Travel is expensive no matter which way you slice it, but there are some ways you can cut corners and save money. Read on the find out what our expert tour leaders’ top tips are for pinching pennies while you’re on tour in any country in Europe.
Steer clear of touristy restaurants
If a restaurant advertises that they speak English or boast about their multilingual menus, chances are you’ll be paying inflated tourist prices for the pleasure. Avoid eateries in touristy areas – rather opt for small restaurants that are filled with locals and order off the specials board. Family-run businesses offer the best value for money because they are able to skirt costly European labour regulations by employing family members. As a bonus, you’ll be served by people who care about their customers and their business’ reputation. Also definitely try the street food! It really is the best way to immerse yourself in the local cuisine. Additionally, you’ll be supporting local vendors and because the food is cooked in front of you, you can rest assured that it is fresh.
RELATED: Explore Finland with us on the Northern Explorer Tour.
Shop with the exchange rate
If your tour includes a few foreign destinations, rather do your shopping in the more affordable countries where you enjoy a better exchange rate. The difference in prices can be quite monumental – the cash you shell out for a model of a ship in Norway will probably buy you an actual fishing dinghy in Turkey. If you’re trying to save money, stay away from glitzy tourist streets; rather buy your souvenirs at local markets and outlet stores.
Top Tip: While haggling is expected at most markets and informal shopping destinations, remember that a 50-cent saving may not be a big deal to you, but it could impact on the livelihood of the merchant in question. Something to think about…
Do some of your laundry by hand
One of the simplest ways of saving money is to wash your underwear and socks by hand at your hotel. This little bit of elbow grease will trim down your laundromat bill significantly over the course of a multi-country tour.
Take advantage of free Wi-Fi
All the Europe hotels on our tours feature free wi-fi, so you can stay connected while you’re on the road. Save on data and roaming expenses by checking and replying on emails and social media messages at the hotel. Alternatively, keep an eye out for free wi-fi hotspots at cafes and libraries while you’re out and about during the day.
If you plan to have a drink or two, go local
If you’re heading out for the evening, you can save quite a bit of money by enjoying a few drinks at the hotel before you hit the town. Once you get to the bar, club or pub of your choice, take advantage of happy hour specials and steer clear of expensive imported beer, wine and liquor, rather stick to what the locals are drinking. Take full advantage of local wine tasting shops or craft beer shops where you can buy locally produced liquor at a fraction of the price.
RELATED: Taste Guinness with us in Ireland on the Best of UK & Ireland tour.
While you’re considering money matters, go have a look here for a few handy hints on keeping your cash safe while you travel. We’d love to hear your top tricks and tips to pinch those pennies while on tour?