Whether you want to go for a romantic getaway in Paris or looking to discover the best of Rome, nowadays all it takes is a few easy hacks and you could be making some serious savings on everything from your flights and hotel.
Even getting around is easier than ever, and you don’t necessarily need to hop onto a tourist-filled tour bus in order to take in the sights. Plus, get your timing right and entrance to the biggest attractions could work out a lot cheaper.
1. Arrive on a Sunday
Sunday nights are usually the cheapest night of the week to stay in a city hotel, as weekend visitors have left and those travelling for business tend to wait for the start of the week before arriving. Therefore, not only will the hotel be quieter, but you’re increasing your chances of getting an upgrade to a suite!
2. Exchange your currency locally
It might feel more convenient to change your pounds before you travel, but doing it in the country where you’re staying could offer you exchange rates that are far better.
Also, it’s worth using your debit card when you’re paying for things abroad as you’ll get the exact currency rates of the day, without having fees and commission on top – just make sure to check with your bank beforehand in case they do charge you abroad.
3. Stay in the business district
These might not always be the most picturesque of locations, but they do often boast incredible transport links to the city. As a bonus, hotels in cities such as Brussels, London and Zurich offer much better room rates at the weekend when the businessmen have all gone home – you can even find five-star accommodation for under £100 a night in some areas!
4. Make the most of your hotel concierge
With the advantage of local knowledge, concierges can often advise you on the best budget-friendly local hotspots, not to mention they can get you better deals for activities, secure fast passes to sights and often provide free city guides. Plus, sometimes they can even nab you a table reservation at the restaurant that claimed to be fully booked!
5. Book a flight and hotel package
You can often get discounts of more than 15% off if you book your flights and hotel together rather than individually, so it’s definitely worth looking for a package to take advantage of those savings.
6. Check-in to your hotel as late as possible
While it is tempting to check-in on time in order to make the most of your time in the city, if you’re on a longer break you might want to consider checking in as late as possible, as the hotel may have run out of standard rooms and you could find yourself getting an upgrade without the price!
7. Use public transport
Avoid blowing your budget on bus tours or taxis to get around. In many European cities you can get travel cards and passes that work out much more cost effective, not to mention you can really immerse yourself in the local city life.
8. See the museums at night
If museums are top of your itinerary, then you may want to look into late night openings before you book. Many of Europe’s biggest cities host evenings where they open their biggest iconic museums at night, offering free entry to visitors. For example, the European Night of Museums in France, Germany and the UK is in May, while Budapest and Prague host similar events in June.