9 Great Alternative Vacation Ideas for Europe

9 Great Alternative Vacation Ideas for Europe

Europe is a fantastic destination for solo travelers, couples, and families. But, can you afford it? Yes. Right now travelers are finding low airfares to several cities. But, did you find a European destination you love but it’s a bit beyond your budget or you don’t have enough time away from work? We’ve found 9 great alternative vacation ideas that are cheaper alternative destinations with similar kinds of attractions.

Food and Drink

Part of the fun of traveling is trying new foods. For those of you that enjoy traveling specifically for culinary enjoyment, we’ve made this list of ideas and cheaper alternatives.

9 Great Alternative Vacation Ideas for Europe for the Foodie

For the Foodie: Food tours and tastings are highly popular for travelers in Tuscany. Favorites include cheese and chocolate tastings and of course, winery tours. But, if you’re looking for a great alternative (maybe due to time or budget constraints), consider flying into Portland for the Wedge, a cheese and artisan tasting festival or to Sacramento to enjoy wine tastings and tours in Napa Valley, California.

Beer Aficionados: If you’re into beer, Europe is definitely a great destination to head to! It’s fun to travel for events and events like Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany and St. Patrick’s in Dublin, Ireland. They’re a fun way to try new food and drink and immerse yourself in local culture. Flights are affordable to these destinations right now but if you’re into saving money as well, why not head to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado? You can still enjoy tastings and meet new people all while saving on travel.

Have a Taste for Adventure? Some foods are pretty far off the beaten track but those with adventurous taste buds might be interested in trying Icelandic delicacies such as Puffin or Whale. If you want to stay closer to home (or maybe your taste buds aren’t that adventurous just yet) but you want to try something new, head to New Orleans for beignets and etouffee.

Architecture, Art, and Culture

Part of what makes traveling so popular is seeing different parts of the world and appreciating the history and regional eccentricities that make a new place so interesting.

9 Great Alternative Vacation Ideas for Europe for Architecture
Eltz Castle, Wierschem, Germany

Castle Viewing: Ever dreamed of seeing castles in Europe? That’s easily done; Prague Castle is located in the heart of the Czech Republic’s capital, while Kreuzenstein Castle in northern Austria is just a few miles from Vienna. But maybe flights to Vienna and Prague cost more than you want to spend. A cheaper alternative for many is Dublin, and Ireland is home to literally thousands of castles.

For Your Viewing Pleasure: Rome is home to Classic Frescos, sculptures, and iconic paintings like Michelangelo’s iconic painted ceiling at the Sistine Chapel while France boasts Gothic Architecture (think Notre Dam), Impressionism at the Musee d’Orsay, and the largest collection of art at the Louvre. While prices are very low to Europe right now, you may want something even more budget-friendly. New York City is easily accessible from anywhere in the US and has art museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art (or MoMA), and the Guggenheim.

Local Culture: If you’re into celebrating culture, you’ve probably heard of Carnival. Carnival in Venice is the last celebration before lent begins on Ash Wednesday. It’s filled with parties, music, costumes, and celebration. But, if you can’t swing a trip to Venice, head to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, also the last celebration to take place before Ash Wednesday filled with music, fun, and celebration.

Sight Seeing

Sometimes we just want to go and enjoy the sights and adventures of nature in a new place. But why spend an arm and a leg? You can find destinations closer to home for a lot less.

9 Great Alternative Vacation Ideas for Europe for Beaches

Beach, Please: If the beach is calling your name but the beaches of Ibiza, Croatia, and even Santorini are out of reach, try visiting something a little closer. You can make it to Hawaii without a passport or down to the Caribbean and Mexico for half the cost of a European beach excursion.

Cool Escapes: Mountain vacations are a great way to relax and enjoy the leaves changing or to have some fun and hit the slopes to ski. Some travelers prefer to head to Zurich but if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to peep some leaves, price compare for Boston. If you’d rather ski, check out Denver or Salt Lake City. You can even shuttle from the airport to a lot of the resorts.

This Tip is Lit: Seeing the Northern Lights is one of the hottest bucket list things to do right now. One of the best places to see the Northern Lights is in Norway. If your budget isn’t that big, Iceland has a lot of great deals for flights right now and it’s actually one of our top 10 cheapest destinations for this summer. If you want to stay in the United States, head up to Alaska to enjoy the view!

Saving Money on Travel

If you’re set on traveling this year but need to save money or have time constraints, you still have a lot of options. No matter what you decide, be sure to know when the cheapest days to fly are this summer and the best time to buy tickets. Before booking, check baggage fees. If you’re undecided where to go, check out the Getaway Map for deals from your city!

Still not sure where you want to go? Worldwide deals can always be found on the Getaway Map! And be sure to check out all the information on baggage fees in FareCompare’s Baggage Fee Chart to see associated costs for traveling this spring break. Safe travels!

Jodi Robbins
Want to Learn How to Save More Money on Travel?
Start Here