Photo By Rene Ehrhardt

Photo By Rene Ehrhardt

Thailand has long been one of the most popular Asian destinations for tourists from around the world, no doubt due to its beautiful countryside, friendly citizens and lovely beaches.


While the country of Thailand is renowned for its open spaces and beautiful scenery, it is known for its bustling city life as well.  The sprawling city of Bangkok is a riot of sights and sounds, with fast moving traffic, large international hotels, the best shops and gleaming office buildings.  The modern world is very much on display here, and the country of Thailand is a growing economic force on the horizon.


Travel Costs in Thailand

Budget minded tourists have known about Thailand for years, and this great vacation destination is one of the most inexpensive hot spots on the globe.  While the cities can be expensive, budget travelers can easily trim those costs by staying outside the city centers and exploring the countryside.


There are many wonderful villages to explore throughout the country, and the low cost only makes the country more charming and beautiful.  American and European visitors generally find that their money goes much further in Thailand than in other Asian countries, making it possible to enjoy a long and leisurely vacation at a very affordable cost.


Those wary of carrying large amounts of cash will find ATMs scattered throughout the country.  These modern conveniences are particularly widespread in the major cities and resort areas, but they are available in smaller towns and villages as well.


Credit cards are widely accepted in the large cities, at the country’s many shopping malls and at large hotel chains.  On the other hand most family run lodgings and many restaurants do not take plastic, so visitors should be sure to keep enough cash on hand.  Visitors should exchange most of their money for the local currency at one of the official money exchange centers, but it is a good idea to retain some U.S. or European currency for emergencies.


When to Travel to Thailand
Thailand is a land of many delights, but bad weather can ruin even the most delightful vacation.  Most people find that the best time for a visit to Thailand is between November and February.  During this time of year there is less rainfall, and less of the oppressive heat that often accompanies a Thai summer.


The peak tourist season runs from November to the end of March, so visitors going at that time should expect large crowds and long lines at major tourist sites.  Tourist traffic is also high in the months of July and August, but not as bad as the November to March peak season.  Those who want to avoid crowds and enjoy lower prices may want to schedule their visits for April, May or June, when the lines are shorter and the sites are less crowded.


Most major airlines have regular flights in and out of Bangkok, so getting to Thailand should not be a problem. . There are many discounters offering steeply reduced tickets, but it is important to deal only with reputable firms.  Paying by credit card is always a good idea when booking travel, since this type of payment offers a wealth of consumer protections not available with other forms of payment.


Many tour operators offer all inclusive packages to Thailand, including airfare, hotel accommodations, travel within the country and even sightseeing excursions.  These package deals can be a good way to see the country, but independent minded travelers may be able to lower their cost by planning their own itineraries.


Once they have arrived, visitors have a wealth of choices for how to get around.  Many adventurous travelers choose to see the country by bike, and this can indeed be a good way to get around. Visitors who want to bring their own bikes into the country are free to do so, but the bikes must be registered with the customs agency upon arrival.  Failure to do so could result in a hefty duty when leaving the country.


Those who choose not to bring their own transportation in the form of a bike will find a number of alternatives at their disposal.  The country features an extensive system of inter-city buses, making it easy to see the countryside at leisure.  Large cities like Bangkok have their own extensive public transportation systems, making it easy to see the sights and get from place to place.  Public transportation is also a very affordable option, leaving visitors with plenty of spare cash to spend at the shops and restaurants throughout the country.


Renting a car is generally not recommended, since the roads in Thailand can be difficult to navigate for the uninitiated.  The rental process can also be cumbersome and expensive, so most visitors are advised to rely on a combination of public transportation and taxis.


No matter how they get around, many visitors find the country of Thailand so enchanting that they can’t wait to return.  Thailand has many repeat visitors who arrive year after year to take in the delightful sights, sounds and smells of this unique Asian travel destination.

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Photo By taiyofj

Photo By taiyofj

Remember how your mother always told you to look for the silver lining in every cloud? It sounded a little naive at the time, but in reality there always does seem to be a bright spot just when things look to be at their worst.

Sure money is tight and the economy is struggling. The good news is that you aren’t the only one dealing with financial woes and trying to save money. This means that major companies and businesses have to do whatever it takes to attract more business, and persuade savvy and budget travelers to once again pack their bags.


What does this mean for you right now? The price of a vacation is going down, airlines are having sales every month and even hotels are starting to become a little bit more affordable. recently completed and published a report stating that the average price of hotels in a number of cities is steadily on the decline.

So forget cramming into a hostel and forget spending your next vacation at home. Instead take a look these 10 cities where the price of hotel rooms is drastically on the decline.

#10- Find Cheap Hotel Rooms in Frankfurt, London, Vienna and Beijing


Each of these 4 vacation hotspots have had a 12 percent drop in hotel pricing recently. This places them all a couple notches higher on traveler’s wish lists. It also means that this just may be the right time to take in the aftermath of the Olympics in Beijing or try to grab a cup of tea with the Queen.

#9- Find Cheap Hotel Rooms in Riga, Latvia


Thanks to a recent 13 percent drop in the average cost of the city’s hotel rooms, Riga comes in at #9 on this list. While the city isn’t always atop every traveler’s list of dream vacation spots, it really should be. Riga is the home of delightful local beers, festivals, entertaining events and is adorned with all kinds of elegant and modern architecture.

#8- Find Cheap Hotel Rooms in Barcelona, Spain


On average, the price of hotel rooms in Barcelona has dropped a pretty impressive 14 percent. Sparkling sights, succulent cuisine, and an affordable view of the Mediterranean are just a few of the things you can find in Barcelona hotel rooms, and they are now more affordable than they have been in a long time.


#7- Find Cheap Hotel Rooms in Singapore

Singapore is the home of incredible nightlife and the place to be if you are looking for an exciting vacation. Looking for an inexpensive city within Singapore in particular? You may not find one. The entire country has seen an impressive 15% reduction in hotel pricing. What that means is more money to spend shopping on Orchard Road and a few extra Singapore Slings every night. Be sure to mind the hangover.

#6- Find Cheap Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada


Now this isn’t to say that Las Vegas is necessarily the best place to go if you are looking to save money, but the city has seen a 17% decrease in hotel rates. In the end this probably means more money into the slot machines, but hey, that is more fun than spending all your cash on the hotel anyways. Everyone has to head to Vegas at least once, and it looks like right now may be the best time to bask in the glory that is Sin City.


#5- Find Cheap Hotels in Oslo, Norway


Oslo comes in at #5 on this list as it tied Las Vegas with a 17 percent drop in the cost of hotels. If the temptations within Vegas seem to be a little much for you then Oslo may be the perfect place to get away. It offers natural beauty and is the ideal spot for outdoor lovers, swimmers, cyclists and boaters.

You are sure to love laying your head down on a discount hotel bed after a long day spent in the great outdoors.


#4- Find Cheap Hotels in Marrakech, Morocco


Now some of you might be thinking,”excuse me…where”? Just because you haven’t heard of Marrakech doesn’t mean that it doesn’t offer the ideal vacation you might be looking for. Thanks to a 20% drop in hotel rates within this stunning city, Marrakech may just start quickly moving up on a number of travelers’ to do lists.

The city is crammed with African culture and is surrounded with stunning waterfalls, towering mountains, deep valleys, and crystal clear rivers which may have you never wanted to actually return to your hotel room. Good thing you found a discounted room.

#3- Find Cheap Hotels in Mexico City, Mexico


If you are looking for a vacation in a hot, exciting and popular destination then you are going to love the fact that Mexico City has seen its hotel rates drop by up to 23%. Tie that price drop in along with the hustle and bustle of the city, the exciting nightlife, the exotic flavours, and the affordable price of tequila, and you have the perfect getaway wrapped up into a neat little box.


#2- Find Cheap Hotels in Belfast, Northern Ireland

To be honest tourists really do not need any more reasons to visit Belfast, but now they do anyways. Hotel rates in the city have dropped by a staggering 29 per cent which means there really is no reason not to visit the heart of Edwardian architecture and the home to a number of medieval castles.

Now you can wrap yourself up in the history and folklore of Belfast for a fraction of the price.


#1- Find Cheap Hotels in  Moscow, Russia


The city that has seen the most significant decrease in hotel room pricing is Moscow. According to the city has seen a 36% drop in hotel rates which means that you have more money to stock up on winter gloves, fur boots and vodka than ever before.

Everything else aside, Moscow really is overlooked by a lot of tourists and it shouldn’t be. Hopefully now that hotels are so affordable people will start to realize just how much there is to do in the constantly evolving and increasingly modern city.

Photo By tiarescott

Photo By tiarescott

Always dreamed of a little pirate adventure? Want a boat that takes you where you want to go, when you want to go? Do you want to be the captain of your own ship? If you answered yes to any of these questions then Bareboating — renting a yacht, crew optional — is your perfect adventure vacation.


Bareboating yachts are generally found in the 30-60 foot range, and you can find them on certain Caribbean islands, the Mediterranean, and a few other warm-weather vacation spots outside the United States. Your bareboating fee pays for the rent of the boat for a week or three, insurance, and standard boat trappings. Depending on your needs, fuel, food, and a crew cost extra.


A Little Bareboating Preparation Goes a Long Way

Bareboating isn’t for everyone. You should be in reasonably good shape and have at least basic boating skills. Before trusting you with their yacht, a bareboat company will expect you to have shown some navigational ability. You will need to demonstrate that you can dock and anchor a boat as well as handle it under power to one of their company experts. If you can’t do this, most bareboat companies will offer to hire a crew and captain out to you for your bareboat experience who can teach you what you’ll need to know next time, and who will also act as expert guides to help you find the best possible spots for snorkeling, sightseeing, and just hanging out. If, however, you want to show up at your bareboating excursion ready to sail, call your local Coast Guard and ask them about boating classes. Most will be able to help you with the basics, and those who can’t will direct you to others who can.


Connect with People from All Over the World while Bareboating

Bareboating itself is thrilling, but an added bonus is being able to meet the yachting community in the area through which you are sailing. Yachters are a small group, more exclusive than many clubs, and they are often thrilled to meet other boating afficionados, share information, and chat over a glass of wine while watching a scarlet sunset. Not only can you make great friends, you may even be able to make excellent business contacts for after the vacation.


While you can rent bareboat yachts sight-unseen, it’s a bad idea unless you’re going through a travel agency you trust. Without care, you could wind up with a rusted scow with a bad engine and worse sails. Spend a few days in your port selecting just the right boat for you, and familiarize yourself with the ports of call and interesting sights while you’re there. If you aren’t a sailor, you can take a quick sailing course while you’re choosing your boat as well.


A Few Final Words of Advice for Bareboating


When you go on your bareboating excursion, there are a few things to keep in mind. Pack light, and bring some warm clothes as well as slickers. Make sure everyone going with you is as excited as you are, and understands that bareboats mean tight quarters and some fairly hard work. Finally, make sure you get the extra insurance. Even a small accident can add plenty to your bill at the end of the trip.


That said, there are few things as thrilling as sailing the sea by yourself, setting your own schedule, seeing the off-the-beaten-track sights that you’ve always dreamed of. With good planning and a great crew hand-picked from your closest family and friends, a bareboat excursion could be the trip of a lifetime — or the beginning of a whole new lifestyle.

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10 Free Travel Tips to Help you Getaway for Less

Posted by Drew On September - 26 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS
Photo By JonRawlinson

Photo By JonRawlinson

In a lot of ways the internet has somewhat become a brothel of sleazy information, a cesspool of hidden scams, and is full of stories of moments that are simply too good to be true. The good news is that it isn’t all about lies or blatant self promotion. There are ways to find great deals, cut down on the costs of traveling and simply enjoy what the world has to offer.


So what good news do you have to tell me?


I’m here to let you in on a little bit of a secret. Free travel is actually a possibility. Is it easy and are you going to be handed a round trip ticket to see the world just by sitting home on your couch and sulking about the economy? Not a chance. However you can put yourself in the right position, surround yourself with the right people, and increase your chances of encountering opportunities for free travel.


Your success when it comes to free travel is going to revolve around your own skills, abilities and personality. As with anything, networking is a key when it comes to free travel and the more you are able to open up and connect with other people, the cheaper your getaway will be.


Here are 10 free travel tips that can you put you onto the path of seeing the world, for free.


Free Travel Tip #1- Plan, Prepare and Ponder


The internet is by far your best resource when it comes to finding ways to travel for free. While there are many backpackers who will tell you how opportunities often just present themselves when you are traveling, there are many that will only arise through proper planning. 


Opportunities such as house sitting and couch surfing allow you to take a bit of control and avoid what can be an overwhelming reliance on spontaneity. Look into where you want to go, research possible opportunities, and connect with the right people before you pack your bags and go.


Free Travel Tip #2-Learn New Languages


As mentioned, networking and meeting the right people is your key to opening the door to free travel. What is the best way to do that? Broaden your horizons and learn new languages. The easier it is for you to communicate with people from around the world, the easier it will be to connect and develop strong relationships.


Who would be willing to invite you into their home if you cannot even offer to wash the dishes in the local language?


Free Travel Tip #3- Cut Costs and Get Back to the Basics


The less you need to live comfortably, the less money you need overall. It’s pretty simple when you think about it. Isn’t it becoming pretty obvious that all the necessities and comforts we have become used to in the western world still are not making us happy, or sane?


If you can learn to really understand what a necessity is, and what is just a desire, you will have a lot less baggage when living at home and when traveling abroad, emotionally and physically. The less stuff you have the easier it is to pick up and take off when a great free travel opportunity presents itself.


Free Travel Tip #4- Utilize Social Networking


The days of penpals seem to be long over thanks to the internet, but that doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t make an effort to connect with people from all over the world. By connecting and building relationships with internet chat pals you can create opportunities to stay for free all over the world. Depending upon how well you connect with these friends, and how strong your friendship is, you will have the opportunity to stay in places for much longer than couchsurfing arrangements would allow for.


Of course you shouldn’t be making friends just for these reasons, and you have to be willing to offer the same opportunities to others as you would expect to receive. It should also go without saying that you need to be safe online and make sure you are truly comfortable with people before expecting to be allowed into their home. Play it safe, be genuine, and be respectable, and the opportunities will present themselves.


Free Travel Tip #5-Become as Self-Reliant as Possible


Budget travel isn’t always going to be easy. However, there are opportunities to save money in every situation that you encounter and in every city in the world. The more you learn to curb your dependence on others, the less money you will ultimately have to spend.


You can learn all sorts of skills that will help you to cut down on costs, such as cooking simple and efficient food, washing clothes by hand, starting a fire, or even how to sanitize water on your own. Sounds more like tools you would need for living in the deep woods, but all of these skills can give you a boost when it comes to free travel.


Free Travel Tip #6- Slow Down when Traveling


A lot of travelers focus on jumping from place to place and holding true to their schedule as much, and as quickly, as possible. The truth is that the slower you travel the better your chances are of finding great deals and cutting down on travel costs. On top of that, the longer you stay in one spot the easier it becomes to network and find free travel opportunities and even employment abroad.


While it is fun to see all the tourist hot spots and all the attractions in one destination, there is a lot to be said for not sticking tight and rushing around to keep up with an itinerary. It is up to you to decide what is more important. Seeing absolutely everything there is to offer in a few quick glances or actually building meaningful memories with people and cultures by slowing down?


Free Travel Tip #7- Do Unto Others…….


The term free travel is associated with saving as much money as possible while vacationing and cutting down on costs. However, whatever you save in terms of finances you have to be willing to give back in other ways. Life is all about exchanging in some way or another, and that is especially true when you are on the road.


Bartering is something that has and never will go out of style. Trade services such as yard work, babysitting, or even run errands for other favors. If you are staying in someone else’s home then offer to do the dishes or help out in any way possible. Sometimes just offering good company is enough but just make sure you are doing your fair share, even if you don’t possess a fair share of money.


Free Travel Tip #8- Learn How to make Money Abroad


Just because you are not at home doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities to make money. Free travel is a lot easier if you are working while traveling, and the more money you make the longer you will be able to stay abroad. The more you diversify the way you make money the better as well. If you can make small amounts of money doing a variety of different jobs it will feel like you are working less.


The internet provides a plethora of part time opportunities that can ease the financial stress of travel. Look into graphic design, freelance writing or even consulting online. The options are there, you just have to find them.


Free Travel Tip #9- Start from Home


Truly free travel is all about you, what you are willing to do, and how much you are willing to put in. The best way to start is to open up your mind and embrace a positive attitude. It also helps to start small. Try to plan a free trip in or around where you live so you can get an idea of what you are getting yourself into.


A 6 month backpacking excursion through Southeast Asia may be on your to do list, but it shouldn’t always be the first step that you take. Warm up, prepare yourself and get into the traveling mindset before you embark on a life changing vacation.


Free Travel Tip #10- Believe in Yourself


There are always going to be people who tell you to do things a certain way, no matter where you are in the world. Research is key and networking will get you far, but in the end you have to believe in yourself and trust your own decisions. Relying solely on the advice of others will limit your opportunities for free travel and prevent you from creating your own unique experiences.


You are the one traveling. You are the one who is going to be affected by your decisions. Forget about the people that tell you that free travel is impossible and make your own path around the world.


This doesn’t mean you should jump into situations without preparing. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take advice from others. And it doesn’t mean you will always make the right choices. However, the more you trust yourself the more capable of making the right decisions and meeting the right people you will be.


The world is your oyster. Embrace it. Accept Challenges. Make Mistakes. Grasp opportunity and get out there and see the world.


That is often the only way you are going to realize what it is that truly makes you happy.


Cheers to happy travels and a happy life.

Photo By RBerteig

Photo By RBerteig

Deciding where you will live and work abroad is a major decision in your life. The images of Palm trees, coconuts and margaritas dancing in your head can force you to make some pretty rash decisions. Taking into consideration the following factors and asking yourself these questions will surely benefit you in making the right decision. Moving abroad could be the best thing that you have ever done, but you want to do your best to make sure it is a choice you will not regret.


Research the Local Language


The local language that is spoken outside your workplace certainly creates a big difference. It is possible that you are being offered a job where you may be primarily speaking the language which you are comfortable in, but problems can arise when you have to undertake your daily chores. Routine daily happenings such as banking, shopping and hospital visits in a place that has an unfamiliar local language can be quite difficult.

Making use of hand motions can be frustrating and to make people understand you is a tedious task. However, you could also be moving into a foreign country in order to learn the local language. If you want to indulge into learning the local language, it would be more useful if more people used a language that is not English. This will make you submerse yourself more into the target language. But, if you are not interested in learning the local language and just want your day to day errands completed without much confusion, it would be better if you are in a place where a greater percentage of people can understand and speak the language that you can also understand well. 


Getting Around your New Town


Transportation is another major factor you must take into account before you plan to move abroad. Is your company providing you with a car? What about the public transportation facilities? Is public transportation easy to make use of and safe, especially for foreigners? You can consider owning a private vehicle. But how do people drive there? What side do they drive on as compared to your native place and what might the terms of car insurance be?

These things have to be kept in mind. Will purchasing and maintaining a vehicle in the destination in question actually possible and well within your budget? You must find answers to all these questions before hand if you want to be able to move around in your new country.     


Living in a New Community


When you move abroad, are you planning to spend your free time with your colleagues or with the locals? Or do you want to socialize with other expatriates? Whatever the case may be, you will have to look into and know what to expect when it comes to the foreign community. You may be able to adjust well with merely a few foreigners or you need to look for a place with a larger community.

It may be easy for you to socialize well with the locals, but you will surely have to understand their surroundings and culture for that. You will have to maintain the right balance as intimate friendship with locals may be difficult as in countries like Saudi Arabia. In some countries foreign nationals may also be restricted to a particular limit on secure compounds and where they can venture to. All of that information is something you are going to want to know before packing your bags and taking off.          


Finding Accommodations and Making Living Arrangements


Make sure you get detailed information regarding your living arrangements before you move abroad. This is of utmost importance as finding a place to live within an unknown place can be very difficult. Make sure your company tells you before hand as to whether the utilities and rent are paid for by them or not. Is the placed fully furnished? Is there any settling allowance for you? Is shipping and logistics for your goods possible or not? Does your school/college or place of employment provide housing or dorm rooms? What will the place be like in terms of size, functionality and comfort? Will you be expected to share a room with someone or be provided independent lodging?


All of this information needs to be looked into and these questions need to be asked. Take into consideration what constitutes comfortable living for you and what sore of accommodation would make you happy. Some may feel quaint and cosy in a tiny dorm while others need something a bit more open and roomy. You are going to be spending a lot of time in your abode, so make sure you know what to expect.

 What Attractions and Leisure Activities are Popular and Available?


Your job or work may be the most important aspect for you when you move out to a foreign place, but leisure activities are also going to be a major part of your new life. Make sure you know as to what kind of leisure activities are available and easy to do. Is there a gym, pool, recreation facilities or even parks nearby? Are there any amusement parks, theatres, shopping malls or museums where you can spend your free time?


If there is a certain pastime, hobby or activity that you love but isn’t available will you still be happy? Make sure you know what you can live without doing and which activities would leave you feeling empty if you didn’t have them.


Women’s Rights


You must be well aware of the cultural or legal limitations that women have to follow in the particular place you are planning to move to, especially if you are a woman. Is it easy for women to travel around independently? What about clothing regulations or restrictions? Can women drive and make use of public transportation with ease?

If you are a man, meeting women in public may be considered a crime in some places, or at least extremely frowned upon. However, meeting women in private may result in even more dire consequences for them as well as you in some countries. You must take notice of all these factors before you try to interact and mingle with people in a foreign place. If you are a woman, how different will your life be like in the destination in question? If you are a man how comfortable might you be living in a place that limits the rights of women?


Weather and Climate


Sure the idea of sun, beaches and mangoes is tempting when you considering living in certain places abroad, but make sure you can handle the heat. Before you plan to move abroad keep the local weather in mind as it may cause you difficulties during you stay. You may not be able to cope with 50 degree weather in Africa or the extreme cold conditions of places such as Russia. Monsoon rains may also flood city roads and weather can really affect the way you go about everyday life.


More concerning is the diseases that may breed as a result of different weather conditions. Make all the necessary preparations when it comes to the weather and consider all of the conditions of the place you want to settle into. There is a chance you are going to be put into situations where you find yourself outside of your comfort zone.   


In the end, you just have to make sure you really understand the change that is coming, and know what to expect. There is no such thing as doing too much preparation or research. Even the best opportunities can come with a little downside. On the other hand, even the seemingly worst opportunities can prove to have a number of silver linings. Ask around, get in touch with other expats, research the culture and really do your homework.

The best way to live life with no regrets is to prepare and make informed decisions.

When people dream of touring Europe and taking in the sights, there are a few common cities that seem to always come to mind. Paris, Barcelona, Rome and London seem to get all of the tourist love and attention and for more than a few good reasons. However, there is a lot more to Europe than just the attention grabbers, and a number of places where you can stretch your money a bit further as well. If there is one thing about Europe that holds true for everyone, it is that you will definitely want to extend your stay as much as possible once you get here.

Who knows why some of cities throughout Europe do not get the attention they deserve. It could simply be due to lack of advertising, a desire to stay out of the spotlight, or that a lot of travelers tend to stick to the road more traveled as often as possible.

If you are the type that wants to broaden your horizons and see more than what can commonly be found in travel brochures, then check out this list of the top 5 overlooked destinations in Europe. Not only can these cities offer an excellent vacation and a wide range of activities and attractions, but they can also help you save money when compared to more well known locations.


Lviv, Ukraine Photo by PeWu

Lviv, Ukraine Photo by PeWu

Overlooked European Destination #5- Lviv, Ukraine

A list of overlooked cities in Europe could be made with regards to the entire country of Ukraine on its own. While there are certain cities that do garner some attention, mostly from adventure seeking and unique travelers, Lviv is one city that is incredibly underrated. It is unlike any other destination in the country and is adorned with architecture that will take your breath away with every step you take in the city.

Lviv offers a feeling of calm serenity that cannot easily be found in other Ukrainian cities and the mixture of eclectic cafes and splendid cathedrals make it a true sight for sore eyes. Yes, there are drawbacks that other travelers will let you in on. The roads are terrible and the traffic is frustrating, but it is a small price to pay in order to tour one of the best budget European destinations.


Edinburgh, Scotland Photo by Http2007

Edinburgh, Scotland Photo by Http2007

Overlooked European Destination #4-Edinburgh, Scotland

Now you wouldn’t necessarily think that a capital city could be considered a destination that is overlooked, but considering what Edinburgh has to offer it garners very little attention. The city offers a unique and ideal blend of traditionally elegant buildings, sprawling hills and sensational sunsets that many people don’t visualize when they think of Scotland.

Then there are the castles and historically fascinating buildings that are dotted all over the countryside. The coastal villages among the natural setting within this tucked away European city are a must see for any traveler, on any budget.


Utrecht Photo By: Taka_aka_T

Utrecht Photo By: Taka_aka_T

Overlooked European Destination #3- Utrecht, Holland

We all know what first comes to mind when travelers consider a trip to the Netherlands. However, there is a lot more to Holland than just Amsterdam and there are a few places that offer much more realistic insight into the country. One such city is Utrecht, which offers one of the most romantic experiences that travelers can find.

You can tour through the old canals, walk through Oudergracht, or even experience the city via horse-drawn carriage. The skyline in the city is covered with elegant buildings, sculptures and monasteries, and a relaxing tour of the city makes for the perfect wind down for the hangover you undoubtedly have from Amsterdam.


Bratislava Photo by Elin B

Bratislava Photo by Elin B

Overlooked European Destination #2- Bratislava, Slovakia

When it comes to Eastern Europe, there really is no city that receives more love and affection from travelers than Prague. There is no argument that it deserves it all, but it is disappointing that it steals all the thunder from Bratislava. Bratislava has so much to offer in its own right and is one of the most remarkable old cities in all of Europe. The history of the city is fascinating, the culture absorbs you, and the architecture is charming and almost medieval.

The culture has been influenced by a number of different traditions yet the architecture resonates with a truly Roman feel. While the old tradition is evident throughout the city, a great portion of Bratislava has been renovated and portrays a new, rejuvenated vibe. This is one place in Europe that is affordable and won’t drain your bank account when you decide that you simply must extend your vacation and enjoy the scenery and lifestyle just a little more.


Siena Photo By BarelyFitz

Siena Photo By BarelyFitz

Overlooked European Destination #1- Siena, Italy

Italy gets an incredible amount of attention when it comes to discussion revolving around European travel. It seems that everyone dreams of touring the sights and sounds that exist within Venice and Rome at least once in their lives, and for good reason. However, there are a number of other destinations that can offer incredible memories and dazzling sights at much lower cost. And Siena definitely deserves to be at the top of that list. The problem is that even the most experienced travelers could easily miss this jewel of a city if they didn’t do all their homework. However, a little extra preparation is more than worth it.

This city is best described as incredibly unique. It has a long history and the culture within the area is utterly consuming. Take in the Palio horse races, which are the biggest event the city holds, and sit back and relax with succulent food, fantastic wine and a view of the dazzling Tuscan sunset. It doesn’t get much better than this, no matter where you go.

Of course most travelers will still want to tour the main draws of Europe, and there is nothing wrong with that. The big, famous cities are remarkable and offer incredible experiences, but there are also a few hidden gems and other fantastic destinations out there. If you have the time, take it all in. These 5 overlooked European destinations are stops on your tour that you are never going to regret.

The next time you are with a group of people who are comparing their trip to Rome or Amsterdam, wouldn’t it be nice to pull out pictures of somewhere like Siena and show them just what they missed out on?