DH and I have been booking hotels. One of the problems is that we’re visiting when most of Europe is on vacation, so hotels that are 99 Euros/night now are $200+ Euros (often more) when we’ll be there in a month. I wonder a bit if we might have saved money going over Spring Break or the very beginning of summer without any conferences to defray expenses, especially since flights are less expensive now too.
So we fly in, and take a train (tickets not yet purchased) and stay two nights in a “fairy-tale city” that my sister said we had to visit that is also near my second cousins. $514.42.
Then we train over to a city where I’m giving a talk and spend two nights there (partly defrayed by university). Our share: €250
Then we head to conference city for 4 nights (partly defrayed by conference). Our share: €170*4 = €680
Then we head to Paris for 3 nights: €1,053.56
Then a night at the airport hotel: $150.51
So, all told, something under $3,000 for housing, depending on exchange rates. Could we have done all of this cheaper? YES. There were sketchy looking places at a fraction of the price, particularly in Paris. But all of the places we picked have lots of good reviews (for Europe– which is similar to good reviews for NYC– many of these are tiny and old!) and are walkable and close to rail transportation.
We haven’t figured out ground transportation yet, but that’s next on the list, along with phones and tickets to popular attractions. Trains seem expensive compared to driving your own car and cheap compared to flying, but also extremely convenient. It looks like it will be something like 50 euro each, give or take, every time we change cities, though I might be underestimating there. We want to go to museums. We want to eat out all the meals (except full continental breakfasts are included with about 2/3 of the above hotels, so maybe not breakfast). (I love Continental breakfasts with their emphasis on things that aren’t sweet, especially when there’s local whole grain bread included.) I’m not sure how much we will want to go places not in walking distance of the hotels, possibly not that much.
I also added DH to my Capital One account so he has a card with no foreign transaction fees. So there’s a little savings there.
And DC2’s passport arrived with plenty of time to spare. Yay!
Any tips for Europe in the summer? (No, I’m purposefully not saying any of the cities except Paris, though if you want more info on that, we’re staying near the Louvre.)