Transcript: Europe Budget Travel's Associate Editor Reid Bramblett answered your questions about vacationing in Europe on June 8, 2004 Budget Travel Tuesday, Jun 8, 2004, 12:00 AM Budget Travel LLC, 2016
 

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Transcript: Europe

Budget Travel's Associate Editor Reid Bramblett answered your questions about vacationing in Europe on June 8, 2004

European travel has changed more in the past seven years than it did in all the decades after World War II. Eurail passes and traveler's checks are no longer your best friends when no-frills airlines can fly you pretty much anywhere out of London for less than $60, more focused railpasses allow you to customize your trip and pay less, and a visit to an ATM machine is quicker and cheaper than using cumbersome travelers checks. Experienced travelers are getting tired of the Great Capitals and pricey hotels heading instead for the smaller regions to rent a villa or stay on a working farm in Tuscany, the Dordogne, Andalusia, or western Ireland. To lure us back to the cities, destinations like Paris, London, Rome, and Madrid are modernizing their museums and offering passes for free transportation and discounted sightseeing.

With the current troubles plunging transatlantic airfares to historic lows--roundtrip airfares from the East Coast are currently as low as $178--this brave new Europe is just begging to be explored. And with the recent slew of more liberal trip cancellation policies put in place by airlines and tour companies faced with war-wary travelers, your reservations are ironically more secure and flexible than ever before--though that varies, and I'll take questions on insurance and cancellation policies as well. But mostly, I look forward to answering questions on travel in Europe and sharing some hard-won secrets and strategies to help you navigate the new European travel scene.

Reid will be answered your questions Tuesday, June 8, at noon EST.

Reid Bramblett holds the somewhat dubious distinction of having authored both The Complete Idiot's Travel Guide to Europe and Europe for Dummies. His love affair with Europe began at age 11 when his family moved to Rome and proceeded to spend much of the next two years exploring Europe in a hippie-orange VW campervan. Reid experienced a budget continent of campgrounds and picnics with the locals, though mostly he remembers having to sleep in the VW's moldy pop-top. After a brief stint as an editorial assistant at a travel publisher, began writing European guidebooks for Frommer's, Dorling Kindersley's Eyewitness, Idiot's, and For Dummies. He joined the Budget Travel editorial staff in 2002. He champions such underdog Irish causes as real ales, traditional Celtic music, Irish cheeses, hurling (that's a Gaelic sport, not what happens after too many whiskeys), pub grub, and tramping around bogs and wind-bitten downs in search of ancient tombs.

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Reid Bramblett: Here I am--a bit late, sorry. Let the questions begin!

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Milwaukee, WI: Will there be any Olympics events in Torino, Italy this year?

Reid Bramblett: Nope. The Turin Winter Olympics will take place in February of 2006. The official Website is torino2006.org/.

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New York, NY: Got your June issue. Great stuff! The maps for no-frills airlines were incredibly useful, but only covered flights from London and a few other major cities, and my summer plans don't happen to include London. How can I research other no-frills airlines all across Europe?

Reid Bramblett: Frustratingly, there aren't many one-stop-shopping resources that survey the entire, ever-changing field of no-frills airlines in Europe. That's why, as it says in the article, I created nofrillsair.com/, which at least links directly to all the current ones flying (and lists their major hubs and destinations) and explains the pluses and minuses to using them, as well as linking to a few sites that offer fare-searches of selected no-frills.
For those of you who haven't yet heard of this revolution in European travel, more than 40 of these no-frills airlines---ow-cost carriers like southwest or jetBlue here at home---ave popped up in Europe over the past decade to make criss-crossing the continent cheaper and faster than the train. One-way tickets average $45 or so, including taxes, and rarely top $100, unless you buy last-minute. (In the interests of full disclosure: hofrillsair.com/ is not affiliated with MSNBC.com or Budget Travel magazine; it's just something I did in my spare time.)

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Frankfort, KY: Am thinking of a fly, drive and B&B trip to Ireland. Is this advisable for a first timer or should I look at escorted tours? Do you have recommendations for such trips on the Isle? Thanks.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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