There is never a bad time to jump on a flight to one of Europe’s top destinations and make the absolute most of this beautiful continent. Whether you’re operating on a shoestring budget or have put aside a little bit extra for something really spectacular, there’s a runaway route ready and waiting for you.
But, before you make a last minute hotel booking, pack your walking shoes and see where the wind takes you, here’s a whistle-stop tour of the city breaks with a special sparkle.
Go far and rent a car
Even if you’re tied in to an all-inclusive package holiday, tours to local attractions might still be a costly add-on. Renting your own car means that you can check out local nature reserves in Slovenia, remote beaches and numerous idyllic coves in the Canary and the Balearic Islands, or the crumbling monasteries of northern Spain, without paying through the nose for a centrally located hotel or villa.
If driving isn’t an option, be sure to pick a package holiday which includes free tour excursions or rent an apartment close to the beach or sites of interest to minimise travel time and expense on public transport.
Cookie cutter package or mix and match?
Package holidays are a dime-a-dozen in Europe, even to the lesser known holiday spots. But what seems like a bargain might carry expensive extras or hidden service charges.
Pick a destination with a less than roaring tourist trade, and providing flights are cheap, you can probably set yourself up with a luxurious hotel or villa for half your holiday budget. But do be prepared to shop around and don’t be scared to haggle. Check out top travel blogs
to learn more about highly recommended DIY holidays.
Wise up to shared accommodation
Large families or groups will not only feel more at home in a rented villa as opposed to a hotel, but you can also enjoy better facilities en masse than you could going solo. Cheap hotels cater to the mass market and might disappoint, but holiday villas and cottages come in all shapes and sizes.
Be careful not to book into a residence which is too remote or the milk run might be far more trouble than it’s worth.
Eat cheap, not fast
If you’re self-catering, you might need to rent a car to stock up on supplies but the money you’ll save on eating out is definitely worth it. In British-dominated areas like the Canary Islands, dinner is unlikely to top a full English breakfast so you’re probably better off snacking on fresh fruit and vegetables in the daytime.
If you do find yourself in a foodie haven for your holiday, you’ll need to leave the tourist trails to find the local haunts. And be prepared to rough it. The best local eating establishments might be in a dusty backyard with only stray dogs for company.