Stressful Day Holiday Daydream
August 23, 2011 10:15 AM Subscribe
Thinking about a break in the springtime, somewhere in Europe, somewhere cheap with stuff to do. Is this an impossible dream?
posted by mippy to travel & transportation (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We went to Paris last year and loved it - went over on the Eurostar, which was really quick and easy, and stayed in a Formule 1 which was basic but exactly what we wanted as a base just to sleep after wandering the city. I paid for myself and my OH, and I would like to again this time, hence the need to stick to a reasonable budget. (For reference: it cost about £200 for the travel and hotel last time, plus spending money.)
I have decided that I liked going on holiday so much that we should do it again! And it would be good to have a goal in mind as I try and curb my pointless expenses and save up some cash each month. However, not only is the Euro strong, but I haven't flown from the UK for eight years and I can't for the life of me work out whether it's cheaper to travel to an out of town airport and fly budget, or take British Airways from Heathrow (which I can get to easily). And the baggage limitations confuse me too - with the Eurostar you just turn up with whatever luggage you want to take. Am I overthinking it (especially as nothing is going to be planned for a few months)?
But aside from that - where to go? I've always wanted to go to Scandinavia but I think this will get crazy expensive. OH likes the idea of travelling around by train, and Eurail passes exist, but is this something proper grown-ups can do? Is it feasible to expect to be able to sleep in the train, or to travel to several countries within a week? I don't think either of us are keen on hostels unless private rooms are available (certainly not if they involve callow youths playing bongos and guitar all night - I'd have to take OH to hospital to get the grimace to go away) and couchsurfing is out as well. A basic clean and safe hotel is fine, though, and we don't mind travelling a little bit to get into the centre (we don't drive but public transport is fine).
We like museums, nice old buildings, twee seaside resorts, zoos, pretty parks, quirky shopping, interesting architecture and streets, flea markets for maximum photography/acquisition of pointless tat, crafts, boardgames and foreign supermarkets selling delicious wine. Relaxing is good, but so is getting out and seeing things. There are several places that will fit that bill but everything in Europe seems so expensive right now (we might be in London but being a tourist is always more expensive somehow) so if anyone has any tips or ideas I'd like to hear them.
Recently I've been looking at Tallinn with an added day-trip to Helsinki, or possibly Lisbon - I've been to neither but they both seem like very pretty towns and pretty cheap to stay in and eat nicely, although I'm not sure what's there to be done. Any experiences of either?
(PS - last time I posted a question like this someone suggested we go to Asia. We would LOVE to go to Cambodia. But I checked the cost of flights today to see if there was any remote chance of making them a Christmas present, and they are £799 per person, so sadly this is a longer term plan. Boo.)