Aussies love to travel, but no one wants to empty their savings account just to book that overseas trips. Fortunately, we know a few quick and easy tricks you can use to minimise spend and maximise experience.
1. Focus on a few key destinations
It can be tempting to say, “Well, since I’m in Europe, I’ll try to see it all!” But if you’re travelling on a budget, this is not a good strategy when planning a European vacation. Well-experienced travellers can attest to the fact that spending more time in once place contributes to an overall more immersive experience. Additionally, by visiting cities that are closer to each other, visitors can save money on travel fare. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to take a train from Amsterdam to Brussels than from Madrid to Berlin.
2. Check museum schedules for discounted admission
Most museums offer free to discounted admission on certain days and during certain times. For example, the Louvre is free on the first Sunday of each month between October and March. If you’re a big history or art buff, you can save major bucks just by planning ahead.
3. Avoid Mobile fees
These days, your phone is one of your most valuable travel companions, but it’s really just a clunky alarm clock and calculator if you don’t have mobile data while travelling. Fortunately, there are many options today that allow you to use your phone abroad just as you would back home. Texting, calling, and using data for things like maps and translation apps doesn’t have to bust your travel budget as long as you shop around. Shameless plug here – we offer some amazing rates.
4. Never pay full price for a hotel
Accommodation is one of the most expensive parts of travel, and the prices can really soar in Europe. There is, of course, the hostel alternative, and if you’re a young traveller or a single person, this is usually a fine option for a few nights. However, you may find a lot more comfort and convenience if you use a site like AirBNB, which allow you to rent out a local’s apartment for a much lower rate. If you are the type of traveller who does things last minute, then you may want to try out the Hotel Tonight app. That app offers up rooms that some luxury hotels couldn’t sell, so if you don’t might booking the night of your stay, you can get a great deal on some very nice rooms.
5. Choose family-run businesses
Local and family-run businesses have a greater need to attract repeat business and referrals. As such, they often offer a more interested in offering deals. Family-run hotels, restaurants and tour operators provide travellers with a cost-effective way to immerse themselves in their trip.
6. Visit countries not on the Euro
Many of the countries not on the Euro, such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, or Romania, have exchange rates that benefit travellers. These also contain also some of the most underrated cities – Budapest is a city everyone should visit, and many people refer to Prague as the “Paris of Eastern Europe”. However, a word of warning: Countries in the UK, Denmark and Sweden are not the Euro, but they are more expensive.
7. Picnic in season
Eating seasonally, and preparing your own food, is one of the simplest ways to save money on a European trip – and it’s a heck of a lot easier if you follow tip number 4 and rent an apartment or stay in a hostel instead of a hotel. Buying food at supermarkets also gives travellers a perspective on how locals eat, versus how restaurants prepare food for tourists.