You are likely to look for airline tickets at least once and I thought I would guess 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 doesn't mean it's a good 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 only. 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 as well!
Step 3. Determine which city you will fly from
Flights to Europe vary greatly in price depending on which airport you will fly to, depart from and your travel dates. So the first good 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! From these cities you will find the cheapest flights to Europe. If you do not live in these cities, you are likely to fly through them to reach Europe. So if you can drive to any of these cities, this 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 summarize all the cheapest fastest, 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 to search 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, bearing in mind that happy customers rarely write reviews. But if the agency has one of five stars, it could be a clue to the move.
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 place to stay
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 dump 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 are not 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 keep that in mind 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.
- Rental Booking 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 your stay and the price is often much less than staying at a hotel if there is a group of you that can share the cost.
- Hostel The 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 just because bunk beds are not your thing does not mean that you have to exclude anything that has the word hostel in the title. I stayed in some "hostels" that were as nice as the hotel.
- Couchsurf If you really are on a small budget or if meeting with 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 out.
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 all it took to make every meal amazing. It was not so much a money-saving tip as a common word for advice. However, TripAdvisor allows you to search for the total price of restaurants, so $ is cheap $$ is average $$$ becomes 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 strange foods to cook! If you are traveling on the road, 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 upon arrival, fees for attractions 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 are planning 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. This is quickly added. Second, if you have two suitcases, you will fill two suitcases full of things you probably don't need. Third, taking cheap transportation like the subway becomes frustrating and impractical when you pull around two unforgiving bags. Fourth of all, your bags should be with you at all times or at a hotel, so if you plan to go out 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 have loads of stuff with you all over Europe. My advice and I cannot stress this is enough 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 too. If you say, well, you don't understand 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're young, I traveled with my mother to Europe and she fit everything in a standard school 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 for 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 don't want to ever find myself in a situation where I'm overloaded with expenses.
In 2,000 words, I gave you a short guide to Europe on a budget. 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, do not try to plan everything before you get your tickets and do not try to plan every second of every day. Leave time to be spontaneous and immerse yourself in European life.