So you’re off on the journey of a lifetime (or at least planning to), throwing the towel in on winter and heading in search of sun. As the months of June, July and August frost up and our windows fog, flocks of Aussies look abroad. And what better trail than the party laden Euro trip, of course with a little culture thrown in. If you want to have more cash for your cocktail buckets than we’ve got just the ticket for you, here’s how to book your euro trip on the cheap.
Pick your destinations
Choosing the largest pins on the map is a surefire way to loose your whole budget for one shotty hostel room. Look beyond the mainstay destinations and you’ll reap the financial rewards. The party capital of Ibiza is great, but heading east to Croatia is just as frivolous for less. On no other trip do we try to see a whole continent in one go, be smart when you’re mapping it out. This won’t be your last trip, promise.
If you’re set on dates or destinations or both, you’re likely to be forced to pay a whole heap more. Unless the budgetary angels are smiling upon you. If you leave a little before or after peak season you’ll save a tonne on flights for example. So see if you can get off in late May rather than June or finish up in September rather than August. The weather is still stellar but you’ll be able to save money on your air travel.
Do your research
For those who may be all about the spontaneity, that’s going to cost you. If you’re not the type to hand over planning control to a tour company like Topdeck or Contiki, that duty falls on you. Look into the nitty gritty, how you’ll travel from airport to hostel or between cities once you’re on the ground. All those little costs can add up real quick, making that cheap hostel on the outskirts of town not such a good idea.
If you’re searching online make sure to clear your cookies on the regular, the flight scanning sites know what your searching and the price will reflect your eagerness. Read: you will end up paying more. Think of it like one big hype up for your trip rather than an arduous logistics task.
Fly from alternative airports
London has so many airports you will likely visit two different ones in your travels. Instead of selecting Heathrow because it’s the only name you recognise, look into the alternative routes. Budget carriers like EasyJet who cover a huge expanse of Europe have their own airports just like Jetstar back home. When your researching make sure to check which airport it is though, you don’t want to turn up to one and you’re departing from another. The connections to these airports aren’t usually more expensive, since they’re budget carrier hubs. Map it out and save that cash.
Make the most of your travel days
For those desperate to take the train to every corner of Europe, make sure to compare other transport options. There is something wonderfully romantic about staring out at the French countryside, but you’ll end up paying for the view. In Europe international flights within the region are treated like domestic terminals. That means you don’t need to be there three hours before like back home. Consider flying instead or if you really want to experience while you’re moving from city to city, consider taking to the water. Sailing tours or cross country ferries are a magical way to do both, as long as you don’t get sea sick.
Easier said than done. But if you’re headed in summer, how much do you really need? Pick multipurpose pieces and you’ll save a bundle in baggage fees. Not to mention less heavy lifting on your part.
Image source: Sazan, London Corporate Cabs, Europe Famous Hostels