Europe in summer is pure magic. Coming to more mundane realities, it is also at its most expensive. The streets might be friendlier but prices are not. Motels and hotels might be a bit steep so the best way is to check out home-stay options or youth hostels which might be grotty but are money-savers of the best kind.

Now, cheap implies travelling light. Never pack to the minimum luggage allowance from your port of travel. You might pledge not to shop or tell yourself that Europe is too expensive anyway but the kilos mysteriously pile up. Struggling with luggage doesn't make for great holiday memories. Pack wisely. Learn the advantages of washing and wearing.

Jeans are multi-wear but also among the heaviest articles among your clothing, so wear one and pack another. Never take too many pairs of jeans. Chances are you will end up leaving them behind. You are on holiday so forget the goo. Cosmetics take up loads of space so forgo your usual hand cream and foot masque. Stick to multi-use moisturiser which will do the job for the few weeks you are away.

Airlines have peculiar rules that change from airport to airport. Use the Internet. Scrutinise your airline allowance. See that you meet them or else much of your holiday allowance will go in paying airport fees.

Give your mobile a break as well. International roaming rates are killers. So check your local options there. Most European companies offer free incoming so a local connection makes sense.

Europe has not only the best rail connections. It has excellent bus services as well. Often a combination of transport works. So you might fly into one country and take the bus out to another. Book on the Net. Look out for combi-deals. Collect travel brochures. Compare, contrast and research miles and rates. Be ruthless.

COMPILED BY PAROMITA PAIN

Keywords: travelEurope