Day Trips to Europe - how to get the best travel deals for train, plane and ferry travel

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How to get the best travel deals to Europe

 

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There has been huge growth in budget air travel over the last ten years or so, and the channel tunnel has created much more competition for sea crossings to France and travel to Paris.

 

As a result, it is now possible to visit Europe for less than the price of a return train ticket across a couple of uninspiring counties in the UK. Here are a few tips for finding the best deals.

 

Modernista buildings in Barcelona

Modernista buildings in Barcelona

 

* If you're thinking of renting a car avoid Goldcar Rental and Auto-Europe.com - to find out why click here.

 

* School holidays and weekends are generally the most expensive times to travel, but if you have to go at these times, the first flight, ferry or train out of the day and the last one back tend to be the best buys.

 

* Weekday journeys are usually the cheapest time to travel - especially Monday to Thursday - and, again, the first trip out and last back offer the best prices. 

 

* For airline, train and ferry tickets it's generally best to book well in advance. How far in advance varies from operator to operator and depends on when you want to travel. Six to ten weeks is a normally enough to secure a cheap deal.

 

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Bernini's stunning colonnade enclosed most of St. Peter's Square

Bernini's beautiful colonnade in St. Peter's Square, Rome

 

* Subscribe to airline, ferry and train newsletters. These will alert you to upcoming special deals and bargains before they are advertised nationally.

 

* Compare prices with websites such as Whichbudget and Ferrybooker, which let you hunt for tickets across airlines, or train and ferry operators, by destination, date and time.

 

* Check out bargain-hunting sites such as Travelzoo, Travelsupermarket and Moneysavingexpert for the best deals.

 

* Everything you do online is tracked by your browser. Some websites will increase their prices if you revisit: so make sure you flush your cookies and browsing history before each visit.

 

* Although it's usually best to book your trips early, there are sometimes bargains to be had if youíre happy to wait until a few days before youíre due to travel. Sites such as Lastminute, Travelzoo and Expedia are good places to start for last minute bargains.

 

Notre Dame - Click for Paris page

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

 

And if you are going for more than a dayÖ

 

* Budget airlines, such as easyjet and Ryanair, charge for every item of luggage you check in. If you can manage with hand luggage, youíll save money.

 

* Ryanair charges for airport check-in. This is another incentive to travel light because you canít check-in online if you have luggage to check.

 

* Also, with Ryanair, if only one person on a booking is checking luggage, no one else on that booking can check in online. So itís cheaper to get anyone with check-in luggage to book flights separately.

 

For more information, take a look at our booking and travel planning section.

 

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