You've probably been looking for airline tickets at least once, and I thought that I would still be there when I was 65 and retired. Don't be discouraged! I will explain how you can travel to your European dream country for less than you thought possible.
Step 1. Forget about your exact travel plans
The fastest way to make your trip as expensive as possible is to narrow your search down to something incredibly specific.
For example, just because you have a four-day Easter weekend does not mean that it is the right time to travel. Open yourself to be flexible about the dates you travel, the places you travel to and what places you occupy. The more flexible you are, the cheaper the trip will be.
Step 2. Determine where you really want to visit.
I know I just said you are flexible, but that doesn't mean you can't choose where you want to go, it means you have to be open to getting there in ways you didn't envision. If you want to visit Dublin more than anything, look for flights from the United States to Dublin. You are likely to find a flight ticket from the US to another European city for much less. You can then book another short flight to Dublin for less than $ 80 back. This is a great way to see the bonus side too!
Step 3. Determine which city you will fly from
Flights to Europe vary enormously depending on which airport you fly to, departure and travel dates. So a good first step might be to decide which airport to fly to. If you live in a big city like New York, Boston or Los Angeles, good luck! You will find the cheapest flights to Europe from these cities. If you do not live in these cities, you are likely to reach them to get to Europe. So if you can drive to one of these cities, it might be a cheap option. Otherwise, consider booking a flight to one of these hometowns. Although it may seem weird, you can get cheaper flights by booking each leg individually instead of booking a ticket from your home to your destination.
Step 4. Identify the cheapest European city to fly to
The easiest way to do this is to check websites that collect all the cheapest airline tickets so you don't have to search hundreds of flights by yourself. Some sites allow you to enter the United States or a city that you know will divert into the "from" box. In the "to" box, try to select "anywhere". Then scroll down the list provided, looking for the first / cheapest country in Europe to fly to. For example, if Norway costs $ 340 and France costs $ 380, then it is probably worth simply choosing France if that is your desired destination; however, if the difference is more than $ 100, I would first choose the cheapest airport. The annoying thing about Skyscanner is that deals are often no longer active and sometimes you have to search through a lot of dates looking for the cheapest to travel. But patience is key and this is how to find the cheapest flights. Another word of advice is that sometimes flights are through travel agencies and it is probably worth seeking reviews from the agency before booking your ticket, given that happy customers rarely write reviews. But if the agency has one of five stars, it could be a clue to the transition.
Step 5. Find an inter-European flight to get to your European dream destination
One thing that most people don't realize is that flying from one country in Europe to another is dirt cheap.
I flew around Europe for $ 14 one time. It is not a joke. I have never paid more than $ 60 for a flight to Europe. Use Kayak.com to find a flight to your actual destination from any country you are in to book the cheapest flight to Europe.
Step 6. Now that you have arrived, find a cheap or free accommodation
Everyone has their own idea of a dream vacation. If your staying in Ritz, then I'm surprised you read this far from this article. For most of us, we just want to stay somewhere decent while enjoying all that Europe has to offer. I have never stood in a landfill in Europe. I don't want to and I'm just not that desperate. Accommodation is reduced to four options: hotel, rental, hostel or Couchsurf.
- hotel, Hotel accommodation is a safe way to go and if you are in Europe for the first time or you are not very risky then this is probably the path you want to take. Hotels, depending on where you visit, range from $ 20 to $ 200 per night, so you may want to consider this when choosing a destination. I wouldn't advise staying in Monaco unless your oil company sees record first quarter profits, but staying in nearby Nice might be an option. In other words, keep your options open.
- RentalBooking a room, apartment, villa or house is also a sure bet, but it can be a little more complicated than just getting into a hotel. Sites like Homeaway and Airbnb offer some really unique places, and I have to say that some of my favorite places I've stayed in Europe have been rented. From a winery in a Tuscany winery to a secluded mother-in-law in a quiet neighborhood outside London, I really enjoyed renting and the cost is often much less than staying at a hotel if there is a group of you that can share the cost.
- HostelThe word hostel is thought of as scary movies, but the reality is that the difference between a hostel and a hotel is sometimes indissoluble in Europe. There are probably hostels where you get a bunk bed in a room with five other passengers and for some people this is exciting and interesting! But the fact that bunk beds are not your thing does not mean that you have to exclude everything that contains the word hostel in the title. I stayed in some "hostels" that were as nice as a hotel.
- CouchsurfIf you really are on a tight budget or if meeting the locals is really important to you, there is no better way than Couchsurf. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, visit the Couchsurfing website. Essentially, the site allows you to ask to stay with someone who wants to welcome travelers to their home for free and back. People give feedback to travelers and hosts alike, so you can have some confidence that they are respected. This, of course, comes with risk and precautions must be taken. In addition, you should always have a backup plan in case the situation does not work.
Step 7. Eat cheap.
I focus on the need to visit Europe: travel, accommodation and food. Of course there are many other ways to spend money, but these are the things you need to spend money on, such as food.
The food is amazing. I love the food and the first few times I went to Europe I was disappointed because I was randomly wandering around in restaurants and most were subpar. All that changed when I started checking TripAdvisor for restaurant reviews, that's all it takes to make every meal amazing. It wasn't so much a money-saving tip as a common word for advice. However, TripAdvisor allows you to search for a total price of restaurants, so $ is cheap $ $ is moderate, $$$ is expensive, etc.
Here's a tip for saving money: buying food in Europe is usually very cheap. So if you have booked an apartment with a kitchen, take advantage of it! Go shopping at a local market and buy some new strange foods to cook! If you're traveling, grab some sandwiches to save a few bucks.
Step 8. Realize that there are more costs
Although travel, accommodation and food are your main expenses, of course there will be others. Things to think about include transportation once you arrive, attraction fees and souvenirs.
Transportation options include public transportation. Most European cities have fantastic and cheap public transport that can be purchased with local currency or a debit card at the pavilion. Note that US credit cards often don't work with them because you need a chip and pin number.
Renting a car is a great option if you plan to travel outside the cities, it is usually quite affordable and gives you complete freedom in mobility. Trains, although charming, are usually not a cheap way to travel around Europe. Flights are much cheaper and faster. But if you are in love with the idea of seeing the country by train, then it's worth a try. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the Eurorail website for a fee. Or, if you are more flexible and feel that it is worth the risk, you can buy them personally at the station for usually much less.
Step 9. Road light
Although you may not think traveling light will save you money, believe me it will. First, each airline will charge for luggage. So each leg of your flight will cost you $ 25 to $ 100 for each bag. It accumulates quickly. Second, if you have two suitcases, you will fill two suitcases full of things you probably don't need. Third, getting cheap transportation like the subway becomes frustrating and impractical when you pull around two monstrous bags. Fourth of all, your bags should be with you at all times or at a hotel, so if you plan to leave in the morning and go to another city, you won't be able to do anything until you get to your hotel and check your bags. All in all, it's just a huge pain to bring loads of stuff around Europe with you. My advice, and I cannot stress enough, is to fit everything in one backpack. I got a 50 liter backpack and had everything I needed for a month and a half in Europe. Yes, there are laundry facilities in Europe as well. If you say, you don't understand well because you are human. I traveled with two young women and they both fit in everything in a backpack. If you say you don't understand because you are young, I traveled with my mother to Europe and she fit everything in a standard-size backpack! You can do it too!
Step 10. Always plan for the worst and hope for the best
Every time I travel to Europe, I plan the expected costs and round off everything. I also plan at least $ 200 in unexpected expenses. After all, my expenses are always well below that number, but I never want to find myself in a situation where I am overwhelmed by expenses.
In 2000 words, I gave you the abbreviated Europe Budget Guide. Of course, there are many other things to think about when booking your trip to Europe, but most importantly, just do it! Find these cheap airline tickets to Europe and book them. You can fill in all the blanks later, don't try to plan everything before you get your tickets, and don't try to plan every second of every day. Leave time to be spontaneous and immerse yourself in European life.