Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Saving $ in Costly Countries

If you are a fan of Youtube videos as I am, you can discover various lists of the most expensive and least expensive countries in the world, as well as numerous tips on travel savings.

Unfortunately, many of the most expensive places such as Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Luxembourg and so forth are also among the most attractive and easiest to visit in terms of safety, cleanliness and developed tourist infrastructure, So what can you do to minimise costs while seeing these places?

One possibility is to choose a tour or cruise which includes them, since these options are usually less expensive than a do-it-yourself holiday. The buying power of tour companies ensures they get better rates on hotels and attractions than you can. For example, a bus tour of Central Europe with stops in Luxembourg and Switzerland would give you a chance to see something of these places, and a cruise to the Norwegian fjords could be relatively cheap compared with land travel.

If you are driving yourself, you could stay at a hotel or apartment near the border of Switzerland in France of Germany, and make day trips into the Alpine country. The same applies to Luxembourg, a very scenic but small place.

Another way to save is to downgrade your accommodations. If you usually stay in hotels, choose a hostel for a few nights. Take local buses to get around, or do as a friend of mine did and rent a bicycle to travel through the Swiss countryside. Buy most of your meals at grocery stores, not restaurants. Or seek out programs that include more than sight-seeing in your desired destination--language-learning programs, academic seminars, etc.

This topic is of interest to me, since many of the places I prefer to visit are pretty expensive. Norway is a place I'd love to see, but its remoteness and high prices have kept me from getting there. Maybe next year. And I want to return to Switzerland and stay again at the Hotel Hottingen in Zurich, a charming place run by nuns where a shared room (four beds) is still a relative bargain.


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