It is possible that you have been looking for a flight ticket at least once and thought it would still be there when I was 65 and I will retire. Do not give up! I will explain how you can travel to your dream European country for less than you imagined.
Step 1. Forget your exact travel plans
The fastest way to make your trip as expensive as possible is to narrow down your search to something incredibly specific.
For example, the fact that you have a four-day Easter weekend means it is a good time to travel. Open yourself to flexibility in travel dates, locations you travel to and where you will 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 is flexible, but that doesn't mean you can't choose where you want to visit, it means you must be open to getting to what you didn't expect. If you want to visit Dublin more than anything, do not look for flights only from the United States to Dublin. Chances are that you can find a US plane ticket to another European city for much less. Then you can book another short flight to Dublin for less than USD 80 return trip. It's also a great way to see the bonus country!
Step 3. Determine which city you will leave from
Prices for flights to Europe vary enormously depending on which airport you fly to, depart from and when you go. So a good first step might be to determine which airport you will depart from. If you live in a big city like New York, Boston or Los Angeles, you're in luck! You will find the cheapest flights to Europe from these cities. If you don't live in these cities, you have a chance to fly through them to get to Europe. So if you can go to one of these cities, it can be a cheap option. Otherwise, consider booking a flight to one of these cities from your hometown. Although this seems strange, you can get cheaper flights by booking each leg separately instead of booking a ticket from home to your destination.
Step 4. Determine the cheapest city in Europe to which you can fly
The easiest way to do this is to check websites that contain all the cheapest minutes, so you don't have to search hundreds of flights yourself. Some sites allow you to enter the United States or city you know you are leaving from in the "from" field. In the "to" field try to select "everywhere". Then scroll through the list of results to find the first / cheapest country in Europe to fly to. For example, if Norway costs $ 340 and France is $ 380, it's probably worth just choosing France if it's a desired destination; However, if the difference is more than USD 100, I would first choose the cheapest airport. Annoying at Skyscanner is that offers are often no longer active, and sometimes you also have to search many dates to find the cheapest means of transport. Patience, however, is crucial and that's why you'll find the cheapest flights. Another piece of advice is that sometimes flights are done through travel agents and it's probably worth looking for reviews at the office before booking your ticket, remembering that satisfied customers rarely write reviews. But if the agency has one out of five stars, this could be a clue.
Step 5. Find a flight all over Europe to get to your dream destination in Europe
One of the things that most people don't realize is that flying from one country to another in Europe is cheap.
I flew all over Europe for $ 14 each way. No kidding. I have never paid more than USD 60 for a flight in Europe. Use Kayak.com to find a flight to your destination from any country where you have booked the cheapest flight to Europe.
Step 6. Now, when you arrived, find a cheap or free place to stay
Everyone has their own idea for a dream vacation. If your living in Ritz, then I'm surprised you read so far in this article. For most of us, we just want to stay decent, enjoying everything that Europe has to offer. I have never been to a landfill in Europe. I don't want to and I'm just not so desperate. Accommodation comes down to four options: hotel, rent, hostel or Couchsurf.
- Hotel . Staying in a hotel is a safe road, and if you're going to Europe for the first time or you're not a risk taker, it's probably the way you want to go. Hotels depending on the place of visit range from 20 to 200 USD per night, so it is worth remembering when choosing a destination. I wouldn't advise staying in Monaco unless your oil company records record profits in the first quarter, but the option of staying in nearby Nice could be the solution. In other words, leave the options open.
- Rent . Booking a rented room, apartment, villa or home is also a safe bet, but it can be a bit more complicated than just checking in at 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 stayed in Europe are rentals. From a villa in a vineyard in Tuscany to a lonely mother-in-law in a quiet suburb outside London, I really enjoyed being in the rental shops, and the price is often much lower than staying in a hotel, if there is such a group, the costs can be divided.
- Shelter . The word "hostel" raises thoughts of scary movies, but in fact the difference between a hostel and a hotel is sometimes unnoticeable in Europe. There are definitely hostels where you can get a bunk bed in a room with five other travelers, and for some people it is exciting and interesting! But just because bunk beds are not your business does not mean that you should exclude everything that has the word hostel in the title. I stayed in some "hostels" that were just as nice as the hotel.
- Couchsurf . If you really have a tight budget or if meeting local people really matters to you, there is no better way than Couchsurf. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, visit the Couchsurfing website. Basically, the site allows you to ask to stay with someone who wants to host travelers in their home for free and vice versa. People leave reviews to travelers and hosts so that you can be sure that they are credible. Of course, this involves risks and precautions should be taken. Also, you should always have a backup plan in case the situation goes wrong.
Step 7. Eat cheaply.
I focus on having to visit Europe: travel, accommodation and meals. There are of course many other ways to spend money, but these are the things you need to spend money for and food is one of them.
The food is amazing. I love food and the first time I went to Europe I was disappointed because I accidentally went to restaurants and most of them were not happy. All this changed when I started checking restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor, it was enough to make every meal amazing. This was not so much a money saving tip as a general word for advice. However, TripAdvisor allows you to search by the overall price of the restaurant, so $ is cheap $$ is moderate $$$ becomes expensive etc.
Here's a tip for saving money: buying groceries in Europe is usually very cheap. So if you booked an apartment with a kitchen, use it! Go shopping at the local market and buy new strange cooking dishes! If you're traveling, get some sandwiches to save a few dollars.
Step 8. Realize that there are even more expenses
Although travel, accommodation and meals are your main expenses, of course they will be different. Things to think about include transport upon arrival, fees for attractions and souvenirs.
Transport options include public transport. Most European cities have fantastic and affordable public transport that you can buy using your local currency or debit card at the kiosk. Remember that US credit cards often don't work on them because you need a chip and PIN.
Car hire is a great option if you plan to travel outside of cities, it is usually quite affordable and gives you maximum freedom of mobility. Trains, although cute, are usually not a cheap way to travel around Europe. Flights are much cheaper and faster. But if you fell in love with a visit by a village train, it's worth a try. Tickets can be bought in advance on the Eurorail website for a fee. Or if you are more flexible and you feel that it is worth the risk, you can buy them in person at the train station for usually a little less.
Step 9. Travel with light
Although you may not think that travel light will save you money, believe me, it will. First of all, each airline will charge for baggage. So each part of the flight costs from 25 to 100 USD for each bag. It adds up quickly. Secondly, if you have two suitcases, you fill two suitcases full of things you probably don't need. Third, the use of cheap transport such as the subway becomes frustrating and impractical when you carry two uncomfortable bags. Fourthly, your bags must always be with you or at the hotel, so if you plan to check 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 in your luggage. In summary, the transportation of many items throughout Europe is a huge pain. My advice, and I can't stress it enough, is to put everything in one backpack. I have a 50 l backpack and it had everything I needed for a month and a half in Europe. Yes, there are also places to do laundry in Europe. If you say, well, you don't understand because you're a guy. I traveled with two young women and both fit everything in their backpack. If you say you do not understand because you are young, I traveled with my mother to Europe, and she fit everything in a standard-size 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 the expected expenses and sum up everything. I also plan on at least $ 200 of unexpected expenses. Ultimately, my expenses are always well below this figure, but I never want to end up being overwhelmed by the costs.
In 2000 words I gave you a condensed guide to Europe by budget. When booking a trip to Europe, there are of course many other things to think about, but the main thing is to just do it! Find cheap flights to Europe and book them. You can fill in all the empty fields later, don't try to plan everything before getting tickets and don't try to plan every second of every day. Leave time for spontaneity and immerse yourself in European life.