Subject: New California member - tips please!
Forwarded by Moderator - Welcome Rhonda!

Hi, Travelzine,

My name is Rhonda and I'm looking forward to gleaning tips from TheTravelzine on making the most of Europe on a shoestring budget!

I've lived in the Antelope Valley for almost 15 years (high desert 1 hour north of L.A.). I grew up near San Francisco. My parents are retired teachers who led student tours to Europe in the 60's & 70's, taking us 4 daughters on several trips (where I picked up my wanderlust!).

I taught special education before my 2 daughters were born (now 14 & 9), and presently homeschool them. Our interests are community theater, music, photography, reading mysteries & biographies, collecting menus & recipe books, and travel, of course!

We're planning to visit 5 countries during August & September ~ stopping in London, Rome, Capri & Amalfi, Campobasso (my father's hometown, where my parents live 1/2 the year) and a town along the Adriatic where they have a condo. Also, we'd like visit Venice and Salzburg (salt mines & Marionette puppets in "Hansel & Gretel"), Neuschwanstein and Strasbourg (mom's ancestors), and conclude with Paris.

I'm looking for advice on the least expensive, clean, simple accommodations (private home or B&B?) in Rome, Naples, Venice, Salzburg & Paris. Perhaps it's too much to expect to find anything less than $100 per night for 1 adult & 2 children (average for 3 in most youth hostels). We'd even consider home exchange, but not sure Europeans would be enticed by the high desert!

Arrivederci, Rhonda Antelope Valley, CA