Booking a cheap European city trip

You have decided to go for a city trip or small weekend break, perfect! The next question is how am I going to book this, and most important, where do I want to go?!

In general there are two options when you want to book your city trip: booking a package trip from a tour operator, or combining your own flight and hotel. The first option is of course the easiest and most convenient option; you tell your preferred destination, desired data and maximum price and the system provides your various options.  These options usually come with transportation from and to the airport in your holiday option, thereby taking away possible difficult situations with the public transport. However you pay for the convenience and the service of somebody else finding and booking the trip for you.

But let’s say you are on a budget, you want to be flexible and creative and therefore you have decided to make your own city trip, where do you start?

A few years ago a friend and me decided we wanted to see bit more from the world and we wanted to do city trips. However, being students with a big interest in shopping, we decided we wanted to spend as little money as possible on the travel itself to have more money to shop (as you probably realized by now my friend was female as well..) We came up with a rule we wanted to spend maximum 100 euros for the flight, hotel and transportation from home to the airport, to the hotel, and visa versa.

The key of booking a cheap trip yourself is flexibility; if you have decided you want to go to Paris in a specific weekend, you have to be really lucky to find cheap prices that meet your criteria. Therefore we decided to use the prices of the various flights as decisive factor on where to go. We looked at various low-cost airline (see the article how to find a cheap ticket) for various links to low cost airlines and picked one weekend and whichever flight was cheapest that weekend, that would be our destination.

If you try this approach there is also a large chance you actually end up in a city which you might not have thought off before hand, allowing you to visit less touristic cities, which are usually my favorite! Once you have found a decent flight the next step is to find your own hotel (see articlehow to find a hotel/hostel). Based on the number of people and your wishes you might want to look either into a hostel or hotel.

Then only the trickiest part remains; figuring out how to get yourself from the airport to your hotel. There is something you should consider before booking your flight; where is the airport that I fly to located? Ryanair for example flies to airports 100km from the city and still calls it Stockholm. Once you figured out which airport you will arrive on it is easiest to go to websites such as Wikitravel and Lonely Planet to find your destination. On these websites an overview of how to get there and away is provided; usually it includes the exact bus numbers, times and prices so you will be completely prepared once you set foot  on land.

So, did we make it work, a city trip under 100 euros? We did! And we even managed to put all our meals into that amount too! We found incredibly cheap tickets to Riga, Latvia, a city I can wholeheartedly recommend fora city trip!

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