What is the cheapest way to take a long vacation in Europe?

I would like to do a 6-9 month trip around Europe and the UK in 2023. I will avoid the limitations of Schengen, but what is the most cost-effective way to travel on a tight budget? I’m happy to stay in a few places, maybe a town in France or Germany, for up to a month at a time to really immerse myself. K. Quail, Grovedale, Vic

Do you like cats and dogs? Horses as a secondary activity? People from all over the world need pet sitters when they go on vacation and that gives you the opportunity to stay in their house or apartment and immerse yourself in the local community, as walking with pets automatically gives you access to locals, all for free. . TrustedHousesitters (trustedhousesitters.com) is one option, Nomador (nomador.com) is another, but there are several more. It is very beneficial if you can establish a profile beforehand that confirms your credibility as a house and pet sitter. So you might want to do a few sit-ins here in Australia, and you have plenty of time on your hands.

Wwoof (wwoofinternational.org) is a network of national organizations that connects people who want to live and learn on organic farms with organic farmers. In exchange for helping with farm work and help around the family home, you get food, lodging, and a ground-up learning experience.

It’s inevitable that you’ll have some time between those activities, so join Youth Hostels Australia (yha.com.au), they’re a fabulous organization and you automatically become a member of Hostelling International (hihostels.com), which has properties all over the world. the world. world. For traveling on a budget and meeting like-minded travelers, it’s a great way to see the world.

The Department of Health states that from April 17 negative pre-departure tests will no longer be required for travelers entering Australia. However, the Department of the Interior requires us to complete a Digital Passenger Declaration which requires pre-departure proof. Y passport and vaccination certificate. But the government has that information: why the DPD if we are no longer required to do a pre-departure test? P O’Neill, Paddington NSW

The requirement that entering passengers complete a DPD is anticipated to remain in place after April 17, as the government will continue to monitor the vaccination status of entering passengers. As you say, the Department of the Interior already has information on passports and vaccinations for Australian residents, but there is more. For example, it is necessary to show evidence of a DPD when you check in for your flight back to Australia. If Australian residents were exempt, it would be difficult for check-in staff to differentiate between passengers who are Australian residents and those who are not. So we are all pooled in the same basket and we all have to complete that DPD.

I’m renting a car in the US and I need full collision damage waiver and theft protection, but my travel insurance policy only offers limited coverage for both. Adding in the cost of full insurance coverage from the car rental operator is going to cost a bomb. G. Costa, Roseville New South Wales

Rental Car Protection (rentalcarprotection.com.au) provides the service you are looking for. Full insurance coverage for a two-week car rental in the US or Canada in April will cost just over $200. You can further lower your premium by adding a voluntary excess contribution of a few hundred dollars. Since full insurance purchased at the car rental counter will add US$20-30 per day to the cost, you have money in your pocket. In Europe, where the damage liability rate to be paid by the renter in the event of loss or damage is lower, the same Rental Car Protection coverage for the same period will cost only half.

We will be in Gothenburg, Sweden in early June 2023. My husband wants to see the Northern Lights. What is the best way to do this please? A. White, Kialla Vic

You might see the Northern Lights from Gothenburg in June, but not in their full glory. To see them at their cinematic best you need absolute darkness, but darkness is scarce in the Nordic countries in June. Throughout the month, Gothenbug will experience only about four hours of civil twilight per night. Civil twilight is when there is enough light that no artificial light is needed. You can read a book or take a walk without falling. The Northern Lights still happen, it’s a year-round phenomenon, but it would be like watching fireworks at dusk instead of in the dark. If you want to see the Northern Lights sparkling and dancing in the night sky, between October and March in the Northern Hemisphere is the time and place, and the further north the better.

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