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Rick Steves in Toledo, Spain.

Rick Steves in Toledo, Spain. Source: Rick Steves' Europe hide caption

toggle caption Source: Rick Steves' Europe

On Talk of the Nation yesterday, Rick Steves gave us some great advice on how to get the biggest bang for our buck on European vacations. Here's what he had to say after the show:

With the dollar in the dumps it's great to have a chance to share my belief that Americans can still travel in Europe for essentially the same cost as in the USA — if they know how. Only on public radio can we talk at length on subjects like these with no concerns about ruffling the feathers of advertisers.

Our callers were experienced travelers with good concerns and good lessons to share. Considering their size, Liz and her group will save lots of money by sharing a big vehicle and a large apartment. A mini bus shared by eight travelers provides the cheapest travel possible. And more and more Americans are learning the budget wisdom of booking an apartment with a kitchen. Groceries are essentially the same cost anywhere — and always a fraction of the cost of a restaurant.

When Chris said she'd recently been to London, I expected her to be shell-shocked at the cost. But she turned out to be a very good traveler and knew that the greatest cultural wonders in London are actually free. (I've noticed that in much of Europe museum prices fluctuate with the current government. Left wing governments subsidize art and culture — and often make museum entries free. Right wing governments believe museums should pay their own way.).

My new "apfels to pommes" chart attempting to compare relative costs "apples to apples" (mentioned in the interview) is now on my blog. I hope that can be of some help.

Happy travels,
Rick Steves

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