Whether the economy is progressing or undergoing recession, our travel dreams are strong. Europe is magical as ever and is worth a visit. You can enjoy its beauty if you know how to manage your travel budget for a travel trip. To help you do just that, we have 20 tips to stay within your budget and make your trip as affordable as possible.
1) Go for a B&B
They are half the price of an popular hotel and offer the cultural intimacy. In most countries, you can find them with ease provided you know what they are called in the country you are in. For instance, in Germany, they are called Gastezimmer, which means rooms in a residential house.
2) Touristy restaurants are not your best bet
Avoid restaurants with the sign boards reading “we speak English”. They are usually more expensive that those serving locals with local food. You may want to order something from daily specials from a menu written by hand in the local language.
3) Travel off-season
For Europe, airfare and hotel rooms are cheap, plus you will most likely be able to see more natives than tourists. On the other hand, however, big and popular cities like Rome, Paris and London cost almost the same amount of money throughout the year.
4) Order food that is in season
You can have asparagus, porcini mushrooms and snails (caracoles) in Germany, Italy and Spain respectively. Remember: order these foods in season to get more taste at a lower price tag.
5) Keep a guidebook with you
You can have one for about $20 to take advantage of $3,000 worth of experience. Believe me or not, an up-to-date guidebook will pay a lot in the end. And you will end up saving a good deal of money by making the right decisions.
6) ATMs are better than travelers checks
With ATMs, you can get your cash quickly at lower cost. ATMs are up 24/7 and offer the best rates. For minimum transaction fees, make 5 big transactions instead of 10 small ones, for instance, and keep your cash safe.
7) Dial direct and save more
International phone cards have PIN numbers and offer cheap call rates. You have buy them at newsstands in Europe. They allow you to make calls to the USA for 10c per minutes, which is a lot of saving.
8) Shop in less expensive countries
In Turkey, for instance, you can get a boat in Turkey for the cost of an Oslo Viking ship. In the same way, gifts are also on sale at cheaper price tags in these countries.
9) Get consolidated air tickets
They are legitimate and save you hundreds of dollars if you can ignore a few little drawbacks, such as the unavailability of flier miles and no changes.
10) Read up on railpass options
At times, they offer a good deal of savings, especially if you travel a lot. Generally, for short trips, it is a great idea to go for point-to-point tickets.
11) Second-class trains VS first class trains
No matter where you are in Europe, first-class train tickets are twice as much as first class ones, but offer about the same level of comfort. That is the reason most of Europeans go for second-class train tickets to save bucks.
12) Travel on a bus and save more
This is especially true if you are travelling in Britain. For example, a bus ride from London to Edinburgh can cost you $45, but the same journey can cost you $145 on a train.
13) Share a car
If you are 4-5 friends, save more by sharing a car. Instead of buying 4 rail passes, rent a car, which may cost you much less even if the cost per gallon is $6.
14) Park carefully
Tourist cars are at a higher risk of being stolen. Make sure the car doesn’t have broken window glasses, and, if possible, pay to park in a safe garage where an attendant is available to keep an eye on the vehicles.
15) Pay in cash
Although credit cards offer good exchange rates, paying in cash is better. For changing cash, go with exchange bureaus showing both the buying and selling rates. There can be a difference of 5% between both the rates. It shouldn’t be higher than that.
16) Travel with a friend
This will allow you to share and save a lot. The cost of a single room in a hotel costs about the same as a double room. You can save money by buying only one guidebook, booking only one room, renting only one car and sharing chores.
You may save a lot and make your trip a lot more enjoyable by following these 16 travel tips, especially if you are traveling with a partner.