Online Tools to Plan and Save for a European Vacation14 August, 2015
Whether you’re looking for world-renowned museums and art galleries, prestigious restaurants, sleepless nightlife, historic architecture, or perhaps all of the above, then you should consider planning a lavish European vacation. It is in Europe that you can hotspots such as Rome, Paris, London, Barcelona, and even Amsterdam, among many others.
However, a desire to embark on a European vacation and actually doing so are vastly different. Taking off from work, planning an itinerary, and establishing a budget are just a few of the many tasks that demand your attention before heading out. It can easily become an overwhelming and time-consuming process. Luckily there are tools available online that can take all of the guesswork out of planning and saving for that special European vacation.
Unless you already live in Europe, you will probably need to book a flight to get where you’re going. While there are many ways to go about booking a flight, two websites have built an impressive reputation for locating and purchasing cheap airline tickets. Those two sites are Kayak, and of course Skyscanner. If you don’t really care where you end up in Europe, the Kayak is likely the best option since the site’s search feature is flexible as far as destination is concerned. However, Skyscanner is renowned for being able to find users the cheapest airfare.
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A successful vacation is one that is planned out as precisely as possible. While that can be applied to most aspects of planning a vacation, it is especially true when it comes to the budget. There are several websites—both free and paid—that can assist with setting up a functional budget. One of the best by far is Mint.com, which offers everything from a money manager to a complete vacation-budgeting tool. Just remember to factor in every spending category so you can allot money appropriately. Consider airfare, accommodations, transportation, food, entertainment, living necessities, and so and so forth.
To put it simply, you need a roof over your head when you vacation. It may be a hotel, hostel, apartment, house, or even an RV; whatever accommodations you’re seeking, there are several resources available online that can help secure it. For hotels and hostels, try using Hotels.com or Hosteling International, both of which have been highly-rated for European travel. If you’re looking for a home or apartment, then Airbnb and Homeaway are the top choices amongst travelers and vacationers alike. Both sites allow members to list their homes and apartments, which are easy to find thanks in part to an efficient search feature.
If you’re more likely to purchase groceries from local shops and markets, then make sure to include that category in your budget (see above). For those who plan to experience all of Europe’s famed restaurants and eateries, then there are several fantastic resources on the web. For starters, check out Yelp for reviews and recommendations on restaurants all over Europe (and the rest of the world too!). Groupon has also become a wonderful resource for travelers since it offers discounts and deals on various cuisines.