A Travelbum.net special online guide

A Planner for Cross-Cultural Budget Exploration

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Thinking about going to Europe? Excellent choice, mon ami, you are in the right place. On these pages you will find all key information, tips, links and resources you'll need. Consider this your predeparture orientation.

Once you get oriented, you might decide you don't need an additional guidebook. Actually, getting my travel guide stolen was key to having a great time in Europe. Without it, I was forced to depend upon the locals and the travelers' grapevine for information. Naturally, on-the-scene and up-to-date information was far better than that of a guidebook, especially considering the high turnover in tourist infrastructure. A travel researcher who may have whipped through a summer or two before just can not compare.

We will talk not so much about where to travel but how to travel. Here are some basic assumptions about you:

  • Your travels are to be uniquely your own, at your pace. Independence and freedom are in, following a group is out.

  • You are interested in meeting real, ordinary Europeans; maybe share a drink with them, have a meal in their home, and generally learn about them, not just their monuments and castles.

  • You are on a tight budget, and hope to cut costs any way possible within reason (maybe a bit beyond reason).

A quick bit of good news. There are plenty of ways to save, whether with accommodations, dining, transportation or equipment. Even when the exchange rate is poor, you can travel more cheaply overall in Europe than live at home. I still can't figure it out but it has always worked.

The chapters:

Planning Your Travels. Yadda yadda yadda, kinda boring but you need to plow through this to get your head around where and how you are going.

Logistics and Accomplishing Your Plan. Here is where we get to the meat and potatoes of the deal. For vegetarians, this is the tofu and hummus section.

Integrating into Other Cultures. The critical stuff that everyone else skims over or neglects.

A Comparison of Travelers. Will any of these look familiar? A look at budgets and travel styles.

Working and Volunteering. Some suggestions and thoughts on going beyond a pure vacation.

Resources. A few key sites.

Thanks for reading. Let's get started. There are about 50 pages total, navigated in sequence, but if you want to bounce around use the chapter links above on the left.

NOTE: All prices quoted on the site will be in US$.

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