales to top destinations 4-5 times a year. Sign up to receive their general newsletter or their country-specific newsletters.

Sign up for the Lufthansa newsletter.


Norwegian

Best for: Low-cost budget flights (with minimal perks) to Europe

Norwegian has rolled out several cheap flights since it launched their trans-Atlantic service in 2013. This year, they featured $175 flights to Paris on their newsletter, as well as other deals to Stockholm, London, and beyond. Their most recent non-stop route is to Barcelona that they launched in September 2016.

Sign up for the Norwegian newsletter here.


Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)

Best for: Flights to (and through) Scandinavia

Receive offers straight to your inbox to discover discounted SAS flights to Stockholm, Copenhagen, and all over the continent.

Sign up for the SAS newsletter here.


Tap Portugal

Best for: Flights to Portugal

Fancy a holiday in beautiful Lisbon or Porto? Subscribe to TAP’s newsletter to stay informed about deals, including direct flights to Portugal from the US.

Sign up for the TAP newsletter here.


United Airlines

Best for: Mileage Plus members

Like American and Delta, you must join United’s frequent flyer program (Mileage Plus) in order to hear about flight sales. Anyone can join for free.

Join Mileage Plus.


Virgin Atlantic

Best for: Flights to London

Based in London and Manchester, this British airline is well-known for its famous founder Richard Branson and cheeky service. Join the Flying Club to receive exclusive offers and last-minute promotions.

Sign up for the Virgin Atlantic newsletter here.


Other airlines?

Do you have any favorite airline email deals that we missed? Let us know in the comments section below.

The post Sign up for these airline newsletters to find cheap flights to Europe appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.

Source: Euro Cheapo

Guanajuato Mexico Tours: History, Food, and Nightlife

best Guanajuato tours in Mexico

Are you traveling to Guanajuato at some point soon, or thinking about visiting on a day trip from San Miguel de Allende? Well it’s not so easy to find tours in English, but I’ve got you covered on that. Read on for Guanajuato Mexico tours that you can pick from, all reasonably priced thanks to […]

Want to live a better life for half the price? Sign up for the Cheap Living Abroad Newsletter.

             

Source: Cheapest Destinations

Travel Fail: Budgeting in Copenhagen Gone Wrong

When I was planning our trip to Norway for June of this year, we decided to tack on an additional four nights in Copenhagen, Denmark. Our cruise ended there so staying longer made chronological sense, but we also found that flying home several days later cost a lot less on Icelandair.

We had never been to Denmark before either, so I figured we would turn it into a little side trip to see what the country has to offer. From there, I set out on a journey to find lodging and things to do during our extra time. Unfortunately, finding an affordable way to enjoy Denmark wasn’t easy.

The High Costs of Travel in Denmark

One of the biggest problems of travel in Denmark is the 25% VAT tax added to purchases tourists make — food in restaurants, hotels, and rental cars, for example. But this problem was only compounded by the fact that prices in Denmark were already extremely high.

We ultimately wanted to stay in Copenhagen as our home base, and we wound up booking an Airbnb that was approximately $400 per night. But when you tacked on the 25% VAT tax, it was $500 per night. Worse, it was in a decent location but not very nice at all!

We booked a rental car for a few days on Expedia, which wasn’t that bad until you tacked on the 25% in taxes. But parking anywhere in Copenhagen was expensive and gas was pricey, too. I think the cheapest lot near us was more than $40, which is not terrible for a big city, but I still got sick of paying it on top of everything else.

Dining was also a problem, even though we took measures to save money on food. We rented an apartment so we could cook a few meals at home, but our rental didn’t actually have a functional kitchen. The listing withheld crucial information!

We did buy fruit and pastries for breakfast and we skipped lunch in favor of snacks a few days, but food was expensive regardless. When we went out to dinner at night, the cost of restaurant dining was exorbitant: $25 for a veggie burger and fries, $21 for a dinner salad, $7 to $13 for a beer, and $10 to $12 for kid’s meals. We did our best to keep costs down, but at a certain point, we just gave up.

One big splurge we made with rewards was the day we spent at Tivoli Gardens, a small theme park in Copenhagen. The cash price for four people with unlimited rides would have been $268 USD for a single day, but we paid with Chase Ultimate Rewards. And I was ecstatic that I could book entry into the park for the next day since I was tired of spending money at that point.

The Bottom Line

When we returned home from Denmark, I looked over our credit card bills to check for errors then paid our balances in full. I feel very fortunate that this budgeting fail won’t wreck our finances since we have a large emergency fund and we’re 100% debt-free (including having a paid-off home), but I am still not thrilled with how it all went down.

This just goes to show that travel budgeting failures can happen to anyone and even those who travel consistently. My only consolation is the fact I earned 3x points with my Chase Sapphire Reserve for all our travel and dining expenses. Since this trip was so expensive, those points added up fast.

Have you ever had a major travel budget failure? What happened?

 

[Image: Wikimedia]

Source: frugal travel guy

Travel Prices in Bulgaria

travel prices in Bulgaria

In most respects, Bulgaria is the cheapest place in Europe to travel, for sure the cheapest destination that wasn’t involved in the Balkan conflict of the ’90s. Transportation for a pittance, bargain meals, and $1 glasses of wine allow you to travel well for cheap. Despite the bargains, there aren’t many tourists here outside of […]

Want to live a better life for half the price? Sign up for the Cheap Living Abroad Newsletter.

             

Source: Cheapest Destinations

6 Top budget hotels in Krakow with great locations

Headed to Krakow? Budget travelers will be very happy when making hotel reservations in this popular Polish city. There are plenty of affordable places to stay right in the heart of Krakow, especially in Old Town.

If you want to splurge, you can find four-star rooms for just over $100. But for loyal Cheapos, spending around $50-70 can find you a really nice stay that would usually cost double the price in Western European cities.

But not all budget hotels in Krakow are created equal. We searched the city to find hotels with excellent user reviews that won’t break the bank.

Read more: A budget travel guide to Krakow


Top budget hotels in Krakow

You’ll enjoy planning your trip to Krakow even more once you lock down a good hotel room at a good price. There are more than 2,500 hotels across Krakow. To make your search a little easier, here are six excellent budget hotels that we like in Krakow.

Hotel Jan

ul. Grodzka 11, Old Town
Rates from $72

Nestled in the heart of Old Town, this three-star hotel is housed in a 600-year old building. The super clean rooms come with refrigerators, tea kettles, and free Wi-Fi. Even better, a tasty breakfast is included in the rate and served in a charming, brick-lined space. Read more about Hotel Jan.

We love the cheery and bright rooms at Hotel Legend.

Hotel Legend

ul. Sw. Gertrudy 12, Old Town
Rates from $76

Perfectly situated within strolling distance of Wawel Cathedral and Kazimierz (the old Jewish quarter), Hotel Legend is a fine choice for Cheapos that like a little style as well as a low price. Rooms come with flat-screen TVs, and the staff wins highs marks for their friendliness. Read more about Hotel Legend.

Lwowska Hotel

Enjoy the modern side of Krakow at Lwowska Hotel.

Lwowska 1

Ul. Lwowska 1
Rates from $60

Located just outside of the city center near the Schindler Factory Museum, this contemporary hotel definitely wins points for the stylish design of the rooms. The studio and suites are much bigger than the average hotel room, so it’s a good place to book if you’re visiting for a longer stay. The tram stops right outside the door and is only four stops to the Main Market Square. Read more about Hotel Lwowska 1.

Hotel Eden

Hotel Eden has crisp and clean rooms.

Hotel Eden

ul. Ciemna 15, Old Town
Rates from: $69

Stay in a beautifully renovated 15th-century building at this 3-star hotel. Located in a fantastic Old Town location in the heart of the Jewish quarter, Hotel Eden is steps from tons of attractions. All 27 rooms come packed with perks like a refrigerator, private bathroom, satellite TV, and free Wi-Fi. Start each morning with a free breakfast. Read more about Hotel Eden.

Nobilton Hotel

The charming breakfast room at Nobilton Hotel.

Nobilton Hotel

ul. Pilsudskiego 25, Old Town
Rates from: $48

This 3-star hotel blends a top location with rooms that are comfy and modern with amenities like flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. You can walk out the door to enjoy the best things to do in Krakow. If you want to explore farther afield, the hotel offers a free shuttle service. The breakfast buffet gets high marks from guests. Read more about Nobilton Hotel.

Hotel Monika

The covered garden patio at Hotel Monika.

Hotel Monika

ul. Langiewicza 6
Rates from: $40

This budget hotel is hard not to love. The rooms are bright and clean with artwork on the walls, and all of them come with private bathrooms. The staff will help you with tips for exploring Krakow. Their location just outside of the city center allows them to offer free parking on-site. When the weather is nice, the outdoor patio and garden make a nice spot to relax after a day of sightseeing. Read more about Hotel Monika.

Looking for even more places to stay? Search for vacation apartment rentals in Krakow or browse more than 2,500 hotels across Krakow.

The post 6 Top budget hotels in Krakow with great locations appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.

Source: Euro Cheapo