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Vacationing In Europe – Cutting Costs Without Compromising Fun

by Mike

For many people, a vacation is a luxury and during these tough economic times it is often the first thing people will abandon when trying to save money. But rather than forget about your plans for a vacation in Europe altogether, there are other ways you can cut costs without sacrificing your comfort or enjoyment. Here, we take a look at how you can have that trip to Europe on a tight budget, so all you have to do is order foreign currency and get packing for your dream vacation.

Hotel

Staying at hotels in the heart of the city can be expensive. To cut back on these costs, consider staying just outside town where hotels are likely to be priced much lower than in the more touristy areas. If you’re not prepared to compromise on location, subscribe to email newsletters distributed by travel companies and let the deals come to you. You might also receive deals on flights, restaurants and activities.

Food

As with hotels, you’re likely to lower your food bill if you eat off the beaten path and away from the center of town. Simply eating at a restaurant a few streets back from the main tourist trail will often be enough to significantly reduce the cost. This will help you save money, and still provide an authentic dining experience. Many restaurants in European hotspots enforce hidden charges, such as a 15% service fee as soon as you are seated, or small bread baskets that many assume are complimentary but are not. Before you get comfortable, ask a member of staff if they charge for any of these services.

You can also order tap water for free in some countries, such as the UK, to avoid bottled water costs. However tap water isn’t safe to drink in every European country, so it’s best to check this out before you go.

Activities

Before you leave for your vacation, do some research on free activities you can enjoy while you’re away. There are hundreds of galleries and museums across Europe that offer free admission as a standard or on specific days. By planning ahead you can schedule your visits to save money. If you plan on shopping, show your support for smaller businesses like flea markets and be kinder to your pocket by purchasing your souvenirs here.

Extras

When budgeting for your vacation, don’t forget to include the cost of incidentals. These can add up, leaving you with potentially less money than you planned. For example, consider how much you will need to spend on transportation. If you were thinking of taking taxis from the airport to the hotel, look into taking the bus instead.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

krantcents

There are great hotels and restaurants in major European cities that can be cheap, if you look for them. It is still more expensive than the U.S., but it is all about the experience. Isn’t it? I am a big fan of B & B’s because you stay with locals. Good ideas which can be incorporated into the trip.

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Super Frugalette

I would always ask the staff at the hotel where they eat. It was usually really good food at a really good value.

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