10 Money-Saving Tips for Accessible European Travel
Yes! It is possible to save money without compromising on memorable rich travel experiences! This month I’m excited to share some of my favorite Money-Saving Accessible Europe Travel Tips to help keep your budget intact.
10 Money-Saving Tips for Accessible European Travel
1. Stay in the center of town – Many travelers are convinced that staying outside of the popular city centers will save them money. But from my experience, choosing accessible accommodation in the center of town, where you can walk/roll to the main tourist attractions, can save you money (and a bunch of your valuable vacation time). You won’t have to spend much money getting to the popular attractions, accessible restaurants, or entertaining activities.
2. Stay near one of the accessible tram, metro or bus routes – If you’re not able to stay in the center of town, you might be able to stay near a convenient, inexpensive public transportation route. Many major European cities have an extensive and reliable public transportation system, and some of them are accessible too! It does require some extra planning to successfully navigate the systems, but I have personally enjoyed taking Paris buses, Berlin subway trains, and Amsterdam trams to get around town.
3. Book your accessible hotel far in advance – If you don’t, the few cheap, centrally-located accessible hotels will be booked, and you’ll have to stay in the more expensive accessible hotels.
5. Book a Bundle – There are many package deals that save you money if you book hotels, tours and transfers together. Basically, the more business you let them handle for you, the better discount they can give you. Take a look at our Accessible Europe Holiday Packages for more information on vacation packages tailored to your individual accessibility needs, interests and budget!
“Best family vacation EVER! We certainly couldn’t have done this without you and Sage Travel’. You were our best decision by far…Your agency delivered us a 10+ vacation. From start to finish… We as a family are so appreciative of all you did! You truly made our first European trip as a family the BEST it possibly could have been! Grateful and Happy” – Patti
6. Negotiate – Many local European markets are ideal places to look for bargains… in many places they even expect for you to negotiate the prices! I suggest negotiating during your guided tour so your guide can tell you if you’re getting overcharged.
7. Pre-book Tours and Entrance Tickets – Buying tickets and tours upon arrival or at the door often leads to higher prices (and waiting in long lines). In many cases, there are several discounts available when you purchase entrance tickets online, or have your Accessible Travel Consultant set up your tours and handle all your booking details for you in advance. The earlier the better!
8. Mirror Local Eating Habits – In many cultures we devour our largest meal of the day at dinner, when restaurant menus are usually most expensive. An easy way to enjoy a delicious restaurant visit at a lower cost is to make lunch your biggest meal instead. Many people, especially in Southern Europe, already do that so you will blend in just perfectly!
9. Use Trams and Trains for your Transfers – Depending on where your accessible hotel is located, you might be able to save money by using the trams and trains for your airport or cruise dock transfers, instead of private taxis. From my own experience, airport transfers are possible in places such as Paris, Rome, Athens and Berlin (depending on which Berlin airport you are using), and cruise dock transfers are possible in Amsterdam and Istanbul.
Using the Amsterdam wheelchair accessible trams routes will save you money on getting around town.
10. Avoid Expensive Mistakes – I spent years of my own travel focusing on how good of a “deal” I could get while planning my trip. I got really good at getting my pre-trip cost lower. The problem with that was that my post-trip cost often ended being higher than if I had been willing to spend a little more before the trip! For example…
- I booked a great “deal” for a Barcelona hotel on a hotel booking website that had the wrong hotel address. The hotel was actually located far out of town and we had to spend significant money on taxis.
- I booked another great “deal” for a Venice hotel. It was located in a neighborhood surrounded by bridges so I had to spend time and money every time we wanted to go eat.
- I went to Monte Carlo twice when I was younger and, to save money, I didn’t book a tour guide either time. I feel like I can’t tell you a whole lot about what makes Monte Carlo special. I would have to travel back there to do that…talk about an added expense!
- I booked an inexpensive tour guide in Istanbul. When I started to ask her detailed questions, she reached into her bag and pulled out a Rick Steves guidebook to give me the answers! I’ve also had bad guided tours in Amsterdam and Barcelona, and I’ve learned that booking the cheapest guided tours can often be a waste of money.
One of the best ways to save money on your trip is to have a knowledgeable travel consultant help you while you make your decisions. We have helped hundreds of disabled and senior travelers in Europe get the most of out their money.
Did you know?
American author, travel expert and TV host, Rick Steves has recognized John Sage as an expert in accessible European travel, and even published John’s “Tips for Travelers with Disabilities” article in the 2015 Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Doorguidebook. Read more about Rick Steves’ recommendation of Sage Traveling.
your next accessible European vacation!
John Sage, Founder and President of Sage Traveling