I just got back from a ten day trip to Prague and Budapest with a few friends, and here is a quick (but not comprehensive) list of some things I learned:
- Budget airlines take their baggage requirements seriously. Pack light and wear all of your layers to save the cheeky 60 euro fee they will charge you if your bag doesn’t fit their requirements.
- Airbnb hosts are sneaky. Our host in Budapest sent me a nice email asking me to rate him with 5 stars and write an extensive review, so I did, and then I saw his review which was “Jean was fine.” Bastard.
- There is nothing better than beer that costs less than one euro. Nothing!
- Snow is a very foreign concept to Australians. If travelling with Australians in winter months, prepare for excitement and endless awe when snow starts to fall.
- The one thing that is almost as good as beer that costs less than one euro is kebabs that cost less than two.
- That five star cafe that your friend recommended you is worth it. Go. A good meal and/or cappuccino will always make your day a little bit brighter.
- If someone asks you to take a photo of him and his girlfriend at a beautiful vantage point in Budapest while the sun is setting, prepare for the possibility that he will propose to said girlfriend and you will have the stressful but beautiful duty to take a whack ton of photos of two people who you’ve never met getting engaged.
- If you are travelling with people who have similar eating and spending habits, have a communal pot of money to make the trip way easier. One day you feel great because everyone is buying you food and drinks, and the next day you feel great because you are the kind soul that is buying everyone else everything.
- When you get to a new city and don’t know what to do, go on a free walking tour. They tend to take about three hours and give you a good gist of the history and landmarks of the city. You get good tips about the city and potentially will even meet a cool person or two!
- Do not book shuttle buses with Wizzair because the bus will never arrive and you’ll lose 20 euros.
- Do book buses with Student Agency if you’re travelling Eastern Europe because they will have a TV so you can watch Brokeback Mountain AND Factory Girl.
- If you drag your friends to a Canadian Poutine place that is 45 minutes away, call first to make sure they’re open. Because they might not be open and you might then feel like a dickhead.
- Do not say yes to the Segway tour in Prague. You look like a dork.
- Do not get too hyped up on what happens at the top of the hour at the Astronomical Clock in Prague, it’s nothin’ special.
- Do not fall off any of the towers in Prague or Budapest. It’s happened before recently, apparently. Not a good way to go.
- Prepare for a heavy meat and bread based diet. If you are a vegetarian, expect a fish or chicken dish, even when you ask for no meat. Vegetarianism is something that is not entirely understood when it comes to traditional Czech and Hungarian cuisine.
- Hungarians wear a lot of fur.
- The movie Eurotrip’s depiction of how far a dollar goes in Eastern Europe is not quite accurate, but still pretty spot on.
- Do not ever watch the movie Eurotrip.
Hungarians wearing fur
Australians examining snow