Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Tips & Tricks for a cheap vacation

Imagine you have a few days off and you feel like you need to get out of your country and visit some other place. The only problem - you haven't got that much money. Don't get disappointed! If you have at least €100,- , there's a chance you can still go for a short vacation! How? Read more to find out!

Castelo dos Mouros, Sintra, Portugal. Picture taken by me.



I'm so in love with traveling and visiting new places, learning more about different cultures and trying out different food. In the past twelve months I went two times to Lithuania, once to Portugal and once to Italy and I didn't pay that much at all (except Italy, I paid quite a lot, but that's because the school was organizing the trip)!

In this article I want to share with you some of my tips and tricks and also give you some examples of how I found few different destinations you can visit under €200!

So my #1 tip is:
Book the vacation by yourself, not with a travel agency
I know it sounds scary, but if you plan everything then no worries! I realized that travel agencies have some flaws: they usually have only limited number of hotels and airlines, which means they sometimes can't offer you the actual cheapest options.
Right now I'm talking about going on vacation inside Europe, not intercontinental vacations. I have never been anywhere outside of Europe, so I don't know if travel agencies are a good option there.

So what you have to do is next: book your flight and your hotel separately. The most common cheap airlines are Ryanair, Wizzair and EasyJet. If you choose the right date you can even book your flight for less than €50!
For booking hotels I use booking.com. They have many hotels at different price ranges and the website is easy to use.

The next important thing is: remember, some destinations just are more expensive than others! This means that if you really want to go on vacation you need to consider the cheaper options, even if they're not your favorite ones. Usually Eastern Europe is cheaper to visit: not only the flights and the hotel, but even the food there is much cheaper!

And of course: the date is important too! Booking vacation in low season will probably be cheaper. Also the flights on traditional working days are cheaper than in weekends.

Try keeping these things in mind when booking a vacation!

So now here are some examples of cheap vacation.

Let's say you want to go to Venice (from the Netherlands) for three days in June (Another tip: start booking your vacation a few months before it, last minute tickets are usually more expensive). You need a hotel for two nights and a hotel. Now take a look at which airlines fly to Venice and find the cheapest one. Choose a date and after a bit of searching I found this:

The cheapest airline for this vacation is Ryanair. The cheapest flights are on working days.

As you can see the flight to Venice and back is just €55.98!

The problem about Venice, however, is that the hotels in Venice are quite expensive. After taking a look at booking.com  I found two options:


For a single room the prices for two nights start at €108...



However, an even cheaper option is a bed in a mixed dormitory room. The price for two nights there starts at €70. It's cheaper, but this means you'll have no privacy at all, so it's up to you to decide what's more important to you: price or privacy?

If you decide to go for the cheapest option you'll have to pay €125.98 for flight and hotel! I think it's quite cheap for such a popular destination!



Now let's try something completely different. Let's say you and your friend want to go to Riga (Latvia)  for almost a week in March. You can choose to fly with Wizzair.

For two persons you pay €119.96 with the administration fee. Which means per person you have to pay only €59.98


You decide to go for a room for two people for four nights.


As you can see, the cheapest hotel with a double or twin room is €60 for 4 nights! That means it's €30 per person for four nights (or €7,50 for one night).  I was curious and decided to look at how much a dormitory room for one person for four nights would cost. My jaw dropped: €20!


So now in total you have to pay €179.96, or €89.98 a person! That's just insane, isn't it? Try to find a travel agency that will find you a vacation in Riga for this cheap!

As you can see the price really depends on the destination!


By the way: don't forget that if you book a flight and a hotel separately, you also need to find a way to get to your hotel from the airport. The easiest thing to do is call your hotel and ask if they can get a taxi for you. DON'T go to the taxi at the airport, because they will make you pay much more than necessary!!! For example, when I was in Lithuania I stayed in Vilnius. I asked my hotel to get me a taxi. I paid only about 20 Litas (about €7) for a 5km ride. I've seen tourists paying more than 50 Litas for such a ride, which is really not acceptable. (Don't forget that the taxi price also is different in every destination!)

So that's it, these are my tips I could remember right now! I hope I inspired anyone in any way and I hope this article was useful. If you have any questions - let me know!

When you go on vacation, do you book your vacation separately or do you visit travel agencies? What are your tips and tricks? I'd love to know it!

1 comment :

  1. Leuk artikel! Ik heb op een reisbureau gewerkt, dus ik ben altijd alles aan het uitzoeken voordat ik een vakantie boek. De ene keer is een pakketreis goedkoper en de andere keer koppel ik het los :-)

    ReplyDelete

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