By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: I am tired of paying enormous amounts of money every time we travel to Europe. When is the best time to travel, which airline should I fly and how do I save money once on the ground?

A: When travelling to Europe on a budget, it's important to consider the timing. Your interest in touring Europe has happened at a perfect time. Right now it's off-season so the rates are cheaper plus the rate of the Canadian dollar is much better compared to last year at this time. There are some good publications available on budget travel in Europe. The International Hostelling Association recently published "Europe 2001." The cost is $16.50 but is well worth it for its full hostel listings.

As far as budget airfare, charter carriers like Canada 3000 frequently offer lower prices. For more information, visit or dial 1-866-865-3000.

When making an air reservation, remember the price is contingent on the departure date. So as a rule of thumb, consider leaving between Monday and Thursday. Companies like the Flight Centre have a list of discount airfares. You can contact them toll-free at 1.888.WORLD-31.

For affordable accommodation in Europe, the best bet here are hostels. "If you want to save money and travel across Europe, hostelling is definitely the way to go," recommends Tracy Jordan of Hostelling International. Need more info? Visit or contact 1-800-663-5777.

And for tips on sightseeing tours, every major European city has an information centre available at the train station or the city centre. If you'd rather preplan sightseeing tours, most travel agents can recommend & reserve them. When I spoke to a Flight Centre agent, I quickly received a brochure entitled, "Winter Breaks," published by


Dispatches| Q&A | Photos | Fork | Compass Calls | Links | Search | Store | About | Contact | Home

All text & photos 2004.