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The Global Travel Conspiracy, Episode 31 – The Frugal Gringo

Everything Everywhere via rss - 9 hours 31 min ago

My guest this week is Seth Kugel, the former Frugal Traveler for the New York Times. He is also the man behind the popular Portuguese YouTube channel, Amigo Gringo. We talk about how he got his start in travel writing, what it was like to be the Frugal Traveler for the New York Times and how he has transitioned to being a YouTube star.


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Fishermen On Shore on John Obey Beach, Sierra Leone

Everything Everywhere via rss - Thu, 02/11/2016 - 17:31

Fishermen On Shore on John Obey Beach, Sierra Leone

Golf Tips for Beginners in the Game

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/11/2016 - 17:00
Golf is a fun and relaxing game for people of all ages. It is also a social game so you get to bond with your friends and meet new ones too. Learning golf is not too difficult; a couple of rounds on the course and you will be whacking a hole-in-one in no time.

10 Reasons to visit Rome in 2016

EuroCheapo via rss - Thu, 02/11/2016 - 12:18

There are always many good reasons to visit the Eternal City, but 2016 promises many highlights, from renovated landmarks like the Colosseum and Pantheon to brand new attractions like the aquarium.

Check out this list to see why you should visit Rome this year.

1. The Aquarium will finally open in the spring

The Sea Life Roma Aquarium is finally set to open in Spring 2016. Italians near and far have been anticipating the opening of this state-of-the-art facility for quite a long time, with problems and setbacks causing the attraction to postpone its inauguration until now.

Located underneath the EUR district’s famous laghetto’ (public lake), the Roman aquarium will house more than 5,000 sea creatures belonging to over 100 aquatic species, all of which will be contained in 30 themed tanks. If that sounds fascinating, you could be one of the first visitors to see this long awaited attraction. The aquarium will open seven days a week from 10 am to 7 pm.

The interior of the Pantheon is an inspiring experience. Photo: Christopher Chan

2. The Pantheon gets a makeover

After recent restorations, the Pantheon has been cleaned up and is open for free to the public. Many argue that this is the most beautiful, breathtaking, and awe-inspiring place in all of Rome. It is certainly like no other religious building you will see, with a sunlit hole in the massive roof and that authentic “ancient” feeling. Best of all, the Pantheon is a place where the bustling crowds are actually forced to be quiet–always a nice change for this busy capital city.

The Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica will be opened in 2016. Photo: UK in Holy See

3. A Special Jubilee year at the Vatican

Pope Francis has declared an extraordinary jubilee, the 2016 Jubilee of Divine Mercy, that is certain to bring crowds to the Vatican City. It will also bring an array of interesting events, so it’s a fantastic time to visit the Vatican.

The holy door will be opened to mark the occasion and will conclude on November 20, 2016, the feast of Christ the King. Rome takes this event very seriously and security is tight, but it’s still a great time to visit the city. Check out the full calendar of events for the Jubilee.

Related: 10 Ways to save at the Vatican Museums & St. Peter’s Basilica

The Colosseum under renovation in late 2015. Photo: ctj71081

4. The Colosseum undergoes a renovation

Still under scaffolding, but with plans to be set free very soon, the Colosseum is being cleaned and restored for the first time in history!  Hopefully, by October 2016 the restoration will be complete, and the landmark will again be open to the public in its gleaming pinkish and white hue, just as the Romans would have seen the colossal amphitheater many centuries ago.

The famous Trevi Fountain is looking better than ever after a total restoration. Photo: Lara F

5. The Trevi Fountain gets a complete makeover

Recently renovated and even more radiant than before, this favorite tourist spot in Rome finally reopened in November 2015 after a long and complex restoration. A famously romantic setting for proposals and classic films alike, the Trevi Fountain will have you tossing that coin in hoping for  an imminent return.

Best of all, the Trevi Fountain is absolutely free of charge!

Take a tour of the Vatican Gardens on a bus in 2016. Photo: Paval Hadzinski

6. The New Vatican Gardens Bus

Walking around Rome can get quite exhausting — the vastness of the city never seems to end. What would be better than taking a break with a bus tour. Now you can see the expansive Vatican Gardens on a new open-air bus to save your feet from walking those extra miles! An audio guide is included in the tour, and the bus stops at 16 features in the garden for visitors to admire. Check out this PDF map to see where the bus stops.

In 2016, The Vatican Museums are expecting a record breaking year (it’s a Jubilee year, after all!), so make sure you book tickets in advance and try to get there early to avoid the massive queues. The museums are very big, so if you’re planning on just a few hours’ visit consider taking a guided tour or pick up the handy audio guide to hit the highlights.

Feline lovers will enjoy the Torre Argentina cat sanctuary. Photo: Rodney

7. Visit the Torre Argentina Roman cat sanctuary

In Largo Argentina, not far from Piazza Navona, you can witness a posh open-air feline retreat for street kitties. While admiring the ruins, keep an eye out for the hundreds of cats roaming free that are kept fed and healthy by local “gattare” (a favorite Italian term for cat ladies).

Cats have lived at the Torre Argentina site ever since it opened in 1929 during excavations. Theater of Pompey lies on this very place and Julius Caesar is said to have been assassinated here. Given all the cat squatters, it’s an unusual site to see, and what’s more, it’s always free.

The Sunday market at Porto Portese is filled with treasures. Photo: Alessandro

8. Find a treasure at Porta Portese market

Porta Portese is a big Sunday market in Trastevere with rows and rows of vendors that seem to go on forever. You can literally find anything here. It’s perfect if you really love Italian fashion as you can find “made in Italy” clothes at affordable prices.

Not all tourists know about this market, and you’ll find many locals rummaging through the stalls as the recession in Italy (still very real in 2016) keeps the crowds away from expensive designer shops. Get there early to score the best deals. It is open from 6 am to 2 pm.

Related: 5 shops to find designer Italian clothes on a budget

Borghese Gallery is a stunning yet affordable art museum. Photo: iory a

9. Exploring the Borghese Gallery

With collections housed in a magnificent 17th-century villa, the Borghese Gallery will give you an idea of the classical Italian aesthetic. Here, in magnificent rooms. you’ll find masterpieces from the Renaissance and the start of the Baroque era. The admission is a good deal at only €11, and you can book tickets online.

The museum is set in the beautiful Villa Borghese park (one of Rome’s best free outdoor attractions). Stroll the sprawling green hills with fountains, little bars, and outdoor entertainers around every corner. It also allows you the pleasure of seeing the many Bernini sculptures dotted around the park.

Roma Termini is the start of your Italian adventure in 2016. Photo: kiki99

10. All Roads lead to Rome, so Rome leads to everywhere!

As the saying goes, “all roads lead to Rome”. Rome is certainly a great starting point for visiting the rest of Italy. Termini station is a massive place, with trains heading everywhere in Italy. And with Rome in the center of the country, starting off here is the easiest way to get to most places in Italy.

Here’s a 10-day Italian itinerary that starts in Rome and winds through Florence and Venice.

The post 10 Reasons to visit Rome in 2016 appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.

A River of Bats in Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia

Everything Everywhere via rss - Wed, 02/10/2016 - 22:12

A River of Bats in Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia

A Review of the Wild Africa Trek Tour at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Park

Travel Tips and Destinations - Wed, 02/10/2016 - 14:30
The Wild Africa Trek is a tour available for guests at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Park to book at an additional cost to park admission. This tour gives guest a behind the scenes look at the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction and offers the once in a lifetime opportunity to have lunch on the savannah.

Tanzania Vacation Packages for Your Dream Holidays

Travel Tips and Destinations - Wed, 02/10/2016 - 12:13
Tanzania is an African country situated in the Eastern section of the continent. Tanzania shares its borders with Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Congo, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. This is besides the wonderful shores overlooking the Indian Ocean that started attracting a large number of tourists to spend their vacations in Tanzania.

Places to Visit in South India in March

Travel Tips and Destinations - Wed, 02/10/2016 - 08:57
The month of March exemplifies advent of summer and is a perfect time to escape to a distinctive world offering picturesque views of the exotic nature. If you are planning to visit the Southern Part of India in the month of March, then one can enjoy the scenic beauty of Kerala and the majestic environs of Tamil Nadu.

The Eucalyptus Regnans, the World’s Tallest Hardwood Tree in Tasmania

Everything Everywhere via rss - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 17:47

The Eucalyptus Regnans, the World’s Tallest Hardwood Tree in Tasmania

When (and when not) to tip in London and Britain

EuroCheapo via rss - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 06:13

London and Britain like to do their own thing in Europe, and the same applies to their tipping rules. If you’ve got your head around when and when not to tip in Europe (say in Paris or Stockholm) in comparison to North America, you’ll need to readjust again when you come to London.

However, one thing the UK does share with Europe is that servers will be on at least a minimum wage, relaxing expectations on how much to tip.

Here are a few pointers on how to tip like a Brit — that should save you some money in the process.

Tipping in Pubs, Bars, Clubs and Cafes

If it’s counter service…

If you’re doing the standing, waiting and carrying for yourself, there’s no need to give your server a tip. Many such cafes or coffee shops will have a tip jar displayed on the counter — people will put spare change in them at most.

While there’s no tipping at a pub counter, there is a custom of offering to buy an exceptionally helpful bartender a drink — rather than pouring themselves something, they’ll simply add one pound or so to your total price.

If it’s seated service…

If you’re presented with a check at the end of your visit, leave a tip of around 10% of the bill. Otherwise, if you’ve had good service, just leave them some change on the table.

Related: How to visit a traditional pub in London

No need to leave a tip if you pick up a beer at the bar. Photo: cmbellman P

Tipping in restaurants

Reckon on leaving from 10% to 15% of the total bill, depending on the quality of your service. However, do take a look at the check first. Some restaurants add on their own service charge as standard and you don’t want to pay twice.

You may also get the option to add on a tip if paying by credit card. Don’t feel pressured to do this — many people prefer to leave the tip in cash instead, feeling that it’s more likely to go to the serving staff than the owners.

Related: 10 Tips to save on dining in London

Just round up for the tip in a London taxi. Photo: technicolourcity

Tipping in taxis

Do tip if you ride in a London taxi, but simply by rounding it up to a nice round number, for example paying £30 for a £28 journey.

Don’t round up by more than a couple of pounds — if your journey cost you £29.60, you’d probably still only round it up to £30.

Tipping tour guides

Your guide will probably expect something, but do feel free to modify your tip depending on the quality of the service they provided. A tip around £5 is probably about right for a half-day/day tour.

Only at fancier hotels in London do you need to worry about tipping. Photo: JR P

Tipping in hotels

Most of the hotels we’d recommend on EuroCheapo are smaller, family run establishments where there is no need to tip (although it’s always a nice gesture to leave a little something in the room).

Related: 5 London hotels in a central location under £100 per night

In larger, fancier places you may want to tip a porter who has carried your bags to your room a couple of pounds, and perhaps also some coins for your chambermaid (depending on how much work you’ve given them!).

Tipping in public bathrooms

While you may need to pay to access public toilets, you should never have to tip beyond that. Some bars and clubs use bathroom attendants, who often provide users with an array of beauty products or sweets in the hope of earning a bit of extra cash. Of course, if you take advantages of their services, you should give them a tip. If you decide not to, it’s your chance to shuffle off awkwardly, avoiding eye contact like a true Brit.

The post When (and when not) to tip in London and Britain appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.

Spring Gentian Flowers in the Val d’Nuria, Catalonia

Everything Everywhere via rss - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 22:06

Spring Gentian Flowers in the Val d’Nuria, Catalonia

Why Visit Thailand?

Travel Articles - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:48
Are you excited and ready for your next travel destination? If your body and mind are all set to visit a new place to have some adventure, Thailand is the best place to go to. You will definitely love the place, food and most of the people. It is a must vacation spot in your next holiday adventure.

6 CITIES YOU HAVE TO VISIT THIS YEAR

As We Travel via rss - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 10:05

6 CITIES YOU HAVE TO VISIT THIS YEAR

Despite the fact that right now is the very beginning of February, and all those recommendations which started then the year 2016 is over, we still can talk a bit about some places around the globe that actually are worth visiting this coming year. And today, let’s take some of your time and discuss at least six cities really worth visiting this year! Why?

Travel Ticker (the website to help you book cheap hotels) is going to explain to you all of that easily! So, let’s get to the list right away, and let’s not forget those fantastic cities that will become real hotspots of 2016 too!

Cities You Have to Visit

Cities You Have to Visit San Sebastian Spain

San Sebastian (Spain)

Let’s begin with one of the most important cities in Europe, for the year 2016. San Sebastian, which you can find in Spain, this year, is named to be the cultural capital of the whole continent. So logically here you will get a chance to visit numerous cultural events all year long.

The city took this honor really responsibly – even built a brand new Tabakaleros modern cultural center, which is located in the former tobacco factory. So you can understand that the whole town is really prepared to pamper everyone with real Spanish culture. It is also worth remembering that in San Sebastian, the worldly famous film festival takes places, and in 2016 it will celebrate this 63 anniversary. So, if you love cinema and culture, San Sebastian should definitely be your top priority in 2016!

Stratford upon Avon (United Kingdom)

This year, the whole United Kingdom is going to honor one of the most famous writers of all time – William Shakespeare, since in 2016, it will be exactly 400 years after his death. To mark this occasions, all around the country will prepare many cultural events, so it is worth considering visiting the United Kingdom as well, especially if you are a huge fan of Shakespeare!

In Shakespeare’s birthplace of Stratford, you will get a chance to attend probably the biggest number of cultural events, while in the last home of this amazing author – in New Place, you can attend tours which will focus on writer’s life and death. In Guildhall, where it is believed he attended school, the exhibition will be opened too. And of course – in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre you can enjoy many plays written by the maestro himself.

Havana Cuba

In fact, the whole April will be dedicated to Shakespeare alone, so start planning your trip around that time for sure!

Havana (Cuba)

The year 2016 is one of the best times because, with the beginning of this year, the new era in Cuba started as well. This communist country actually decided to open up their borders and invite tourists to come. So right now where won’t be any better time to visit the beautiful capital city of Havana than ever!

It is said that the best time to visit Cuba is around March and April, when you won’t meet tons of tourist around, the weather is not too hot or cold, and there is less chance for tropical storms to come. Therefore, it is still some time left to plan your perfect trip to this fabulous country, seem-to-be stuck in time.

Kutaisi (Georgia)

If you have never been to one of the most amazing countries in the Europe, then you should definitely start with Georgia’s city of Kutaisi, which is also the new administration centre of the country as well.

Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Kutaisi is the second largest town in Georgia, and it can offer you a wide range of attractions all tourists will love. Here you can find both excellent examples of traditional Georgian architecture and some of the modern one too. Not to forget beautiful monasteries and temples, and the fact, that Georgia is very famous for its delicious wine. So here you can also stop by at many wine yards and taste the best and the freshest wine straight from the hands that made it!

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Of course, we can’t forget to mention Rio – the city in which all worlds’ best sportsmen will come to compete in Olympic Games! It will start on August 5th and end up on August 21, so mark your calendars and definitely come by here to meet new people from all around the world, and see some real human’s body achievements as well!

Let’s also not forget about the traditional Rio carnival you can also attend! But you should really hurry up because it is set to begin on February 5th! It is widely known how crazy, colorful and fun it is, so it is the experience of the lifetime to observe this incredible party live!

Nuuk (Greenland)

Greenland capital of Nuuk is one of the smallest capitals in the world. And in March (6-11 days) here begins an international Arctic Winter Games, presented as the largest event of its kind. So here you will see that the paddle is not only part of the vehicle, but it is also a sport!

If the games do not attract you, Greenland can offer you some alternatives. Here you can also attend the music, food and dance festival, which will be fun to watch too! It is recommended to go to Greenland from March to September, because of the better weather and the chance to see the Northern lights too!

The post 6 CITIES YOU HAVE TO VISIT THIS YEAR appeared first on As We Travel, Traveling Tips, Destinations, Travel Videos - Traveling Tips, Destinations, Travel Videos

Lisbon Night Clubs

Travel Tips and Destinations - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 09:20
The night life in Lisbon in booming and considered to be one of the best night scenes in Europe. Whether you are heading to Lisbon for a weekend or a two week holiday let us fill you in on the Lisbon club scene.

HOW TO PACK CORRECTLY

As We Travel via rss - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 07:56

HOW TO PACK CORRECTLY

Humans used to be a nomadic race, going from one place to another in search of better food and water. There are still some communities in the world, which retain their nomadic beginnings. We can just imagine the very first humans, who inexplicably bring up an image of the Flint Stones, deciding to take their first journey. That is when they would have come face to face with the most difficult of things: How to pack correctly?

HOW TO PACK CORRECTLY

Frankly, how do you pack for a trip? We can understand the urge to take along everything, but unless you live in a big RV Bus, it is quite impossible. If you do live in a huge RV, even then taking everything along on your trip to overseas would be impossible. So, now having established the need for packing, let us finally move towards the methods the can be employed.

PACK SMART NOT HEAVY

Just as you should work smart and not work harder, so is the case with packing. Packing smart is only possible if you have a proper system in place. You can take the following steps to ensure that you pack smart for your next trip.

SELECTING THE RIGHT BAG

You start your packing by selecting the right bag. If you are packing for a hiking trip then a bag form North Face would be more appropriate than your regular duffel bag. On the other hand, an overseas trip would warrant an upright trolley suitcase, which is easier to carry around.

BE ORGANIZED

Being organized is the key to packing everything you need for the trip. We suggest that you should start by making a checklist of all the things that you will need.

If you are traveling overseas, then it would be better to have all the things in separate sections. The documents need to be present in a very accessible place, so that they can be taken out at a moment’s notice.

On the other hand, if you are packing for a stay at a hotel, there is no need to pack every little accessory.

PERSONAL COMFORT IS IMPORTANT

Your handbag should ideally contain things which you need to keep yourself comfortable during the actual travel. If you’re traveling by air then this could include your neck pillow, a sleeping mask, your favorite pair of headphones, etc. It should also have your travel documents, just in case you need to show them.

THE CHECKLIST

Perhaps, it would be better to make the checklist before you start anything else. Start with making a list of all the things that you may need on the trip. This should include your clothing, shoes, laptop, toiletries, etc.

After you have made this first draft, it is highly advisable to revise it removing anything which has been included purely because you are attached to it. The main thing to understand here is that when packing, space is at a premium. For example, you don’t really need those three pair of shoes for just a weekend.

THE ACTUAL PACKING

Packing a suitcase properly is an art. However it can only be done after you decided what you’re going to carry with you. So, traditionally this step would come after you have made the checklist and revised it to leave out any unnecessary things. To pack efficiently, please use the following tips.

  • When packing a suitcase, especially a vertical one, it is better to put the heavier things at the bottom. This will prevent it from twisting and falling at every turn that you make with it.
  • Pack all your toiletries in a small plastic bag and make sure that even if something untoward happens, the bag won’t leak and ruin all your beautiful clothes.
  • If you’re going to carry jackets then it would pay off to buy reusable compressor bags. They can save up to 75% of the space originally taken by outerwear apparel.
  • For your regular clothes, the best way to pack them is to use the time-tested roll method. To do this, simply fold the items using the regular method and then roll them into a tight bundle. Contrary to popular perception, it will actually help in reducing the number of wrinkles on your clothes. Also, using this, items can be stacked one over the other without taking much space.
  • It is highly unadvisable to pack any sharp objects for an airplane ride. Just go over the list of common items which are not allowed, to be sure that you do not have to deal with the hassle of parting with your favorite knife.
  • It would be better to carry any valuables on your person rather than in the luggage. You never know what is going to happen to it and the insurance will not cover the cost in case your items are misplaced.
  • Using wheeled upright bags can save you a lot of trouble, especially if you are traveling alone.
  • Sometimes, it is better to skip common accessories like shampoos and other toiletries which can be easily bought for nominal amounts from the place you are traveling to.

This is it. These are our tips for packing smart instead of having to lug around all the heavy stuff. And what’s more, we have summarized all of this into the following infographic:

Co-produced by :Rebateszone & Aswetravel

The post HOW TO PACK CORRECTLY appeared first on As We Travel, Traveling Tips, Destinations, Travel Videos - Traveling Tips, Destinations, Travel Videos

The Truth About Nicaraguan Food

Twenty-Something Travel via rss - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 07:27

It pains me to write this, but I finally found a country whose food didn’t speak to me.

I spent a few weeks in Nicaragua, mostly the west coastal areas of León, Granada, Ometepe and San Juan Del Sur, and fell madly for this country. A lot of the infrastructure and characteristics of its people reminded me of my first country love, Thailand.

But the food. The food was the exact opposite of love.

The food of Thailand is so rich with flavors. The noodle bowls have the rich broth, the bright citrus notes, the spicy herbs and chilies. The curries have peppers and coconut and chili paste blended together in unison. Even their cheap on the go snacks like sticky rice are often laced with coconut cream or other sweet pastes. Everything about that cuisine makes my mouth water. Thai people take great pleasure in their food. You can see the pride in the faces of those preparing meals for others.

In Nicaragua, food was seen and used more in necessity than something that could provide tasty experiences. This is for a reason.

The majority of Nicaragua is not financially sound; it is the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Many of its residents can’t even afford to add meat to their diets. Ingredients for dishes are chosen to fulfill a nutritional need instead of a flavor need.

Beans and rice in the form of gallo pinto are overwhelmingly plentiful. In many regions, beans are the primary source of protein that compensates for a diet lacking in meat. Yucca root in the form of a popular dish known as Vigoron is a vegetable extremely rich in vitamins and nutrients but lacking in substantial flavor.

Often this food culture made it challenging to understand this country. Its people were so vibrant. The land of lakes and volcanoes was so diverse and unique. Even its transportation, chicken busses, were a riot.

But the food culture of the country was tough to chew (sometimes literally).

It was hard to find the bustling street vendors who shared their passion of cooking with customers. Which meant it was hard to find the true, local flavors. Although the street vendors that I did find were often boasting traditional Nicaraguan dishes like Vigoron and nacatamales they were typically in tourist spots and had jacked up rates and bland ingredients. There was no passion in their cooking.

A chicken nacatamale

In León, there is only one small stretch of 3-4 street food vendors. A typical meal here will set you back close to $5USD. Oftentimes, you can find meals in restaurants for cheaper than that.

I grew to loathe gallo pinto. I can really get into some good rice and beans, but gallo pinto was far from that. It didn’t matter where I found this dish, it was always undercooked and under seasoned. Does anyone actually like crunchy rice?

Even the restaurants trying to cater to tourists lacked anything special and many had prices that were extremely inflated to accommodate imported ingredients. Taco joints weren’t great, seafood spots struggled hard, and burgers left a lot up to the imagination.

Tostones con queso frito

One thing I have to give it to Nicaragua for is their plethora of vegetarian options. Even at the few street vendors I found, vegetarian options were prevalent. I probably wouldn’t have noticed this if I wasn’t traveling with a half-vegetarian… It makes sense once I learned of Nicaragua’s food economy. Without being able to afford meat, Nicaraguans learned to sustain themselves on purely starch and veggie diets. I found zucchini cakes, bitter leafy greens mashed together with potatoes, and plantains everywhere.

As a disclaimer, like I mentioned, I stayed on the west coast. I also stayed on the beaten tourist path. I’ve heard that the cuisine on the Caribbean coast differs greatly from the west especially because of the inclusion of coconuts, which always makes food better!

Oh, Nicaragua, my tummy is still grumbling for you, my dear,

The Truth About Nicaraguan Food is a post from Twenty-Something Travel

7 Top Tourist Seville Attractions THAT You MUST See

Travel Tips and Destinations - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 05:40
Like any city in Europe, you can find a lot of marvelous attractions in Seville as well. But the atmosphere of Seville is a thing that attracts most tourists. The city boasts a mixture of Renaissance, Mudejar, Gothic and modern architecture. Below is a brief description of the top 7 Seville attractions.

Airline Baggage Fees for US to Europe Carriers

EuroCheapo via rss - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 05:16

When flying between the United States and Europe, you probably know that it’s best to pack light. After all, the less luggage you have to haul around town the better.

Related: 10 tips for packing for a two-week European trip

For Cheapos, there’s one more obvious reason to keep the amount of luggage to a minimum: checked-baggage charges.

Pre-“Great Recession,” many transatlantic carriers allowed you to check two bags for free on international flights. After years of financial turbulence in the airline industry, however, most airlines have implemented new baggage policies intended to lighten their load while cashing in on new fees.

We’ve just updated the following chart to reflect baggage policies and charges as of February 2016. It’s amazing how things have changed since we first published this piece in 2011. As of last year, for example, Wow! Air and Norwegian are offering tantalizing deals for US to European travelers (although neither allows a free checked piece of luggage for their lowest fares).

US to Europe Flights: Baggage fees

Here’s a quick overview of baggage policies for the major airlines flying between the United States and Europe. Prices have gone up quite a bit since we last updated this list, and they keep increasing by the day, even with oil prices now dropping. Some airlines have also made it come complicated to calculate baggage charges, so you might have to dig deep into their websites for the information. But we discovered that in some cases fees have doubled or more in just a couple of years!

Please note that the following charges are one-way.

Note that the prices below are for standard tickets purchased on the airline. Many of these airlines offer a checked bag for free for qualifying members of their frequent flyer programs, for tickets purchased with an airline-connected credit card, or those booking in a class higher than economy. See notes below, and check with your airline or credit card for details.

These prices and policies are up-to-date as of February 8, 2016. Click the airline names for more details about their policies.

Winners and losers

We’ve highlighted what we think are the airlines with the best “Cheapo-friendly” baggage policies. This is assuming that most US-based travelers to Europe will be checking in at least one suitcase. Policies that we feel are a good deal are highlighted in green, while those that aren’t budget-friendly are in red.

Most big-name and legacy carriers still permit one free checked bag for US to Europe passengers. However, Wow! and Norwegian are operating on the European low-cost carrier model, and thus they charge for nearly every extra possible (such as bags, reserved seating, meals). However, they also often offer tickets at far lower rates than their more famous competitors. Thus, just because Norwegian and Wow! might charge for bags (and be highlighted below in red), the final cost of flying to Europe could be substantially lower than flying on a legacy carrier that offers a free checked bag. In the end, you have to add it all up to find the best deal. (Read more about this.)

Purely in terms of baggage policies, we have to proclaim Iceland Air the clear winner, in that they’re the only airline on the list to permit two free checked bags.

Carrier 1st checked bag: to 50 lbs (23 kg)
2nd checked bag: to 50 lbs (23 kg)
3rd checked bag: to 50 lbs (23 kg)
Extra weight: 51-70 lbs (24-32 kg)
Aer Lingus Free $100 / €75 / £65 $100 / €75 / £65 $100 / €75 / £65 Aeroflot Free $50 / €50 $150 / €150 $100 / €100 airberlin Free €150 €150 €100 Air Canada Free $100 $225 $100 Air France Free $100 $285 $100 Alitalia Free $50 / €50 $200 / €200 $75 / €75 American Free $100 $200 $100 Austrian Free $50 $100 $150 British Airways Free $90-100 / £60-65 $180-200 / £120-140 $100 / £65 Delta Free $100 $285 $100 Finnair Free $100 / €75 $200 / €150 $100 / €75 Iberia Free $85 – $100 $170 – $200 $100 Icelandair Free Free $133-152 / €100-114 $125-141 / €93-105 KLM Free $80 – $100 $285 $100 LOT Polish Airlines Free $100 / €75 $100 / €75 $140 /€90 Lufthansa Free (ski bag can count as a free item) $200 / €150 $200 / €150 $150 / €100 Norwegian Air $42 ($65 at airport) for direct LowFare tickets, free with LowFare+ and Flex fares. $50 for direct LowFare tickets — $15 per kilo Olympic Air Free 2 bags (up to 44 lbs, total) €30 – €45 €30 – €45 €30 – €45 Swiss Airlines Free $200 / €150 / 180 CHF $200 / €150 / 180 CHF $150 / €100 / 120 CHF TAP Portugal Free $70 $150 $150 United Airlines Free $100 $200 $200 Virgin Atlantic Free $85-100 / £55-65 $170-200 / £120-140 $60 / £40 Wow! Air $48 — $124, up to 44 lbs (20 kg) (depending on destination and when you pay) $48 — $124 $48 — $124 $23-25 per kilo


Aer Lingus

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: $100, €75 or £65
  • Third checked bag: $100, €75 or £65
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23 kg-32 kg): $100, €75 or £65
  • More information on Aer Lingus’ checked baggage policy.
  • Carry-on: One piece, up to 22 lbs (10 kg), along with one small personal item.
  • More information on Aer Lingus’ carry-on policy.

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Aeroflot

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: $50 or €50
  • Third checked bag: $150 or €150
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg): $100 or €100 (more information on excess baggage fees)
  • More information on Aeroflot’s checked baggage policy
  • Carry-on: 1 piece, weighing up to 22 lbs (10 kg), plus a small personal item.
  • More information on Aeroflot’s carry-on policy.

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airberlin

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: €150
  • Third checked bag: €150
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg): €100
  • More information on airberlin’s checked baggage policy
  • Carry-on: 1 piece, weighing up to 17.5 lbs (8 kg), plus a small personal item.
  • More information on airberlin’s carry-on policy.

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Air Canada

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: $100
  • Third checked bag: $225
  • Excess baggage: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg): $100 (more information on excess baggage fees)
  • More information on Air Canada’s checked baggage policy.
  • Carry-on: 1 piece, weighing up to 22 lbs (10 kg), plus one smaller personal item weighing up to 22 lbs (10kg)
  • More information on Air Canada’s carry-on policy.

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Air France

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: $100
  • Third checked bag: $285
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg): $100
  • Tip: Pay for additional bags online in advance and pay up to 20% less.
  • More information on Air France’s checked baggage policy.
  • Carry-on: 1 bag and one personal item. Total weight for the two items must not exceed 26.5 lbs (12 kg).
  • More information on Air France’s carry-on baggage policy.

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Alitalia

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: $50 or €50
  • Third checked bag: $200 or €200
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg): $75 or €75
  • Note: Save 20% when purchasing extra baggage allowance online
  • More information on Alitalia’s checked-baggage policy.
  • Carry-on bag: One piece, up to 11 lbs (5 kg).
  • Note: According to their website, personal items such as briefcases and computers are considered to be “hand luggage”.

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American Airlines

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: $100
  • Third checked bag: $200
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg): $100
  • Carry-on: One piece and one personal item are allowed.
  • More information on American Airlines checked and carry-on baggage policy.

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Austrian Airlines

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: $50
  • Third checked bag: $100
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg) $150 (more information on excess baggage charges)
  • More information on Austrian Airlines’ checked-baggage policy.
  • Carry-on: One piece weighing up to 17.5 lbs (8 kg), plus one personal item.
  • More information on Austrian Airlines’ carry-on baggage policy.

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British Airways

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kgs)
  • Second checked bags: prices range from $90 – 100 or £60 – 65 (depending on ticket type, destination and when you purchase, see details)
  • Third checked bag: $180-200 or £120-140
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg): $100 or £65
  • More information on British Airway’s checked baggage policy.
  • Carry-on: One piece no more than 50 lbs (23kg), plus one laptop-sized bag or handbag.
  • More information on British Airway’s carry-on baggage policy.

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Delta

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: $100
  • Third checked bag: $285
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg): $100 (more information on Delta’s excess weight policy)
  • More information on Delta’s checked-bag policy.
  • Carry-on: One piece, plus one small personal item.
  • More information on Delta’s carry-on baggage policy.

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Finnair

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: $100 or €75
  • Third checked bag: $200 or €150
  • Note: When all the flights in your itinerary are operated by Finnair, and the flight number starts with AY and the ticket number with 105 you can pay in advance online for a discount
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg): $100 or €75 (more information on Finnair’s excess weight policy)
  • More information on Finnair’s checked-baggage policy.
  • Carry-on: One bag, up to 17.5 lbs plus a small personal item for a combined weight of 8 kg.
  • More information on Finnair’s carry-on baggage policy.

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Iberia

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg).
  • Second checked bag: $100 at the airport ($85 online in advance)
  • Third checked bag: $200 at the airport ($170 online in advance)
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg) $100
  • More information on Iberia’s checked-baggage policy.
  • Carry-on: One item, plus one personal item.
  • More information on Iberia’s carry-on baggage policy.

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Icelandair

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: Also free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Third checked bag: $133-152 or €100-114
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg) $125-141 or €93-105 (more information on Icelandair’s excess weight policy)
  • More information on Icelandair’s checked-baggage policy.
  • Carry-on: One piece, weighing up to 22 lbs (10 kg), plus one small personal item.
  • More information on Icelandair’s carry-on baggage policy.

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KLM

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: $100 at the airport or $80 if purchased online
  • Third checked bag: $285
  • Note: Save 20-50% on additional bags when you pay for them in advance online. Details.
  • More information on KLM’s checked-baggage policy.
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg) $100
  • More information on KLM’s excess weight policy.
  • Carry-on: One piece and one small personal item, with a combined weight up to 26 lbs (12 kg).
  • More information on KLM’s carry-on baggage policy.

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LOT

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: $100 or €75
  • Third checked bag: €100 or €75
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg) $140 or €90
  • Tip: Pay online early to save up to 20%
  • More information on LOT’s checked-baggage policy.
  • Carry-on: One piece up to 17.5 lbs (8 kg), along with one small personal item.
  • More information on LOT’s carry-on baggage policy.

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Lufthansa

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: $200 or €150
  • Third checked bag: $200 or €150
  • More information on Lufthansa’s checked-baggage policy
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg) $150 or €150
  • Tip: You can opt to take your ski bag as part of your free baggage allowance
  • More information on Lufthansa’s excess weight baggage policy
  • Carry-on: One piece up to 17.5 lbs (8 kg), along with one small personal item.
  • More information on Lufthansa’s carry-on baggage policy.

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Norwegian

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: $42 ($65 at airport) for direct LowFare tickets, free with LowFare+ and Flex fares.
  • Second checked bag: $50 for direct LowFare tickets
  • Note: When you reserve a ticket you can see your fees for checked baggage for each leg of your flight. Sometimes they offer package deals that include checked baggage, meals and a seat reservation.
  • More information on Norwegian’s checked-baggage policy.
  • Excess weight: price is charged $15 per kilo, call airline for details
  • Carry-on: One piece, plus a personal item that must fit under the seat in front of you
  • More information on Norwegian’s carry-on baggage policy.

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Olympic Air

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg).
  • Second checked bag: €30 (pre-purchase) or €45 at the airport
  • Third checked bag: €30 (pre-purchase) or €45 at the airport
  • More information on Olympic Air’s checked-baggage policy.
  • Excess weight: 46-70 lbs (21-32 kg): €30 (pre-purchase) or €45 at the airport
  • Carry-on: One piece up to 17.5 lbs (8 kg).
  • More information on Olympic Air’s carry-on baggage policy.

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Swiss Airlines

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg).
  • Second checked bag: $200, €150 or 180 CHF.
  • More information on Swiss Air’s checked-baggage policy.
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg): $150,  €100 or 120 CHF
  • Carry-on: One piece,  up to 17.5 lbs (8 kg), and a small personal item.
  • More information on Swiss Air’s carry-on baggage policy.

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TAP Portugal

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: $70 (but use their online calculator for details)
  • Third checked bag: $150
  • Excess weight: $150
  • More information on TAP’s checked-baggage policy.
  • Carry-on: One item, weighing up to 17.5 lbs (8 kg).
  • More information on TAP’s carry-on policy.

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United Airlines

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: $100
  • Third checked bag: $200
  • More information on United Airline’s checked-baggage policy.
  • Excess weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg)  $200
  • More information on excess baggage charges
  • Carry-on: One bag, plus one personal item.
  • More information on United Airline’s carry-on baggage policy.

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Virgin Atlantic

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: Free, up to 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Second checked bag: $100 / £65 at the airport (or $85 / £55 online in advance)
  • Third checked bag: $200 / £140 at the airport ($170 / £120 online in advance)
  • More information on Virgin Atlantic’s checked-baggage policy.
  • Excess-weight: 50-70 lbs (23-32 kg) $60 / £40
  • Carry-on: One piece, up to 22 lbs (10 kg), along with one personal item.
  • More information on Virgin Atlantic’s carry-on baggage policy.

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Wow Air

Notes: All information is for US to Europe flights, economy class.

  • First checked bag: $48 to $124, up to 44 lbs (20 kg) (depending on destination and when you pay)
  • Second checked bag: $48 to $124
  • Third checked bag: $48 to $124
  • Tip: Prices are much cheaper when booking baggage fees online (over 50% in some cases)
  • More information on Wow Air’s checked-baggage policy.
  • Excess-weight: $23-25 per kilo
  • Carry-on: One piece, up to 11 lbs (5 kg), along with one personal item.
  • More information on Wow Air’s carry-on baggage policy.

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Want more info?

To view even more information on airline baggage policies among domestic carriers, have a look at this handy baggage fee guide from airfarewatchdog.com. Or if you’re looking to research airline fees beyond the world of luggage, try this comprehensive airline fee guide from SmarterTravel.com.

Once you’re ready to research airlines routes within Europe, try our guide to cheap flights in Europe and also be sure to use WhichBudget.com’s helpful cheap flights search engine.

The post Airline Baggage Fees for US to Europe Carriers appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.

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