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Old 9 May 2007
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cost of europe

I have just returned from a few weeks going about part of europe, first trip rather than fly/rent etc.

we went from uk to france - germany,prauge-bratislava-budapest-graz-insbruck-alps, germany-UK.

Hotels arriving at night are a 80-150 euro's per night and fuel wasn't cheap either, if also we wanted to burn it to the next destination toll roads cost a bit. i know more time to avoid tolls is better and planning is good for hotels but i don't like being restricted to a particular destination.
meals were all about 10 euro's again fairly expensive.
looks to my fly and hire is far more a cheaper option. the price of a 10 day europe trip i could have had a flight to the hymalaya regiona and toured with a guide!

any tips for doing it cheaper whe i go again soon?
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Old 9 May 2007
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One way to keep it cheaper is pre book your hotels or camp. Formula 1 motels are basic but cheap and dotted all over Europe. Keep off the peage's, they WILL swallow your money
80-150 Euro's is a lot to pay for a hotel, unless you like the luxury. May I suggest a little more homework regarding accommodation and routes, turning up on spec is not always the best policy, as you have found.
Maybe a list of 'cheaper' hotels on your intended route, with phone numbers would help, that way you can ring them when it 'suits you sir'.
I always pre book in Europe, it keeps things simple (for me) to know no matter what time I arrive, I have a bed for the night. I usually allow for 300/400 miles a day, which is a nice distance for me

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Old 9 May 2007
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Originally Posted by martync View Post

Hotels arriving at night are a 80-150 euro's per night and fuel wasn't cheap either, if also we wanted to burn it to the next destination toll roads cost a bit
Try B&B (Chambre D'Hote). Don't pick the ones just off the motorways.
I would want "extra" srevices for €150 per night

Fuel is generally cheaper than the UK. Buy it in supermarkets NOT garages. There is generally 12-14 cents per litre difference in France at a garage. Then there is the usual mark-up om motorways

Don't use your credit card in the automatic tolls - they will charge you the car rate. ALWAYS go to the manned gate.

Top tip -Get off them motorways!

Nostradamus Ate My Hamster
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Old 9 May 2007
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top tip - the Ibis chain of hotels!
they are everywhere all over europe. reasonable quality and prices from 32 euros some places.(£22)
usually at least 2 in most big cities, if you get the one away from the centre they are cheaper.you can also get a booklet listing all thier hotels everywhere so you always know where you can get one.
10 euros - £6 aint bad for a meal, you eaten in the uk lately? you may just get a measly portion of fish and chips for that. A decent curry will set you back 25-30 pound!
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Old 9 May 2007
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80-150 euros per night??!!

I limit myself to 50euros a night max, and usually find something for less than this - around 30-40 is what I'd usually expect to pay.
If you've got a fixed route in mind then either book ahead, or do some research on the net and compile a list of suitable options on your route. Avoid travelling during the peak times (July/august) when popular areas get booked up and hotels hike up their prices. It's a bit hot for long days on the bike mid-summer anyway.
If I'm travelling on the fly with nothing booked then I'll start looking for something suitable from around 4pm - this gives me a couple of hours to explore options and find something for a sensible price. You'll have no problem finding something within budget if you're prepared to check out a few options.
If your travelling in western europe then the Accor chains (Ibis, Formula1, Etap) are always an option.
If you want to tour the major cities (Prague, etc) and you want something central then a decent hotel will be pricey, but this applies to all methods of travel. A better option is to stay out of town and hop on a bus/train to go and do a bit of sightseeing.

Fuel: UK and france are similar in price these days, with prices dropping the further east/south you go. Spain's probably the cheapest in europe at around 1 euro/litre.
Tolls: I only use autoroutes when time is a factor - generally just the first and last day of the trip.

As an example I did a 3 week trip to Slovenia and Croatia, taking in Austria, Switzerland and the Dolomites on the way. Stayed in decent hotels, ate well and clocked up 4500 miles. The total cost was around £1500 including all fuel, ferries, food, accomodation and general spending.
Last month I did another 3 week trip, this time to Morocco - total cost £1400.
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Old 9 May 2007
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I concur with redboots and trophymick
In France.
The tolls will cost as much as fuel, effectively doubling your travel costs. Stay off them and use the RN's or sometimes the autoroutes are partly free, The A20 and A28 for instance. Use 'D' for department roads. Often, these are virtually empty of all but local traffic these days and practically abandoned. Note the d number changes as you traverse from one department to another.
Buy fuel/food etc. at supermarkets (note you can buy ready made salads and precooked meals for small money which they wrap well, ideal for you evening stop. Also get your lunch there in their resturant,or buy food/baguettes etc. or routiers.. at about 12 noon you will see lots of lorries parked outside non descript buildings. you will get a great 3-5 course lunch for about 10 euros includes wine and coffee. many of them also have showers. Many also do evening meals and BnB, they often also allow free overnight parking of campervans. Many frencjh towns have municipal camp sites. On the Rn's and peages you can usually camp in the rest areas if you are discrete. just watch you dont pitch your tent over dog pooh so pitch in daylight. Many of the rest areas ( Aires) have washing facilities as well as showers etc. all free. so the odd evening use of a peage can be fair value as it saves the cost of camping.
best of all use BnB ( Chambres d'hote ) many, like us. also provide eating and simple outdoor cooking facilities as often the french expect to eat their own food in the evening at a Chambre D'hote.
Booking ahead is a mixed blessing. It removes the worry of getting somewhere to stay ( especially in july/august) but then you are committed to an itinery.
most country BnB's have plenty of safe parking.
Around here most BnB's charge 40/50 euros a night per room.
see here http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...t-france-10472
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Old 10 May 2007
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thanks guys, some good advice. Time was of an important factor for me and the need to stay in central places with safe parking was important and so the cost doubled.
next time I will try for a shorter journey or more time and do a bit more planning. We did a lot of miles in 9/10 days and payed a lot for everything - all down to last minute converience.


Innsbruck - raining & 9.30pm, 500 miles that day - we paid 130 E for the night.
With a bit of foresight and a cheaper way it will enable me to do more trips.
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Old 10 May 2007
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I always travel on the fly i find the best thing that works for me in city centre is just head for the main railway station and ask a taxi driver usually find one that can speak English (as i cant do any other ) more often than not there are cheap hotels close to the train station
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