Many people can't get away for more than a couple of weeks, and when they make the long journey to the old country they want to see it all. European countries are small, but when you put them all together it is about equal to half of the United States. Think of it this way if you were traveling in the USA you wouldnt possibly consider seeing New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Miami, New Orleans, Atlanta, Orlando and Raleigh in 1 week would you? You wouldnt because if you tried you really wouldnt see much at all except for airports.
So take the time to smell the roses...if you only have one week consider only visiting one country, and/or possibly another country nearby. If you have two weeks consider visiting maybe three or four at the most. Remember Europe isnt going anywhere, so if you dont make it to Rome, Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, London, Paris and Amsterdam in one week, don't worry they will be there next time you decide to head over.
A money belt is an expensive, simple little pouch that you can squeeze under your clothes and always keep your travel documents and money close and safe. This is especially handy if you are staying in a hotel that does not offer safes.
Money belts are also very useful for overnight train travel. You always want to sleep with your travel documents and money on you, no exceptions!
Many a European vacation has been ruined because of theft and many of the travelers' stories we hear could have been prevented had simple precautions, such as using a money belt, been taken.
I had the pleasure of spending my Thanksgiving in Europe this year. Although I have lived in Europe before during this time period, I had never officially been a tourist in the winter season; being from Florida I tended to stay indoors in the winters over there. However this winter, I just couldn't resist the low airfare and hotel prices and booked a trip to Paris.
Paris was the first European city I lived in, when I moved to Europe. I stayed with some friends and while they worked, I toured the city, a second hometown of sorts for me. It was absolutely delightful to ride the metro (subway) during the day and be a part of Paris and the Parisians daily life as it is "off season", it had been a while since I had experienced Paris like this. There were other tourists as well, after all it is Paris, but it wasn't anything like the insanity of the high travel season, truly a pleasure. Lines were not miles long, and sites were not overcrowded - I had to admit touring Europe in the winter did have a number of advantages.
After a few days in Paris I hopped on the Eurostar chunnel train and met a friend from the States in London. We stayed at a great hotel 4 star hotel, the Cumberland at Marble Arch for a steal of a price, 100 pounds p/night. The location was unbeatable and the hotel spectacular. Again - I had to admit Europe in the winter was pretty cool (no pun intended).
So if you have a week to spare this winter, don't think twice book a mini-vacation to Europe. Low airfares abound, hotels are vacant and inexpensive. Jet on over, get your European culture fix and be back before your next mortgage payment is due. It was just the refreshing break I needed this winter, and you may find it is just what you need and deserve after working hard all year.
And don't forget if you decide to go, let us help you plan that next vacation!