Sunday, July 16, 2023
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Cool strategies to get an affordable European getaway this summer

With careful planning and expert advice, you can optimise your stay in Europe this crowded summer season and save money

By
Web Desk
Tourists are seen on Main Market Square in Krakow, Poland. Unsplash
 Tourists are seen on Main Market Square in Krakow, Poland. Unsplash

Europe is a dream destination for summer vacations, but with the current surge in tourists and the accompanying high costs, it can be challenging to make the most of your trip without breaking the bank. 

However, by implementing some smart strategies and taking the advice of experts, you can optimise your stay in Europe this summer while saving money. 

Let's explore the key tips and insights shared by travel experts to help you plan an affordable European adventure.

Timing is Key: Targeting the Best Travel Periods

According to Katy Nastro of Going.com, targeting the last two weeks in August can yield substantially cheaper airfare prices compared to July. As summer winds down and schools resume, the demand for travel decreases, leading to potential price relief. By planning your trip for this period, you can save significantly on your flights, allowing you to allocate your hard-earned money to other aspects of your European adventure.

Cruising: A Cost-Effective Way to Explore Europe

Cruise vacations offer a high-value option for exploring Europe, as highlighted by Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic. Cruises provide a cost-effective means of visiting multiple destinations without the need for frequent flights and expensive hotel stays. This allows you to maximise the value of your airfare and enjoy a diverse European experience while staying within your budget. Keep an eye out for cruise deals and promotions that offer additional savings, such as kids sail free offers or discounted fares.

Train Travel: Cut Costs and Cover More Ground

Henley Vazquez, co-founder of luxury travel advisor group Fora, suggests utilising train travel to cover multiple destinations in Europe. Trains provide a cost-effective and convenient alternative to flying or renting a car. Eurail passes offer discounts for youth and seniors, as well as free passes for children, making train travel an attractive option for families. By choosing cities and towns connected by train routes, you can avoid the expenses associated with multiple flights or high car rental costs.

Fly Smart: Alternate Airports and Flexible Dates

Georgia Bird from the travel planning blog First Step: Europe recommends considering alternate airports and flexible dates when booking your flights to Europe. Flying into and out of airports that are not the main hubs can often result in significant cost savings. For example, choosing to fly into Rome Ciampino and departing from Rome Fiumicino can potentially save you hundreds of dollars on your airfare. Flexibility with your departure and arrival dates also allows you to take advantage of lower-priced tickets, further optimising your travel budget.

Last-Minute Accommodations: Snagging Deals on the Go

Ignacio Eguren of Checkin Cantabria advises being open to last-minute offers and flexible with your location and dates when booking accommodations in Europe. Last-minute discounts are often available on hotels, apartments, and vacation rentals, particularly when establishments have unreserved rooms or last-minute cancellations. Dynamic pricing models, such as the one used by Booking.com's Genius program, can also lead to discounted stays. By exploring different options and being prepared to adjust your plans based on available offers, you can secure affordable accommodations while saving your hard-earned money.

Embrace Offbeat Destinations: Beyond the Tourist Hotspots

Rick Steves, a veteran European traveler and travel TV host, suggests looking beyond the popular tourist hotspots and exploring Europe's "second" cities. These cities, such as Marseille, Hamburg, and Liverpool, have undergone revitalisation efforts and offer unique experiences at more budget-friendly prices. Stepping off the beaten path allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture while avoiding the crowds and high costs associated with the more well-known destinations.

Hence, with careful planning and the expert advice shared above, you can optimise your stay in Europe this crowded summer season while saving your hard-earned money. By targeting the right travel periods, considering alternative transportation options like cruises and trains, exploring offbeat destinations, and being open to last-minute accommodation deals, you can create an affordable and memorable European adventure. 

So, pack your bags, implement these tips, and get ready to make the most of your stay in Europe without breaking the bank.