Sunday, November 27, 2011

Europe Planning: Online Resources. Helpful websites.

You will be bombarded with information all over the internet in planning for this trip. I’ve narrowed down a couple of the most useful websites that I used. This list is non-exhaustive and inclusion of the websites in this list is based on purely personal choice:
Flight search engines

Check the routes and rates offered by different carriers. It is still better to book using the website of the carrier itself.
Low cost carriers in Europe:
Aside from Easyjet and Ryainair, there’s a whole bunch of other LCCs in Europe. Find them here:
Study your routes. Then find out which train operators travel from point A to B. Book using the ACTUAL website of the train operator.
Seat 61 – quite a long read about train travel in Europe read but very helpful.
Italian trains: Trenitalia
German trains: Dbbahn

My bookmarks for my Europe adventure:


Airbnb – homestay accomodations
Hostelbookers - Hostels. Requires a 10% downpayment. Good to filter the hostels available in each city. But compare the price offered in the website vs. the actual website of the hostel before booking. – Hotels and some hostels. No upfront fees needed.
For itinerary planning:
This map is very important for your planning:
Eurail Map

The WhyGo series was very helpful in crafting my itinerary:


For itinerary comparison/Group tour options:

Rick Steves
Since I was doing this alone, I needed some inspirational reading materials.

Thoughts on Europe and Backpacking:
Solo Travel for women:
Other helpful sites:
Knowing the time of the sunrise and sunset of each city/country will help you maximize your time spent in each place.
Everything your need to know about backpacking across Europe:


  1. Hi, I'm a Filipino student taking graduate school in Italy. I stumbled upon your blog and want to add a few more tips/relevant websites:

    1) - they also search for more obscure budget airlines; I was able to fly to Santorini for 40 euros both ways!

    2) I have a few tips for trenitalia:
    1) their website is now, and you have to click on "tutti treni" to get fares that include regional ones.
    2) After you put your departure and arrival details and get to the page with available options, click on 'show all solutions'. Trenitalia usually gives the more expensive options first unless you make the effort to get them to show everything.
    3) As much as possible, choose regional trains (R or RV). In the website, they don't usually show how much it costs, but if you go to the machine and pay for it, you will find it's much cheaper than freccia trains. For example, my train from Trento to Venice can cost as much as 40 euros one way if I take the freccia train, but with regional, it can go for as low as 12.
    4) If you're going on a long haul train ride (eg. Trento to Trieste, which is 5 hours) and you find that you have to take 2 trains and one of them is freccia (eg. Trento to Verona, then Verona to Trieste), look for regional trains from Verona to Trieste, then look for Trento to Verona trains that fit the schedule. Although you may need to stay in the train for an additional hour, you get to save at least half of your money for trains.
    5) If you want more flexibility, book trains in the station rather than online. If you book online, you have to take the exact train schedule that was on your ticket. If you book a regional train with the machine in the station, the ticket is valid for 60 days, meaning you can still use it for another time/day if you miss your train. Also, they sometimes charge an additional euro for booking online.
    6) Although it is cheap to go on flights if you book early, sometimes it's much cheaper to go on trains if your destination is near the border. The trick is to take the regional train that takes you to the border of the country, then take the regional train of that country. For example, going from Trento to Innsbruck (Austria) one way is about 50 euros if you take the train from Trenitalia. However, if you book a regional train to Brennero (Austria/Italy border) and take the Austrian train from Brennero to Innsbruck, the trip will cost about 21 euros.

    Also...more general tip: If money is a bit tight for you, you might want to consider going to places in Europe with lower cost of living, like Greece and Spain. I was able to find hostels that are in the center, with lockers, breakfast, even hairdryer and free airport transfers!) for about 10-15 euros a night. In Germany or Amsterdam, it's difficult to find a hostel less than 20 euros with the same amenities. Europe doesn't need to be expensive :)

    And if you want to save, avoid the peak season (July-August) because prices skyrocket. The trip I was able to book from Venice to Santorini (40 euros roundtrip) would cost about 300 euros if booked on July-August. The ideal times to go would be March-May. :)

    1. Hi there (hi also to the real owner of this blog :)) :) I'm planning to visit Italy and Greece sometime this year or the next. I found your comment very helpful! Would it be possible to get your contact info (email..?), just so I can ask for more tips? :) Would greatly appreciate it!

    2. Hey there! You can email me at Hopefully I can help you out! :)

  2. Hello,
    Im also an accountant like you and to escape my boring life, Im 50, grandma, i love travelling too. I learned a lot from you...Thanks...


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