Depending on where you travel, how you get there, and what you do once you get there, a trip to Europe can be a lavish indulgence or a cheap adventure. A simple trip to Ireland is very different from a five-hour flight to the Canary Islands or an interrail journey to the Swiss Alps, despite the continent’s apparent compactness. It can be difficult to decide where to go on vacation when there are so many different locations to select from, especially if money is tight. However, if you adhere to the advice provided below, you can have a wonderful trip without breaking the bank.
Here Are Our 9 Ways to Save Money While Visiting Europe
Money Saving Tip No. 1: It’s Cheap to Fly
When you consider that you can fly to several European cities in under two hours, using a budget airline isn’t so bad. Don’t forget that you’ll have to pay more if you want to reserve a seat, board first or check a bag. If you are travelling to multiple countries, it may be more cost effective to establish a base of operations where you could ship your belongings to and from, then organise weekend or midweek excursions. Grab your under-the-seat backpack and run when you see a cheap deal, you won’t be sorry.
Money Saving Tip No. 2: Travel Out of Season
You can save money on airfare, hotel stays, and award redemptions by planning your trip for the off season or out of season. You’ll also experience less people and shorter queues, particularly at popular destinations. Keep in mind that most airlines have peak and off-peak calendars for award redemptions, charging less miles/points during off-peak dates, and that flights and hotels may offer cash savings in the off-season. The months of October and November, as well as January and June, are considered the off- and shoulder seasons in most of Europe. Naturally, you’ll receive the greatest rates if you skip major celebrations like Christmas and Easter, as well as popular bank holiday weekends.
Money Saving Tip No. 3: Travel to Low-Cost Locations
Visiting Paris and Amsterdam will not be inexpensive (even if you find a cheap airfare deal and are able to use points for a hotel stay). You should look into other, less expensive European cities like Krakow, Porto, Bucharest, Kiev, Budapest, and others. As a general rule, it’s best to start planning your trip after you’ve decided what kind of getaway you want to have. Instead of the French Riviera, visitors should consider the beaches of Sicily or the Albanian Riviera. Drop Santorini in favour of Paxos, Sifnos, or Symi, three less-crowded Greek isles. Try the wine in Estonia instead of Bordeaux, the art in Madrid instead of Vienna, and the slopes of the Sierra Nevada in Spain instead of the Alps in Switzerland. You can have a cheap European trip of any flavour you desire if you only study a map and avoid the typical tourist traps.
Money Saving Tip No. 4: Spend Time in a Hostel or Rented House
Home rentals can actually save travellers a lot of money – and not just on the actual amount of the rental, but also on dining out or doing laundry. When renting a house, you can save a lot of money by preparing your own meals and doing your laundry instead of eating out or doing laundry services. And living like a native has cultural benefits, too, like having a real sense for a city and how its citizens go about their daily routines. You can save money on lodging by choosing to stay at a hostel instead. And these accommodations aren’t limited to bunk beds and backpackers like you might think. In fact, similar to budget hotels, many European hostels offer individual beds and toilets. In addition, boutique hostel brands like Generator are becoming increasingly popular in Europe, so you may avoid breaking the bank without sacrificing comfort.
Money Saving Tip No. 5: Learn the Proper Way to Tip
Knowing the customs surrounding tipping might help you save money and avoid embarrassment after dining out or taking a taxi. Tips can range from 10% to nothing at all. Useful apps like “Gratitude Tipping” break down the local customs for tipping taxi drivers, tour guides, wait staff, bartenders, and hotel maids.
Money Saving Tip No. 6: Do Not Underestimate Trains
While rail travel isn’t always the cheapest option, when planned ahead of time, it may be simple and inexpensive. Taking a train instead of an aeroplane is the best way to get from point A to point B without dealing with airport delays, turbulence, or a cramped seat. Trains are convenient when you have a lot of stuff to bring along. Some routes in Europe are so breathtakingly beautiful that taking the train becomes a holiday in and of itself. For those heading off on a hiking journey, Interrail passes are a suitable alternative.
Money Saving Tip No. 7: Pack Lightly
Almost all airlines in Europe charge for checked bags, and many taxi drivers in Europe will charge extra if you have luggage. Packing cubes and appropriate travel attire are only two ways to avoid overpacking.
Money Saving Tip No. 8: Take a Free Guided Stroll
Free walking tours can be found in nearly every European city. Before setting out on your trip, do some research online and, if necessary, register in advance. Even if you tip your guide handsomely, you are likely to wind up spending much less than you anticipated. If you’re solo or just trying to expand your social circle, meeting fellow travellers could be a pleasant surprise.
Money Saving Tip No. 9: Verify Your Mobile Phone’s Data Usage Tariff
Some mobile phone providers may not charge you more if you use their service while you’re in Europe, but it’s best to double check. The post-holiday blues are bad enough without having to cope with an unexpectedly high mobile phone bill. Check the roaming costs for your network before you leave, or consider purchasing a local SIM card once you reach your location to avoid these fees.
As you can see, visiting Europe can be done on a tight budget, it just needs a little careful planning and thought plus out money saving tips – happy travels!