If you’re dreaming of Parisian strolls along the Champs-Elysees or meandering through the canals in Venice via a gondola, now is the time to head to Europe if you want good deals. The off season in Europe is from January to early April and you can get great deals during this time. Here’s the scoop on how you can save big on your getaways this season.
Take a “repositioning cruise.” When cruise ships relocate to a new region, they often offer special fares for travelers. The reasoning is simple: Better to fill up the ship with paying passengers, than to travel all that way with an empty vessel. These so-called “repositioning cruises” are an inexpensive way to get to a number of locations. Usually, these cruises offer the same amenities as any other cruise but they may not stop at as many ports.
Check the lesser-known sites. Packaging your airfare and hotels together can save you a lot. Visit the site Go-Today.com to find the best package deals. The pricing structure is clear and you can choose to upgrade the hotel if you want. In addition, Europe has a number of low-cost airlines such as RyanAir to travel between countries. Be sure to check the city’s tourism site to find deals and information on dates when museum admission or events are free.
Take advantage of “bounce-back offers.” Here’s how these work: Visit a variety of online airline and hotel booking sites and start the process of booking a flight or hotel. Complete the required booking information (to the point you have entered your travel dates and locations, email address and created a login), and make sure you opt-in to receiving communications from the company. Log off before you actually enter any payment information. Note that bounce-back offers don’t happen all the time and you may have to wait a few days to get them. Still, they’re certainly worth a shot as you can get deals on airfares, hotels and travel packages, sometimes at half the price.
Be picky about the credit card you take with you. The best credit card for purchases in the U.S. isn’t necessarily the best card when you are overseas. Most credit cards charge you between 1% and 3% of the total cost of the transaction every delete “single” time you swipe the card, which can really add up. Before you head overseas, call your credit card company and ask about its foreign transaction fees. Both Capital One Venture Rewards and Chase Sapphire Preferred waive foreign transaction fees.
For more travel tips, check out MintLife’s list of the best apps for domestic and international travel.