The lines that used to define East and West Europe, such as the Euro, are slowly blurring. With them, the sections that travelers used to limit themselves to are becoming well-traveled. As visitors to Western Europe push their way East, the hope is that the economies and standard of living will gradually improve. But can Eastern European countries change and adapt without losing their cultures?
Eastern Europe used to mean cheap living and cheap traveling. But with Croatia's rocket-like ascent to tourism powerhouse, the prices are starting to creep up. What used to be a largely economic barrier has changed and the slow shift of money to the east has brought Eastern Europe out of poverty, into prominence as backpackers and budget travelers discover that what was once a difficult, sometimes dangerous place to travel, is now a comfortable destination where you might save a few bucks on your vacation.
This is the place to watch for emerging travel destinations and trendy places to visit. Croatia is no longer an undiscovered destination, but look no further than its cousin to the south east, Montenegro, for the next big thing in Eastern Europe.
It's getting more challenging every year to find cheap Europe airfare, and if you need to get to the eastern part of the continent it's even tougher. You might consider pricing a ticket to London or Frankfurt and then another ticket to your final destination. Sometimes that combination comes up cheaper than a single ticket, but not always.
This can be an expensive continent for sleeping, but fortunately the Eastern part tends to be cheaper than the Western part. There are plenty of hotels in Europe from which to choose, but some of the ones in the East might have lower quality standards to go along with the lower prices, so don't expect too much if the cost is low. There are many Europe hostels as well, with new ones opening up all the time. These places offer the best value and most of them are quite nice compared to some of the cheapest hotels in the same areas.
For more information on travel in Eastern Europe, check out the Eurailblog.