7 Tips for Affordable European Vacations

Take Advantage of Budget Airlines

One of the easiest ways to save money on your European vacation is by taking advantage of budget airlines. These airlines offer lower prices than traditional carriers, but they often come with restrictions, such as limited baggage allowance and no meal service. While budget airlines may not be luxurious, they can get you to your destination for a fraction of the cost of a traditional airline. Some popular budget airlines in Europe include Ryanair, EasyJet, and Wizz Air.

Stay in Hostels or Airbnb

Accommodations can be one of the most significant expenses on a European vacation, but there are ways to save money without sacrificing comfort. Hostels offer budget-friendly options for travelers, and many of them have private rooms with en suite bathrooms. Airbnb is also an excellent option for budget travelers, allowing you to rent a room or an entire apartment for a fraction of the cost of a hotel. Both hostels and Airbnb can also offer unique and authentic experiences that you may not get from a traditional hotel. In addition, booking your accommodation for a longer period can also save you money.

Use Public Transportation

While renting a car may seem like a convenient option, it can quickly add up in expenses, such as gas, tolls, and parking fees. Instead, consider using public transportation, such as trains or buses, to get around. Many European cities have excellent public transportation systems, and purchasing multi-day or multi-ride passes can save you money. Walking or biking is also a great way to save money and see more of the city. In addition, you can opt for carpooling services or car-sharing programs to save money.

Eat Like a Local

Eating out at restaurants can also add up quickly on a European vacation, but there are ways to save money and still enjoy delicious food. Instead of eating at touristy restaurants, seek out local markets and street food vendors. Not only will you save money, but you will also get a more authentic taste of the local cuisine. Consider packing a picnic lunch or dinner, which can be a fun and romantic way to enjoy the local scenery. In addition, you can also try cooking your own meals at your accommodation, which can save you a significant amount of money.

Take Advantage of Free Activities

Europe is full of museums, galleries, and historical sites, but the admission fees can quickly add up. However, many of these attractions offer free admission on certain days or at certain times. Do some research before your trip to find out which attractions offer free admission, and plan your itinerary accordingly. You can also enjoy free activities, such as walking tours or hikes, which can provide an excellent opportunity to explore the city and get some exercise. In addition, you can opt for outdoor activities, such as swimming, hiking, or cycling, which can be both fun and affordable.

Travel in the Off-Season

Traveling during the off-season can also save you money on your European vacation. The peak tourist season in Europe is typically from June to August, so consider traveling in the spring or fall to avoid the crowds and save money on flights and accommodations. You may also find that the weather is more mild during the off-season, making it a more pleasant time to explore the city. In addition, traveling during weekdays can also be cheaper than traveling on weekends.

Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates

Finally, be flexible with your travel dates to save money on flights and accommodations. Flights and hotels are often cheaper during the week, so consider traveling on a Tuesday or Wednesday instead of the weekend. You can also save money by booking your trip well in advance or at the last minute, depending on the destination and season. In addition, you can opt for alternative airports or train stations, which can be cheaper than the main ones.

Consider Alternative Destinations

While Paris, Rome, and London are popular European destinations, they can also be expensive. Consider visiting alternative destinations, such as Budapest, Krakow, or Lisbon, which offer similar attractions and experiences at a lower cost. You can also opt for smaller towns and villages, which can provide a more authentic and less touristy experience.

Learn the Language

Finally, learning the local language can save you money and enhance your travel experience. Knowing a few basic phrases can help you communicate with locals, navigate public transportation, and order food at restaurants. In addition, locals appreciate when visitors make an effort to speak their language and may be more willing to offer tips and recommendations.


Traveling to Europe can be an unforgettable experience, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. By following these ten tips, you can have an affordable and enjoyable European vacation. From taking advantage of budget airlines to learning the language, these tips will help you save money without sacrificing comfort or fun. Happy travels!

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