Vacation in Europe for Less
Europe can be a very expensive place to visit. The dollar doesn’t fare well against the euro. Any trip overseas is going to cost you. But there are a few ways to minimize cost that will help you stick to your budget without skimping on your vacation. You can still travel well in Europe without breaking the bank.
Research flights thoroughly and compare prices. There are many search engines, such as kayak.com, that aggregate prices from various listings to give you the best available option. Don’t stick with the first flight you find. Make sure you are getting the best price.
Skip the five-star restaurant and head to the street vendors, carts, and markets. The food is great at a much cheaper cost. If you do want to try a fancy restaurant at least once on your trip (when in Rome, right), stop in at lunchtime when you can usually get the same menu for a lower price.
Look for alternative places to stay rather than big hotels. The cost will be less and you will have a more authentic experience. You can stay in a Bavarian castle for $125 a night, a solid price and an absolutely unique stay.
Check out the free museums, churches, and parks, which Europe is chock full of. Take a self-guided walking tour of a city to soak up the architecture without costing yourself a dime. If you do go somewhere you have to buy an admission ticket, look for places that offer combo admission and transportation tickets for a discount.
Avoid the tourist traps and head off the beaten path to street vendors. You will learn great haggling skills and come home with unique finds rather than the token T-shirt.
When booking tours, it can often be most effective to get a package deal. Make sure the individual prices match up to the wholesale so that you are in fact getting a bargain. Sites such as Gate 1 Travel offer great deals for package tours in Europe.
Many cities in Europe offer multi-day passes that can also get you into museums and discounts at shops and restaurants. The best way to travel around Europe is by train, but you can also rent a car, just make sure you get the right insurance.