Contrary to popular belief, it’s possible to travel around Europe without breaking the bank. By adopting a few simple habits, you can make the most of early payment discounts, avoid your cash being absorbed by last-minute price increases and other hidden costs. Here’s how to live your best life in Europe and not resort to two-minute noodles when you get home.
Nerd It Up
It’s worth doing some indepth research, especially if it means saving money. If you sign up to email newsletters and SMS alerts, you’ll be the first to know about discounts, travel expos and destination tips, and tricks. Most importantly, you’ll get alerts when flights become available meaning you can secure the cheapest price.
In addition to flights, map out as much of your holiday itinerary as possible. Once you know exactly what you need to arrange you can budget accordingly and be ready to secure hot deals.
So you’ve been alerted that flights to Europe have been released. Now it’s time to whip out the savings card and book it, baby! Similarly, most group tours will have early payment discounts allowing you to save up to hundreds of dollars just by paying in full early. Since you’ve already planned your full itinerary, book the complete package before you go. The more you leave unconfirmed, the more you’ll spend overall, not to mention the fees you’ll be copped converting AUD to EUR.
Ever bought a pair of shoes and find them on sale a week later? Cue buyer’s remorse. Well, now there is no excuse not to book your flights early, thanks to Price Drop Protection! Your Travel Expert can ensure your flights include added extra, meaning if your flights drop in price, we’ll refund you the difference in a Flight Centre gift card. Can I get a “hell yeah?!”
Read The T&Cs
Understand exactly what you’re buying and read the terms and conditions. This may seem like common sense, but quite often travellers are surprised to learn of a change or cancellation fee when it comes to making changes to travel plans, which could cost you a motza! If you’re unsure, ask your Travel Expert. Plan ahead to avoid making changes, be aware of T&Cs and you could save yourself some cash (and shock).
Yes, travel insurance is an initial outlay and touch wood, you’ll be able to get around Europe without ever needing to make a claim. Should you have a big night out and drop your phone or slip and have to pay to see a doctor, you’ll certainly thank yourself later. Just remember to keep all of your receipts as you will need this information for any claim.
Hunt For Hotel Amenities
It doesn’t matter what star rating you prefer, you can always make your money work harder for you. Location is important, however, when searching for the perfect place to stay, look for additional features such as breakfast, complimentary Wi-Fi and shuttle services. Also consider what facilities will make your holiday special. Could it be a rooftop terrace, gym or pool?
Don’t Pass Up A Pass
Whether it’s a rail pass, city pass or hop-on, hop-off pass, each has a unique set of benefits making them great value for your hard-earned dollars. In additional to unlimited travel in 31 European countries, the Eurail pass offers exclusive discounts and free public transport in selected cities. The 2 Day Paris Pass offers entry to more than 60 world-class museums and monuments as well as unlimited travel on the metro, buses, Paris RER and a one-day hop-on, hop-off bus tour. Yes and yes!
When In Europe, Be European
Immerse yourself in local life. Think public transport, picking up a snack at the local market and adventuring rather than shopping. Ditch the taxi and walk the cobblestone streets with a gelato, pick up a punnet of raspberries from a stall instead of hitting up a 7/11, and have a dip in the ocean instead of spending an exorbitant amount on a pair of sunglasses.
Favouring experiences over things is certainly a disguised way of saving a few pennies here and there.