Archive for the ‘Drink’ Category

Some friends of mine made an unhappy discovery when departing the Czech Republic with a long-sought bottle of wine (or two):  their duty-free purchase was confiscated when making a connection in another EU airport.

As much as I complain about the security theater Americans abbreviate TSA, there is one upside to the system:  once you’re in (and don’t connect in a stupid airport [ahem, JFK] where you have to exit and reenter secured areas when changing flights), you and your liquids are in.  Put that chapstick back in your pocket, enjoy a long swig from your refilled water bottle — no one will bug you about those items again.

Unfortunately, if you are connecting onward through a European airport, you will be subject to repeated searches — necessitating the return of your chapstick to your 1L ziploc, the dumping of your secure-area beverages and, for the unlucky, the confisciation of your duty-free liquids, creams and gels.

How do you avoid this expensive dilemma?  Find out after the jump.


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Until you’ve seen Oktoberfest for yourself, you’re probably not going to believe me when I tell you it’s like the State Fair, minus the animals (butter or otherwise), plus traditional costumes and, obviously, Maß upon Maßloads of beer.

Once you’re there, you’ll wonder why anyone ever thought it was a good idea to mix overconsumption of food and alcohol with expensive clothes and twisty-whirly rides! Hopefully you won’t be wondering it all over your lederhosen . . .

That said, it is possible to go to the ‘Fest and have good (if expensive), wholesome family fun. For me — who’s not afraid of heights — there’s nothing simpler or less intimidating than the ferris wheel. If you find yourself on the Wies’n during daylight hours, hop aboard with a sugary or salty snack of your choice and take in the city views at the wheel’s leisurely pace.

Follow other Photo Friday contributors around the world here.

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There’s only one time of year when any post outranks my post on how to get your check-in fee back from RyanAir, and that’s late September . . .


Seems I’m not the only one who wants to know how to save serious cash while looking like a native at Germany’s biggest festival!O'fest 2008, courtesy of Carija Ihus

I’m headed there this weekend myself and will be sporting my homemade dirndl, but this post outlines where to find the best bargains on Trachten for the beerfest.

Are you headed to Munich this weekend? Leave a note in the comments and we could do a meetup! Before you get there, save money and time by reading my other posts on German travel:

+ Getting Across Germany Cheaply, Part One
+ Getting Across Germany Cheaply, Part Two
+ Cheap Calling on the Go: Germany
+ Baring my Budget: Hamburg
+ Baring my Budget: Rostock and Warnemünde
+ Avoiding Overpriced Train Station Services in Cologne
+ Two Hours in . . . Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Part I
+ Two Hours in . . . Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Part II
+ Why Carry your Own Heavy Luggage?
+ ITB Impressions: Beer Tourism
+ Friday Freebie: City Guide Podcasts
+ Comparing Foreign Websites for Deals

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Welcome to the fifth Travel on a Shoestring Carnival for Europe. Here you’ll find European travel tips for those without a lot of money to spend.

Photographic inspiration this week comes from yours truly, one of the many intricate details I captured (in this case, a carved door) in June at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.

If you’re headed to Spain in August, you’ll want to pop over to Karen Bryan at Europe a la Carte Blog who has a lead on 10 Euro Spanish Saver Rooms from Travelodge.  (I’m surprised no one commented the rooms are so cheap because — as I was told by locals on my trip in June — August is simply too hot to enjoy traveling there!  Make sure that room has air conditioning, I guess.)

Just a hop, skip and a jump away is lovely Lisbon.  Pennypinchers will welcome Kristie‘s advice on Where To Stay In Lisbon, Portugal posted at Norway – An American In Oslo.

If you find yourself on your last krona before flying home, Anna Etmanska gives the lowdown on overnight options at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport in Shopping and Sleeping Part 2 at Budget Trouble.

The Amateur Traveler updates us on what’s new from the road in England and Greece Revisited – Episode 138

Carter Dougherty outlines how to get away from the city for a perfect Riesling in Frankfurt, Wine and the Rheingau at IHT Globespotters Blog.

If you’d rather drink with your eyes, take a tip from Sheila Scarborough and head to Belgium to enjoy Artful color: Carpet of Flowers in Brussels at Perceptive Travel Blog.

EuroCheapo Blog has had some great guest posts on getting around Europe cheaply on trains.  You’ll want to check out both European rail passes: Read this before you buy and France Night Train Alert: €15 couchettes through July 14.

Wrapping up, it seems that everyone’s got Paris on the brain.   NYT travel writer Elaine Sciolino presents Hidden Gardens of Paris and Budget Travel’s This Just In had an article by Laurie Pike on Affordable Europe:  In Paris, Secret Spots for Visitors.  When you’re knackered and longing for a taste of home, Joe Schmid of the IHT Globespotters Blog can help you out with his article Parisburgers: Finding the Great American Meal in France.

Thanks to everyone for contributing! If you’d like to see your post on budget European travel in August’s carnival, submit using our online form. Next week, we’ll be back to North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Submit your posts for that carnival before next Wednesday!

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A nine-day trip to four Spanish cities, including airfare to/from the UK, for under 150 euros? I’ll show you how after the jump.


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While passing through the “Czech Republic,” I picked up a flier (similar to this one) targeted at German tourists on breweries in the Plzen region. (If you’re a beer drinker, you are certainly familiar with the anglicized name of their traditional beer, pilsener.) While the vast majority of beer consumed is today produced by one of a handful of multinational corporations, there is nevertheless an increasing interest in local or microbrews as well as specialty beers from breweries around the globe. Countries such as Belgium or the Czech Republic are now attempting to cash in on the growing cache of their products by putting together multi-day beer-tasting tours, with busloads of tourists hopping (pun intended) from brewery to brewery across the (comparatively small) countryside.

Thankfully, beer remains every man’s drink and breweries are plentiful, so there’s no need to join a bus tour to enjoy an afternoon of beer tasting or even a brewery tour at home or on the road. Find my links for planning your own beer tourism after the jump.


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Better late that never, welcome to the fourth Travel on a Shoestring Carnival for the Americas. Here you’ll find North American, Central American and Caribbean travel tips for those without a lot of money to spend.

Sky HeartPhotographic inspiration this week comes from the ever-inspiring Global Eye at Intelligent Travel. Mary Hockenbery snapped this photograph of a heart made of horseshoes on a rancher’s fence — check out the details in Hearts in Nevada.

Geographically closest is Ben‘s post Save Money in Las Vegas – A Cheapskate’s Guide to Sin City, over at Money Smart Life. Ben writes, “I had just as much fun as everyone else at the conference and left with more money in my pocket!”

Driving over to California, Mudslide Mama of the Traveling Mamas explains that a supposedly expensive tourist destination needn’t break the bank in her post How To Have a Budget Vacation in High-End Santa Barbara. Then CalebL outlines budget entertainment in one of San Francisco’s parks in the wonderfully titled If a bum can live there, I can afford it, posted at City on a Dime.

A red-eye to JFK has us arriving just in time for Sarah‘s tour of New York City’s art highlights in her Directory of NYC museum free/pay-what-you-wish days posted at SARAHSPYChris Christensen of the Amateur Traveler has hot tips on unique and inexpensive places to stay in NYC in his podcast interview with budget guru Pauline Frommer.

South of the border, Janelle Nanos of Intelligent Travel elaborates on the rewards of enjoying local sports after becoming a Mexican soccer fan in Been There: Becoming a Fan.

Finally, James Brausch of Costa Rica HQ shares general advice on potables and getting around in his posts Costa Rica Drinks and Transportation In Costa Rica. From his pages, I convolutedly linked to a really useful site, Travel for Kids. They have an excellent section on Costa Rica; their Americas selections further include Canada, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and the U.S. What is especially noteworthy about this site is their recommendations of appropriate kid lit to read in preparation for the trip. Definitely worth checking out for my librarian friends or those traveling with tots in tow.

Thanks to everyone for participating. Submit your blog article (or encourage your favorite travel bloggers to submit) to the next edition of Travel on a Shoestring: Americas using the carnival submission form. Next week this time we travel to Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Oceania. You can still submit your posts to that carnival till Wednesday.

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