Be charmed by the architecture of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Experience the Renaissance era in Florence, Italy. Take a literary tour in Dublin, Ireland. Doesn’t that sound amazing? If the answer is yes, clearly, it’s time to go to Europe. If you’re thinking it’s going to be way too pricey, think again! Below you’ll find our top ten tips to help get you packing for your trip!
1. Know Cheap Flights to Europe Exist — and Hunt for Them!
According to industry research in 2017, there are now 430 routes connecting North America and Europe. That’s a 25% increase in just five years.
Because of greater competition, increased operational efficiency, and lower gas prices (for now), airlines can offer super-cheap deals to get you to Europe. In fact, during the summer of 2017, airfare prices to Europe were down 18 % from the previous year.
In addition to major travel sites like Kayak and Expedia, there are many airlines worth checking, such as Ryanair (also good for flying within Europe). Ryanair flies from many international airports to Europe, like flights departing from Tel Aviv, Israel, and Boston, United States.
2. Be Flexible and Take Deals to Europe Offered by Low-Cost Airlines
Thanks to Europe’s low-cost airlines, many incredible deals pop up from time to time. Stay on the lookout for these.
If you can be flexible with your dates and departure point, you’ll save lots of cash. Chances are a cheap flight somewhere near your home exists.
For instance, Wow Air made travelers smile in early 2016 when they started offering $99 flights from Los Angeles to Iceland, and $199 flights from Los Angeles to get to additional European destinations, like Berlin. Even cheaper deals exist for northeastern cities. New York to London for $69 isn’t impossible to snag.
3. Go to Europe During Off-Season
Going to Europe during peak travel times, such as late spring, can increase your costs tremendously. That’s because transportation and lodging costs may be as much as double what they are during non-peak season.
According to a report in USA Today, the cheapest time to go to Europe is between November and March (and not during holidays). This is when you’ll find deals.
If you don’t want to encounter potentially cold weather, go during shoulder season. That would be in months like April and October.
4. Use Miles and Points to Get to Europe
Perhaps you have some airline miles and/or hotel points that can help reduce the overall cost of travel. If not, go get some.
For instance, with good enough credit, you can qualify for credit cards with large signup bonuses. You must meet initial spending requirements to get the points, but when you do, you can save hundreds of dollars on your European adventure. With some cards, you may be able to even get a free flight.
Just a note: Be careful whenever using a credit card and spend within your means.
5. Intern in Europe
Did you know you can enjoy life in Europe’s great cities while gaining valuable work experience? If that sounds like a good option, then start looking for internships in Europe now. Because plenty of them exist.
Regardless of whether you want to go to Lisbon, Portugal or Copenhagen, Denmark, you can find an internship to your adventure more affordable. And you’ll get to add something to your CV.
The key is finding a trustworthy organization to help you locate a suitable internship. For example, if you hope to have a career in journalism, you can join a journalism internship in Brasov, Romania, with Projects Abroad, a reputable organization with affordable internship offerings. You can also choose to teach English to children from underprivileged communities, take care of rescue animals, and more.
6. Volunteer to Help Nature in Europe
What’s great about participating in environmental conservation programs in Europe is that not only can you experience and protect the continent’s spectacular nature, you also can save money as most of these programs include accommodation.
If you like beaches, Global Vision International (GVI) offers the chance to volunteer with turtles in Greece. You can soak up the beautiful islands while saving this precious creature. Prices start at $1990 for two weeks.
If you like the wilderness, you can find great affordable volunteer programs, like Fronteering’s Highland Conservation program in Scotland. It’s only $1095 for 12 weeks!
Note: What’s nice about most volunteer and internship programs in Europe, like the ones listed in this article, is that the longer you stay, the cheaper it gets per week. Check to see savings over time for programs that interest you. You can get more time to help out and experience life in Europe, without having to break the bank.
7. Work on a Vineyard in Europe
Why pay to travel when you can get paid to travel?
Now, there’s an idea. One popular way to make travel to Europe more affordable is by working on a vineyard.
Particularly, France is a great destination for grape harvesting. One program in Champagne offers food, lodging, and (of course) wine in exchange for your labor.
8. Teach English in Europe
You can volunteer or intern as an English teacher. Or, if you get a TEFL certificate, you can probably find a paid English position as long as you sign at least a one-year contract.
There are lots of jobs available throughout Europe’s vast continent. Countries like Poland and Czech Republic have a large market for English teachers.
To find an English teaching opportunity quick, check organizations like International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ). You can volunteer to teach English in Naples, Italy, and it only costs $685 for two weeks.
With Projects Abroad, you can volunteer as an English teacher in Romania and work with disadvantaged students in the beautiful city of Brasov. You’ll work at a local school, and focus on teaching English and supporting teachers. This is a great way to get practical classroom experience while helping where you’re needed most.
9. Find a Cheap Package Deal for Europe
From discount Mediterranean cruises to cheap tour packages of cities like Oslo, Norway, you can find an all-inclusive deal that is within your budget.
There are many places you can search for such deals. Online travel platforms come to mind, but you have other options.
For example, organizations like Frontier, which specialize in volunteering and exploration programs, have many travel packages for Europe. For instance, Frontier’s London to Paris Climbing Adventure costs only $445. It lasts one week.
Get to Europe and Have a Blast
From the culinary masterpieces in Paris, France to the Széchenyi Thermal Bath in Budapest, Hungary to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey, few places on earth delight the senses and stimulate the mind like Europe. It shouldn’t be a surprise that seven out of the 10 most-visited countries on earth are in Europe.
If the only thing that was preventing you from going was the cost, know you can overcome that obstacle. The 10 cheap ways to get to Europe are all worth considering. Who knows? You can maybe even blend some of these methods together to create the ultimate affordable journey to Europe.
So, why wait any longer? To make your trip more affordable, use Volunteer Forever’s crowdfunding platform to raise money. You’ll be on your way to Europe in no time.
Nick Callos · Writer
With a BA in English Literature & Writing from Boston College, Nick researches and writes about volunteer, intern, and teach abroad programs worldwide. He has studied abroad and taught English in Chengdu, China, and aims to help fellow travelers make a lasting impact on the communities they visit.