Rick Steves - Europe Through the Back Door Handbook


Packed with lessons gleaned from more than 30 years of budget travel, Rick answers the questions you have now — and those you wouldn't have asked until faced with them on your trip.

Besides the essential travel-skills tips listed below, Rick also gives a country-by-country rundown of his favorite destinations throughout Europe, and shares some of his most unforgettable experiences.

  • Getting Started: How to get inspired, decide whether to travel independently or with a group, and tips for making the most of your trip
  • Budgeting and Planning: Affording your trip, researching your trip, creating an itinerary, and prioritizing your time
  • Paper Chase: Travel documents, travel insurance, before-you-go checklist
  • Pack Light: Packing 101
  • Flying: Booking and taking flights to Europe and within Europe
  • Trains, Buses & Boats: Train tickets and rail passes, train stations, tips for a good train ride, and riding long-distance buses and ferries
  • Driving & Navigating: Renting a car, alternatives to renting, behind the European wheel, and navigating with GPS and paper maps
  • Money: Strategies for using cash and credit cards, and tipping
  • Sleeping: Finding the right room, reserving a room, having a good hotel stay, bed-and-breakfasts, apartment and other short-term rentals, hostels, staying in European homes, and camping
  • Eating: Choosing among and eating in restaurants, cafés, and bars, Europe’s café culture, picnics and other budget options, navigating Europe’s markets and food halls, and tips for food tours
  • Staying Connected: Using your smartphone in Europe, using European SIM cards, landlines, and Internet cafés
  • Getting Around in Cities: Using GPS and mapping apps on your mobile device, and tips for using subways, buses, and taxis
  • Sightseeing: Strategies and tips for hiring tour guides, taking walking tours, visiting sights, and becoming a "temporary European"
  • Outdoor Adventure: Hiking, walking, and biking
  • Shopping: Where to shop, general tips, and a section on VAT refunds, customs, and shipping
  • Theft & Scams: Pickpocketing and theft, scams and rip-offs, and coping with lost stuff
  • Hurdling the Language Barrier: Tips on creative communication and understanding European gestures
  • Health & Hygiene: Staying healthy, pharmacies, laundry, and European bathrooms
  • Photography & Sharing Your Trip
  • Travel Styles: Traveling solo, family travel, savvy seniors, and travelers with disabilities
  • Bus Tours & Cruises
  • Perspectives: Broadening your world view through travel, understanding the European Union, European challenges and social issues, and resources for socially responsible and educational travel
  • Back Doors: A country-by-country look at Rick's favorite destinations

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