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The variety of vacation packages to Europe is mind-boggling, and they range from budget-friendly to luxurious beyond belief. There are Mediterranean beach holidays; ski packages in the Alps and other winter sport hotspots; tours of Europe's cultural treasures like Barcelona, Paris, St. Petersburg or Madrid, and more.
All inclusive vacation packages are a rarity in Europe, with most travellers preferring to book a European Plan option that excludes meals. It makes sense when there are so many incredible cuisines to try! Packages with meals included are known as an American Plan in this part of the world.
Part of getting the best deals on vacations to Europe is knowing your style. Are you an independent traveller wanting to chart your own course and be spontaneous, or do you want the ease of having everything planned and booked ahead of time? Perhaps your tastes fall somewhere in between.
This self-awareness can save you big bucks by preventing you from paying for components in your package that you won't use, such as meals or guided tours. Independent travellers can still benefit from vacation packages, but their best option tends to be the ones that combine flights, hotel, and possibly a car rental, leaving them free to spend their days as they please.
At the other end of the spectrum are European vacations that include all the bells and whistles such as transfers, meals, transportation, and tours. If you like a more structured itinerary, this is a fantastic way to go because you save a bundle when you buy it all together as a package.
Europe's vast land mass spans many climates, making it virtually impossible to summarily describe the weather of the entire continent. When to go also depends on what you want to do on vacation and where you want to do it. If you love winter sports and want an Alpine ski holiday, or want to experience the warmth of Mediterranean destinations like Athens, Algarve, Lisbon, Marbella, or Torremolinos, without humidity, then winter is a fantastic time to visit. If you crave leisurely strolls through the streets of Paris, London, or Rome, summer is a better option. There is more daylight in summer, which can be a key consideration, especially for vacations to Nordic countries. Spring and autumn offer a happy medium in terms of prices, temperatures, and crowds, but in many areas you could be in for a great deal of rain.
Peak season happens for a reason. Summertime is the most popular period for European travel because the sun is out, kids are out of school, and everything is open. When demand is high, so are prices, making cheap vacations to Europe considerably harder to find.