Ah, Europe. Many travelers daydream about grabbing a beer in Munich, or eating dinner next to the canals of Rome. Unfortunately, for many of these would-be-explorers, Europe seems unaffordable. While it’s true that Europe is more expensive than other popular travel destinations, like South America or Asia, you don’t have to break the bank to go there. Actually, it’s possible to travel all over Europe relatively cheaply, as long as you know how to do it. Read the below for five tips that will save you money on your next European adventure:
Avoid tourist traps
This rule holds true for a wide range of services, from restaurants and hotels to entertainment venues and tours. Locally-owned businesses run for locals will almost always be cheaper and better than the more tourist-focused alternatives. How to find them? Just look for signs written only in the native language of the country.
Don’t go in summer
Summer is prime tourist season all across Europe, which means everything will be more expensive. Additionally, all the locals will be out of town. Why? Because it’s their summer holidays during this time.Try to visit between October and April, and absolutely avoid July and August. If you really can’t avoid going or being there in the summer, then you need to know where to go to escape the crowds.
Europe is very passionate about eating food that is seasonal. If you find yourself in a German Gasthaus or Italian trattoria, ask what the seasonal menu items are. By doing so, you’ll save a lot and get tastier food as well.
Escape the euro
Any European country that’s not in the euro will be cheaper than its counterparts. Check out Austria or the Czech Republic for big savings.And hey, while you’re saving so much money, you can splurge out on a pair of Prague opera tickets or a night in a nice hotel for some luxury.
Let’s not forget about Eastern Europe. While it doesn’t get nearly as much press or attention as the west, Eastern Europe offers hordes of beautiful destinations that can be visited for an affordable price. Krakow, Riga, and Bratislava are all beautiful cities that you can visit on the cheap.
If you want to go further east, you can experience Russia’s rich history. St. Petersburg’s canals and royal palaces are beautiful, and the Russian orthodox architecture can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
Eating at restaurants your entire stay will quickly drain your finances. You can get a great picnic lunch for about ten dollars, and stocking your room with snacks and drinks will help you save money in the long run. Besides, there are almost unlimited places around Europe to put your blanket down and eat your food under the shadow of a historical building or monument. What more could you ask for?
Europe doesn’t have to be expensive, and with a little planning, even the most cash-strapped backpacker can afford it. If in doubt, just take a little time to search the internet. There are literally hundreds of sites that offer money-saving travel tips that you can implement in order to have the vacation of your dreams.