The days are brighter, the sleet and snow are gone, and the tulips and bluebells are in bloom. It’s official; spring is finally here! Two years after the pandemic disrupted our spring break plans, we can finally continue where we left off. Alfresco dining, flower-filled gardens, and several national holidays beckon you to spice up your life.
Many countries in the European Union have a lot of fun activities and scenery to offer. Their popularity is getting stronger as tourism rebounds after closing their borders. Last January, there was a 250% increase in Easter period bookings for intra-European travel. Although this faces new uncertainties due to the ongoing war, the thrill of the spring break remains evident.
Amidst the excitement, travelers must still stick to a reasonable budget. However, not all of them, especially first-timers from outside the region, are familiar with everything that comes with traveling within the EU countries. So if you are planning to travel, too, you should take note of what to bring, do, and avoid while having fun.
This article provides tips on limiting your spending during your EU travel. Read on to learn what these are.
Check out fares as soon as you can. Do not wait until the last minute, especially when traveling by plane. It’s already a given that booking flights months before your travel date saves you a lot of cash. You may find more deals and promos, making your flights cheaper.
If you are also planning to visit several EU countries, you have two options. First, you can book different flights for each place you wish to go and see. However, flight expenses may be higher than what you want to spend.
So maybe the second option is better for you. This is where you compare fares by plane, bus, or train. This will allow you to choose the most inexpensive way, which is traveling by land. Although more time-consuming, it can be a whole lot of fun.
Choose the Right Lodging
You must remember that hotel suites or lodging rooms near tourist attractions have sky-high prices. Of course, you pay for the convenience, scenery, and the massive influx of tourists.
Fortunately, there are many travel websites to find information on hotels and other lodging services. You may compare their prices, proximity to your destination, and reviews before booking. That way, you may maximize your opportunity to relax without worrying about hefty accommodation bills.
Aside from hotels and vacation rentals, you can find student hostels and family homes that follow quality standards. Book a room or suite early because the price may increase when you do it at the eleventh hour before your travel schedule. Note that lodging rates are higher during peak season.
Make a DIY Itinerary
It is typical for tourists to hire guides and not waste time asking locals for directions. Tourist guides are vital when most locals only speak their native language. But you may face steep tour guide fees in exchange for their services. Like your flight and lodging booking, you must also plan your itinerary.
Study the location of your room or suite. Familiarize yourself with the landmarks and public transportation before you go.
And if you can, try to study and learn the basic words or conversational sentences. You can write them down in your notebook to check and read when asking for directions. Doing this will save you more time, energy, and money.
Pack Your Food and Water
Solid food like biscuits and sandwiches can be taken on a plane and do not expire immediately. You can use them as your food or snacks while walking or taking pictures of the magnificent places and scenery you visit. You may also bring your jug or tumbler because the tap water in many EU cities is clean and safe to drink.
Avoid buying snacks and bottled water near the center of the city or tourist attractions. Like lodging, food and water near busy places are more expensive. The money you spend on them may add up quickly and exceed your spending limit.
You can also bring candy bars when biscuits and sandwiches do not satisfy you. If you want to taste local cuisines, you can try them for main meals like dinner or even lunch.
Prepare Your Roaming Plan
Even when busy traveling, connecting with your family and friends is still necessary. But you cannot just use your old sim card in the EU.
There are roaming fees with multi-day passes that vary with the providers. Even if you are from the UK, you will still have to pay for them. You can avail of plans with fees ranging from £2 to £3.50 per 25 GB cap. That is why you must choose your roaming plan carefully.
Suppose you want to see the tulip park and windmills in the Netherlands. If this is so, then it is better to buy a local sim card since it is easy to find stores that sell one. But you will benefit more from a dual sim mobile phone. The best thing about it is it connects to the Wi-Fi, and you won’t have to think about high roaming fees and buying a sim card.
Purchase City Passes
Many EU cities sell passes to tourist attractions at a reasonable price. City passes give you access to several museums for a few days. You don’t have to queue up in every museum, which will cost you more.
Bring Only What’s Necessary
Pack light to avoid paying for extra baggage on the plane. It will also relieve your worries about losing something precious if an intruder breaks into your room.
It will be a hassle to carry heavy luggage while walking or taking public transportation after the plane lands. Also, you need space and energy to bring the food, souvenirs, and other items you buy from local stores. Bring only your clothes, snacks, and other essentials, such as a power bank, medicine, and toiletries.
Choose Public Transportation Over Private Service
Having a private car in a busy place is more convenient and keeps you from queuing up in long lines. But the cost can be too expensive for your budget. Keep in mind that it might be best to travel via public transportation to enjoy and savor everything you see. Boarding buses and trains are cheaper and will give you an instant tour.
If your body allows, go sightseeing on foot. Doing this is one of the best ways to experience the place you are visiting.
The Bottom Line
Traveling is fun and thrilling, especially when you want to take a break from work or school. But it may cost you a lot of money if you do not know the dos and don’ts. Preparing yourself months before your scheduled travel will save you from overspending and other hassles. Spring is inviting, so savor every moment of your trip.