Santorini, Greece

European Vacation Spots Off the Beaten Path

Maybe you’ve been to Europe a dozen times or never but want the best possible travel experience on an upcoming journey. If that’s the case, why not check out some of the best-kept secrets among regular vacationers in the area?

Did you know that Greece is home to many low-cost bed and breakfasts and that a small city to the south of Paris is perhaps the most scenic of all that nation’s towns? Those two facts can help you design the perfect European trip the next time you can get away for a week or more. 

Besides taking advantage of early-bird discounts on hotels, local tours, rail fares, museum visits, and more, it’s best to pay for as much of an excursion as possible in advance. Don’t neglect underrated European cities like Bayreuth, Germany. Whether your plans will take you far north or to the balmy beaches of southern Italy, there are unique activities and memorable scenery in many of the continent’s lesser-known spots, like Malmo, Sweden, and southern Ireland. Here’s more information about how to get the most out of your travel budget and where to go once you develop an itinerary.

Finances First, Travel Second

The real secret to enjoying a vacation is getting the most bang for your buck. Planning should be the first step of any journey, regardless of where you intend to go. By trying to map out the entire trip several months in advance, it’s possible to save a significant amount on airfare alone and hotels, rental cars, special tours, interpreters, and guided hikes. The magic of the internet means you can pay for all sorts of things far ahead of the departure day.

Savvy travelers take out personal loans to have the financial freedom to lock in major discounts and potentially cut total expenses in half. Once you decide to head to Europe, explore all your personal loan options. It helps to have at least a ballpark estimate of how much you’ll want to borrow, but you can get that number by making some online inquiries to hotels, airlines, and tour agencies. Taking out a personal loan is the most efficient way to finance the vacation of a lifetime, particularly one to Europe, where local prices are still low, and visitors are warmly welcomed.

Fontainebleau, France

people in front of gray and black building

There’s nothing wrong with Paris, but it can be a bit of a tourist trap at certain times of the year. Plus, if you’ve been there, done that, then hop into a rental car and travel south to the gorgeous, historic city of Fontainebleau. In addition to some of the best hideaway restaurants in France, visitors can explore the old Chateau du Prieure, a masterpiece of architecture that was once home to the attorney of the famous political figure Dreyfus. 

The lounge is one of the many discos that are a throwback to what the town was like in the 1960s. Fontainebleau fancies itself something of a dance capital of the nation, which means you can enjoy plenty of fun outings on moonlit evenings. The city’s inns are reasonably priced, numerous parks exist, and most visitors venture to the nearby deep forested zone to take photos and picnics.

Oia, Greece

white and blue painted building

Oia (pronounced EIA) might be one of the world’s most unknown gems of beauty, fun, and excellent weather. The town is on the island of Santorini, itself a postcard-beautiful destination. Oia is a tiny village about seven miles from the island capital city of Fira. From any location in town, tourists can see hundreds of blue-domed roofs of white houses that dot the narrow avenues. The food, as might be expected, is spectacular and fully authentic.

No matter what, don’t miss the sunset in Oia. Many famous writers throughout history have called it the most breathtaking vision on earth. Just set up a couple of lounge chairs aimed at Ammoudi Bay and wait for the day to end. Have a camera ready for the unique moment.

Marktbreit, Germany

Marktbreit Germany

Berlin and at least a dozen other cities in Germany are certainly worth visiting, but if you want something different, take a side trip to Marktbreit. Nearly every building in the town played a significant role in the nation’s history. Plus, travelers can spend an afternoon walking through the boyhood home of Dr. Alois Alzheimer, which has been frozen in time from the famous doctor’s childhood days in the late 1800s. Food aficionados say that Marktbreit offers the most authentic old-world German cuisine. Be prepared to eat, drink, and party in the city’s dozens of outdoor restaurants. Singalongs are commonplace, as are games of all kinds.

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