Posted By Happy Homemaker UK

Putting together a European vacation can be really overwhelming
There are so many choices here

I admit to finding myself frozen in indecision

Thanks to the internet
we can save money (but not time)
by becoming our own travel agents

Here are a few tips I have picked up along the way:

Google your desired location and click 'Images'
to see photos captured by real people 
to see if it is what you are looking for

Use TripAdvisor and Expedia to research the heck out of hotels by reading reviews
Look at photos posted by travelers as well as by hotels

Cruise Critic provides reviews on cruises

Jetsetter offers great accommodation deals by signing up for their free alerts

i-escape has some good getaway ideas too

If you have more than 2 people traveling in your group,
ask for quotes for creative rooming such as a Junior Suite,
which can be cheaper than a connecting room

Ask the hotel to arrange transportation to/from the airport
It can be the same price as a taxi and takes out the stress of
negotiating a price in a foreign language/currency

Find one stop shopping for airlines at Kayak
The two major London airports are Heathrow and Gatwick,
gateways to many European cities from the US

Discount airlines from England to the European continent
include Easy Jet and Ryan Air
among many more

The time of using travelers checks is way gone
Once you arrive at your destination
find an ATM to retrieve money in the local currency

Most European hotels do not have clocks in the room,
so bring one

Many countries within Europe have different plugs,
so buying one of these clever adapters is a good investment

Global Adapter with 2 USB ports via Brookstone

Don't bring your hair dryer or anything that creates heat (ie curling/straightening iron)
 because you'll need a electrical wattage converter too
Just use a hair dryer provided by the hotel

If you plan to use your mobile phone abroad,
be sure to talk to your phone carrier in advance to get on a daily international plan
International roaming and calls can cost a fortune

And you may want to take photos of your luggage with your camera phone
to show the airlines in case bags are lost in transit

Lastly, learn from my mistake: bring your camera battery charger :)

What tips do you have to share?

- all photos by me -

* Traveling to England with kids? See my list of historical fiction for kids here *