One holiday season brings thought, and for anyone thinking of booking travel to Europe in 2023, there are interesting ways to cut costs. How and when you book is still the main factor in cost, but it’s also worth looking at similar off-beat destinations and places where inflation has less of an impact on travel costs.
Stay away from places where inflation is biting
A vacation is not just about hotels and plane tickets. The cost of anything from a coffee and taxi to a nice dinner can really make a difference. As the world grapples with rising inflation, some countries’ prices are rising faster than others and it’s worth bearing this in mind before you book.
The Trivago Hotel Price Index calculates where prices have risen the most and where inflation has had the least impact—the cost of alcohol in Turkey, for example, has risen by 123%. Cities like New York, Madrid and Las Vegas have risen the most, while cities like Auckland, Johannesburg and Brussels have risen the least. Additionally, several cities in Asia (Kuala Lumpur, Dubai and Manila) have seen price declines compared to 2021.
Look for cheaper but similar destinations
Prices will always be more expensive if the places are on the road, but you can get great deals by going to places that offer the same style of vacation but at cheaper prices. Skyscanner is launching a tool in early 2023 that will offer similar destinations at cheaper prices when people search for travel.
Eastern Europe has been the unsung and undiscovered hero of travel for years – anyone who wants Croatia can go to Albania instead, while Romania offers the Carpathian Mountains, the Black Sea, medieval villages, beautiful lakes and of course, Dracula himself (in Transylvania).
How and when you book travel in the EU matters
The rise of flexible working means that holiday patterns and prices are not what they once were – peak times are being stretched to cover longer and different parts of the year in some destinations.
Early morning flights are always best as they won’t be as prone to the delays and cancellations that affect flights later in the day. Set flight price alerts and use incognito mode when searching for fares, as this won’t increase the cost of your airfare every time you search.
It’s usually (but not always) best to leave mid-week if possible, and avoid trips that coincide with major events in the cities. New York in September is a good example—it can be one of the most beautiful times to visit the city, but it also coincides with New York Fashion Week, the UN General Assembly, and the US Open.
And while flexible working and climate change (due to excessive heat) are extending shoulder seasons into traditional off-peak travel periods, the best deals to Europe will still be had in January, as well as October and November.