Guide to a budget friendly summer vacation

Do you want to go on a cheap holiday but don't know where to start? We've got you covered!

Lenka Minarovicova
30th May 2022
Image: Lenka Minarovicova
With the exam season coming to its end and the summer finally approaching, we’re all thinking of our holiday plans. This can be quite demotivating for those who haven’t planned anything yet and see the plane ticket prices skyrocketing even on the website of cheap airlines. But fear not, nothing’s lost yet! Here are some tips and tricks to help you out to experience the best summer possible.

Accommodation

Everybody’s heard of Airbnb and hostels, but to save even more, have you thought of trying camping or CouchSurfing? It may be an interesting alternative, but, please, be safe.

Food

If eating out is for you or your budget but you still want to experience the local cuisine, try going to a local supermarket and see if there are any products you don’t know. Even in familiar store chains, such as Tesco, you’ll be surprised to see how much certain products differ. And it’s not only about sweets and snacks, but also some dairy products and much more.

Another tip is to look out for meal deals. Some countries have special deals around lunch time where you get lots of food for much cheaper. Or try using Too good to go app if it is available in your destination.

Activities

Be careful, the galleries and museum are not free everywhere. In bigger cities you may find the free tours or do your own research and follow an internet guide. Another way of learning about the city is to befriend a local. In summer, it’s easier to find some free cultural events out in the street, especially if you happen to go to the European capitals of culture. And if everything else fails, nature is a safe bet. Going to the beach or for a hike can’t do you any wrong.

Destinations

1/ Slovakia

When people go to central Europe, they tend to opt for Prague, Vienna or Budapest. Not many realise that just an hour from Vienna, there is a hidden gem of Slovak capital – Bratislava. Slovakia in general is much cheaper than its neighbours with lots to offer. Just in Bratislava you can find two castles, a beautiful old town, many churches (such as the Blue Church) and amazing food. Another pro is that compared to the UK, the public transport is inexpensive so do explore if you can. One of the places I would recommend is the Bojnice castle, which does get touristy in the summer but it’s worth it. Bojnice is a spa town with a lovely castle in the centre, lots of culture and nature, so there something for everyone.

Image: wikimedia

2/ Romania

If you prefer to go to the seaside, one of the cheapest options is Romania. While most of European coasts do get quite touristy and the prices of accommodation tend to increase, in Romania you’ll save on things like food. Moreover, if you get tired of sunbathing on the beach, you may take a trip to see some of the castles, including the Dracula’s castle in Transylvania.

Image: xsonicchaos on pixabay

3/ Lithuania

Another one among the cheapest countries in the Europe, Lithuania has a lot to offer, especially when it comes to culture, as Kaunas in holding the title of European Capital of Culture for 2022. But wait, there’s more - the lovely capital and the coasts! Vilnius has an amazing atmosphere where you can try the local cuisine. The national meal is called cepelinai, whichis pork stuffed dumplings with sour cream and bacon sauce. But you can also try different desserts, including grybukai (mushroom-shaped cookies) or fried curd cakes. You can also visit the coast but bear in mind that the temperatures in Lithuania are not the highest, so it’s probably better just enjoy the view.

Image: wikimedia

4/ Hungary

While Hungary is not one of the cheapest destinations, it is still quite affordable with lots to see and do. One of the best beachy destinations inland is the Balaton lake. You will get teleported to a nice sunny seaside without leaving the country. However, as a price grow is expected, it is best to go there before the June 30. Another interesting place to visit is the Baradla cave where you can do a 7-hour adventure tour.

Image: wikimedia

5/ Poland

Whether you choose Warsaw or Krakow, or any other place in Poland really, you will not be disappointed. Both of the mentioned cities have amazing history which everyone can learn from. You should visit some of the many museums in Warsaw, such as the Warsaw Rising Museum, the Chopin Museum (my personal favourite) or the National Museum, or in Krakow the castle or Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp. Another very unusual attraction is the salt mine Wieliczka, which got transformed into a hotel. And some good news, food in Poland is very affordable and delicious and you don’t want to miss out on that!

Image: wikimedia

Bonus: Southern Italy

If your budget is not as tight and you want to go to a more traditional destination, but still saving some quid, you may want to try the south of Italy which is said to be much cheaper than the north, yet with the food and culture just as amazing.

Wherever you go and do, we hope you’ll have the best summer!

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