Travel & Days Out

Six Tips to Save Money on a European City Break

Today I am thrilled to be hosting the wonderful Rhian from Rhian Westbury, I absolutely adore following her travels and seeing which shows she goes to and here today is sharing some great travel tips.

I’m forever going away on city breaks as I think they’re one of the best ways of exploring Europe and heading to a city for a few days will give you a good overview and you’ll know if it’s worth visiting again or whether you’ve done all you want to do. Working a full time office based job can make travelling hard which is why city breaks can be fantastic as you can use just a day or two around a weekend to make a good holiday, or max out on bank holidays. Over my years of city breaks here are some tips on how to save money when exploring the continent.

Be open to destination

Most of us have lists of places we want to visit but if you’re set on going away at a particular time you might find your top location is pretty pricy to fly to. Use a flight site/ app like Sky scanner and choose your dates then click search everywhere and this will show you where the cheapest places to fly to are. This is the reason why I first went to Copenhagen as flights were so cheap (about £40 return) and I ended up falling in love.

Try to go for non-Euro using countries

With the pound not being the strongest the Euro exchange rate can be pretty expensive and make going abroad even more expensive. I’ve generally found countries in Eastern Europe particularly who use their own currency tend to work out cheaper for living costs when it comes to public transport, food etc so don’t be drawn into the conventional Euro using countries.

If you can be flexible on flight dates

Normally when I’d look to go away over a weekend I’d opt for Friday – Sunday, but even moving it by a day and going Saturday – Monday can affect your flight prices. Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s tend to be the cheapest days to fly so if you can be flexible do it. If you use Sky scanner you can browse through the prices each day to a particular location to know which days are best to fly.

Look for very late or very early flights

Most people want to travel early but not super early so flights around mid-late morning tend to be the most expensive. Being prepared to have a 7am flight could save you lots of money, or even going late the night before around 9pm can be cheaper.

Book flights in an incognito window

When you browse online your computer collects cookies so that what you have searched for and browsed is searched so if you keep looking at similar flights you might find that on the second/ third look they’re more expensive. This is because the airlines have seen you’re interested in the flight as you’ve looked before so they want to get more money out of you/ frighten you into booking. If you look through an incognito window the cookies aren’t stored and it’s like searching afresh so you could find a cheaper version of a flight.

Don’t be afraid of the word hostel

Before a few years ago I’d always thought hostels were just for young travellers who wanted to make friends and were rooms full of hundreds of bunk beds, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. When I first went to Stockholm hotels were pretty pricey so I looked at hostels and found that private rooms do exist, and even private bathrooms too. All of the hostels I’ve stayed at before have been really nice and far more like hotels than you’d expect.

This article has 46 comments

  1. robin rue

    My sister has traveled extensively across Europe and has some interesting stories to tell about hostels. Some are really great and some are not 🙂

  2. LaShawn

    We are thinking about traveling to Europe soon and these are great tips to help us save money! It’s so expensive!

  3. candy

    We just returned from Europe and visited several countries. The euro countries are more expensive as you stated. We had a blast and will be returning next year.

  4. Christy Maurer

    Those are some great tips. I would never have thought of looking for flights in different windows. I’ll be sure to do that!

  5. joanne casey

    Some great tips, I love city breaks though don’t get to go on as many since we’ve had children

  6. Jeanette

    These are great tips and traveling! I travel a lot and if I can find a way to save money while I’m doing that I am all for it!

  7. Chubskulit Rose

    Europe is on my husband’s bucket list. We have never been to any parts of Europe so that has been a dream. Thanks for these guide.

  8. Melissa Dixon

    I am all about saving money on travel because it allows for more things to be done while away with all of your savings. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Joanna

    Flexibility is the key! I flew to Copenhagen on a return flight for only £10 just because I was flexible. We are so lucky to live in Europe and be able to travel on the cheap.

  10. Courtney Blacher

    Very useful tips, I love when I can save money.

  11. Emma Raphael

    Lots of great tips there, especially the incognito window booking, and as for hostels, my friends stayed in one in Norway recently which looked incredible! We always find travelling at unsociable hours helps with the prices too, and as we are usually up and about with a 1 year old anyway….

  12. Katie Kinsley

    When I was in Poland, I was amazed at how cheap the food was compared to Germany. Then I went to Hungary and it was even cheaper!

  13. Mummy Times Two

    Thank you so much for these tips. I’m always up for ways to save money when travelling.

  14. Betty

    I have heard that traveling to Europe is extremely expensive so this post really provides valuable tips to save money. Can’t wait to go there one day!

  15. Lori Vachon

    I haven’t made it to Europe yet, on my bucket list though. I’ve heard that being flexible with travel times can aid in reducing costs.

  16. Pam

    These are great tips. I never would have considered looking into hostels but it is a good idea.

  17. valmg @ Mom Knows It All

    I’ve always wanted to go to Europe, a number of places there are near the top of my travel bucket list. Even domestically I don’t mind early or late flights.

  18. Yaya

    Great tips! I have realised that yes, being flexible on days can make such a difference. Before we book our holiday (or any trip, actually) we always check prices within a couple of days before and after and on our upcoming holiday along we saved about £150 for our family of 5 just by returning a couple of days later. x

  19. Stephanie Merry

    Love these tips, I find going to no Euro countries is so much cheaper! x

  20. Kacie Morgan

    I’m so glad I found this post. I’m actually drafting a blog post about how to save money when your travelling, so if it is okay with you and Rhian, I would love to mention this post 🙂

  21. Lilinha

    I’ve never stayed in hostels before but seems like an interesting experience! 🙂

  22. Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen

    My husband and I hope to make it to Europe some day, and these tips will definitely help out. I really like the one about booking flights in an incognito window. That’s something I don’t often think about, but it makes total sense.

  23. Lisa prince

    being a large family of ten i dont get t travel but were looking at our new finances and ways tostabalise our savings x

  24. Paula Bendfeldt

    These are great trips for those wanting to travel to Europe. There are a lot of great flight tips here.

  25. Jenn

    These are great tips. I love to travel, but it is rarely in our budget. I’ll have to remember your post.

  26. Our Family World

    Thank you for sharing these tips. I had no idea browsing through an incognito window would have an effect on the pricing. I should remember to do that everytime.

  27. Lauretta at Home and Horizon

    These are great tips! If we can, we always want to cut cost when we travel. Save a little for the next trip.

  28. melissa major

    I am thinking of going on holiday soon so these tips seem perfect for me on saving money

  29. Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

    Fab tips! I would never think to look for flights using a different browser window!

  30. Agnes

    I like the tip of trying to visit no Euro countries as those are much cheaper and the different browser suggestion is one that I will start using right away!

  31. Louise

    These are great tips from Rhian 🙂 I’ve bookmarked them as I’m really hoping to travel more next year and need all the help I can get!!

    Louise x

  32. Laura H

    Skyscanner is definitely a lifesaver these days! I used it to figure out the cheapest way to travel from China to Japan to Korea, which would’ve been very expensive otherwise!

  33. Lynne Harper

    This is one thing that I don’t do and I really should. Shopping around definitely is the way to go, I’m probably missing out on loads of deals c

  34. MELANIE EDJOURIAN

    Great tips and I’m sure they can save a fair amount to. I’m not sure about hostels though for me as I don’t feel safe going with the children too.

  35. Jazmin Williams

    Ah, two of my favourite bloggers from the community! Some really great tips here 🙂

  36. Naila M

    Thank you for the tips, I will take these into consideration before travelling next time 🙂

  37. Dealman

    Good post. We are thinking about traveling to Europe soon and these are amazing tips to help us save money!

  38. Ashleigh Allan

    Great post. Very helpful and interesting point about hostels

  39. Stephanie Usher

    I have to admit, I’m someone who runs from the word ‘hostel’ – I’ve heard some horrible stories! xxx

  40. A S,Edinburgh

    Some brilliant tips, thank you! I’m terrible for forgetting to use a private window when buying certain things, flights being at the top of the list.

  41. Stewart Biddle

    Im going to bulgaria next year this will be very helpful thank you

  42. Clare Munden

    Brilliant! We are off to Paris soon so this is really helpful 🙂

  43. Lynn Hughes

    Great tips for travelling to Europe’s Cities

  44. Lynn Hughes

    Great tips for travelling to Europe’s Cities

  45. Agness of aTukTuk

    Amazing tips, Sarah-Louise! I can now visit more places in Europe and save money at the same time! Which non-Euro using countries would you recommend visiting?

  46. Keith Hunt

    When we go to Iceland most years we have found that a hotel with free breakfast can work out just as cheap as a hostel by the time you pay for a meal out.

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