Top 5 Tips for Saving Money and Time on a European Trip

Save Time and Money Without Sacrificing Luxury

Author: The Traveling Professor/Thursday, July 20, 2017/Categories: General Travel

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Here are The Traveling Professor's tips on saving money and time on your next tour to Europe.

Get the City Pass/Museum Pass:  Almost every European City has them.  On our small group tours to Paris, we use the Paris Museum Pass.  On The Traveling Professor's small group tours to Florence, we use the Firenze Card.  On our small group tours to Denmark, Norway and Iceland in Bergen, we use the Bergen Card.  Each card has different features but in general, they give VIP, no-wait-in-line access to the best attractions in each city.  In many cases, they also provide unlimited transportation.  Not only is it a great saving over pay-per-entry access to attractions, it saves a ton of time.  Who wants to wait in long lines while on vacation?  In some cities like Dublin, the museums are free.  No need for a museum pass in Dublin.

Go Shoulder Season or Off-Season:  Italy is a bummer in the summer.  Hordes of tourists, high hotel prices, long lines, premium airline prices.  Paris in June is a no-no with its trade shows, conferences and limited hotel space. Go off-season or low-season.  It saves tons of money and time.

Eat Smart:  In Paris, stay off the Champs-Elysees for dinner.  In Venice, even a cafe on St. Mark's Square will bust a budget.  Go a little bit off the beaten path to find the best meals at reasonable prices.

Contact Hotels Directly for Lodging:  80% of all hotels are booked using a booking website like  Did you know hotels pay about 20% commission to these sites.  So, if you see a hotel offered at $200 per night on a website, write to the hotel directly asking for their best offer.  Even if you save $25 a night on a 10-day trip, that's $250 in your pocket!

Transportation Passes:  Whenever carrying luggage, like to and from the airport, I try to take a taxi/Uber/limo.  But when just traveling around town, public transportation suits me fine.  Most cities offer a multi-day transportation card.  For instance, in Paris, I use the Navigo Decouverte at about $30 for the week.  Because it offers unlimited metro/bus/train transportation within Paris (and to Versailles and the airport too), I never hesitate to hop on a bus or metro, even for short rides.  When you consider a metro/bus ride in Paris is about $2 per ride when paid individually, the Navigo Decouverte works out well if used over a week's time.

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