Europe for CHEAP

Old Feb 9th, 2000, 06:11 PM
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Europe for CHEAP

My family and I (2 adults, 2 teens) are planning a vacation and thought to go to Europe. We don't have the slightest idea much it would cost, or more importantly, how cheap we can go. It would need to be VERY cheap. We haven't decided on how long we'd be staying or anything, but I would like to know if someone can give a ballpark for going cheap say for 7-10 days. And what does going cheap entail? Thanks a bunch!
Old Feb 9th, 2000, 06:25 PM
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I'm afraid that you'll have to be a bit more specific if you want really useful information. For example, the cost of a week in Paris in the high season would be a very different from the cost of a week in a small town in Greece (or even a small town in France) in the off season. Are you thinking of cities, beach or mountain resorts, etc.? What country? What time of year? Moving around or staying in one place? Car or public transportation? Or do you just want suggestions as to the cheapest possible way to spend time in Europe and don't particularly care when or where?

There are definitely ways to economize (e.g., hostels or camping instead of hotels, buying groceries instead of going out for meals), and there's also specific advice for visiting specific places cheaply on this forum, if you care to do some searching.

Old Feb 10th, 2000, 09:47 PM
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KT is right. In order to give a ball park figure, we need to know at the very least what country you want to visit and when. For a trip of 7-10 days with kids I would recommend one or two countries at most. Moving from place to place can be somewhat expensive, depending on how you do it. On the other hand, just getting to Europe can be the biggest chunk of change, so consider staying longer once you get there. I took three kids to Denmark and London for 23 days in June. My husband met us for the 10 days we were in London so we were 5 for that part of the trip. We stayed mostly in hostels in Denmark and rented an apartment in London. Ate fairly low-budget food also. Two of the air fares were free due to Sprint points. Total cost of the trip, including all transportation (air, ferries, trains, subways, and rental car), all food, admissions to MANY tourist attractions, and lodging, was about $8500. Could have been done less expensively in May or September, or even probably less in winter, but we could not take the kids out of school. If you can, consider avoiding June, July, or August. Airfares can be twice as much in summer.
Old Feb 11th, 2000, 08:55 AM
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A large factor in determining the cost depends on when and where you go. Airfares in summer will be much higher than if you go off season. Last year I organized a two week summer trip for my husband and I, and my sister, brother-in-law, and 8 year old neice. I was able to get a great price on roundtrip air from Chicago to Munich on a one day sale that I found on United last February. We payed less than $500 each for roundtrip fare in August. I had anticipated paying around $800. We went to Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, and Munich. Central Europe is much cheaper than what I consider Western Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, etc). In Prague we paid about $35 night for a double room without bath. Dining in the Czech Republic and Hungary was also inexpensive - normally less than $10 per person for a nice dinner with beverages. In Austria and Germany it is easy to spend $25 per person for dinner. We bought a European East Pass to cover most of our rail travel. In Austria and Munich we spent about $85 night staying at nice family run pensions. My best guess for the total cost for my husband and I (excluding souvineers) would be around $2500-3000. I would highly recommend buying Rick Steve's Europe Through the Back Door, it is an excellent guide for planning an affordable first trip to Europe. Frommer's guides are also good sources for inexpensive lodging. Be sure to check out both of their websites:

Where are you thinking of going? If you give us an idea we can help you with more suggestions.
Happy Travels!
Old Feb 11th, 2000, 10:19 AM
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As pointed out, the airfare is the killer. Off season is cheaper than dead-of-summer, but the big bargains aren't to be found (hats off to a roaring economy for that). Check into consolidators for airfares; they sometimes have much better prices than the airlines offer. If you don't care which country, you're looking for the experience only, then Greece, Portugal and northern Ireland are probably, overall, the less expensive countries to visit. Renting a house is cheaper for 4 people, provided you are planning to eat meals in, for the most part. Unless you are staying in a city (example: Lisbon), you'll need some sort of transportation. In most cases, car rental is cheaper than trains/buses (if you get the smallest car you can - gasoline is expensive, so think SMALL)for more than 2 people, and it gives you the freedom to come and go as you please.
Admissions to museums, castles, etc. add up (most are about $8) so if you visit 2 a day, that's in the vicinity of $70 - folks don't usually figure that into the budget. Sooooo...the budget way to travel (and the estimated costs - oh yeah I'm assuming flights from the East Coast of the U.S.):
off season airfare 4x$600 = $2400
off season house rental 1 wk 600
car rental/gasoline 200
food (use your at-home figure)
sightseeing (max 5 sights w/fees) 160

This is all ballpark, based on a stay in Portugal (other countries as mentioned above might be higher or lower)
Old Feb 11th, 2000, 01:43 PM
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Two summers ago, my husband, myself, a 9 yr.old and 13 yr. old daughter did two weeks in England, Wales, and Scotland for $4000.00, plus a stop on the East coast for a week to visit grandpop. We acquire two mileage plus tickets through frequent use of our charge cards, stayed mainly at Forte Travelodge, ate one meal a day at a restaurant and bought groceries for the rest of our meals, then bought a Great British Heritage Pass for most of our entertainment. We prepaid our rental car, used our platinum card for CDW, about $350.00 on the rental car for 12 days. We are now working on saving (miles and money) for a three week trip to Italy and France. Where there is a will, there is a way!
Old Nov 7th, 2000, 02:34 PM
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Concrete information about Estona. I suppose your family can find accomodation in some Estonian tourism farm for 800- 1000 kroons (47 - 60 USD per night), I think its not so much for 4 persons. Tickets for museums up 25 kroons (1,5 USD), dinner in restaurant about 150 kroons (9 USD)per one person. So Estonia is relativy cheap contry, much cheaper then Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Norwey. But why to choose Estonia? Estonia could be used as start area for discovering neighbouring regions like - Helsinki capital of Finland lies only 60 miles from Tallinn, St. Peterburg- only 250 miles from Tallinn, or Riga the biggest Baltic city is close too. Beside there are a lot to do in summer time in Estonia, a lot differnet cultural activities, festivals etc.
So suggest my country for a week. More information about Estonia you can find on my webpage Private tours in Estonia- There are some links to other estonian tourism resources too.

Best regards
Ahti Arak
Old Nov 7th, 2000, 05:00 PM
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Is that what this site is about?

The above 3 headlines have all been posted on this site over and over again

What ever happened to good? Good can be cheap or it can cost

But good is good and cheap is cheap

Do you people go to Europe to save money or to spend it?

If you want to save it---then why not dont go==think of how much you will save if you stayed home

I know the bleeding hearts will say some of us ay not have as much money as you do===in which case I advise save up until you can afford to go

Doesnt here care about high quality anymore or is it all how cheap can you get?
Old Nov 7th, 2000, 05:56 PM
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Maybe inexpensive would be a better word than cheap. Not everyone on this forum is rich. I'm certainly not, but I love to travel and do so relativly inexpensive. I don't eat at expensive resturances or stay at 5 star hotels. I try to stay with families or in private homes when I can. Not only is it less expensive, but you get a better flavor of the country. Years ago I camped through most of western Europe. In fact our budget in 1968 was $7.50 per day for the 2 of us. We visited Salzberg, Vienna, Venice, Rome, Pisa, the French Rivera and many places inbetween. Granted it is a lot more expensive today, but you don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy the countries of Europe. As mentioned above central and eastern Europe are less expensive. Last year I was eating very nice meals in Budapest and in Prague for less than $10.00 per night. I stayed in a private residence for $40 per night including a wonderful breakfast. Don't give up. Find things you like to do and go enjoy the history, museums etc of Europe.
Old Nov 7th, 2000, 10:26 PM
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Boris, you've got it all wrong! To some of us, quality has nothing to do with the price. When I go to Europe, I don't care where I sleep or what great food I eat.....I would rather spend my money on sightseeing, side-trips, mountain trains, cable car rides, museums etc. The stuff I do DURING the day I will splurge on, and that to me is a quality trip. Bring on cheap (hostels, schone wochenende ticket, good morning jungfrau discount)!!!!

By the way, I was treated to a luxurious all-expenses paid for holiday in Europe last year, courtesy of Daimler Chrysler. Flew business class, stayed at 4 star hotels, had personal tourguides, no lines at Uffizzi, flew between European countries, could eat at any restaurant, order anything, had a chauffeur-driven Mercedes expenses saved. Quality indeed. Afterwards, I went hostelling on my own. And the latter but cheaper version I enjoyd so much more.

So don't put down "cheap" folks. We have no probem with the way we holiday and to us, finding the cheaper option is part of our idea of fun.
Old Nov 9th, 2000, 11:09 AM
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Good job, Leo. Boris doesn't "get" it. Now, back to Carin's question. Timing is the big factor. March is a great time to go to Europe - air fares and lodging are much cheaper. My daughter and I spent approximately $2,000 on a 10-day trip to France, including airfare. The weather was variable, but there were nice days. (Just don't plan any days at the beach in northern Europe.) If you are mostly planning to visit museums, castles and monuments, then you'll be indoors a lot of the time anyway. I would suggest you also research "family" hostels and budget motels. For example, we stayed at a clean, adequate "motel" (with great parking) for $35 one night. Eat your big meal at noontime, breakfast at stand-up bakeries, and picnic in the evenings. P.S. Don't go for less than 10 days, though. You will be too rushed and just waste your money.
Old Nov 9th, 2000, 02:56 PM
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My wife and I and our two teenagers travelled through Europe for 17 days last summer. I paid $2260 for airline tickets and $600 for a volkswagen van several months in advance. I wasn't sure how much money I would need, so I took $5000. I brought about two of it back. We weren't extravagant, but we were by no means frugal. We didn't make reservations in advance so once or twice we took what we could find and paid dearly for it. Like the $300 room in Florence. Most times however our rooms were in the vicinity of $60-$80. This was usually for two rooms, because there aren't a lot of four person room in Europe. It worked out Ok. Most places charged per person, rather than per room. I thought that gas would be a big expense, but the deisel van got great mileage. If you are driving make sure you get a deisel. I figured that we averaged spending about $175/day for food, room, gas, tickets to museums,shows,etc., and souvenirs. Not terrible for four people. We left two days after the kids got out of school. If we left two days later the air tickets would have been over a hundred dollars more each. Have fun.
Old Nov 9th, 2000, 04:35 PM
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I suggest you fly before June 15, after this date airfares go up significantly. Airfares maybe sold out early during Easter. I went to Spain with my mom last May for 8 days. Airfare was $400 RT from NY. There is a lot to see in Spain, easy public transportation, interesting country, different from U.S., and cheap. We flew to Barcelona and out of Madrid. Hotels cheap everywhere except Barcelona. Still in Barcelona it was $90 and in Madrid and Seville around 4o for 2 people. Took an early bus to Granada from Seville (2 1/2-3 hrs) saw the Alhambra, gardens, and the old neighborhood. Took a night train to Madrid $84 for two people in a 2 person sleeper compartment. We ate at restaurants, food is cheap, a 3 course dinner for two was around 20 dollars.
Old Nov 9th, 2000, 05:07 PM
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The books were absoulutely right on the money !!You can do Europe on $60.00 per day per person(not including air fare)-- Use Frequent flyer miles--get an AMEX card and it will run up fast. Three people in a rental from Autoeurope as a prepaid in January was 365.00 for three weeks.Breakfast was free and for lunch we picknicked sometimes. Still we had wine for dinner and sometimes dessert. Did the circle tour and saw most of the highlights and all the top sights.Stayed in a few really nice places(Florence had ironed sheets and a large marbled bath)All accomodations were nice.The 60.00 includes your souveniers-everything. You can do anything you really wantto!! take out a loan if you have to-Happy travels

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