More Europe, Less Euros – Travelling on the Cheap

The first thing that should be on your mind when it comes to booking your holiday in Europe is arranging your flights. It may sound obvious, but the easiest way to save money on your flights is to book well in advance. According to many travel experts the best time to reserve your flights is eleven months in advance of your trip, due to the flights just being released. As a result, plenty of cheaper seats will be available. The opposite is also true, as booking at the last minute can result in substantial savings as airlines try to fill up their unsold seats.

Further savings can be made on your European sojourn by simply splitting the cost with your travelling companions. Depending on the accommodation you wish to stay in during your trip, you could save a considerable amount of money. Staying in youth hostels, which, despite the name, are no longer just the preserve of the youth, as many hostels now have family rooms, is always a financially sound option and if you do decide to split the cost, it could ending up costing you next to nothing. Investigate cheap hotel chains as well, as many are significantly cheaper than their Travelodge cousins in Britain. In France, for example, many budget hotels offer three person rooms for under £20 a night.

Keeping an eye on the exchange rates is also a useful idea. Fluctuations between the Pound and the Euro could be the difference between a leisurely, fun packed holiday and a minimalist, dull one. For example, Greece, a once cheap option for a family holiday, has become relatively expensive on the back of its entry to the European Union and its view of itself as an Olympic host and European football champion; while Italy on the other hand, remains very reasonable. With that in mind, do some research and find countries that offer competitive rates on accommodation, food and tourist attractions.

Depending on your destination, it’s worth remembering when planning your holiday that renting a car may be more convenient than relying on pubic transport. Cheap car hire in Spain and Tenerife, for example, is relatively easy to find and allows for far greater flexibility.

Quite possibly the best tip for saving money on your European holiday is to shop around for a low cost insurance policy. The travel agent – online or on the High Street – will attempt to sell you insurance but many travel experts recommend arranging your own instead, as it’s almost a guarantee that similar cover can be found for a lower price elsewhere. This rule also applies to European breakdown cover. While we’ve all heard of the RAC and AA, it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s still just insurance and a number of companies will offer the same thing for less money.

When booking a European holiday on a budget, the easiest way to save money is simply to shop around for the best deals, with the internet being a godsend to travellers wishing to book their own trips. Research the countries you’re planning on visiting too and make yourself aware of any opportunities to save money on food or accommodation. By taking all of the above into account, your European trip is sure to be a great experience which won’t break the bank.