A summer vacation in Europe is the trip of a lifetime for many people, but one that they fear is out of reach due to the cost. Europe isn’t always the cheapest place to travel and with everyone’s budget belts being tightened summer holidays are often one of the first things to go. This doesn’t have to be the case though! If you are a savvy traveler and put some effort in you can save on everything from accommodation and food, to entrance fees and transportation costs. Use any, or all, of these money saving tips when planning your next vacation in Europe and you’re sure to have a memorable holiday at half the price!
- The first trick is to choose your dates carefully. Traveling outside of peak season will save you money on almost every aspect of your trip. Peak season in Europe is generally from May-August. As well as saving money, traveling off season also means less crowds and friendlier locals – a win all around.
- When booking your flights be flexible with dates. Flying in the middle of the week can be much cheaper than the weekend – simple supply and demand. Many flight booking websites, such as Travelocity.com have a search option that allows you to indicate that you are flexible with your dates. This allows them to display flight prices 3 days on either side of your selected dates, allowing you to see how much they fluctuate within only a few hours.
- Accommodation is likely to be the biggest expense after your flights. Week long and weekend holiday are a popular accommodation option in Europe and can be much cheaper than the traditional hotel. Visit www.sykescottages.co.uk to view a great selection of holiday cottages throughout the UK and Ireland.
- Eating out at restaurants 3 meals a day for a week or more can get expensive, tiresome, and isn’t great for the waistline. Staying in self-catering accommodation allows you to cook your own meals and pack up snacks to bring along on days out – a big money saver and a life saver if you are traveling with children.
- Watch out for unexpected extra charges! If you grab a coffee or sandwich at a street side cafe they may charge you extra to eat on the premises. Likewise, if they bring bread or bottled water to your table at a restaurant check to make sure you aren’t being charged extra for the privilege. There’s nothing worse than being charged for something you didn’t want!
- Decide where you would like to visit in advance and check their website to see if they offer an advanced ticket deal. Not only will this save you money but also often lets you skip the line-up.
- Last but not least, use what God gave you and walk, walk, walk! There is nothing cheaper than free and that’s what your legs are! If you must get further than your legs can carry you, consider using local public transportation like subways and buses. Taxis are always going to be the most expensive option and anything that is targeted towards tourists is likely to be a rip-off. Before you leave in a taxi double check about the fare so you aren’t shocked at the end.
All set? If you fear that money will be an issue, do your research. The money saved will go a long way in buying you a sweet souvenir!