A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
In between my travel journals, I really feel like sharing with you my most commonly used websites when planning a trip around Europe, which really contributed a lot to my spontaneous decision to travel to Norway in 2 days!
For me, the most important and difficult part is always planning, especially when you’re a budget traveler and you’re so new to Europe. Even before arriving here, I had dreamed of going to so many places, but how to make a good itinerary is surprisingly more difficult than I thought. Europe is vast, and there are so many different countries and cities waiting for you to explore. To save time and money, you usually visit a few places in one trip. So it is really important to have a smart, clear and reasonable plan. Here are some websites that really help you a lot.
My first questions are always “Where to go?” and “What is the best time to go there?” because, of course, money matters. I’m so thankful to find out this amazing website which not many people know to make use of. So what I usually do is to randomly put in one place among those that I want to visit as my destination, and then the website will give you prices of flight tickets to go there on every single day! That way you’ll get an idea of when is the cheapest time to go, or also what the price is on the dates that you plan to travel. Last month, I was thinking “I have to go somewhere before school starts again” and I just hit Norway and found out that it’s quite cheap to fly there at the end of August! So, I just bought the tickets almost immediately and there goes my spontaneous trip! Another interesting feature of the website is that it will also show you where is the cheapest place to fly to on a certain date of your choice. And it’s even more helpful because it also covers low-cost airlines – our good friends. Most people use Skyscanner, which is a similar tool, but many don’t know that they sort of increase the price based on the frequency of your search.
Quick and convenient, you will know approximately how long it takes to travel from point A to point B and what transportation methods are available as well as how much it costs. The price is only referential though, but otherwise other information is really useful in choosing a suitable type of transportation.
This is also one of the sites that I use most frequently. It helps us figure out exactly what are the possible ways to travel from point A to point B on this certain date and how much each way will cost. Because the search is confined to one single date, the price shown is very reliable and you can go straight to booking sites from here. They always show the options of bus, train, and flight so it’s really convenient. However, for some routes, especially local ones, the site cannot show every option available, so sometimes you have to do some research beforehand otherwise you’ll miss a cheaper method to travel.
Extremely useful site with very detailed information on how to travel by train or ferry. So it’s good for those who don’t like flying, or simply for some routes that we don’t necessarily need to travel by plane. The site provide very clear and detailed instructions, not only on which train to take but also where and how to buy the tickets and such. They also give a rough idea of the price, but also do a double-check to find out the exact prices.
Now this is one that I haven’t used but I’ve heard a lot about it. Basically people will post their travel advice here and you can browse to see what the best rates and opportunities you can take in one place. So this is useful to plan what to do once you get to your destination, which is also important because you’d always want to get the best out of our travel destination. I will try it out and let you know my thoughts!