Tips and Inspiration for your European holiday

 

If you're tossing up whether or not to take the plunge and book that much-wanted holiday to Europe in 2015 but haven't yet convinced yourself you should, these 15 reasons might just have you booking those flights sooner than you think!

I’m a huge fan of self-catering accommodation when I’m travelling in Europe but there are some occasions when a hotel is a far better choice for me. It may be because I’m only staying for a night or two or because I’m travelling alone and prefer the security of knowing someone is on duty at reception 24 hours a day. Before deciding whether to stay in a hotel or an apartment there are a few pros and cons I mull over.

One question I was asked many times over the years I worked as a travel consultant was ‘why do single travellers have to pay a supplement?’ Firstly, let me assure you that it’s not because tour companies don’t like single travellers! The reason that solo travellers have to pay a supplement on the price of their tour or cruise comes down to the accommodation component of their trip.

I generally put a fair amount of research into choosing my holiday accommodation before I leave home so when the time spent results in finding a real gem, it's all worth it! In order to recommend a hotel or other style of accommodation to others, I need to have enjoyed my stay and found it good value for money.  

Travelling can produce plenty of surprises and sometimes those surprises include our accommodation. Just when we've expected a property to be fabulous, it fails to live up to expectations or vice versa so when a hotel or apartment really fits the bill, I think it's worth sharing.  To follow on from my previous recommendations of where to stay in the UK, France, Austria and Switzerland, here are a few of my favourite accommodations in Italy.

shopping-at-europes-marketsWhether you are on an escorted coach tour or travelling around Europe independently, at some point during your holiday you are going to need to buy something from a shop. It might just be a snack at a convenience store, a gift for a someone back home, or you might even need to stock up on groceries. Whatever it is you're buying, it's good to know some basic shopping etiquette and what to expect in stores and at the markets in Europe.

 

 

Accommodation costs make up a big part of any holiday and there's nothing worse than arriving at your pre-booked (and pre-paid) hotel or apartment to find that it's not quite what you expected. Nothing beats a personal recommendation so following on from my previous articles in which I recommended accommodation in the UK and France, here are my picks for where to stay in Switzerland.

Like many young Australians, my first glimpse of Europe was from the windows of a Contiki Tour bus. I was 20 years old, a travel consultant by day and had long held a desire to see Europe. Travelling with my boyfriend (now husband), I wasn't the stereo-typical Contiki passenger - I wasn't a raging party-goer or drinker and I wasn't on the lookout for a holiday romance - but having booked many, many clients on Contiki tours and hearing nothing by rave reviews, I had to see what all the fuss was about.

Choosing accommodation can be one of the most time consuming parts of planning a holiday. With so many options to choose from, and so many mixed reports on the internet (think TripAdvisor and similar websites), it can be a hard decision to make. Friends and readers of this website are regularly asking me for recommended accommodation in the UK and Europe so I thought I'd share with you the hotels, apartments and B&B's that I have stayed in and would confidently recommend to others. (Updated December 2014)