NEEDHAM, MA - April 25, 2005 - Sixty-seven percent of Europe-bound travelers are changing their plans due to the weak condition of the U.S. dollar, according to a survey conducted this week by TripAdvisor (www.tripadvisor.com), the leading travel information and recommendation destination on the Web. Nearly 60 percent of TripAdvisor users surveyed say they will plan a shorter stay in Europe, 65 percent will shop less, 60 percent will dine more modestly and 59 percent will stay in more modest hotels.
"Americans traveling to Europe this year will have to be better prepared, more creative and savvy than in recent times to effectively manage their travel budgets," said Christine Petersen, senior vice president of marketing for TripAdvisor. "Travelers are coming to our site to plan and share information that will help them get the most out of their European vacation. Every insight could lead to big savings."
As part of the survey, TripAdvisor asked its visitors for suggestions on how best to navigate through Europe on a tighter budget. Common suggestions from the survey and TripAdvisor forums include:
- Plan Ahead: With many travelers planning a shorter stay in Europe this year, good advance planning is essential to take full advantage of your time. One TripAdvisor user suggests "plan ahead so as to not waste as much time just lolly gaggin' around."
- Skip Pricey Audio Tours: Save money by using a trustworthy guidebook instead of paying for museum audio tours.
- Take Public Transportation or Walk: In Rome and Paris, purchase a daily metro pass for unlimited bus and metro travel. Invest in a good pair of walking shoes - it's the best way to see the sights and it's free.
- Get in Free: Did you know that you can get into London's National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Science Museum, and Natural History for free? Also in London, check out free lunchtime concerts at Southwark Cathedral on Mondays and Tuesdays; in St. Martin in the Field at Trafalgar Square on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 p.m.
- Have a Breakfast of Champions: Eat a big breakfast - especially if it's included in your hotel price. For lunch or dinner, stop by the local market for picnic supplies.
- Act Like a Teenager: Keep an eye on where the local teenagers go to shop and eat. They're on a tight budget too. "Talk to them about where to get certain things, they are more open and give you good recommendations," said one TripAdvisor user.
- Seek Alternative Accommodations: TripAdvisor users recommend staying at a Bed & Breakfast, in hostels, renting an apartment or staying with friends if you can. According to one TripAdvisor user, the B&B's "provide great accommodations, at very good rates and they are so helpful at advising where to visit. They often feel like a home away from home with their personal attention."
- Capture the Memories: Skip the trinkets and souvenirs and bring back memories by taking great digital photos. Digital will save you on the development costs.
- Do Your Homework: TripAdvisor users recommend checking out the latest travel deals - and reading the latest reviews to really be sure you have the best deal, and not a dud.
- Go East: One TripAdvisor user writes of his travel plans, "We're going further east and spending no time in OLD EUROPE! We plan on visiting countries like Bulgaria, Slovakia Republic and Croatia, which has a coastline that is just as, if not more, beautiful than Italy's."
TripAdvisor recently introduced an advanced hotel selection tool, available on the main "hotels" tab in top destinations, that enables travelers to easily view a destination's most popular hotels by price, as well as neighborhood and star class. The following is a list of hotels in London, Paris and Rome, rated highly by satisfied TripAdvisor users, with reasonable prices*:
The Sanctuary House Hotel, 33 Tothill St, London SW1
27 Reviews, most recent posted on April 21, 2005
Average Price: EUR$144
Luna & Simone Hotel, 47/49 Belgrave Road, London SW1
36 Reviews, most recent posted on April 20, 2005
Average Price: EUR$123
Ramada Encore London West, 4 Portal Way, London W3
21 Reviews, most recent posted on April 10, 2005
Average Price: EUR$109
Windermere Hotel, 142-144 Warwick Way, London SW1
22 Reviews, most recent posted on April 8, 2005
Average Price: EUR$145
Best Western Lorette Opera, 36 Rue Notre Dame De Lorette, 75009 Paris
26 Reviews, most recent posted on April 20, 2005
Average Price: EUR$140
Hotel Des Croises (Langlois), 63 rue Saint-Lazare, 75009 Paris
75 Reviews, most recent posted on April 19, 2005
Average Price: EUR$75
Hotel Britannique, 20 avenue Victoria, Paris 75001 Paris
28 Reviews, most recent posted on April 19, 2005
Average Price: EUR$147
Saint Christophe, 17 rue Lacepede, 75005 Paris
24 Reviews, most recent posted on April 10, 2005
Average Price: EUR$110
Hotel Lancelot, Via Capo d'Africa 47, Rome 00184
62 Reviews, most recent posted on April 18, 2005
Average Price: EUR$125
Hotel Giuliana, Via Agostino Depretis 70, Rome 00184
62 Reviews, most recent posted on April 14, 2005
Average Price: EUR$90
ARS Hotel, Via Monte Altissimo 20-24, Rome 0014111
Reviews, most recent posted on April 6, 2005
Average Price: EUR$104
Hotel Oceania, Via Firenze 38, Rome 00184
22 Reviews, most recent posted on March 26, 2005
Average Price: EUR$105
*TripAdvisor calculates an average price for each hotel, which is based on the rates of available rooms obtained from booking partners and other independent sources of pricing information. In addition, average hotel prices are updated nightly based on prevailing conversion rates. These are only estimates and not guarantees.