Cheap Sleeps Europe
by Katie Wood
Published by Robson Books
352 pages, 2005
Bunking With the Best
Reviewed by Cherie Thiessen
Hands up, those who remember Frommer's Europe on $5 a day. That edition was published, as well you may guess, many moons ago. At the back of that edition, I kid you not, was a section labeled "sub budget." That was the section we worked out of on our first trip abroad. Europe on $3.50/day.
Cheap Sleeps Europe isn't corpulent. That's a good thing since cheap sleepers aren't going to be taking taxis and hailing red caps to carry their overweight luggage. Readers need a book that is slender enough to fit into the handy front pocket of their target audience's knapsacks.
Despite its unassuming size, Cheap Sleeps Europe manages to cover 31 countries and over 10,000 accommodations. Not surprisingly, however, some countries seem to get short shrift. For example, Sweden, Portugal and -- perhaps less surprisingly -- Slovakia and Slovenia rate only a few pages each. Many of the main cities in these countries and some others have no accommodation listings at all. Nevertheless, the book boasts a great resource section and there are so many addresses, Web sites and e-mail addresses given that the traveler will be able to do a lot of advance planning and checking on her own, thus obtaining the information lacking in the book before setting out.
Expect to find details of accommodation agencies, tourist offices, youth hostels and other important addresses. What you won't find is information on cheap food, free attractions or cut rate travel. This book features accommodation only, hence the Sleeps part of the title.
Cherie Thiessen has been a scriptwriter, playwright, creative writing instructor and -- for the past 10 years -- a travel writer and book reviewer. She was the review columnist for Focus on Women Magazine for eight years and has also written numerous reviews for magazines including Monday Magazine, Pacific Yachting, Cottage Magazine, The Driftwood News, Linnear Reflections and Douglas College's Event Magazine.