10 European Destinations Where Your Dollar Will Go Really Far In 2017

Over the years, the value of a strong dollar has always amounted to so much money abroad. So when planning your ideal trip to a nice spot where you can get the best experience with the lowest possible dollar, you might want to keep the following European destinations in mind, as reports from banks about the dollar still maintaining its strength since 2003 further makes 2017 a banner year for American travelers.

The rise is consequent upon an economy that is strong, having been growing when other countries are biting their fingers to keep up with the pace. So American travelers will have a lot of money to save up, which may even be as high as 40% if you chose any of the 10 European destinations listed below for your vacation this year.

european destinations

  1. GREECE – This year, you can reach the ancient ruins, azure waters, and whitewashed villages. Greece remains one country that has irresistible deals for travelers. Your dollars will really go far if you come here.
  2. PORTUGAL – Portugal is known as an ideal destination for seekers of culture. And even with the growth of tourism, hotels and others, ground costs still remain affordable. For instance, beds at the highly-rated Good Night Hostel in Lisbon starts from €13 ($14) upward per night, while rooms go for €16 (about $17) at Nice Way Sintra Palace in Sintra. You can’t spend beyond your budget in Portugal.
  3. LATVIA – In 2014, Latvia’s capital city Riga took the spotlight as Europe’s Capital of Culture. However, the country is still considered an off-the-beaten-path destination for travelers. That same 2014, the nation made the euro its official currency. But then, prices for things like hotels, restaurants, and activities have continued to be lower than in other European countries. That’s a country you can afford to take a trip to.
  4. LITHUANIA – Lithuania is the latest country to have switched its currency to euro to join the Eurozone. However, the nation is on the rise, and prices have yet to catch up, especially at hotels, restaurants, and bars. With a few dollars, you can also get to see the country’s dense forests, rivers, seaside resorts and medieval history.
  5. WESTERN EUROPE – If you’re looking for Eurozone’s most affordable cities to visit, think of exploring Western Europe. Cities in this area have been ranked cheapest on the 2017 Backpacker Index.
  6. ITALY – This is definitely the biggest surprise destination to make this list. Italy’s airfares have been relatively low. If you need an affordable place to stay, check EuroCheapo, which lists budget-friendly hotels that are mostly for under $100 per night in both Rome and Milan.
  7. POLAND – Last year, Poland was Europe’s best travel bargain according to the Price of Travel’s annual European Backpacker Index. This year isn’t different. Travelers who explore the beautiful old city’s culture will find many cheap hotels and restaurants. Even fares are being discounted by the country’s flagship carrier LOT Polish Airlines at press time. So you should also think Poland.
  8. SPAIN – During the past years, Spain was faced with supreme economic woes. But today, it has joined the ranks of top European budget destinations. U.K.-based Post Office Holiday’s Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer for 2015 says Spain was the second-most affordable Eurozone country after Portugal when it has to do with expenses like coffee, soda, wine, sunscreen and a three-course dinner for two. That’s some place you really want be, even with the very little dollar you may have at hand.
  9. SWITZERLAND – ­If there is one place I will suggest you visit, then Switzerland will be that cool location. This country houses some of the most beautiful lakes, villages and peaks of Alps you can find anywhere, and what about the currency? Well, with as much as $10, you will be able to buy the best chocolates in the country.
  10. IRELAND –­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Ireland is one of the best locations in the world right now, and when I say “best” I didn’t mean how cheap it would be to come here but some of the things you stand to enjoy when you do. The Irish Sea is a sight you wouldn’t want to miss when you travel here, and did I mention the Irish nightlife? I bet you wouldn’t want me to tell you how cool it is. (more…)

Best Spots for Family Vacation in Europe

A dream will always remain a dream until you make efforts to actualize it. That’s why you should plan your next family vacation in Europe.  A trip to Europe is all that is needed to complete your family’s perfect holiday.

I consider Europe the perfect destination for anyone looking for some adventure. A trip to this awesome continent will leave you craving for more. Why not stick with me as I give you a brief tour of this awesome continent.

family vacation in europe

Croatia

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Why Eastern Europe Is Certainly Worth Your Time

Bratislava, SlovakiaWhen people talk about visiting Europe, they are often talking about the western parts of Europe. However, the truth is that you can find some amazingly beautiful sights in the eastern part of Europe as well. Anyone who has ever traveled to the ‘other’ side of Europe and has ventured off the beaten path will know just how stark the contrast is between the two. Even though Barcelona, Amsterdam, Rome, Paris, and London are beautiful, they are only half of what Europe has to offer.

On the eastern part of Europe, you can find some incredible people, architecture, castles, art, traditions, culture, and history. Trust us when we tell you that there is no denying that Eastern Europe has just as much to offer as its western counterpart.

The people are friendly and hospitable

Contrary to what Hollywood productions might tell you or the belief that may remain in the western part of Europe, Eastern Europeans are incredibly hospitable, warm, and friendly. People who have ventured into Eastern Europe before have proclaimed its inhabitants to be the most hospitable people in the world. You may be welcomed to understand their customs, try the traditional cuisine, and you will find that most of them genuinely want you to enjoy yourself in their country.

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14 Small European Towns That You Simply Must Visit

Ghent, BelgiumIt is true that Barcelona had architecture, Venice has Romance, London has that metropolitan feel, and Paris has well….everything. But the truth is that there are some smaller European towns that are absolutely worth your time as well. These are just a few of our favorites that we believe certainly warrant a visit if you are nearby.

Arosa, Switzerland

If the British Royal family makes this one of their favorite spots to vacation to, you had better believe that this relatively small town in the Swiss Alps has a great deal to offer. You will be surprised at some of the spectacular sights here, certainly worth a visit.

Bergen, Norway

If you are looking for a picturesque, charming town with a great deal of history, you should look no further than Bergen. The town itself was established well before 1070 AD. It is located on the west coast of Norway and even though it does not offer much in the way of sights, the true sense of history and natural beauty that you get when you travel here is astounding.

Ghent, Belgium

Everyone knows about Brussels, but this is one of the hidden delights in Flanders. The interesting thing is that this is only 20 minutes from Bruges (coming up later) but you can experience an entirely different atmosphere. Find out for yourself why both have their own unique charm.

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Using Credit Cards in Europe

Credit CardsIf you are going to travel abroad to Europe, the last thing you want to do is carry around a great deal of money. This is not just a safety issue, but you would not believe how many people have managed to lose a great deal of money. Especially if you are checking in and out of hotels, you could easily leave something behind.

Even though the use of credit cards in Europe is widespread, there are some warnings and tips that you should take into consideration before you arrive with nothing but plastic in your wallet. Having these tips spelled out for you should help you avoid some of the issues that other travelers have encountered.

Some businesses have minimums or just say “no”

For most people, it is quite normal that you are able to pay with credit card. However, this is not true everywhere you go in Europe. Some tiny old-fashioned shops, restaurants, cafes, and street vendors might not accept MasterCard, Visa, or its local equivalent. Some businesses are not going to accept you paying with credit card unless you have a larger purchase (say over 20 euros). Make sure that you at least have some local currency with you to avoid this type of mistake.

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The Top Tourist Attractions in Malta

MdinaDespite the fact that Malta is relatively small, it has a great number of attractions available. Beautiful beaches, charming cities, and spectacular ancient sites, those are only just the beginning. Despite the fact that most tourists are interested in discovering a romantic piece of the past, sampling Mediterranean dishes, or relaxing by the sea, these are just a handful of tourist attractions that you should not miss out on.

Hagar Qim and Mnajdra

On Malta’s south coast, you can find the prehistoric temples of Mnajdra and Hagar Qim. These overlook the islet of Filfla and are perched atop a cliff. The temples can be traced back all the way to 3600-3200 BC. Hagar Qim does not have a uniform arrangement and it is made of a series of interconnected, oval chambers.

Once you have reached Hagar Qim, Mnajdra is about a 700-meter (2,300 foot) walk downhill. This is the far more elaborate selection. You can find three temples side-by-side, each of which has a different orientation and trefoil plan. Not only are there some interesting interactive exhibits, but you will find stunning views of the ocean as well.

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Why Visit Europe In The Off-Season?

Travel EuropeYou have probably heard the virtues of traveling to Europe between September and May so many times that you can recite them by heart – the lack of that summer swelter, cheaper airfares and hotel rates, a more relaxed atmosphere, mingling opportunities with the locals, greater cultural options, and fewer tourists.

However, there is a reason that Europe during the high season is so popular, there are abundant tourist resources, it is easy packing light, and you can experience maximum daylight. However, for many travelers off-season travel still has benefits that high-season travel cannot touch.

Picking your destination

Before we can get started on discussing possible destinations and why it might be beneficial to travel there, there are some commonly agreed upon shoulder-season and off-season dates that we need to discuss first. The definition used here includes:

  • The peak season (the high season) – Summer, middle of June-August
  • The shoulder season – April through May. Some might suggest that it is mid-June September through October
  • The off-season – November through March

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Finding The Best Fast Food In Paris

ParisDespite the fact that Paris has a reputation for being a culinary delight, the fast food in Paris can be hit-and-miss at times. Especially if you are near areas that see a great deal of tourism, you run the risk of eating a sandwich that might have been made and stored with questionable hygiene practices or find a stale, gummy crepe that tastes nothing like you would expect. Fortunately, we can help you avoid many of these mistakes and help you find the best option for you.

Bakery fare – sandwiches, quiches etc.

Even though Paris has a reputation for being a great city for bakeries, remember that not all sandwiches are created equal in the City of Light. You can get a delicious sandwich, quiche, or croissant for less than 3 dollars at some of the high-quality Paris bakeries. You are better off going into an actual patisserie or boulangerie (bakery) and getting something there than you are by visiting a supermarket or buying it from a stand on the street.

Avoid the street vendor sandwiches

Keep in mind that the traditional street vendors that you see throughout Paris are not actual bakers. These vendors usually buy their sandwiches at a supermarket beforehand and will then sell them to you at inflated prices. If you are opting for hygiene-sensitive fillings (think tuna and/or mayonnaise), you are better off buying from real bakeries

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When Should You Visit Spain?

Spain Flag Map ShapeThis is one of the questions that we receive often – when should you visit Spain, and when is the best time to stay away from Spain? The answer rather depends on your own personal preferences. However, we can provide you with some general information on when you should try to visit Spain and what the pros and cons of the different times are.

Some people prefer to be soaking up the sun for hours on end, while others cannot imagine a fate worse than a crowded beach in the sweltering heat.

Visiting Spain in the summer

Ah yes, cruising alongside Spain’s many beaches or walking across some of the most gorgeous cities that you have ever seen. Summer in Spain can be a great visit, for a number of reasons actually. These are the benefits of visiting Spain during the summer:

  • You are almost guaranteed to have warm weather. You should not expect temperatures to go below 25ºC (77ºF) for much of the summer in Spain.
  • Some of the tours in Spain are only open during the summer. The summertime is when most of the tourists come, which is why it is understandable that you would see many of the tours operate at full force during that time.

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The Best Shopping In Porto

Porto, PortugalPorto offers some of the best shopping throughout all of Portugal. Some of the best things to pick up while in Porto include local delicacies (expected) and high fashion (which is unexpected for most tourists). With a wide range of styles, from alternative and sophisticated to the traditional, these are some of our favorite shopping experiences that Porto has to offer.

Centro Comercial Bombarda

The ‘Miguel Bombarda’ street is renowned throughout Porto as the ‘alternative’ shopping street. This unusual shopping center has a number of restaurants, shops, and art galleries. You will find a wide range of alternative stores that sell second-hand products, handicrafts, accessories, and clothes. If you like vintage clothing and have a more sophisticated style, make sure that you swing by the sophisticated sunglasses shop and the eccentric hairdresser who can be found here.

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