How can you go to Europe on a budget? Lots of consumers are asking this question because Europe can be a great destination. Even with limited financial resources, getting out of the country and exploring new venues is fun and a great way to recharge.
Travel can be expensive, no matter where you go. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Plan ahead, budget, save, be flexible and creative. Employ these strategies, you can definitely enjoy Europe on a budget.
Before we get into specific money-saving tips, let’s talk about saving. Because, even on a budget, you still need to have a budget!
Did you remember to include a travel or vacation expense in your budget? If not, revise your budget by adding a new spending category for vacation. Set a limit on how much you want to spend traveling abroad. That is your vacation budget. Now, how are you going to save this amount of money?
This is where you need to employ your savings strategies. We’ve discussed them before.
- Live within your means.
- Change your lifestyle to make money-smart spending decisions.
- Track your money.
- Get rid of your debt and stay debt-free.
- Earn extra money through a side-gig and putting that income toward your goals.
- Pay yourself first.
- Check your credit report to make sure you are not losing money and a good credit score due to identity theft.
If you remember and commit to these strategies, you will have the money you need to pay for your vacation.
Now that you have saved for your vacation, here are 5 simple tips to help you have an awesome vacation in Europe on a budget.
- Be flexible. Summer, June through August, is the most expensive time to travel to Europe. You will save money if you can be flexible with your travel dates. Airline tickets, meals, lodging, and tours will all be much cheaper in the off-season. However, the winter holidays are also an expensive time to travel to Europe. Try to book your travel around these high-season dates. You can also save money by being flexible about the airport you choose for your arrival and departure. Heathrow, for instance, is more expensive than London Gatwick.
- Find the cheapest fares. You can find cheap fares on your own if you are willing to put in the time and effort. But there are many online fare sites that make the job much easier. There are Expedia and Travelocity, but, there newer sites too, such as KAYAK, Momondo, and CheapOair. You should use them and then you can always double check later with the airline to make sure there is not a better deal.
- Narrow your itinerary. Sure, you want to see all of Europe. If you do it in one trip, you will not save money. Remember, you want to do Europe on a budget. There is always next year. Settle on a city and then explore the surrounding region in depth. Take day trips and soak in the history and culture. Not only will you save money, but you will get much more from the experience.
- Get the latest venue schedule. Entrance fees can add up and put quite a strain on your budget. Museums and entertainment venues have their off-times too. They offer discounts or even free admission on certain days of the week, or during certain hours. Before you go, download calendars and admission information from the places you know you want to visit.
- Stay in a vacation home. When you are traveling on a budget, skipping hotels and finding a vacation home is going to save you a lot of money. You won’t have room service, but with the money you save, you can afford to do more of what you want. This is really important if you are traveling with kids. A vacation home will have a kitchen, or at least a hot plate and refrigerator. You will save money on breakfast and lunch and you can treat yourself to dinner out. Staying in a vacation home also gives you more of a feel of being a resident rather than a tourist.