Who doesn’t want a holiday in Europe this summer? It almost seems a ridiculous question, if you take money out of the equation. But it is hard to not consider the costs if you want to have a European holiday and you live in North America. While there are plenty of no-frills airlines these days as well as a host of great cheap flights on sale, how do you save once you are there? We have some great tips to share with you that just might make that dream of a holiday in exciting Europe, steeped in history and culture, your next vacation stop.
Forget the Car Rental
While you may want to indulge in the romance of driving through Europe, the truth is it can be quite expensive to see it this way. If you are planning to head out to more than one destination, local transit is the best way to go. Trains are relatively cheap and best of all well used. This means you can afford that quick trip to Southern France while you are in Holland and still have time to tour the windmills when you get back. Rent a bike, walk through towns or just take the local bus to the next destination. You will see far more of the countryside and even get a chat with the locals this way.
Rent an Apartment
The new cheapest way to travel if you want to spend time in one place is to rent an apartment. While you were once restricted to simply hotels or short-term rentals while the residents were away on holiday, today the options have grown. A new idea is purpose built short term rentals, like the holiday apartments in Copenhagen that have proven so popular. These are designed to accommodate travellers but have all the comforts of a home. When you add these specially built apartments to the mix that places like Airbnb have on offer, there is a wealth of options to choose from in Europe.
Eating in or Out?
While for many of us a big part of exploring a new location is the food, it doesn’t mean you have to eat out every night while on vacation. Many cities have a local farmers market. You can buy local, cook at home and really get a feeling of what it would be like to live in this city or country. How about adding in a cooking class while you are there? Many places offer them and a little time spent searching online will probably yield one in your area. It is the perfect combination of exploring the local food and adding a new skill.
Just looking at these few examples you can see a pattern emerge. When you look beyond the traditional hotel, car, sightseeing tour package of most holidays, you save. But best of all, you also get a more authentic experience when travelling to a new place. After all, how can you say you truly saw Spain or Norway if all you saw were hotels, tour buses and other tourists? Bon voyage and happy exploring.