I’m finally starting to build my repertoire of travel resources, so I’ll list them below. This is definitely not a comprehensive list, you should check other students’ blogs to find out what they know, too.

Planes 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 “to: everywhere” 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. Database of budget airlines listed by where you’re flying from or to. You can spend hours on here trying to coordinate the best deal.

Trains Great database of train information. Best feature- it connects you to the train site of the country you’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. Dutch train site. I’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 didn’t and I still don’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? 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. 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 isn’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 don’t realize their value until they are lost!

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