Andy Steves, author of ‘Europe City Hopping on a Budget,’ to speak at Old Firehouse Books Tuesday

Claire Oliver

The cover of the new edition of Andy Steves travel book for budget and student travelers. Photo Courtesy of Avalon Travel.

Studying abroad is a trip in itself, but when the classroom becomes crowded, branching out to a new city can seem like a great way to experience not only the country you’re in but the cities and places that surround it. 

Andy Steves, the creator of Weekend Student Adventures and the author of “Europe: City-Hopping on a Budget” provides an easy way for students studying abroad as well as travelers on a budget to explore some of Europe’s most interesting cities.

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Steves recently released the newest edition of his book and is eager to share his experience and expertise with the younger generation of travelers. He will be in Fort Collins at Old Firehouse Books this coming week to do just that. 

“One thing I really wanted to focus on was concise and direct descriptions because we all have a Twitter-like attention span these days,” Steves said. “And especially with Instagram being so popular, we just want to look at pretty pictures. And so I brought this understanding from the millennial perspective through all my descriptions and the structure of my chapters and everything.”

When we think of Europe we think of ancient history or WWII. But in reality we are making history every day and I want to connect students with what is going on in Europe now.” Andy Steves, writer and travel guide

Traveling runs in the family for Steves. His father, Rick Steves, is a well-respected travel writer himself and Andy Steves took inspiration from his father’s book to create something new and different that stands out on its own.  

“When I was in college myself, I was traveling around using my dad’s guidebooks for the cultural and museum information,” Andy Steves said. “But I couldn’t afford his restaurants or his hotels, and so I’d have to travel around with ‘Let’s Go,’ which is a student-oriented guidebook written by Harvard students.”

Although the guidebook was helpful, Andy Steves still felt that there was a need for a more concise guidebook for the student traveler looking for a weekend getaway while studying abroad. This need truly presented itself when Andy Steves was abroad in 2008 in Rome. 

“We had three day weekends so we were like, holy cow it only costs 30 bucks to get to Prague, or to Paris or to Amsterdam,” Steves said.  “Let’s jump on these weekend trips and live it up. And so by nature of me knowing how to get around and having friends in each of these places, everyone said, ‘Let’s see what Andy wants to do at each stop along the way.’ I was happy to do it, but by the end of the semester I was organizing trips for 30 friends as well as just random acquaintances in my program.”

For more information regarding Weekend Student Adventures go to wsaeurope.com For more information about Steves and his new book go to andysteves.com

The tour company blossomed from there. Andy Steves tour guide business plan even won an award in 2010 during a business competition at his alma mater, Notre Dame. 

“I was like alright if these judges think I can do it then I might as well give it a shot and see what happens,” Andy Steves said. “And that was in 2010 so that was eight years ago and since then we’ve taken thousands of students on exciting tours around Europe, connecting them with locals and showing them the most interesting and exciting parts of these different cities.”

Andy Steves wrote his book as a supplement for his tours and as a way to showcase new and interesting things in 13 of Europe’s most popular cities including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, Edinburgh, Florence, London, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Rome and Venice. Each city was selected for their must-see sights, but the guidebook also provides information about places that lie off the beaten path. 

“So for people who want to do something more unique, the book is full of that kind of information and tips,” Andy Steves said.  

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One tip Andy Steves had is that the further east someone travels the cheaper it will be. In places like Budapest and Prague, it’s cheaper to grab a beer compared to a city like London or Dublin where it might be 12 euro to buy a pint. 

But even if you are traveling to a city on the west side of Europe, Andy Steves has picked out places in his guide that help to fit a budget, even when it comes to bars and clubs. 

Andy Steves
Andy Steves will be in Fort Collins to promote his new book, “Europe: City-Hopping on a Budget.” (Photo courtesy of Andy Steves)

Andy Steves, although learning quite a bit from his father about traveling the globe, has taken his guidebook and tours a step further in order to cater to the younger generation. Whether it’s a group of students studying abroad looking for a weekend getaway or budget travelers looking for a more structured way to travel, Andy Steves provides an across-the-board guide of where to go and what to do.

Steves will be sharing all his expertise as well as promoting the new edition of his book this coming week at Old Firehouse Books in Old Town. 

The event will take place on April 24 at 6 p.m. 

“I’m going to be sharing a ton of cool stories, stupid jokes and a ton of practical tips,” Andy Steves said. “Not just for Europe but also general travel. And when it comes to general travel, I’m going to share the latest apps and other modern technology that we can use and leverage and utilize to save time and money while you’re traveling, whether it’s to Bali or Krakow. All the information I’ll be sharing is relevant for anyone traveling in the next five years, so if anybody on campus plans on doing that they should come out to the talk and consider picking up the book.”

Andy Steves’ book is filled with new tips for the budget traveler. It’s a perfect travel companion for those who plan to study abroad next semester and know they have a few weekends to get away and see new and exciting places. The book is an investment worth making. It may be $20 for a guidebook but it could save hundreds in the long run, Steves said. 

“When we think of Europe, we think of ancient history or WWII,” Steves said.  “But in reality, we are making history every day, and I want to connect students with what is going on in Europe now.”    

Collegian reporter Claire Oliver can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @claire_oliver21.