The Central European countries are popular destinations for road trips, and for a good reason. The roads are in great condition and the scenery is beautiful. The mountain roads in Switzerland, Germany and Austria are particularly scenic.
Road Trips in Switzerland
Switzerland’s small size makes it ideal for road trips, and the mountainous landscapes provide stunning scenery. It really looks like a postcard: snow-capped mountains, forests, lakes, meadows and wooden chalets. You only need to drive for a few minutes to get out of even the big cities, and you will find yourself driving through beautiful countryside. There are many panoramic routes for road trips, and most of them include some mountain views. The Swiss National Tourist Office has more information about the best places to visit in Switzerland.
When planning a road trip through Switzerland, it is important to stay informed about weather conditions. In the summer months, June to August, the weather is generally good in most areas. However if you are planning to drive over the high mountain passes in the spring or the autumn, check for snow warnings. There can still be snow on the passes in May, and the first snow might arrive in the high mountains in September.
Exploring Germany with a Car
Germany is many drivers’ favourite European country. Its highways take you to most places fast, but the most scenic routes are often on the smaller roads, so remember to leave the Autobahn sometimes. The Bavarian Alps are a beautiful area to drive through; there are mountains, forests, lakes and castles. There are also many interesting cities to visit in Germany, especially if you like history, culture and architecture, such as Berlin, Munich, Leipzig and Frankfurt.
If you are flying from the UK to Germany, airports are the most convenient places for hiring a car. All the major European car hire companies, including Alamo, have offices in Germany.
Driving Trips in Austria
Austria is another popular road trip destination. The Glossglockner High Alpine Road is one of the most popular scenic trips in Austria. It is a short drive that can easily be incorporated into a longer driving tour, and it is famous for its mountain scenery.
The Romantic Road in Austria is a scenic 380-km journey, and it is highly popular with visitors. This road passes mountains, lakes, castles, small villages and towns, and there are places to stay from bed-and-breakfast style accommodation to comfortable hotels. The Austrian Tourism Office has suggestions for driving in Austria
A valid European driving license is essential when driving in Central Europe. A license issued in any European Union member country is accepted in all other EU countries and also in Switzerland. Make sure you understand local traffic rules before starting your road trip.
Most families schedule their family trips during summer vacation. It is not only because you get wonderful weather during these months, it is also the time for kids to have a break and enjoy after months of doing nothing but school work. Some families are limited to exploring nearby places via long and tiring road trips or land travel because they want to avoid expensive plane tickets. But this should not be the case, your family can enjoy your vacation even more if you are relaxed when you travel using cheap airline tickets. Don’t limit your options to local destinations, you can avail of promo tickets to some of the world’s best destinations without hurting your wallet!
To score promo tickets for your next family vacation, be sure to check out airline booking websites a few months before your travel dates. Planning ahead you itinerary also help as you would need to finalize your schedules and for you to book your airline tickets according to your trip. Consider going to “less” popular destination and challenge your family to more adventure and more family bonding time. These can be lighter on the budget yet you can make it even more fun with a bit of ingenuity and an adventurous streak!
Oslo is one of the most expensive European cities; here we look at some ways to make your stay there a little more affordable.
Taxis aren’t often necessary in Oslo due to its fantastic public transport system. Buses are regular and cover most of the city and the light rail system, known as the t-bane, is also extensive. If you can, buy daily, weekly or monthly tickets as this will save you a packet compared to buying individual tickets for each journey. Public transport stops running at 12.30am so if you can, try to end the night at a club or bar within walking distance of your digs.
Oslo is home to some of the world’s best restaurants but dining out is not cheap at all – a bowl of soup can be over 10. Save the restaurants for special occasions and try to get in the habit of making packed lunches and cooking for yourself. Even fast food is very costly in Norway so making your own meals is a great way of saving money.
Grrnerllkka is an area close to the centre of Oslo that is home to the city’s immigrant markets. It is a vibrant and bustling area full of street vendors and ethnic stalls. The selection of produce is extremely diverse when compared with the local supermarkets and it is much cheaper too.
Farmers in Norway are heavily subsidised by the government making meat extremely expensive. Many Norwegians travel to Sweden to purchase their meat just to avoid the high prices in their own country. On the other hand, alternative protein sources such as eggs, beans and nuts are comparatively cheap so reducing the amount of meat you eat makes good financial sense.
Like meat, the price of alcohol in Norway is controlled by the government and has been set very high. There are some cheaper Scandinavian lagers such as Ringness and Tuborg but in general it is best to stock up on alcoholic beverages whilst at the airport.
If you can – get a membership to a student bar. Every faculty of the local university has a bar run by volunteers and these are by far the cheapest place to get a drink in the city. A 30-40NOK membership buys a whole year’s drinking and student bars are a great place to make new friends as well. Each student bar has a theme of its own and they throw plenty of parties throughout term-time.
Get Some Part-time Work
If you are on a student visa then you are allowed to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week. There is a labour shortage in Oslo so part-time work is fairly easy to find, even for those that don’t speak Norwegian. In the holidays, employment is even more abundant as the local shops take on more staff to help gift wrap purchases and with the general holiday business. Rates tend to be at least 120NOK per hour.
When buying your Norwegian Krone, be sure to use a travel money comparison service to ensure you get the best rate for your money.
One of the major issues that many travelers have is money. There are actually a lot of people that hesitate on packing their bags and enjoying a trip somewhere faraway because of the costly airline tickets they have to book. This shouldn’t be the case and everybody should be allowed to see the world even if they’re not millionaires! For some, the possibility of scoring cheap tickets is dependent upon your research and resources. Knowing the right online booking sites gives you a great advantage of scoring the best deals to any destination you have in mind.
Consider using airline booking sites and while you’re at it, don’t go for direct flights and notice the most convenient connecting flights for you. This will get you at the destination you have in mind at less the cost. Another trick is to check out the prices of flights scheduled in the middle of the week or those they call the “red eye flights.” These flight schedules are those that are not high on demand because of their inappropriate time thus they are more inexpensive compared with other flight schedules. There are actually many ways to score cheap airline tickets to hot destinations around the world. Just have a little patience and do a lot of research and open yourself to the possibility of having different flight connections.