Traveling to Europe? Your trip planning starts here.
Europe is a great destination when traveling with the family. For the parents – it is romantic, amazing nature, decent prices and optimal summer weather. For the kids there are various attractions, such as amusement parks, adventure parks (ropes parks), downhill, bikes, rafting, sailing and more. The black forest in Germany, north Italy and Garda lake, Holand, Slovakia, Hungary – all are a great destination for an enjoyable trip with the family.
Renting a car
The cars company
Rentalcars.com is a search site for scanning multiple vendors, and providing a clear list of results. This way you can be sure you find the best deal.
Selecting your car
The car size is the first criteria to consider. And as important is the number of your big suitcases. You will need to consider that 3 large suitcases will not fit into a standard family car.
In Europe, most cars are manual gear. If you like automatic gear, you’ll need to pay significantly more.
When you order a specific car, the small letters say you may get a different car from the same category you ordered. So don’t be surprised if you ordered an Audi, for example, and got a Volkswagen.
Any car rental will include the basic insurance. But in a case of a damage, the self payment would usually be very high. It may be over 2000 Euro.
General tips for traveling in Europe
Tip#1: Use the GPS in your mobile
The mobile phone is always with us, and besides the camera and mails, the GPS applications are very useful. Waze car navigation application works also in Europe, and is recommended. When walking in the streets of the city, Google Maps is very useful. In some cases there is no wireless signal or the traffic bandwidth costs too much. What do we do then? MAPS.ME is a great offline navigation application. Download the full maps of the destination in advance, and then walk or drive without any wireless connection. It also shows restaurants, supermarkets and attractions, so all you need is to follow the directions. Google Maps recently also added the offline options, which can save you some money. ‘Here‘ is another great smartphone app that can work offline.
Tip#2: Use ‘Map view’ when booking online
As we know, location is everything (or almost everything :)) Booking.com or similar sites allow you to view your hotels search in a map format. You can see the exact location of the relevant hotels and know how close they are to the city center and attractions. In this view, you may also click and watch the details, and just find the right place at the best location. This tip is relevant to desktops and tablets with large screens.
Tip#3: Bring a car charger (12 volts) for your mobile phone
The mobile phone serves us as camera for photos and video, as a tour book, and as a GPS. When using it excessively, the battery may not last until the end of the day. A car charger will solve the problem.
And what should you do if you forgot to bring your car charger? The number one power user is the screen. If you lower the brightness of the screen, you will enable many more hours of usage.
Tip#4: It rains in summer
Bring a small umbrella from home to always carry with you, and you will be thankful for it. There are several weather applications, and they don’t always agree with each other. Yahoo Weather and iPhone app (weather.com) are quite accurate, but Accuweather seems to occasionally miss the forecast.
Tip#5: Beer is cheaper than water.