Many people dream of visiting Europe but consider a vacation to the continent entirely out of reach. Between the cost of your flight, accommodations, and meals, and the tours and attractions you want to experience while you’re there, many people assume they’ll spend a small fortune making it happen. And, to be fair, that’s completely possible.
Still, while a vacation to Europe is certainly more expensive than a domestic weekend getaway, your dream trip to Europe may be more affordable than you think. You can certainly live it up and splurge on an indulgent European vacation, but you can also keep things surprisingly affordable with a bit of self-restraint and foresight. A little careful planning is all it takes to plan and execute a European vacation on a pretty tight budget. Keep these tips in mind as you plan, and you’ll be able to maximize savings and make the most out of your low-cost Europe vacation:
VISIT DURING THE OFF-SEASON
For an easy way to make your trip cheaper all around make sure you schedule your vacation during your destination’s off-season. You may be faced with less-than-ideal weather conditions, but you’ll benefit from the fact that many elements of your vacation, including your flight, hotel, and rental car (if necessary) will be available at a discount. As an added bonus, you’ll face smaller crowds and shorter lines when visiting monuments, museums, and other big attractions, saving you time and stress.
CHOOSE YOUR ACCOMMODATIONS CAREFULLY
You can spend a ton of money on your hotel room, or you can do a bit of research and choose something that lets you sleep comfortably while saving a significant amount of money. Look into local hotels and run some searches outside of the major aggregators like Expedia to find options they may not pick up. Alternately, consider booking an Airbnb or seeing if you can find a low-cost bed-and-breakfast style spot to rest.
MANAGE YOUR MEALS
It can be incredibly easy to spend a ton of money on food, but with a little careful planning, you’ll be able to keep your food budget low and your family well-fed. Cut costs and keep your budget under control by eating at least one meal outside of a restaurant. Additionally, grabbing snacks from a local grocer can be far cheaper than sitting down for a proper meal.
It’s also a good idea to steer clear of any breakfast offered by your hotel. Chances are, it’s not complimentary, and you’ll spend far less cash buying your own than eating from their buffet. Instead, find something to start your day at a local bakery or cafe.
MAKE A PLAN
When you’re traveling on a budget, it can be challenging to be spontaneous, as one of the easiest ways to ensure you can cover the cost of your trip is to plan your itinerary carefully. By researching the prices of your local bus fares, museum admissions, and other things you know you’ll want to spend money on during your travels, you’ll save yourself the headache of being surprised when it’s time to pay. Better yet, you may even uncover free days or discounts available at some of your must-see attractions.
The only thing standing between you and your dream vacation to Europe? Your ability to save and budget for your trip! By following the tips given here, you’ll be well on your way to making your budget-friendly trip to Europe a reality.