Iâ€™m finally starting to build my repertoire of travel resources, so Iâ€™ll list them below. This is definitely not a comprehensive list, you should check other studentsâ€™ blogs to find out what they know, too.
Skyscanner.com- My favorite, it searches multiple sites for the cheapest fares to and from your selected airport, including most of the budget airlines, I think. You can even pick â€œto: everywhereâ€ as your destination and let your wallet decide where you go.
Easyjet, Ryanair, Transavia, Meridiana, Vueling- Individual budget airlines that fly from the Netherlands. Sometimes offer flights from/to out-of-the-way airports, and travel budget goes up to allow transport to/from airports. It can take a lot of time to coordinate the right dates/ combination of airlines to use for a trip.
Euroflights.info- Database of budget airlines listed by where youâ€™re flying from or to. You can spend hours on here trying to coordinate the best deal.
Seat61.com- Great database of train information. Best feature- it connects you to the train site of the country youâ€™re going to, which is where most of the best prices are. I found out about a much faster train from Rome to Venice than many of the other students, some of whom flew.
Ns.nl- Dutch train site. Iâ€™ve never bought tickets from here, but the timetable can be useful.
In country- When traveling, I find that many train station employees speak English and can help you with more complex train things such as transfers.
I would like to help you guys understand hostels for those of you who have no experience about them- I know I didnâ€™t and I still donâ€™t have much. Most hostels are really professional and a great place to meet travelers like you. Most of them I’ve stayed in are similar to a hotel, with a common area, check in desk, and your own key to a room. The rooms often have bunks and lockers to put your things in, and not much else. Yes, other people sleep in the same room as you and you share a shower, but the ones I’ve stayed in are perfect for sleeping and cleaning up-what else do you need?
Hostelbookers.com- Claims to be cheaper than HostelWorld, no booking fee, offers maps, reviews, and pictures for a wide selection of hostels. I think this one will include hotels, as well.
HosteWorld.com- I think this one has a few more hostel and city options that hostelbookers, so it is a good second choice. Also includes the maps, reviews, pictures, ratings. Booking fee is something like 2 euros.
You can also go with the classic Google search- sometimes it is cheaper to book directly with a hostel, or a hostel may pop up that isnâ€™t a member with any of the database sites.
As much as I dislike feeling like a money-in-the-shoe, guide-book-carrying, single-lingual tourist, I am one. There are tourist information offices at or near most airports and train stations that will help you get a map or at least get oriented. These also make nice wallpaper for your flat after your trip is over. Hostels and hotels also have these many times- take care of them, you donâ€™t realize their value until they are lost!