Everything is getting more expensive, including travel. Despite this, most Germans do not want to give up their well-deserved annual vacation, as a representative survey by the insurance provider HanseMerkur shows. Accordingly, 86 percent of those surveyed are planning a vacation this year. Most of them want to spend it in Europe – and spend as little money as possible on it.

Easier said than done. It’s not just airline prices that have risen sharply in recent months, travelers are now having to dig deeper into their pockets for package tours, accommodation and local activities. Instead of staying at home, passionate vacationers prefer to save on travel time, distance or quality. But we have a few other ideas for a cheap holiday in 2023.

Airbnb instead of a hotel: On vacation, many people want one thing above all: switch off. Sitting down at the set table in the morning and lying in the made bed in the evening, these are advantages of a hotel holiday that some of us are not too keen on doing without. But: If you want to save, you should also look at Airbnb and other platforms for accommodation for your next vacation. Not only are these often much cheaper than hotel rooms in a comparable area, they also allow travelers to feel at home while on the go. Incidentally, it is particularly cheap if you opt for a private room instead of booking the entire accommodation. Contact with locals or other travelers is then even included – and free of charge.

Use the early bird discount: The coronavirus pandemic has taught us to book a holiday as spontaneously as possible. However, those who want to save are well advised to book as early as possible. With early booking discounts, vacationers can save up to 50 percent compared to the normal travel price. So if you find a bargain for your summer or autumn holiday, you should grab it. Incidentally, the highest discounts are available every year until spring.

Dare last minute: Of course, the whole thing also works the other way around. Last minute offers are often a real blessing for the wallet. However, it also takes a bit of courage to wait until shortly before the desired travel period to book. There is no guarantee for the right holiday offer at the last minute. Above all, the current travel rush for the summer should ensure that not every tour operator can lure visitors with last-minute deals. But if you fancy less sought-after travel destinations within Europe and are flexible when it comes to the holiday country, you have a good chance of making a last-minute bargain. Assuming you’re a fan of a little thrill.

Be flexible: Nowadays, if you want to travel cheaply, you need a large portion of flexibility. This starts with the choice of travel destination and ends with the activities on site. Have you always booked a package tour to the Maldives? Well, maybe an individual beach holiday in Croatia or Portugal is just as relaxing. If you are planning a flight, you will save the most if you base your travel dates on the airlines’ flight price calendar. The cheapest flights are usually in the off-season – and between Tuesdays and Thursdays during the week. The same applies here: if you book early and flexibly, you save money.

Train instead of flight: But why does it have to be the plane that takes you to your destination? The Interrail ticket is available again this year within the EU. This allows tourists to travel very flexibly and comparatively cheaply throughout Europe – and thus explore the neighboring countries in a climate-friendly and economical manner. For example, if you want to travel by train from A to B on ten days within two months, you pay 316 euros for the ticket. The exact days and routes can be flexibly selected. This makes the train journey through Europe an inexpensive alternative to a road trip.

Camping again: Back then in the camp… Doesn’t each of us know at least one of these nostalgic stories from our childhood that we like to think back to? Nowadays, many of us have replaced classic camping with glamping. Sure, spending the night in a camper is often more comfortable and offers more options. But do you really need that for a successful camping trip? Not necessarily. In any case, it is more economical to reach for a tent. Most campsites in Europe offer cheaper pitches for tents, showers and toilets are available in common areas. And those who long for a vacation in nature will quickly appreciate the proximity to the outside world.

Try Home Exchange: What actually happens to your home when you travel? In most cases, the answer is probably: nothing. Our apartments and houses are usually empty during the holiday season. Sometimes friends might drop by to water the flowers or check the mail – but that’s often it. The house exchange principle can breathe a little more life into the whole thing. And at the same time enable us to have an inexpensive stay. The whole thing works like this: People interested in home exchange can exchange information with other providers via platforms such as Homeexchange.com. The homeowners exchange their homes for the period of travel and then live in each other’s accommodation for free. This not only saves on accommodation costs, but can also be the beginning of a great friendship.

Work and Travel: Working on vacation? At first glance, that may not sound like the kind of relaxation you are looking for. What used to be an issue primarily for young people after leaving school has potential for many travelers of all ages. In addition to the classic concept of the seasonal worker traveling around, there is now also the possibility of saving on accommodation costs through the employees on a farm, housesitting or childsitting. There are corresponding offers on platforms such as Yobbers.com. The hosts often give their helpers a small pocket money for food and activities on site. In any case, an economical – and varied – alternative to a round trip or a classic beach holiday.

Think minimalist: When we travel we discover new cultures, broaden our perspective and often discover a landscape that we cannot find at home. But many people also associate holidays with enjoyment and consumption. The obligatory shopping trip in the holiday country is just as much a part of the travel experience as the daily trip to the restaurant. In times of shrinking wallets, however, it is worth asking yourself what you really need for a successful holiday. You will often notice that the most beautiful moments do not cost money. It’s the sunset on the beach, building the sandcastle with the kids, or the luxury of just sleeping in. Your own expectations of a trip have a significant impact on how expensive it will be. If you do without shopping and sometimes cook for yourself, you can save a lot of money.

Dare something new: Once Malle, always Malle? Spain is again by far one of the most popular travel destinations for Germans this year. The prices in Barcelona, ​​on the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands are correspondingly high, especially in the high season. Of course, this does not only apply to the Spanish tourism strongholds, but also extends to all popular travel destinations. It is therefore worthwhile to look for exciting holiday destinations off the beaten tourist track. Especially in Eastern Europe there are a lot of underestimated travel destinations, for example Slovenia, Montenegro or Albania. A holiday there is often not only significantly cheaper than in Spain, Italy or Austria, but also offers the opportunity to discover completely new places, perspectives and cultures.

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