The Euro to Dollar ratio has been steadily dropping, which is making European travel cheaper for those on this side of the pond. Yesterday, I ran across a BBC article, which stated that the Euro is at a four-year low compared to the dollar. As of this writing, the Euro is $1.23, which certainly isn’t cheap, nor equal to the dollar – but it sure as hell beats what I paid last year in May, which was around $1.50.
So, for those who have been wanting to travel to Europe – I say GO. GO NOW. Don’t look back. Don’t think too much about it. Make plans, even last-minute ones, just to take advantage of this 25% savings over last year’s rates.
And if I may be so bold, I’d like to help you make it happen. Let’s get down to business.
Now, undoubtedly, one of your biggest expenses will be airfare. And while there isn’t much good news on the airfare front, my advice would be, if you’re going to drop a giant chunk of change for airfare – find a cheaper place to stay in Europe and stay longer. That $1000 RT ticket is a hefty price-tag for just a 4 or 5 day trip. But if you stay for 10 days to 2 weeks, it becomes more valuable the longer you stay.
Also, limit your movement from place to place. Pick one city and delve in head first. Getting to three or four other places can add considerable expense to your trip.
> Read this post for tips on scoring airfare deals.
The other big expense you will incur is room and board. If you are a traveler that doesn’t mind hostels or couchsurfing, then you’ll have no trouble finding a good deal on a room. But for those of you who don’t like sharing a room with others or strangers, you’ll likely have to look further for cheap sleeps.
Finding a good deal doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice things like cleanliness or comfort. You may need to be a bit further away from the city center (but that often provides other benefits, like off-the-beaten-path discoveries, cheaper food and perhaps a bit of peace and quiet) or not have 800-thread-count sheets, but there are nice places out there for reasonable rates.
Look to monasteries, budget hotels (1 and 2 star), bed and breakfasts – even apartments for larger groups. Often you can find some hotels which include wi-fi (if you need that) and breakfast, thought I would forgo paying for the hotel’s breakfast in favor of a local cafe.
Eating will likely be another big expense, especially if your first thought is to eat sit down meals at gourmet restaurants every day. That isn’t my idea of Europe on the cheap. Pinching pennies along the way will certainly leave room in the budget for at least one fab gourmet experience though.
>More suggestions on how to save money on food in Cheap Eats.
Some of the most wonderful sights to see in Europe are free. There are free churches, museums and sometimes just wandering the streets taking photos can be great fun. There are also ways to get discounts on tickets, free museum days and on-line coupons that can bring down sightseeing costs.
Here are a few other posts that give helpful tips on budget travel.
Still need some help getting to Europe on the cheap? A travel consultation can save you time, money and give you peace of mind!
What is your best tip for travel on the cheap?
Let’s see what Cherrye is talking about for Travel Tip Tuesday today.