Q: I Love Europe, the food and the culture, but with the strong Euro, I’m afraid that I may not be able to afford it.
Paraphrasing Shakespeare’s Richard the III: Now is the winter of our discounts, made glorious summer! Winter is the best time to get travel deals to Europe and in Europe. Not only the international discounted airfares to get there are low (some will be as low as $99 plus tax roundtrip, like from New York to London come midwinter), once on the ground in the great capitals of Western Europe, you will find that the same hotels and stores that were charging a lot of Euros during the summer, will have slashed their prices for the cold season and offering amazing winter travel deals.
For the frugal traveler, Europe in mid-winter is the best time
Western European Capitals like London, Paris, Rome, Venice and Milan, that were simply too crowded and expensive in the summer will court your weakened Dollars with travel deals across the board this winter, just wear your woolly jumpers and enjoy the winter bargains!
When is the best time during the winter to go?
The trick is to arrive early or later in the winter season. Some of the best bargains in Paris and London happen just before Christmas and during the slow January and February midwinter season. Classic Parisian department stores like Galeries Lafayette or Le Bon Marché will be in full sale mode when you visit them during these cheap winter periods. Trendy London markets like Camden Lock and Portobello Road will be offering discounts on a wide array of trendy wear and antiques (great if you’re in the market for Tibetan yak sweaters, platform boots or classic British leather jackets or motorcycle pants). The beauty of Rome is that even in the deepest January winter, it still feels like summer in San Francisco (a bit chilly, but not too bad), with the added bonus of having the Campo de Fiori for yourself. Vatican City is also quiet outside of the Christmas festivities (witch in Rome extend until mid January). Check out Rome’s “Le Saldi” Sale, when all the designer stores throw out the baby with the bathwater, you might score that pair of Ferragamo shoes for less than half the summer price.
What if I’m on a shoestring budget?
Skip the Eurozone for deeper savings: If Rome is too expensive for your wallet, try Istanbul, Turkey is the new Greece and a great winter travel bargain: Located outside the more expensive Eurozone, but conveniently sharing the same Mediterranean and Aegean seas. Visit the Genoan Quarter in Istanbul, have some Raki with a great and inexpensive dinner in a restaurant overlooking the Bosphorus and the splendid Ottoman era Palazzos that adorn the waterfront, it will remind you of Venice, but at a quarter of the price.
Try Buenos Aires instead of Milan or Paris, cheap but posh
You will be hard pressed to tell the difference between posh Avenida Alvear in Buenos Aires’s exclusive Recoleta District and any high end shopping street in Rome, Milan or Paris, except for the bargain prices. The US Dollar is still king in Buenos Aires, so you can sample this sophisticated city’s top French, Italian, Spanish and Argentinean restaurants, enjoy the excellent local wines, cheeses and steaks for a fraction of the Eurozone prices. Buenos Aires also offers the added bonus of a southern summer. So you can get a tan and jet ski on pristine Andean lakes in the exclusive ski resort of Bariloche or sunbathe on the famous beaches of Punta del Este in nearby Uruguay, both popular southern summer destinations for the ‘beautiful people’ of Buenos Aires.
Grab Vayama’s Winter Travel Deals :
So get out there and see the world for less, you deserve it.
By Florin R. Ferrs
(International airfare expert, frequent traveler & frugal bon vivant)