Affordable Ways for Families to Visit Europe


Many people dream of taking vacations to Europe with their families. However, they do not work toward making this dream a reality, fearing the expense that comes with international travel. While in the past, European vacations were reserved primarily for those who were wealthy, today's working families can enjoy such trips while saving money at the same time. The cost of travel is prohibitive to many; for long haul flights especially, the price of getting return flights for all the family creates an obstacle for clans heading east and exploring this varied continent. As they plan their dream vacation to Europe, people can find a number of ways to save money and afford a memorable and fun journey. Readers who hail from European countries can also take heed of some of the following advice. The rule of thumb – the better the planning and preparation, the more you save to spend on the more interesting things once you get to your destination.

Off-Season Travel

In fact, travel experts suggest that a prime way to save money on international travel is to take vacations during the off-seasons. The summer months and spring break season tend to be the most popular times for people to travel for pleasure. During these times as well, restaurant owners, hotel chains, and tourist-friendly vendors typically raise their prices. They count on the influx of tourists to their areas to spend more money, thus increasing their profits. The seasonality of the tourism industry means this raise or fall in price will occur across the board.

On the other hand, people who travel to Europe during the off-season, such as the early fall or late winter months, often save significant amounts of money. Their hotel rooms, restaurant meals, and other amenities tend to cost less, making their time in Europe affordable, yet pleasurable at the same time. Soaking in the cultural heritage of the European countries does not restrict you to taking trips there in the summer months. In fact, places like Switzerland, Germany and Belgium are magical in the time leading up to Christmas.

Picking your Accommodation

As they prepare for their journey, tourists also are encouraged to consider staying at lesser known hotel establishments rather than those belonging to large, international corporations. Hotels that are native to the area often charge people lower rates while still providing the same amount of comfort and service. Even more, families experience the native culture firsthand. Most countries have wonderful ‘bed and breakfast’ mini-hotels, often run by families – which are usually much cosier and significantly cheaper than the massive chain hotels.

Eating Out & Eating In

On that same token, saving money can also be accomplished by eating at local restaurants, cafes, street carts, and other such establishments. The fare at such locations often costs a good deal less than the meals offered at larger restaurants. As with staying at smaller hotels, tourists can experience the cultural atmosphere of the local area. Some families may prefer to rent a small cottage, flat or chalet, in or near the city of their choice, and go self-catering. Such a holiday allows you to explore the native food markets and stores and cook for yourselves after a day of sightseeing.

Getting around your Destination

Many travellers like the convenience of renting their own vehicle and having the freedom to drive at their leisure. However, it should be noted that driving in Europe can be expensive. Aside from the price of renting a car, tourists also must purchase special insurance that protects them if they get in an accident or experience mechanical failures.  In addition, driving in Britain, France, Germany and Holland will cost you a fair bit in fuel. These costs add substantially to their vacation expenses and (as mentioned in the introduction) may suit European travellers hopping across countries for vacations.

Rather than spend that amount of money, holiday makers would do well to use ferry or taxi services while they are in Europe. Drivers for these services can pick up people at the airport, transport them around the local villages and cities, and take them directly to the most popular sightseeing locations. Hiring these services costs less than renting a car and paying for insurance in some instances. One takeaway from this post: planning is essential in order to get the best deal. Research the best options that will leave you with more spending money in your pocket to enable the trip to go ahead and to treat the family once you get there


Author Bio: Lauren Brown is a freelance copywriter and blogs for Al Fresco Holidays – providers of family holidays in Europe and stays at the ever-popular Chateau de Galinee resort.