Patricia Magaña, SmarterTravel.com | September 29, 2015
With the peak travel season to Europe just about over, now is the best time to get an authentic, budget friendly experience across the pond. Use these 9 reasons to book that European vacation you’ve always wanted to take!
The Exchange Rate
It’s been almost ten years since the dollar has looked this good compared to the Euro. Take advantage of this and travel to Europe now, while all signs point towards this trend continuing at least through the end of the year.
The top budget-friendly European destinations this year are Bucharest, Romania; Sofia, Bulgaria; Kiev, Ukraine; and Cesky-Krumlov, Czech Republic, all of which are currently costing around $50 per day for a three star experience. Looking for a more traditional European vacation? London, Paris and Rome are also affordable due to the lack of strength of the Euro.
Lower Fares Due to Lower Demand
With tourism dipping in the cooler, fall months, airfare has dipped along with it. The best time to grab prices that can reflect savings of almost 50 percent off peak-season prices is just before or just after the summer months. Two round-trip flights from Boston to Amsterdam currently cost less than $800 total after taxes and fees, which helps make travel to Europe more affordable.
You’ll Save on Hotels
Unlike air and cruise lines, hotels can’t relocate their rooms to destinations with high demands. So instead of letting those rooms go unused, many hotels will drop their prices to attract tourists. During the fall months, room prices are negotiable, so don’t be afraid to haggle and see if you increase your savings. If you’ve already booked your room for your European vacation, try and get an upgrade.
Shops and Restaurants Are Still Usually Open
During the winter lull, you run a higher risk of finding closed shops and restaurants due to little to no business from tourists. Fall, however, is still an opportunity for these small businesses to make money especially in major cities. But beware; small towns with very little to no year-round tourists will shut their doors more often than those in bigger cities.
It’s Less Crowded
Those of you who have tried to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower, walk around the Coliseum or climb Big Ben during the summer know how crazy the crowds can get. With a drop in the amount of people who travel to Europe in the fall, the sparse crowds make waiting in line more bearable and keep frustration at bay.
Get A Better Local Experience
While the summer months might appear to be the most exciting, most of the locals take their holidays when the tourists start flocking into their cities. By taking your European vacation off-peak, you can count on getting a richer experience as tour guides will have the time to answer your questions, waiters can better explain their dishes and locals can point out the best places to go for a meal.
The Food Is More Budget-Friendly
As the crowds thin out, incentives bulk up at many restaurants in an attempt to keep the flow of diners steady. For those who travel to Europe in the fall, this means you can take advantage of happy hours, two-for-one dishes and many other perks. Try the more expensive items on the menu and the chef specialties with all the savings!
Be Careful of What Destination You Choose
If you prefer warmer weather and would rather walk around a city and sightsee, mind your destination choice when you travel to Europe. Remember that southern locations tend to have warmer weather. For example, in October, Stockholm can dip down into the mid 40’s while down in the south of Spain weather can get as high as the 70s with very little rain.
You’ll be sure to enjoy the traditional changing of the leaves and beautiful colors of fall on your European vacation. Enjoy gardens and the changing landscapes!
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