Many first time travelers make the incorrect assumption that a European vacation is beyond their means, but this is often not the case.
One of the biggest costs associated with any vacation, including travel to countries in Europe, is lodging, but it is possible to fund budget accommodations that are clean, safe and centrally located.
One of the secrets to finding affordable budget accommodations when traveling to Europe is to check out the many bed and breakfast hotels that are common in Europe. The average bed and breakfast in Europe is much different than its American counterpart.
Whereas many bed and breakfast's in the United States are luxurious, and expensive destinations, Europeans generally regard bed and breakfast hotels as inexpensive places to stay, and they can be much more affordable than hotels in similar locations.
Most bed and breakfast hotels in European destinations are small, family run hotels.
In many cases, the family has their living quarters right on the premises, and the hotel generally provides free breakfast with the price of the room.
There are many places to look for European bed and breakfast hotels, including the Internet, destination travel guides, Internet news groups and travel review web sites.
While some of the larger bed and breakfast hotels have their own web sites, many do not, and word of mouth is often the best way to find them.
There are also booking services that will book the bed and breakfast hotel for you for a small fee (usually around 10%). These booking services can be very valuable, especially if you do not speak the local language.
Even if you did not plan ahead, chances are you will still be able to find an affordable bed and breakfast hotel when you arrive.
The arrivals area of most European airports has at least one booking desk to help travelers without reservations find affordable accommodations. Just be sure you have a local map handy so you don't get stuck with a hotel in the middle of nowhere.
There are some important things to keep in mind when booking a bed and breakfast or similar budget accommodations in European destinations.
There are important differences in lodgings between Europe and the United States, and first time travelers to Europe are often caught unawares.
Below is a list of items to consider when booking lodging for your European vacation:
1. Your budget accommodations will likely be clean, but basic. In most cases the surroundings will not be fancy or luxurious, but they will be functional and clean.
2. The rooms at a budget hotel or bed and breakfast will probably be small, and closet space may be limited or even non-existent.
3. The least expensive rooms will have bathroom and shower facilities located down the hall, while more expensive rooms may have an in room bathroom and tub.
4. A room that has only a shower will usually be less costly than one that includes a bathtub as well. If this is an important consideration, be sure to ask about the bathroom facilities when making your reservation.
5. Rooms equipped with a double bed are generally less costly than those with twin beds.
6. If you are driving, there is almost always an extra charge for parking. Be sure to ask about the parking charge when making your reservation.
7. Be sure to buy a good map of the city you will be visiting, and make sure the hotel or bed and breakfast you choose is centrally located. It is often better to choose lodging that it within walking distance of several attractions you will be visiting, even if the room is slightly more expensive. Choosing a centrally located hotel or bed and breakfast will save you both time and money for transportation.
8. When booking your lodging, be sure the price you are quoted includes all local taxes and applicable fees.