3 methods to stretch your greenback on a European trip in 2023

European journey is — by some metrics — larger this 12 months than it was pre-pandemic. Within the first six months of 2023, 43% extra People flew to Europe in comparison with the identical interval in 2022 and 4% greater than the identical interval in 2019. These figures come from the U.S. Division of Commerce’s Worldwide Commerce Administration, or ITA, information.

Whereas larger crowds typically imply increased costs, there’s one more reason why vacationers ought to brace for European journey to be costly this 12 months: inflation. Hovering inflation has, by some metrics, hit more durable in Europe than within the U.S.

The yearly fee of inflation within the U.S. rose 3% in June 2023, in keeping with Could client value index information. However within the European Union, the annual inflation fee rose 6.4% in June 2023, in keeping with Eurostat, the statistical workplace of the European Union.

So when you ought to count on European journey to be costly and crowded this 12 months, just a few methods could make a European trip extra reasonably priced.


Second cities are the lesser-known, less-populated areas round main cities. They’ll usually provide lighter crowds and decrease costs than the large vacationer locations.

So far as European second cities (or third or fourth cities) go, you may take pleasure in Austria’s second-largest metropolis by inhabitants, Graz, which is a couple of 2½-hour prepare experience from Vienna. Between the Graz Truffle Competition and the abundance of locations to take pleasure in Backhendl (Austrian fried rooster), it’s a foodie paradise. And with websites just like the Eggenberg Palace and the world’s largest historic armory, it’s a must-visit for historical past buffs.

In France, you may skip Paris for the nation’s third-largest metropolis by inhabitants, Lyon, which has a stunning historic district known as Vieux Lyon, in addition to spectacular Roman ruins which might be free to go to.


Shoulder season is the interval between the height season and the offseason. It usually has lighter crowds (and sometimes decrease costs) than peak season. Plus, there’s typically cooler climate and extra native issues to do.

The precise dates of off-peak versus peak seasons can fluctuate by area, based mostly on elements like climate and vacationer sights. However in keeping with 2019 ITA information, throughout Europe, the 4 least busy months to fly had been November by way of February. The 4 busiest months in the identical 12 months had been Could, June, July and September. That leaves March, April and October as these shoulder season months — and doubtlessly one of the best months to journey to Europe.

However even when you can’t be versatile with which month you journey, generally adjusting your journey by a day or two might save a whole lot of {dollars} in airfare. Journey reserving instruments like Google Flights and Hopper provide date grids that present you the most affordable airfare within the interval surrounding your supposed journey date.


Even with the right flight itinerary, anticipate delays. 2023 has been brutal for European air journey, which has been met with all the things from laptop issues to ongoing airport employees strikes.

In case your European flight is delayed, it’s possible you’ll be entitled to compensation. An EU regulation known as EU261 forces airways to compensate vacationers for many cancellations, denied boarding, or delays of two or extra hours on flights into, out of or throughout the EU.

So long as the flight wasn’t disrupted because of circumstances which might be past human management — comparable to climate — passengers are entitled to compensation between 250 euros (about $275) and 600 euros (about $660), relying on the size of the flight and delay.

The regulation is controversial, and a few specialists say the regulation hasn’t accomplished something to truly mitigate flight disruptions.

“Penalizing airways raises airline prices however doesn’t deal with delays attributable to elements over which airways haven’t any management, comparable to inefficient air site visitors administration or staffing shortages at air navigation service suppliers,” learn a June 2023 assertion from airline lobbying group the Worldwide Air Transport Affiliation.

However a minimum of for passengers ready out a delayed flight, the compensation serves as a small comfort prize within the occasion of a disrupted European trip.


This text was supplied to The Related Press by the private finance web site NerdWallet. Sally French is a author at NerdWallet. Electronic mail: [email protected].


NerdWallet: Ought to U.S. airways pay passengers for delays just like the EU? https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-should-u-s-pay-passengers-for-delay