Affordable vacation destinations?

Apr 30th, 2007, 12:29 PM
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Affordable vacation destinations?

In an effort to use up my vacation time before it expires (my work does an odd fiscal year schedule for this) I've started trying to plan a last minute vacation for my husband and I sometime in June (probably late June). Problem is, we're also remodeling the house this summer . . . so I'm looking for something very affordable. I generally like things that are a little bit off the beaten path and not too overcrowded with tourists (I usually go to Europe somewhat off season to avoid crowds). I have been to a lot of the big cities - Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, Madrid, London, as well as lots of small towns in France, Italy and Spain. Any suggestions? Anyone seen great deals on airfare to any European cities? Or elsewhere (although I realize this is the Europe board!)? Thanks in advance!

P.S. For those who will demand a definition of "affordable," ideally I would like to spend no more than $600 for airfare and be able to find a hotel for $150 a night or less. We were able to do this in Italy in Sept. '05 but realize this wouldn't be do-able for most major destinations in June.
audreyleigh99 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 12:33 PM
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Hi A,

> I would like to spend no more than $600 for airfare

For 1, for 2?

ira is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 12:52 PM
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$600 each - although I certainly wouldn't mind 2 for $600 I'm trying to be somewhat realistic!! I also forgot to say I'm coming from Atlanta, which obviously makes a difference in terms of airfare cost.
audreyleigh99 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 01:18 PM
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Look for travel packages available at your time of year. Both the travel companies and the airlines will have special rates available to some place this summer. There are still bargains to be had if you search, but I say this not having searched lately. I believe you will be financially ahead if you find a package to a destination you like, with hotel included.

Otherwise, keep looking for airfare. All the major websites such as Travelocity, Orbitz, and the like, should be searched frequently. I think your airfare goal can be met, but get to work on it.

One way to try it is to get the cheapest airfare to London, then get a Ryanair or similar bargain airline for your remaining travel to your selected destination. But get hopping !!!
Wayne is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 01:32 PM
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Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria. Baltic or Aegean/Med cruise (don't laugh - price it out.)
Gardyloo is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 01:44 PM
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I don't think there is any way in the world you can fly to Turkey for $600 RT in June (or Bulgaria, etc., those kind of places cost a lot more to fly to than London, etc.).

I am not aware of any place you can fly to in Europe for that fare in June, except maybe some promotional new route, but I can't really suggest any. I would have suggested Portugal as it's about the closest in Europe to Atlanta, and can be cheap otherwise. But I think airfare might be around $1000-$1200.

If you really want a $600 airfare, maybe you should look within North America, or find some last minute package on those special websites.
Christina is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 01:53 PM
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I was very happy today to find open-jaw airfare on US Airways from Baltimore to Brussels and return from Dublin to Baltimore June 13-21 for $608 including all tax and fees. While I was researching I found airfare to Ireland was by far the cheapest European destination for June. Hope this helps!!
erwench is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 03:04 PM
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Or with Globespan - (Scottish) you can get to Glasgow or other points for $600-$650 at various times.

I agree that $600 to deep Europe is probably pretty impossible, but $700 - $750 ought to be doable with a bit of legwork. Sorta depends where you're starting, though. OP didn't say.
Gardyloo is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 06:27 PM
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OP said Atlanta
kenderina is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 07:33 PM
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Have you considered the Czech Republic? We found it to be less expensive than other European countries. The most we paid for a B&B was 50 euros for my husband and I together.
travel2live is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 09:20 PM
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The $600 will be kind of hard to do in late June, but I have almost always been able to find very decent hotels for around $100 a night (even given the current exchange rate) in most European cities, and certainly in smaller towns. You don't say how long you'll be gone but even if just a week, if you lower your hotel budget to $100 from your original $150 then you can easily afford an airfare of around $900 instead of $600, and that's doable to most of Europe. When I say $100 a night that's for a double, ensuite, with AC (in the warmer climates) in a central location. There is no need to spend $150 a night for a decent clean hotel room.

I've found the least expensive areas of Western Europe to be Portugal and Spain, and as suggested, Eastern Europe is also cheaper once you get there, but more expensive for the airfare.
isabel is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 01:23 AM
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I would look at overall supply/demand balance of affordable accomodation/charter flights, rather than which countries have generally low price levels.

From UK, there are reasonably priced destinations, eg Canary Islands or Mallorca or Ibiza or mainland Spain or Portugal. Check on websites like Also you should be able to get UK cottages if you don't mind self-catering. June should be a good time, the weather warm enough for beach destination but not too hot/not too crowded compared to July/Aug peak season.
W9London is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 04:36 AM
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Well I have been looking and looking because we want to do an even more last minute trip than you do to an affordable spot. We are in MSP, and the absolutely lowest airfare I can find anywhere is in the $700 range, and this is through digging a lot and using month long flexible fare finder. A fare in this range is also available on only a FEW dates, so you have to be extremely flexible. To get to Turkey, which I had been considering but am now reconsidering because of the political situation, will run you a little over $1000 using extremely flexible dates.

As far as prices at destination, Turkey seems mid-range, not cheap, but less than premier western destinations. We travelled to Romania about 5 years ago and loved it, and it was dirt cheap. Prague is more expensive than the Czech countryside; we really liked Czech Republic. Southern Poland is also nice and we found a very nice mountain resort there (not Zakopane) which we were delighted with. Pair something like that with Krakow and you've got a great trip. No one has mentioned Hungary, another of our favorites. Last summer we spent 10 days in a truly off the beaten path but delightful place--Lithuania. We got there by first flying to Dusseldorf and then taking a budget airline. Look for my trip report to the area. Prices were very reasonable.

As far as western Europe we have rented gites a number of times in rural France and found them to be extremely affordable and a great way to spend a vacation. Get a cheap rental car, hit the markets for food to take home with you, exploure the surrounding area, and you've got a cheap vacation. Brittany is at the top of our list of favorites in France. Hope this helps. To me, the killer this year is the combo of very high airfares and a very poor exchange rate.
julies is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 05:40 PM
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Thanks for all the great replies! Yes, it looks like my biggest challenge by far is going to be getting any halfway decent airfare. They have gotten drastically worse since I last posted - I'm now having trouble finding anything to anywhere in Europe in June for less than $1000. Crazy. If this keeps up I'll definitely have to look at domestic alternatives But I'm going to keep trying for now, I'll post back if I find anything good!
audreyleigh99 is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 06:11 PM
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Has your search ioncluded the possibility of an airfare using Priceline?
Dukey is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 08:05 PM
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Have you tried for airfares?
susnobie is offline  
May 2nd, 2007, 05:09 PM
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I have been searching for a similar fare since last *November* and finally realized that $600 fares to Europe just don't exist after May and before September. We were lucky and hit a BA sale last week for $700 - like someone else said, find a flight to London (seems to be cheapest) and take a different airline to hop somewhere else. Good luck!
MoiIsInTheHouse is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 04:18 PM
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How long were you thinking of going for?

The airfare will be more than you budgeted but if you’re going for any length of time the difference in the cost of hotels and meals will more than make up for the airfare if you consider going someplace like Vietnam.

I have traveled extensively and have never stayed in as nice places for as little. My daughter and I stayed in spotless guest houses where a room with a private bathroom including a great breakfast for two people cost as little as $12 per night in Hue (that was my favourite place). The most we paid was $37 a night for two people in a good location in Saigon. On average our meals game to $7 Canadian for 3 or 4 dishes including beer.

If you have any reward miles it is a pretty good value to use them to go to Asia and there tends to be more availability for Asia than Europe.
nikkig is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 05:59 AM
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Take a look at Travelzoo, there is an Ireland package for $899 that includes Air from NYC and stays for 6 nights in July and August. $100 less if in June, Sept and Oct.
Lalylori is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 06:44 PM
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You might want to check a new site I really like. Its Right now on their top 50 airfares of the day they have flights like these:

Chicago O'Hare, IL (ORD) Barcelona, Spain (BCN) $580 (RT)

Chicago O'Hare, IL (ORD) London (LHR), UK (LHR) $638 (RT

Miami, FL (MIA) San Juan, PR (SJU) $208 (RT)

Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) Mazatlan, Mexico (MZT) $275 (RT)

They also are listing flights from the new airline Skybus that are $20 RT here in the states.
ryree is offline  

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