I’ve been coming to Europe about every other year (for pleasure) since around 2002, and every year before that (for work), but the way I travel has been changed. This year I am researching a novel, and so spent 6 weeks in Provence France, where some of the chapters take place—I believe in being as accurate as I can when writing. I’m also spending 6-weeks in Italy, to visit friends.
To make the travel easier—town to town—I used the high speed train in France (TGV) and the high speed Italian train (Frecciarossa). I use an airline travel card for most of my purchases, one that gives me miles for every dollar I spend on United AL. I tried a generic miles card, but not all miles are equal and I suspect the loyalty cards are more effective overall. This is the fourth trip I’ve made using ,miles for my ticket, and more than half of the trips have been in business class.
For accommodation, I’ve used a series of AirBnB whole apartments that are centrally located, less expensive than a hotel, and both more comfortable and with a kitchen and laundry, to save food expenses. AirBnB was used for more than 3 days and I’ve used Booking.com to find good deals for the few short visits. Travel need not be expensive.