Families taking their holidays in Europe this year may be worried about how to do it on a
budget. Planning ahead and being canny with your spending can help cut back on costs,
even if you are visiting the more expensive European cities, such as London, Paris or Rome,
which are explored below.
Every child should be taken to Paris at least once – if only to return 20 years later and wish
they had paid more attention. Known to be a very expensive tourist destination, it’s all
about avoiding the big stings. The Eiffel Tower will undoubtedly be on any itinerary, but
climbing right to the top is a costly venture. Cut costs by only going up to the first level. This
still offers great views and a ton of excitement for the kids, but it costs a lot less and avoids
the big queues for the lifts.
The Louvre is the other major attraction in Paris. Under 18s are free, so it’s certainly worth
taking the kids. If you visit on the first Sunday of the month or Friday evening entry is free
for all visitors.
Again, London is not well known for being a cheap destination, but it is certainly a great
place for family adventure holidays as it’s packed with history, fun and culture. Luckily for
families, some of the best museums in London are free. The Science Museum and the
Natural History Museum are both day trips in themselves (or at least half day trips, as they
are conveniently situated next door to each other). Save money further by taking a packed
lunch and eating on the lawn. There are a number of other free museums including the Tate
Modern, the National Gallery and the British Museum.
One of London’s most popular but more costly attractions is the London Eye. Savings can be
made if you are in a large group, but also by scanning discount websites before you go. The
same can both be done for Madame Tussauds, which is always a big hit with the kids.
You can save money on travel in London by buying Oystercards and loading them up with
prepaid credit. This means that you will never go over the cost of a daily travel card but
could easily go under it if you don’t take many journeys in one day.
Rome really needn’t cost a lot of money. The city itself is a living museum and you can while
away many hours just wandering around taking in the architecture. The food can be quite
pricey in the main squares or close to large attractions, but take a few yards off the beaten
track and you can find much cheaper pizzerias where the food will be just as good if not
Rome’s biggest attraction is the Colosseum and while entry isn’t cheap, it is free for under
18s. If you plan on going to a number of the other major attractions you can save money
with the Roma Pass.
Family adventure holidays to Europe can be just exciting as safari
holidays. These major, historical and cultural centres of Western Europe are a must do for all
A visit to these great cities needn’t cost a great deal of money provided you plan in advance
and take a packed lunch each day or hunt out cheaper eateries. In some cities museums are
free for all and in others free for under 18s. Also be aware of the ways to save money on the
transport systems, as these can hold a nasty surprise.
Connie Black writes about a number of alternative family holidays including safari holidays,
European city breaks and skiing trips. She regularly contributes to travel blogs and websites.