You’ve probably looked for plane tickets on at least one occasion and I thought it would still be there when you’re 65 and retire. Don’t be discouraged! I will tell you how you can travel to your dream European country for less than you ever imagined 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 to something incredibly specific.
For example, just because you have a four-day weekend for Easter doesn’t mean it’s a good time to travel. Open up to the flexibility of the dates you travel, the locations you travel to, and the type of places you stay. 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 it’s flexible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t choose where you want to visit it, it means you have to be open to get to the routes you don’t anticipate. If you want to visit Dublin more than anything, don’t look for flights only from the United States to Dublin. You are likely to find far less of your U.S. plane ticket to another European city. You can then book another short flight to Dublin for a round trip of less than $ 80. It’s a great way to see a beautiful country!
Step 3. Determine which city you will leave
Flights to Europe vary greatly in price, depending on which airport you want to leave, and travel dates. So a good first step may be to determine which airport you want to fly. 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 don’t live in these cities, chances are you’ll end up flying to get to Europe. So if you can drive to one of these cities, it may be a cheap option. Otherwise, consider booking a flight to one of these cities from your hometown. Strange as it may seem, you may get cheaper flights by booking each stretch individually instead of booking a ticket from 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 fares so you don’t have to search through hundreds of flights. Some sites allow you to type the United States or the city you know from which you will leave in the “from” field. In the “to” field, try choosing “everywhere.” Then scroll down the resulting list looking for the first or cheapest country in Europe to fly to. If, for example, Norway reaches $ 340 and France reaches $ 380, it’s probably worth just choosing France if it’s your desired destination; however, if the difference is more than $ 100, I would first choose the cheapest airport. The annoying aspect of Skyscanner is that often the deals are no longer active and sometimes you also have to look for many dates looking for the cheapest one to travel. But patience is key and that’s how you find the cheapest flights. Another tip is that sometimes flights are made through travel agencies and it’s probably worth looking for reviews at the agency before booking your ticket, keeping in mind that happy customers rarely write reviews. But if the agency has one in five stars, it may be a clue.
Step 5. Look for an inter-European flight that will take you to your dream European destination
One thing most people don’t realize is that flying from one country to another in Europe is cheap.
I flew all over Europe for $ 14. It’s not a joke. I have never paid more than $ 60 for a flight to Europe. Use Kayak.com to find the cheapest flight to your destination from any country that has just booked the cheapest flight to Europe.
Step 6. Now that you have arrived, look for a place to stay cheap or free
Everyone has their own idea of a dream vacation. If yours is to stay at the Ritz, I’m surprised you’ve read this article so far. For most of us, we just want to stay in a decent place while enjoying all that Europe has to offer. I’ve never been to a warehouse in Europe. I don’t want to, and I’m not that desperate. The accommodations offer four options: hotel, rental, hostel or Couchsurf.
- Hotel. Staying in a hotel is a safe path and if it’s your first time in Europe or it’s not a big risky one, this is probably the route you want to take. Depending on where you visit, hotels range from $ 20 to $ 200 a night, so you can keep this in mind when choosing a destination. I wouldn’t advise staying in Monaco unless your oil company has profits recorded in the first quarter, but staying in Nice nearby could be an option. That is, keep the options open.
- Rent. Booking a room, apartment, villa or house for rent is also a safe bet, but it can be a bit more complicated than just accessing a hotel. Sites like Homeaway and Airbnb offer some really unique locations and I have to say that some of my favorite places I’ve been to in Europe were rentals. From a villa in a winery in Tuscany to a secluded mother-in-law in a quiet neighborhood outside of London, I really enjoyed staying on rentals and the price is often much lower than staying in a hotel if there is a group of people who can share the cost.
- Shelter. The word hostel raises scary films, but the reality is that in Europe the difference between a hostel and a hotel is indisputable. Surely there are hostels where a bunk bed opens in a room with five other travelers and for some people this is interesting and interesting! But just because bunk beds aren’t your thing, doesn’t mean you should discard everything that has the word hostel in the title. I have stayed in some “hostels” that were as nice as a hotel.
- Couchsurfing. If you really have a small budget or if you know the local people it is very important to you, there is no better way than to get to Couchsurf. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, visit the Couchsurfing website. Essentially, the site allows you to request to stay with someone who wants to accommodate travelers to your home for free and vice versa. People leave comments about travelers and hosts so you can be sure they are reputable. This, of course, entails risk and safety precautions. Also, you should always have a backup plan in case the situation does not occur.
Step 7. Eat cheap.
I dedicate myself to the needs of visiting Europe: travel, accommodation and food. Sure, there are many other ways to spend money, but these are the things you need to spend money on.
The food is amazing. I love food and the first two times I went to Europe I was disappointed because I went to restaurants at random and most were subplots. That all changed when I started reviewing TripAdvisor restaurant reviews. This is not so much a money-saving advice as a general advice. However, TripAdvisor allows you to search for the general price of restaurants, so $ is cheap $$ is moderate $$$ is expensive, and so on.
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 new weird foods for cooking. If you’re traveling by road, get something in between sandwiches to save yourself a few bucks.
Step 8. Realize that there are even more expenses
While travel, lodging and food are your main expenses, of course there will be others. Among the things to think about, transportation once you arrive, rates for attractions and souvenirs.
Transportation options include public transportation. Most European cities have fantastic, cheap public transport that can be purchased using local currency or a debit card at a kiosk. Be aware that US credit cards often do not work as 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 maximum freedom in mobility. Trains, while charming, are not usually a cheap way to travel around Europe. Flights are much less expensive and fast. But if you’re in love with the idea of seeing the country by train, it’s worth a try. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the Eurorail website for an extra charge. Or if you’re more flexible and think it’s worth the risk, you can purchase them individually at the train station, usually for a little less.
Step 9. Travel light
While you may not think that traveling light will save you money, believe me, it will. First, each airline will charge for baggage expenses. So each flight of the flight will cost you $ 25 to $ 100 for each bag. That adds up quickly. Second, if you have two suitcases, pack two suitcases full of things you probably don’t need. Third, doing cheap transportation like the subway is frustrating and impractical when carrying two unprotected bags. Fourth, luggage should always be with you or in a hotel, so if you plan to go 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 great pain to carry so many things around Europe. My advice, and I can’t stress it, is to fit everything in a backpack. I have a 50L backpack and had everything I needed for a month and a half in Europe. Yes, in Europe there are also places to make clothes. If you’re saying, you don’t understand it because you’re a guy. I traveled with two young women and they both fit in a backpack. If you’re saying you don’t understand because you’re young, I traveled with my mom to Europe and included everything in a standard size school backpack. You can do it too!
Step 10. Always plan for the worst and expect the best
Whenever I travel to Europe, I plan my planned expenses and round it off. I also plan at least $ 200 in unexpected expenses. In the end, my expenses are always well below that number, but I never want to end up in a situation where I’m overwhelmed.
In 2,000 words, I have provided you with the condensed budgeted Europe guide. Of course, there are many other things to think about when booking your trip to Europe, but the most important thing is to do so. Find cheap plane 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 the day to day. Give yourself time to be spontaneous and immerse yourself in European life.