When checking Google Flights, it seems that low fares Halifax to Europe in the next few months are relatively scarce. In spite of that, I set out to find a few examples of week-long trips to Europe that are less than $1500 per person for flight and accommodation. Instead of just hunting for the cheapest airfares, I looked for interesting places where you can find good lodging at a reasonable price.
These are scenarios where two people are travelling together and sharing a room. Of course, prices may change but they are accurate as of when this post goes up. First, I’ll go through a few ways you can trim the costs of a trip to Europe.
There is a perception that travel to Europe is very expensive. It seems quite apparent if you look at the tour packages in the ads in the Saturday edition of the Chronicle Herald. I don’t dispute the value of those options but if you’re on a budget you can save a lot by putting together your own trip.
Less Is More
Even just a week away can give you loads of great memories. And staying in one place gives you the time to enjoy the sights without having to make too many hard decisions about your sightseeing agenda. After you get a handle on the public transit system, it’s nice knowing you can leisurely explore lots of interesting neighbourhoods that a fast-moving tourist might miss. I should probably mention that my own personal experience has a strong influence on this viewpoint. No matter where I go I always wish I had more time. Not everyone will feel the same. Lots of people like to see the main highlights and be on their way.
Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad
When choosing accommodation it’s generally true that you can’t have it all when it comes to location, quality and price. You usually have to sacrifice one of those. Or at least compromise to some degree on all of them to meet your budget. My examples below reflect an attempt to minimize the compromise as much as possible.
Staying 7 nights in one place opens up potentially lower rates if you’d like to book an apartment because many will have a weekly rate. Just be sure about the legality of that type of lodging in your destination. For this exercise I chose hotels due to the convenience of a having a front desk for assistance.
Prague In August
There is still time to take a trip to Europe before the end of summer.
Halifax – Prague
Aug. 19 – 27
$1022 Air Canada (via Toronto)
7 nights in Prague
Double or Twin
Total: $1367 per person
The hotel is in a good location with great reviews on TripAdvisor. Since it’s a last minute trip I used the non-refundable rate. You can either collect or redeem Hotels.com Rewards at this property. You can also get a very reasonable rate at a more upscale hotel if you’re content being farther away from the old town. Two examples that came up on my search were the Occidental Praha 5 and the Corinthia Hotel Prague. Public transit is cheap and easy to use.
North Yorkshire, England in September
Halifax – Manchester
Sept. 19 – 27
$813 American Airlines (via Philadelphia)
7 nights in Harrogate
Travelodge Harrogate West Park
$848 breakfast included
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Total: $1321 per person
The airfare isn’t too bad but this trip will have the added costs associated with train tickets from Manchester Airport to Harrogate and back. Note that Travelodge in the UK is a separate brand from Travelodge in North America. This specific hotel gets great reviews.
The dates were chosen to include September 23rd which is the day of the Nidderdale Show in Pateley Bridge in the Yorkshire Dales. It’s similar to the local agricultural exhibitions around the Maritimes but the UK version is especially fun and interesting. You can reach it by bus from Harrogate.
The flight has an overnight layover on the return. If you had the energy you could perhaps go into the city for a few hours. I found a somewhat reasonably priced room near the airport and I included that night in the total.
Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Philadelphia Airport Ridley*
$126.55 USD Wyndham Rewards member rate
*beware there are 2 Microtels and the other one gets very poor reviews
Provence in October
Halifax – Marseille
Oct. 4 – 12
$827 Air Canada (via Montreal)
7 nights in Aix-en-Provence
Hotel La Caravelle
Twin or double
Total: $1205 per person
Although I’ve never been there, I’ve heard that Aix-en-Provence is a very pleasant city to spend a few days and perhaps visit some of the many scenic villages in its vicinity. It’s easy to reach from the airport in Marseille and the hotel in my example is close to the city centre with good reviews. You can collect or redeem Hotels.com Rewards with this one as well.
Since the advent of flight search websites, I’ve been on the lookout for cheap airfares. A low fare is often the spark that leads to a trip. But it pays to examine all the elements of travel and do some research to see what you can put together. A trip to Europe doesn’t have to be a grand tour at a high price. It also doesn’t need to be the bargain-of-the-century although that would be really nice of course.