Top 10 tips for doing Europe on the cheap
You know this story well.You’re on your lunch break, lazily clicking through a friend’s Facebook photos. Colourful images of sand, sunshine and sangria light up the screen. Sigh; it looks amazing.
Envy creeps into your shoulders, so you close the album window down and stand up, determined.
Next year you’re gonna be there; next year it’s your turn! But wait- money. It’s peak season. How will you sleep cheap, eat cheap and do cheap things?
Well listen up, lovely- we’ll tell you how. Here are ten tips to doing a Euro-summer on the cheap.
1. Book your flights ASAP
New earlybird fares are being released now, even as you read this. So quick! Click below and have a squiz.
2. Fly into the city with the best airfares
A bit of a no brainer, but if you’re planning on visiting multiple cities on your trip, you can save by choosing the cheapest first stop. Let the deals be your guide…
|Hot tip: Barcelona, for example, has three airports, (El-Prat, Reus and Girona) but only one is near the city (El Prat). You may find yourself an hour bus ride away from the city centre. Even though this may work for you, check the cost of reaching the city centre before you book your flight.|
4. Beware of baggage
Baggage allowances and charges vary and some low-cost carriers even charge for hand luggage. Read the fine print.
5. Plan your route
While on your trip, instead of pre-booking day tours, work out the public transport route to your destination before you travel each day.
|Hot tip: Wanna hit up Holland? To see the Keukenhof Flower Park, just get on bus 58 from Schiphol Airport. Or, to see the famous windmills at Zaanse Schans, take bus 91 from Amsterdam Central Station.|
6. The more; the merrier
Invite your friends and consider apartments over hotel rooms to save dollars. The extra space also gives you the option to cook some meals, even if it’s just breakfast.
And if you’re travelling solo or as a couple, suss out the hotel deals that include a breakfast buffet. We won’t judge if you wrap up a couple of pastries in your handbag for lunch, promise.
7. Eating cheap
Supermarket shopping at Aldi or Lidl is the secret to saving money on food, however if you are going out for the night, (and why not!) try to avoid restaurants on the main squares. Instead, head to side streets and look for the locals.
|Hot tip: In Rome, pre-dinner drinks often come with free snacks, especially if you go early, at ‘Aperitivo’ (happy hour) time. Prices on drinks and food generally go up after 6pm.|
|Hot tip: In Paris, buy a Mobilis day ticket for the Metro instead of the tourist day card. This will get you everywhere in the city. In the Greek islands, book ferries in advance to get discounts.|
9. Book early for big events
We’d be silly to suggest avoiding big events while travelling- just be savvy about it. Check online for advance purchases for any events on your hit list and always look around in nearby towns for cheaper rates on accommodation. It pays to check too for events that aren’t really your thing: if cycling doesn’t float your boat, you’d be wise to avoid higher accommodation costs in Paris during the Tour de France.
10. Timing your trip
Plan your itinerary around the best times to visit each destination. This does vary from country to country but in general, most major European cities have great deals available in August:
• Central & Eastern Europe: The cheapest months are July and August: the weather is still good and accommodation is much cheaper than in May or September.
• Greek islands: Avoid the busy and expensive July and August peak season and travel May-June.
• Istanbul and Athens: Cheaper in August, as everyone is going to the beach.
Convinced? Us too! Book your cheap Europe flights here.