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There are a few tricks to finding the best bargains when you are looking for a budget break abroad. Booking well in advance will usually give you access to cheaper fares, but there are other things you can do to save money both on your trip and while you are there.


Top tips for saving money


  • Timing is key, taking a break outside of main holiday periods, particularly in winter, will give you the best chance of getting a good deal.
  • Bookmark our Price Graph to see when ticket prices are at their lowest.
  • Travel mid-week if you can, hotels and trains fill up on weekends.
  • Don't be fooled by cheap airline ticket ads. When you add on all the extras they can work out more expensive than travelling by other means, and much less enjoyable.
  • A bargain doesn't have to mean cheap. Some 4 and 5 star hotels offer great deals outside of peak periods, so you can live it up in style, for less.
  • City centre hotels are always more expensive but, if you can walk to all the sights, you can save money on transport costs.
  • Consider getting a city pass, these include entry to the big museums as well as public transport and can save you money.
  • Don't go to cafes or restaurants on the popular tourist streets, food and drink can be considerably cheaper on backstreets just minutes away.
  • Sort out your travel money before you go so you don't lose out because of fluctuating exchange rates.
  • Don't forget your Eurostar ticket gets you 2 for 1 entry into some of the main museums in Paris, Lille and Brussels.


Paris pas cher

Paris is small enough that even hotels that are slightly off the beaten track are not that far from the main landmarks. Get yourself a Paris Pass, for free entry to most of the main sights, as well as unlimited travel on public transport - all on one card.

Rather than splashing out on bus tours, hop on the number 69 bus (Pere Lachaise Cemetery to the Eiffel Tower, via Bastille and the Louvre) or route 82 (Luxembourg gardens to Trocadero, via Les Invalides and the Champs de Mars) and discover the city like a local.


Don't break the bank in Brussels

There are plenty of good restaurants in Brussels but they can be pricey. Try Belgian speciality, moules frites (mussels with chips) for a tasty and filling, wallet-friendly meal. For pudding, head to a nearby waffle stand for a delicious fluffy waffle topped with strawberries, chocolate and cream. The Funambule is one of the most popular stands, just next to the Mannekin Pis statue in central Brussels.

Don't forget, your Eurostar ticket will get you 2 for 1 entry to the main museums, including Bozar and the Magritte museum so there's no excuse not to indulge in a bit of culture while you're there.


Amsterdam on a shoestring

Most of the main sights to see in Amsterdam are within easy walking distance of each other so, while you will have to dodge the quite aggressive local cyclists, you'll save on public transport. If you're not sure what to see, have a look at our 3-day itinerary for inspiration. It could be worth investing in an Amsterdam pass  if you plan on visiting lots of attractions as it gives you free entry to many of the top sights as well as hop on hop off boat and bus trips around the city. 

For food, look no further than the streets. Amsterdam is full of street food vendors selling everything from take away cones of chips to delicious, meaty bitterballen. If the weather is bad head to Foodhallen, a massive covered food market, and eat your way around the food stands.


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