No matter in what state the economy is today and tomorrow, the travel dreams never leave the minds of people for obvious reasons. New places always attract tourists with unknown wonders, and some places you want to visit over and over again no matter how many times you’ve been there. What matter when you travel is how well you manage your budget and how you plan the whole trip. With the right preparation and low expenses you will be able to approach to the cultures and places you want to experience. The following tips will help you stretch your budget when travelling to Europe.
Avoid touristic eateries. The “We speak English” and bilingual menus are the indicators that the prices here would be much higher than in other places. Look for the cafes and restaurants with simple, handwritten menu in the local language and hit the daily specials – they are usually much cheaper.
Opt for traveling off-season. This is usually the period from October to April. During the period the airfare is cheaper, you will be able to find more affordable rooms and spend less time in lines. Big cities like Rome and Paris are interesting at any point of the year, so why not avoid bumping into other tourists?
Look for family businesses. Family-run businesses offer the best values because they employ family members to get around Europe’s costly labor regulations. In such shops you’re more likely to be served by people who care about their reputation and their customers.
Eat with the season. There are the plenty of specials in every country, like asparagus in Germany or caracoles in Spain, but you should only eat them when they’re in the season, as otherwise it would be much more expensive.
Buy a guidebook. This $20 purchase can save you hundred times more money. By buying the up-to-date guidebook around the Europe you will start saving the first day you come and travel like a pro.
Cars are useless headaches, especially in big cities. If you want to rent a car, get one after the first big city and drop before the final big city in your trip. They are too expensive, especially taking into consideration the heavy traffic – spending couple hours in traffic jam wasn’t the travel you’ve been dreaming about, right?
Shop for souvenirs and gifts in less expensive countries. The prices are very different and for the cost of model of ship in one country you can buy the actual ship in the other place.
Look up friends, relatives and contact. Be polite and interesting – bring some photos of your family and native places with you to charm people and make friends.
Adapt to local tastes. When in London, order tea, enjoy beer in Prague and red wine in France. By going with local specialties you open the whole new world for you full of best quality products and considerable prices.
Use railpasses. They may provide a good saving of money if you plan to travel a lot. For shorter trips point-to-point tickets would be a better choice.
Buses are slower but cheaper than trains. If you are in Britain, it is even truer, as their railway system is the more expensive. For instance, traveling from London to Edinburgh could cost $145 by train or only $45 by bus.
Train tickets can bring you discounts on bikes. Some northern countries offer rental bikes at the stations that you can drop at another town without extra charge. Use them to enjoy the scenery – in would be much healthier and practical than going by bus.
Traveling with partner saves money. Splitting all the costs will save both time and money, and the double hotel room costs the same as single one.
Buy all the maps in Europe. It would be much cheaper than in America, plus the selection would be wider.
Make use of department stores. There you can buy cheap art and souvenirs, plus the restaurants at such stores are much cheaper than in the city.
Be smart about your hotel choices. One-star hotels provide nice service, especially if you are travelling on a budget and three-star places are not the best for you. See the room before accepting, and notice any smells or strange noises that may bother you. Opting for bathroom down the hall and not in the room can save you about $30, and would be convenient if you’re staying for a night or two. You can skip hotels at all and rent an apartment from local people. There’s a good chance to get a good deal by negotiating with people. Look for local folks who offer their places for rent on the internet and contact them to negotiate the price.
When in hotel, ask for a deal for your room. You’ll have the best chance of getting a discount if business is slow. Go directly to the hotel and offer to pay in cash, or stay at least three nights.
The room should be packed. The more people stay in the room, the cheaper it would be for each one.
Don’t eat breakfast in hotels. Join the local crowd and eat somewhere around the corner – it would be much cheaper. You can also hit the early bird and Blue Plate specials. Learn the options and you will be able to eat like a local without having to save on taste and quality.