Historic architecture, beautiful art, scenic beaches, and exciting adventures – these are just a few of the reasons why Europe is a dream vacation destination for many. Yet, the cost of traveling to Europe can be a deterrent for many people. However, budget travel does not have to be synonymous with boring travel. Here are 10 ways to travel to Europe on a budget.
1. Rethink Your Lodging Options and Use Airbnb
Luxury hotels may come to mind when you think about traveling with class. However, instead of spending money on high-end lodging, consider alternatives such as Airbnb or luxury boutique hostels. Even though Airbnb may seem more expensive than budget hotels, you can save a considerable amount of money by having access to a kitchen to cook your meals and laundry facilities. Airbnb is an excellent option for families as you can rent out an entire home or cottage.
2. Search for Package Deals
Many cities and attractions offer package deals that include admission to museums or attractions, free public transport, and even meal deals. For example, the Budapest Card and Barcelona City Pass offer various discounts for visitors. Additionally, check if large attractions like amusement parks or zoos offer discount day passes, which could be cheaper than paying for individual activities.
Consider using a travel agency as they may have access to exclusive deals that are not available for the general public.
3. Consider Traveling to Alternative Cities
Popular European cities like Rome or Paris can be expensive due to their popularity among tourists. However, there are many other affordable cities to visit that offer as much beauty and adventure as their famous counterparts. Consider visiting cities like Granada, Lyon, or countries like Hungary, Serbia, or Albania, which are often overlooked. Not only are these destinations more affordable, they also offer a unique cultural experience.
4. Use These Handy Tips to Save Money on Flights
For most people, airfare makes up a significant amount of their travel budget. Here are some tips to save money on flights:
– Sign up for frequent flyer programs and use miles to upgrade seats or book free tickets
– Opt-in for marketing emails from airlines and travel companies to get notified about promos
– Fly business class, which could be more affordable than you think
– Fly into larger airports and then use local/low-cost carriers to get to your destination
– Consider flying with a stopover as it is an excellent way to save money and visit another city
5. Walk or Use Public Transportation
Renting a car can be expensive, especially if you consider fuel costs and parking. Instead of renting a car, opt for walking, biking or public transportation, which is generally reliable in most European cities. Even if you do need to call a cab, it will still be cheaper than renting a car.
6. Dine Out at Local Restaurants
While it may be tempting to visit expensive restaurants, celebrity chefs owned chains, or fine dining establishments, the food sold at these places is often made miles away and reheated. Instead, consider dining at local restaurants, which offer traditional cuisine at a lower price. You can find recommendations by joining expat Facebook groups or checking out Spotted by Locals.
7. Visit the Bureau of Tourism at Each Destination
When you arrive at each destination, search for the local bureau or tourism or other similar organization. The folks at these places are very willing to point you in the direction of inexpensive dining, attractions, and entertainment. They may also provide coupons and other discounts for local attractions.
8. Shop Currency Exchange Rates
Do not exchange your currency at the airport as they charge higher fees. Instead, wait until you are in the city and shop for currency exchange rates. Exchange offices that are further away from city centers generally offer better rates.
9. Travel in the Off-Season
Tourism in most European cities peaks during the summer, which makes it expensive and crowded. To save money, travel during the off-season. However, research the off-season for each country and city, as certain events and holidays could cause temporary tourism booms.
10. Eat at the Market
Beautiful farmer’s markets are abundant in Europe, and they sell more than just fruits and vegetables. Many of these markets offer bread, cheese, wine, hot prepared foods, and more. Take advantage of this opportunity by making an inexpensive picnic lunch from local produce and enjoying it while immersing yourself in the scenery.
In conclusion, traveling to Europe can be affordable provided you plan your trip carefully by using these tips: rethink your lodging options, look for package deals, consider traveling to alternative cities, shop for airfare, use public transportation or walk, dine out at local restaurants, visit the bureau of tourism at each destination, shop currency exchange rates, travel during the off-season, and eat at the market. By keeping costs down in various areas, you can create an amazing vacation experience without breaking the bank.