|by JD Rinne||Travel Gear||1|
"Affordable" and "Europe" might seem to be contradictory concepts right now, but don't lose sight of your dream vacation. Rough Guides has just published The Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget, the first in their new budget series. We picked the brains of Natasha Foges, contributor, and Andy Turner, editor, to get their tips on frugal vacationing.
Q: What's the best meal you've eaten in Europe and that cost less than $10?
Natasha: Definitely a hearty dinner of pork and potatoes in Prague—but the world's crispiest pizza in Naples comes a close second.
Q: In terms of nightlife, where can people get the most fun for their hard-earned buck?
Andy: Right now Belgrade, Serbia is the hottest place to head for nightlife with a huge range of bars and clubs and cheap drinking (half liter of beer for $1.90).
Q: Even on a budget trip, are there things you never cut corners on?
Natasha: Health insurance—worth every penny, but do shop around to get the best rate. And accommodation: it's easy to get into a penny-pinching, budget traveler's mentality, but staying in hell-holes—albeit at rock-bottom prices—is no way to enjoy your holiday, especially when there are plenty of decent budget alternatives.
Q: With the notoriously shrinking dollar, what do you say to people who are unconvinced that they can travel Europe on a budget?
Andy: Don't give up! You'll find the dollar still goes a long way in most of Eastern Europe, Morocco and Turkey—all yet to adopt the euro. If you have your heart set on seeing Paris or Rome, try coming in the fall around October or November when you can negotiate hotel rates and escape the crowds.
Q: Tell us about your new book. What kind of information can people expect?
Andy: You can expect to find everything you'd need to plan and take a trip to Europe. Some key features include a full-color ideas section, "ultimate experiences" from our travel writers, itineraries, quick reference "rough costs" sections, culture and etiquette tips, reviews of all the best hostels, cafes, shops and clubs, "treat yourself" ideas for when to break the budget and over 200 maps and plans, the most we've ever included in one title. (recently on sale at amazon.com)
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