Europe on a Shoestring: The Budget Holiday Dream is Real!

Europe may be home to VIP hotspots like the Amalfi Coast and the French Riviera, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t positively brimming with more affordable alternatives as well.

Budget holiday plans are more than do-able on this beautiful continent. Continue reading this article to get the best tips on how to travel across Europe in style – without breaking the bank!

Travel in off-peak times of the year

Don’t go travelling when every family in the country is off on their annual holidays. Travelling at off-peak times of the year will save your bank balance from forking out for the most expensive accommodation and flights. Winter can often be a superb time to visit southern Europe, as the weather is more amenable to long sightseeing walks and interesting activities you might not have thought of in summer.

Choose budget airlines

Unless you’ve come into some money (in which case this article will not be much use to you), flying with a budget airline should be a priority for your European adventure. Flights can be found from as little as £30 return to some of the continent’s most amazing cities. Flight times only average around two hours anyway, making less leg room not so much of a big deal.

Consider Eastern Europe for a Budget Holiday

Western Europe is so last century! Consider the curious wonders of Eastern Europe for your next weekend budget getaway. From Krakow to Budapest, this part of Europe is teaming with remarkable architecture (new and old), history, culture, cuisine and nightlife.

Make lunch your main meal and eat like a local

Speaking of food, lunch really needn’t be taken at the local restaurant. Sourcing some staples from the supermarket and eating your lunch alfresco can be the best way to save you money whilst on holiday. If an inside eatery is what you’re after though, make sure to take yourself well away from main squares and tourist sites. This way you should be far more likely to come across a café frequented by locals and thereby lower the cost and improve the quality of your meal.

Wait for free museum days

Believe it or not, museums do want people to visit them, even if entry fees can sometimes seem excessive. In fact, it’s in their own interests to boast huge annual visitor numbers. To help them in this task, many museums now offer free visit days to top up that annual figure. The designated free day is the best time to visit as a tourist if you’re on a budget – everything inside is exactly the same, only free! So get online and check local museums opening times and prices to see if there is a cheeky free visit day waiting to be discovered.

Cycle or walk

Cities are best discovered by foot anyway, so this one is a bit of a no-brainer. By taking to the pavements you can get to know most European cities over the course of a couple of days – and see a lot more than in a car or bus. Cycling is another great option, especially if the city is a little larger or spread out. Make sure to wear a helmet and remember what side of the road you should be on, however! Above all, these two modes of getting around are also much better for your health than taxis and public transport.

Pre-book your Airport Transfers

Finally, pre-booking your airport transfers online before you leave home and choosing a shared shuttle to save money will get your holiday off to a fast and efficient start.

There are plenty of budget holiday destinations to be found in Europe and it’s well worth the effort to seek them out. Utilise these tips and get the edge on budget saving wizardry.

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you're heading off on a budget holiday, pre-book a shared transfer to your hotel to save money. Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.

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Author: Desiree Michels