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My travel philosophy

  1. Confine your travel to a relatively small area.

    Jumping all over the continent just costs more money and eats up sightseeing time. For instance, don't go directly from Paris to Rome. There are things in between to see (ever hear of Switzerland?).

    People who jump all over spend more and see less. They probably conclude that Europe is too expensive and never go back. Take Rick Steves advice, "Assume you will return." Save Rome for your next trip.

    Jumping all over is an indication that you know very little about Europe other than just the well publicized places. Do a little research and find more places to see in one area.

    In my opinion, if you find that a railpass is cost effective for your travel, you are probably going too far.

    Think quality, not quantity.

  2. Stay in small, family run "B&Bs".

    You will not only have a far richer cultural experience, you'll spend less.

  3. Learn some of the language.

    Understanding the language frees you from expensive 4- and 5-star hotels where everyone speaks English. It also allows you to find the small, family run accommodations that are so much more culturally rich and cost less.

  4. Pack light and carry-on.

    Unless you are severely disabled and flying an American flag airline (which have no or high weight limits, and few services), avoid rolling suitcases.