Hello, I usually travel with my long term Girlfriend and teenage son. We probably head half the time to European destinations. Although we have also gone to Las Vegas, NYC, Alaska & Hawaii in the past.
But when we travel to Europe. I usually book the hotel for the night I land and take off in the appropriate cities, sometimes two nights if I like the city. Like Berlin & Copenhagen I would book two nights. But not Frankfurt. I try to plan part of my trip using the wonderful rail service Europe offers. Usually a Eurail pass. Specifically when traveling between large cities. Automobiles can be a pain to drive or find parking for in large cities. But when I get to the countryside. I'll rent a car. When I went through the Normandy area of France and acrossed Poland. I rented a car. Which was great, because I got a intimate look at how the peoples of those areas live. I shopped at small local stores and actually ran acrossed a small local festival while I was in Poland. In Normandy there were numerous museums and historic areas that would be hard to reach otherwise.
I also try to learn a dozen or so words at least for the places I am visiting. This may be proublematic when visiting numerous countries on one trip. But from my experience. If I at least make the effort in their native language. They tend to be more willing to help.......no matter how bad I butcher it. I've had people tell Me, it's OK You can stop, I speak English. Me and My Son speak some German and My Girlfriend speaks some Italian. So that has been helpful. Helpful phrase I seek out are Excuse Me, Thank You, where or what is? How much, do You speak English. I prefer to travel with a backpack. Which if I normally carry a 40 litre backpack of stuff. I buy a 60 litre. I don't like to check my bag leaving on a trip. I've had the airlines lose 3-4 bags. Which sucks to get somewhere with nothing to wear or brush my teeth. So I pack a bag so I can carry aboard. Then when I buy things on my trip. I fill the extra 20 liters of space with trinkets and soveneurs. I check the bag for return trip. Because if they lose it that way. I've always got it , sometimes it takes up to ten days. But no worries then, I'm home.
After I land I have a booked hotel. Before I leave. I plan my trip with differnt variables. I'll book a night from the destination before. Usually only a night, but I ask if it is available for more nights if I decide to stay longer. It's not any fun to book 3-4 days in a city with only a days worth of sites. The tourism institutes from the cities always try to sell there city as the best place with the most to see. But I have found when I get on the ground it is differnt. Once when I went from Antwerp to Luxbourg. I found that they were having a Waterloo reinactment of the battle when I got to Brussels. I sometimes don't book my hotels until I am on the train to destination. When I traveled to Germany & Austria over Christmas and New Years. I actually booked all trains & hotels. I was worried about availability with the holidays. But normally I just use one of the many hotel aps to book before, right before. I don't usually go to hostels. But when I went through Scandinavia. I found they were equivalent to hotels in other parts of Europe. I would do it if traveling alone, but it could be awkward when traveling with Family.
I don't travel like this when I have gone to other places mentioned above. They were usually destination vacations and the transportation available wasn't as acess able as in Europe.
I hope this is helpful:)
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