Most likely, I have searched for airline tickets on at least one occasion and thought that I will still be there when I am 65 years old and I retire. Don't be discouraged! I will explain how you can travel to your European dream country for less than I imagined possible.
Step 1. Forget your exact travel plans
The fastest way to make your trip as expensive as possible is to reduce your search to something incredibly specific.
For example, just because you have a four-day weekend during Holy Week does not mean it is a good time to travel. Open up to be flexible in the dates you travel, the places you travel and in what kind of places you stay. The more flexible it is, the cheaper the trip will be.
Step 2. Determine where you really want to visit.
I know I just said to be flexible, but that doesn't mean I can't choose where you want to visit, it means that you must be open to reaching places that you didn't anticipate. If you want to visit Dublin more than anything, don't look for flights from the USA. UU. To Dublin only. Most likely, you can find a US plane ticket. UU. To another European city for much less. Then you can book another short flight to Dublin for less than $ 80 round trip. It is also a great way to see an extra country!
Step 3. Determine which city you will fly from
The price of flights to Europe varies greatly depending on the airport you fly to, from where you depart and travel dates. Therefore, a good first step may be to determine from which airport you are going to fly. If you live in a big city like New York, Boston or Los Angeles, what luck! You will find the cheapest flights to Europe from these cities. If you do not live in these cities, you will most likely end up flying through them to reach Europe. So, if you can drive to one of those cities, that may be a cheap option. Otherwise, consider booking a flight to one of those cities from your hometown. Although it may seem strange, you can get cheaper flights by booking each section individually instead of booking a ticket from your home to your destination.
Step 4. Determine the cheapest European city to fly
The easiest way to do this is to check the websites that add all the cheapest ones faster so you don't have to search for hundreds of flights yourself. Some sites allow you to write the United States or the city from which you know you will leave in the "from" field. In the "a" field, try to choose "everywhere." Then, scroll down the resulting list looking for the first / cheapest country in Europe to fly. If, for example, Norway goes up to $ 340 and France goes up to $ 380, then France is probably worth choosing if that is the desired destination; However, if the difference is more than $ 100, I would first choose the cheapest airport. The annoying thing about Skyscanner is that the offers are often no longer active and, sometimes, you also have to search on many dates looking for the cheapest one to travel. But, patience is key and that is how to find the cheapest flights. Another tip is that sometimes the flights are through travel agencies and it is probably worth seeking opinions in the agency before booking your ticket, considering that satisfied customers rarely write opinions. But if the agency has a five star, it can be a clue to pass.
Step 5. Find an inter-European flight to take you to the destination of your European dreams
One thing that most people don't realize is that flying from one country in Europe to another is very cheap.
I've flown through Europe for $ 14 each way. It is not a joke. I have never paid more than $ 60 for a flight within Europe. Use Kayak.com to find a flight to your real destination from the country where you ended up booking the cheapest flight to Europe.
Step 6. Now that you have arrived, look for a cheap or free place to stay
Everyone has their own idea of a dream vacation. If yours stays at the Ritz, then I am surprised that you have read this article here. For most of us, we just want to stay in a decent place while enjoying all that Europe has to offer. I have never stayed in a garbage dump in Europe. I do not want and I am not so desperate. The accommodation is reduced to four options: hotel, rental, hostel or Couchsurf.
- hotel . Staying in a hotel is a safe road and if it is the first time you go to Europe or not a great risk taker, then this is probably the route you want to take. Hotels, depending on where you are visiting, range between $ 20 and $ 200 per night, so you may want to keep that in mind when choosing a destination. He would not recommend staying in Monaco unless his oil company is seeing record profits in the first quarter, but staying near Nice could be an option. In other words, keep your options open.
- Rental . Booking a room for rent, apartment, villa or house is also a safe bet, but it can be a bit more complicated than simply registering at a hotel. Sites like Homeaway and Airbnb offer some really unique places and I must say that some of my favorite places I have stayed in Europe were rentals. From a villa in a winery in Tuscany to an isolated mother-in-law in a quiet neighborhood on the outskirts of London, I really enjoyed staying in rents and the price is often much lower than staying in a hotel if there is a group of you who can Share the cost.
- lodging house . The word hostel raises thoughts of horror movies, but the reality is that the difference between a hostel and a hotel is sometimes imperceptible in Europe. Of course there are hostels where you get a bunk in a room with five other travelers and for some people this is exciting and interesting! But the fact that the bunk beds are not your thing, does not mean that you should discard everything that has the word shelter in the title. I have stayed in some "hostels" that were as nice as a hotel.
- Surf trainer . If you really have a tight budget or if meeting local people is really important to you, there is no better way than Couchsurf. If you have no idea what I am talking about, visit the Couchsurfing website. Essentially, the site allows you to request to stay with someone who is willing to accommodate travelers in your home for free and vice versa. People leave comments about travelers and hosts so they can rest assured that they have a good reputation. Of course, this carries risks and safety 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 am focusing on the needs of visiting Europe: travel, accommodation and food. Of course, there are many other ways to spend money, but these are the things you have to spend money on, food is one.
The food is amazing. I love the food and the first two times I went to Europe I was disappointed because I entered randomly in restaurants and most were poor. This all changed when I started reviewing TripAdvisor to see restaurant reviews, that's all it took to make every meal amazing. This was not so much a tip to save money as a general tip. However, TripAdvisor allows you to search by general price of restaurants, so $ is cheap $$ is average $$$ is becoming expensive, etc.
Here is a tip to save money: buying groceries in Europe is usually very economical. Therefore, if you have booked an apartment with a kitchen, take advantage of it! Go shopping at a local market and buy new strange food for cooking! If you are on a road trip, buy some sandwiches to save a few dollars.
Step 8. Notice that there are still more expenses
Although the main expenses of travel, accommodation and food are, of course, there will be others. Things to think about include, transportation once you arrive, rates for attractions and souvenirs.
Transportation options include taking public transportation. Most European cities have fantastic and economical public transport that can be purchased with local currency or a debit card at a kiosk. Keep in mind that American credit cards often don't work, since you need a chip and pin number.
Renting a car is an excellent option if you plan to travel outside the cities, it is generally quite affordable and gives you maximum freedom of mobility. Trains, although charming, are not usually a cheap way to travel around Europe. Flights are much less expensive and faster. But if you are in love with the idea of seeing the countryside by train, then it is worth a try. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the Eurorail website for a fee. Or if you are more flexible and feel it is worth taking a risk, you can buy them in person at the train station usually a little less.
Step 9. Light travel
Even if you don't think that traveling light will save you money, believe me, it will. First, each airline will charge baggage fees. Therefore, each leg of your flight will cost you between $ 25 and $ 100 for each bag. That adds up quickly. Second, if you have two suitcases, you are going to fill two suitcases full of things you probably don't need. Third, taking cheap transportation like the subway becomes frustrating and impractical when transporting two hard-to-handle luggage. Fourth, your bags must be with you at all times or in a hotel, so if you plan to leave in the morning and go to another city, you cannot do anything until you arrive at your hotel and check your bags. In general, it is a great pain to take a lot of things around Europe with you. My advice, and I can't emphasize this enough, is to put everything in a backpack. I have a 50 liter backpack and I had everything I needed for a month and a half in Europe. Yes, there are also places to wash clothes in Europe. If you're saying, well, you don't understand why you're a boy. I traveled with two young women and both fit everything in a backpack. If you're saying you don't understand why you're young, I traveled with my mother to Europe and it all fit into a standard-sized school bag! 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 my expected expenses and round everything. I also plan at least $ 200 of unexpected expenses. In the end, my expenses are always well below this number, but I don't want to end up in a situation where I am overwhelmed by the cost.
In 2,000 words, I have given you the summary guide of Europe with a budget. Of course, there are many other things to think about when booking your trip to Europe, but the most important thing is to do it! Find those cheap plane tickets to Europe and book them. You can fill in all the blanks later, don't try to plan everything before getting your tickets and don't try to plan every second of every day. Leave time to be spontaneous and immerse yourself in European life.