Yes, that: 10 tips to save money on Europe trip

  • Himika Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Sep 17, 2014 16:21 IST

On a holiday, every rupee saved smartly can be used to eat, party or shop some more.

Also read: 'Cheap' 5-star travel in Europe

And if we are talking about the euro, which on last count was going at one for 79 rupees, then even 100 euros saved over a 10-day trip ( Rs 7900 approx) can add up to fund interesting things on the trip — from the stunning Lido show in Paris to a Ferrari ride and a live show in Amsterdam.

And of course, you can shop for some more chocolates from Belgium, or pick up a few more dresses from high street brands in Paris. So, how does one save all this money? Read on to find out!

Also read: Yes that's possible: Europe on a shoestring budget

1 Eat at the bar, not outside
Come summers and locals make a beeline for restaurant tables set up outside — on pavements — and have long meals under the sun. Eateries make the most of this trend and charge more if you eat at these tables. You can eat the same meal sitting inside, at the bar, for half the price. So, a pastry that costs 2 euro inside, will cost 3.75 euros in the sun!

2Check for free wifi with meals
Most public places in Europe do not have free Wifi, and except for a few, all hotels charge between 5-10 euros for a few hours of Wifi connection. However, several eateries offer free Wifi when you order a meal. So, if you order a pizza for 12 euros and get to use the Wifi through the course of your meal, then effectively, you are paying just 7 euros for the pizza!

3Pay less for the loo password
On a trip to Europe, you are likely to spend 1 euro per person, each time you use public toilets when you are sight-seeing. So, on a 10-day trip with 4 people using the loo 4 times a day, you will end up paying 160 euros (Rs 12,000 approx). Cut that cost: Use restaurant loos for free when you eat there or buy one coffee (1.25 euro) at a cafe, use the loo, save 2.75 euros.

4Chuck the glass, pick the bottle
Wine lovers have a field day in Europe — the continent boasts of some of the best wines in the world. And yet, if you want to be on a happy high, buying glass after glass of wine (7 euros approx for a glass of decent wine), may not be an economical option. Instead, head to the local supermarket and pay 2 euros for a small bottle of the same wine. Stock up for the trip!

5Don’t pay as much for water
Half litre of bottled water costs 1 euro in most of Europe. So, when you set out of your hotel, fill up your water bottles. In all hotels in Europe, the tap water is drinking water, but if you don’t want to fill your bottles from the bathroom taps (yes, we are Indians!), get it from the kitchen instead. That is allowed everywhere! You can save 6 euros a day.

6Buy your gifts from italy
With the whole bunch of family and friends waiting for you to bring back gifts from your ‘phoren’ tour, buying gifts is on the top of the agenda. Remember that Europe is at its cheapest in Italy. A fridge magnet that costs 1 euro in Rome or Venice, will be 5 euros by the time you hit Switzerland. Venice is also the capital of fake designer bags. Pick some, and flaunt!

7Tea addicts, stock up
If you can’t do without your daily dose of morning and shaam ki chai, then, carry tea bags, sugar and milk sachets from India. A cup of tea (hot water and a tea bag) costs 1.25-2 euros at cafes in most cities of Europe. Hotels charge more. So, four cups of tea can set you back by `640 everyday. Save that money, buy a painting by a young painter in Paris for 10 euros instead.

8Buy day-long travel passes
Buying a metro or a train ticket for the whole day, that allows you unlimited rides, is the best bet in an unknown city. The day-long or week-long passes are priced considerably cheaper when compared to a ticket for just one ride. Thus, in Paris, while a day-long metro card costs 22 euros, just one round trip to Louvre and back, could cost 19 euros.

9Avoid money exchanges
You obviously can’t be carrying all the cash that you need through the trip, in one go. When you need money, use an ATM to withdraw it from your account in India, instead of going to the money exchange. The bank gives the best rate of exchange and is a safer mode of transaction. Expect to pay at least Rs 12 less for every euro you buy, if you use the ATM.

10 Look for free entry
Most important museums and places of historical interest have a steep entrance fee in Europe. However, they also have a particular day in the month when entrance is free. So, you can schedule your visit keeping that day in mind. Entry to The Louvre is priced at Rs 22 euros per person, but if you visit it on the first Sunday of the month between Oct-March, entry is free.

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