Europe doesn’t have to break the bank…

For travelers all around the world, Europe is one of the holy grail trips. Whether it’s pasta in Rome, tea in London, pastry in Paris or Guiness in Dublin – there are just so many quintessential experiences to seek out, each well worth their while. If you’re plotting out a trip to Europe, here are a few tips to save a fortune at every juncture. Money doesn’t grow on trees, right?

Go East

Western Europe understandably garners much of the travel buzz. After all, where else can you find Venice, Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam and London within a mere hour or two? But with all that hype, there are nearby destinations in Eastern Europe which offer far greater bang for your buck, with equally if not greater beauty. Travelers pondering a dreamy Lake Como, Italy trip may be equally if not more blown away by Lake Bled in Slovenia, or those seeking St. Tropez may be bewildered by the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia.

Shoulder Season

Mid July in Europe is like the running of the bulls. There’s just no way to avoid manic crowds, all hoping to do the exact same thing you seek. If you have even just a few days of flexibility, beating the school system to get moving a few days earlier, or later can make the difference in hundreds, if not thousands in trip costs. Europe is borderline idyllic in late September and October, and also in February, March so seeking shoulder season or slightly non peak dates can be brilliant.

Buy City Passes

Cities like Amsterdam can range from highly affordable to shocking, depending on how you deal. Travel passes such as the Swiss Travel Pass, or city passes like the iAmsterdam pass include all museums, canal boat tours and mass transit onto one easy to use pass, which can save literally hundreds per day. Virtually every city has one, so research to find out if you can save major bucks by booking one.

Flight Flexibility

People become dead set on flying into a specific airport, but they fail to realize just how cheap and efficient intra European travel can be. If you want to fly to Rome but Venice is on sale, fly to Venice! The same goes for regions all over the continent. Onward flights can cost just 4,500 frequent flyer points or as little as $5.99 one way. In addition, rail systems in Italy, France, UK and beyond offer excellent ground solutions. And if you’re still not sold – who doesn’t love a great road trip?

Carry On Only

It’s not a joke. Flights in Europe start at just €5.99 one way, if you can travel carry on only. Using these brilliant carry on packing tips, you can enjoy cheap flights allowing you to explore more cities with ease. European travel takes on new levels of excitement when you travel light, and hey, the hotel rooms aren’t exactly massive – so every inch counts.

What’s your best tip to save in Europe?