Trips to cities like London and Paris don’t have to get as expensive as you thought

8 January 2020

1. Have a flexible schedule and itinerary
Airfares may vary from day to day, so if your dates are flexible, opt for the one that’ll save you a few dollars less. Plus, airlines have limited-time offers that are based on certain destinations. Sometimes it makes more sense to travel to a neighbouring city as the fares there are several hundred dollars cheaper, and take a train or low-cost flight within the continent instead.

2. Use your miles
If you’ve been travelling regularly and are part of an airline membership like Singapore Airlines’ Krisflyer or Emirates’ Skywards but don’t have enough points to redeem a full-fledged ticket, check if you can pay a part of your fares with your existing points. Alternatively, make your purchases on a credit card that lets you earn miles.

3. Purchase discount cards or pre-paid passes
Think transport cards that’ll give you free rides on public transport after every few trips, or coupons or passes that offer you a fraction of what you normally pay when you visit tourist attractions. If you’re still studying, check if your student pass is recognised internationally, as you’ll be able to purchase tickets and such at student rates. Examples include the City Card, available in over 20 European countries (including Croatia, Denmark, Spain and the UK), which offers free admission to sights, as well as discounts to more attractions, shops and others.

4. Get connected
These days, it pays to stay connected. With wifi and data getting more affordable, make full use of your data to source the best deals on things like concert tickets, transport, tourist attractions, and so on.

5. Don’t go in summer
As it’s the peak season, and everyone’s there, prices are jacked up, everything’s full, the cities are crowded and the locals are away. Head there in autumn or winter where the streets are emptier (this means better photos for social media!) and you may be able to get better discounts for your accommodation. Which brings us to our next point...

6. Never settle
Using meREWARDS travel widgets, you can search for the cheapest hotels deals and still earn yourself great cashback. Never book a deal without meREWARDS.

7. Ask for tap water
It’s safe to drink the water in Europe, but if you ask for water at a restaurant, the waiters will usually bring you a bottle, which can cost. Tap water is free, so don’t shy away from asking for it.

8. Try other meal options
Fixing your meals by buying groceries from the supermarket are usually cheaper. But if you don’t have a kitchen or stove, there are bakeries, pastry shops plus other street eats and farmer’s markets, where you can get quality meals.

9. Tips are already included
The rules of tipping differ per city, but the tip is already included in general. So unless you’re extremely happy with the service, anything above 10 or 15 per cent is probably too much.

10. Eating outside costs more
Some restaurants offer two menus – one for dining indoors and another for the alfresco area – which feature different prices. The experience of eating outside and watching the world go by will cost a little extra.

11. Pre-loved items
Europe may be the home to branded goods like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Prada, but there are other treasures to be found too. If you’re a vintage shopper, look out for thrift shops in the city you’re in, where you can find branded bargains or pretty pre-loved apparel for a steal.

12. Things to do at zero cost

Not all things have to cost. Parks or tourist buses, or even museum admission fees (if you know when to go). Alternatively, get your tickets for less with Klook.

Hotel deals are temporarily paused until further notice, no cashback provided during this period.