The relatively strong pound is good news for us
With a relatively strong pound at the moment, holidaymakers from the UK can find some exceptionally good deals when travelling to destinations in the Eurozone. In addition, the cost of buying some other European currencies has fallen in recent years, such as the Lev in Bulgaria and the Kuna in Croatia.
Therefore, British travellers do not necessarily need to stick to southern European destinations that use the Euro, like Greece, Italy and Spain, to take advantage of the pound’s buying power.
When booking your accommodation, it is often – although not always – preferable to go to the hotel or holiday letting agency directly and to pay in the local currency.
For many sorts of resort-based holidays, local travel often just boils down to arranging transfers to and from the airport. This is seldom the case with city breaks, however, where getting about each day can be a considerable expense. In most European metropolitan areas, public transport remains the best way of getting about. Not only does it allow you to really experience a city as the locals do, but it is often the most cost-effective way of travelling.
Opt for block tickets which allow you to roam over the course of your stay, because this is commonly cheaper than buying tickets individually. Systems similar to the famous ‘carnet’ of ten tickets that can be bought on the Paris Metro now exist all over Europe. For example, in Rome you can buy passes which allow for one, three or seven day travel, as preferred. In Lisbon, choose a Lisboa card which offers access to the Metro, buses and trams.
Most cities require travellers to self-validate their tickets, so remember to do this to avoid unwanted fines.
Uber – an alternative to taxis
As a cheaper alternative to taxis, many travellers now use Uber, which is a very popular service. Uber is an app for your mobile phone, which knows your current location and can usually get a car to you within a few minutes (it even tells you how long it will be, and you can see your car arriving on a map).
When you install the app onto your phone you link it to your credit card, and then payment is all automatic, so there’s no fumbling around with strange foreign currency to pay the driver. It’s actually very simple to set up and to use, and you can often get good discount codes for your first trip – just do a Google search for Uber discount codes.
(Note that Uber drivers are not subject to the same city licencing codes as conventional taxis, which some people believe has implications for your safety.)
Find Some Free Things to Do
Look for museums and exhibitions which don’t have an entrance fee. Often, even those which charge will allow free access on certain occasions, such as the Louvre in Paris, where it costs nothing to enter on the first Sunday of each month from October to March.