To say that you want to visit Europe is a very general statement as there are plenty of countries in the continent you may want to see. It is easy to become overwhelmed when you see a map and you realize all that there is to see that it is impossible to see a lot of it without being a very organized traveler. If you wanted to visit Saint Petersburg and Athens the itinerary would be a bit challenging to say the least. Here are some tips that will help you see a lot of places in your first trip to Europe on a budget.
Look At The Cities That You Want To Visit
The first thing that you need to do is to look at the places that you want to visit the most and then look at a map. You will get a general idea of what you can do in the time you have set aside for your vacation. Do not be afraid to add as many locations as you would like to see. The point is to get an idea of what your travel plan will look like. By looking at the map you will see what is realistic for the time that you are planning to travel for. You could see a lot more for less money if you stick to a region than you would if you decided to visit many places.
Set Up Your Budget
You can dream of traveling all through Europe all you want, but the truth is that most of the big cities will need a larger budget. The good news is that traveling from one place to another may make your travel arrangements actually cheaper. One good idea is to travel at night so that you save on hotel rooms. You can also look for B&Bs if your budget does not allow you to spend a lot of money in hotels.
While you will want to save as much as possible you still have to make sure that your budget is realistic. You cannot spend 5 days in Paris and expect to spend no money. There are sites that will describe cost of living in different places so take advantage of them. You should also pay close attention to the prices for hotels at different times of the year so that you have an idea of how much you will spend. Food is also a big part of your budget so see what options are available.
Pick The Right Time To Travel
The time you travel is very important to keeping all your arrangements at a good rate. If there is an event taking place in a city and that event attracts many tourists then there is a good chance that prices for everything will skyrocket. A good source of information is the tourism board or association of a city or country. It is important to understand that just because there is a festival taking place it does not necessarily mean that the prices will be up a lot. It all depends how many tourists are expected to attend; the more of an attraction a festival is, the more likely it is that the prices will go up. Oktoberfest for example brings in a lot of people, but a smaller festival will not, so prices are not as bad; that means that avoiding festivals is not always necessary.
The other thing that influences the price is the time of the year. If it is the rainy season in the Mediterranean then you are likely to get better prices at that time. On the other hand if you are traveling to the Alps you will have to pay a higher price in the winter. You can still experience a great vacation even if it is the “low season” and you can do so for a lower rate.
PackingCredit: Buena Vista Images
Believe it or not, packing is one of the most important things about saving money on your trip. To a lot of travelers that means to pack everything that you could need, but it is in fact the other way around. You should not pack everything that you could need, but rather everything that you will need. If you know for a fact that you will not find something essential then pack it, but if you are packing the non-essential items then you could be stuck with extra luggage fees especially on the way back if you decided to buy souvenirs.
Keep in mind that if you will fly from one city to the next different airlines have different luggage weight restrictions, so even if you were to take a little extra it could end up costing a good amount of money.
One of the things which people overlook is coupons. There are a few websites that will sell coupons or discount cards which apply to different cities and which will give you discounts to food, attractions, hotels and even souvenirs. If you look at the websites from the cities or other global coupon sites you will see the types of discounts you can get.
The one word of warning about coupons is to make sure that the coupons you are buying come from reliable websites and that they will be ok to use by the time that you are traveling. You may also need to make your reservation some time in advance so always look at the terms and conditions of any coupon you are interested in.
Compare Travel Prices
As we told you before overnight travel can be a way to save on lodging, but that is not always the best option especially if you are not someone who can get some sleep while on a train or plane seat. Some economy travel options are very cheap and can get you to your destination much faster. Check any discount airline for getting around as you will be very surprised at how inexpensive they are.
You will find those airlines all over the net and on the newspapers when you are in Europe. It is a good idea to look at them before you get to your starting point and compare prices online. If you wait until the last moment the prices are not as impressive. Try to give yourself anywhere from 2 weeks to a month at least so that you can get your seats.Credit: Dezidor