So you’ve booked your flight and accommodation and are all set for your awaited Eurotrip; but the strong Euro means expenses add up quickly. Yet, with some careful planning, you can holiday for less.
Read on to find out how to save money while still having a great time!
You could also see: 5 Often Overlooked Ways to be Smart About Money While Travelling Abroad.
1. Join free walking tours
One of the best ways to get your bearings when you arrive at a new destination is to join a free walking tour. These tours operate on a tips basis, which means you can pay any amount you wish.
For instance, SANDEMANs NEW Europe Tours runs daily tours led by experienced guides in major European cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris. You not only become acquainted with the city you’re in but also get a history lesson along the way. And the best part? You just pay a tip to the guide!
2. Book tickets in advance
If you’re planning to visit France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or European cities, rail travel is the way to go. The earlier you book, the cheaper fares are and the golden rule is to book tickets as far ahead as possible. Most fares are available up to three months in advance.
Also, to ensure you get the lowest fares, book through the official websites instead of ticket agencies and third-party sites. Major railway operators include France’s SNCF, Spain’s Renfe and Germany’s Deutsche Bahn.
Also, be prepared to get around by bus. While it’s possible to buy your tickets onboard, it’s safest to book early to reserve a seat especially if you’re travelling during peak season. You can save on accommodation by taking overnight journeys. Be sure to read the luggage rules carefully — some bus companies require a fee for storing your bags — and print out tickets beforehand.
3. Eat like the locals do
Being on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t eat well. Check out farmer’s markets and supermarkets for fresh produce. If the weather’s nice, buy some bread, cheese, meat and olives and have a picnic in a park.
Going on a Spanish sojourn? Most restaurants in Spain have a daily value lunch menu called menu del dia, which includes a starter, main and dessert or drink.
Likewise, in Italy, you could go out for an aperitivo in the evenings, where a glass of beer or wine gets you a buffet or an array of small bites.
4. Take advantage of free museum days
Fancy seeing the Mona Lisa without spending a cent! Most major museums in Europe have days where admission is free during certain hours.
For example, the main museums in Paris, such as the Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and the Centre Pompidou have free entry on the first Sunday of the month.
While In Berlin, learn about the city’s past by visiting the Alliierten-Museum, Deutscher Dom, Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz, Deutsch-Russische Museum and the Museum der Stille – all for free.
P.S: Be sure to check the timings before you go. If you have to pay, ask if there are student concessions and discounts for seniors or small groups.
5. Use cards instead of cash
It’s a dilemma that every traveller faces: to exchange currency or to use cards abroad? Usually, currency exchange is unpredictable as the rates fluctuate frequently. Thus, we recommend using cards for your Eurotrip.
Different banks offer different benefits that include free airport lounges, air miles, travel insurance, car rentals, complimentary upgrades, hotel stay, and much more!
But what if you are an average spender, who likes travelling but is okay with not having enhanced travel card perks like lounge access and complimentary travel insurance coverage? You could then look at CIMB’s Platinum Mastercard (full review here) and discover how you can actually save on your travel and transportation costs with the 10% cashback.
Likewise, you could go through our list of Best Credit Cards for Travel Benefits that discuss on the various benefits of travel credit cards, as well as what to be cautious about. So, all you need to do is check out our website and let us pick the card which best matches your requirement!
On the other hand, you could also consider signing up with YouTrip, a multi-currency travel wallet that lets you pay for overseas purchases with no fees in over 150 currencies. It comes with a prepaid MasterCard, which supports exchange of 10 foreign currencies and lets you lock down currency rates before your trip. The advantage is that you get to avoid high transaction fees, it would totally be your luck on the exchange rate you lock.
However, getting the best exchange rate is like timing the stock market – its mission impossible! So, either let lady luck decide your currency lock rate or get a travel credit card. Either ways, you at least minimise the risk of losing or having your cash stolen.
So, whatever decision you choose, Bon Voyage!
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