Europe is one of the most expensive tourist destinations in the world. Despite this, it’s possible to enjoy a vacation there on a budget. Here are some money-saving tips for your trip to Europe!
1. Avoid flying to Europe in the summer.
If possible, don’t visit Europe in the months of June, July, or August. This is because it’s the time when almost everyone else in the world decides to vacation there. Because of this, prices skyrocket. And everything – from flights to hotels and even restaurants – are fully booked. In addition to this, the temperatures rise and it’s often going to be too hot.
2. Organize your budget.
This one goes without saying. Make sure you know how much money you’re willing to spend on the trip as well as what you plan to spend it on. Will you be spending on food? On shopping? Or on sight-seeing?
In addition to this, how will you be paying once you’re in Europe? Will you be using a card or paying in cash? Note that ATM fees are becoming more and more expensive and exchanging currency can be both pricey and risky. Many travelers recommend using credit cards, but the choice is entirely up to you. Just make sure to do a lot of research beforehand.
3. If you’re visiting more than one country, plan your route.
What do you want to see when you arrive in Europe? The countries in Europe are all very different and have their own attractions to offer, so make sure these are in line with what you want to experience. It’s easy to pick the famous hotspots like London, Paris, and Rome, but by doing this, you might miss out on the hidden gems. For example, there’s also a lot to see in Moscow, Munich, and Budapest.
Whatever route you choose, make sure it’s possible to get from your current destination to the next. Do your research on how to commute from Point A to Point B and how to do so in the cheapest, but most comfortable way.
4. Book two one-way plane tickets.
This tip is related to the last item on the list. If your trip through Europe begins in London and ends in Venice, don’t book a roundtrip ticket. Instead, get two one-way tickets. The first ticket flies you to the United Kingdom from your point of origin. And the second flies you back to your point of origin from Italy. This saves a lot of money because you won’t have to travel all the way back to your first Europe destination at the end of your vacation.
5. Consider traveling by rail.
Budget airlines may be cheap, but traveling via rail is often much cheaper. Try to book tickets in advance for huge savings. You might even stumble upon promos or special deals.
Depending on your route, a Eurail pass might help you save a lot of cash. There are multiple Eurail passes to choose from, depending on how many countries you want to visit and the number of people in your group. Do your research and find out whether you’d save more by investing in a Eurail pass or paying for the rail fares individually.
Lastly, booking a ticket for an overnight rail trip can save you a lot of time. A lot of lengthy train journeys usually have this option.
6. Eating from supermarkets saves a lot of cash.
This applies whether you want a small bite to eat or a full meal. Buy bottled water, fruits, and snacks from a grocery instead of tourist shops to save more. If possible, you can even cook your meals to avoid going out to eat at a pricey establishment.
7. Stick to family businesses
If you’re looking to enjoy authentic cuisine, opt for family restaurants. They’re often much cheaper than the restaurants owned by big companies.
But note that family businesses aren’t limited to restaurants. There are also a lot of family-run hotels that offer rooms at cheaper rates. Some even offer tours at budget-friendly prices.
8. Choose a hotel or hostel outside of the city center.
The closer you are to the city center, the pricier the room rate is going to be. If you want to sleep in style, but also save some cash, book a room in a place that is outside of the city center. To make the daily commute easier, find a place that’s near the train or any vehicle that can take you to the city center. This helps ease the burden on your wallet, while still making things convenient.
Alternatively, you can use sites like Airbnb.com or Wimdu.com to rent a place. The offers on these sites are usually cheaper compared to hotel rates.
9. Know when a museum offers free admission.
A lot of museums in Europe offer free admission on certain days. For some, that day comes every week and for others, it’s twice every month. If you’re interested in visiting a particular museum or art gallery, read about it online. You might find the museum’s free day in a customer review. You could save as much as €20 (approximately Php 740) by visiting on a free day!
10. Consider purchasing a pass.
A lot of major hotspots in Europe offer special cards that allow tourists to avail of special discounts for tours, attractions, and public transportation. It also provides free admission to certain museums. Some of these cards include the Paris Pass, the Rome Pass, and the London Pass. If a certain pass covers a lot of the places you want to visit, investing in it can save a lot of cash. If not, then you’re better off traveling without it.
And that’s ten money-saving tips for your trip to Europe! Still planning the route you want to take and the countries you want to visit? Check out Europe destinations.