As the Euro currency goes up, travelling to Europe gets more and more expensive. Those people who travel frequently learn that you can save a lot of cash if you plan ahead and avoid traditional destinations. If you want to remember good old times of budget Europe travelling, you will have to get closer to nature – opt for public transportation, low-cost accommodation and free activities. The following guide will teach you how to save on transport, food, sightseeing and accommodation, as well as how to find the hidden treasures and sights of Europe that you will surely enjoy.
Option One: Budget Destination
Go to Berlin – most budget-friendly capital in Europe. Unlike other big cities of European countries, Berlin still has lots of cheap accommodations and attractions all around the city. Walking around the city streets is an enjoyable activity, as there the old history and modern culture merge naturally into the great combination.
Choose Eastern instead of Western Europe. The history that gorges Great Britain and France can as well be found in Slovenia, Hungary and Romania, as well as the sun to enjoy. Many East European countries just adopted Euro, but are much more affordable than Spain or England.
Get a countryside vacation in English boondocks instead of trip to London. Lake District would offer you so much more than city center – hiking and fresh air, as well as great opportunities for relaxation.
Opt for Czech Republic’s Moravia instead of wine regions in Italy and France. The place is perfect for both wine lovers and those who enjoy fresh air, as scenery here is perfect.
For a beach vacation, go to Turquoise Coast in Turkey or Dalmatian Coast in Croatia. The mainland is always cheaper than the island, and the ferries that are all around the area are less expensive than rental boats.
Compare package tours before booking any. Most people believe that package tours are expensive, but in fact agencies get bulk discounts and thus tours are profitable for them and still affordable for you. Go to specialized websites to compare and choose packages for you. Some agencies let clients choose the flights on their own, which is pretty convenient. Make sure you don’t forget about meals and tips.
Option Two: Budget Transportation
Visit the aggregate airfare websites – there you can find the best offers from different companies. Look for other options like undergoing a long layover or other options for cutting off the cost of flight.
Book the cheapest ticket to your destination from your local airport. After you arrive, book tickets in other cheap companies to go to other European destinations. This is extremely useful if you travel light, as you will not have to pay extra baggage charges or cope with loss of baggage.
If you are going on a vacation for a few months, lease a car – short-term lease of a small car will cost you less than renting one.
If you plan going on train around Europe, make sure you book the tickets early. For a longer vacation 1 month ahead would be good, if you are going for couple days, try to book at least three days in advance. Basically, the sooner you book, the cheaper the ticket will cost.
Don’t travel during peak commuter hours and travel times. In this time tickets are more expensive, and if you get stuck in traffic, you will have to pay for gas. Opt for travelling at mid-day and night time.
Purchase overnight trains or flights. If you can sleep easily in transport, then you will save money on an overnight stay and arrive more quickly at your destination. Make sure to book all overnight trains or flights at least 1 month in advance.
Take public transportation whenever you can. Buses and trains are cheaper than taxis and rental cars, and if you stay for a couple of days, buy a pass for a bus or subway.
Option Three: Budget Accommodation
Think outside the box – look for hostels or ecotourism options instead of traditional hotels. Cottages, B&Bs, rentals, castles and camping – there is so much more than just a hotel to enjoy.
Become a house swapper or house sitter. There are some websites that are specialized in search of people who would take care of houses. A good house sitting profile can take a few years to build up. However, successful house sitters often stay at a European house free of charge. Finding a house trade can also take 6 months to a year.
Rent an apartment or a house from locals. Many classified resources such as http://localmartuk.com/ have a list of offered apartments for rend in numerous cities.
Buy hotel, sightseeing and airfare packages – these are available on numerous web services. If you are planning on staying in hotels, then you are likely to find a good deal on a number of services by booking a package in advance.
Option Four: Budget Sightseeing
Look for free attractions before you leave home. Most European countries do not require any fees for entering cathedrals and museums. If you make a research, you are most likely to find a huge list of sights that you won’t even able to see.
Visit the tourists office in each city you visit. These often hand out maps and discount on public transportation, and you can as well get some useful tips.
Option Five: Budget Dining
Opt for picnics. Dining out is always more expensive than preparing food by yourself, but if you don’t have a kitchenette or fridge in your dwelling, opt for a picnic instead – get a freshly baked bread, cheese and meat, fruits and vegetables, water or wine from the nearby shop and go to a park for a lunch or dinner. Get granola and yogurt and have breakfast in your room. Though it may not seem like a local food, eating healthy and fresh is much more European.
Do your restaurant dining at lunch and not at dinner. Most restaurants feature similar fare for half the price at lunch. Dress up and go to a fancy lunch, and then pick up a picnic for dinner.
Get away from tourists attractions before looking for a place to eat out. Prices around popular places are usually couple Euros higher, so walk couple blocks to find an authentic place with good prices. Bon voyage!