3 Ways to Pay for a Trip to Europe

January 25, 2011

Let's say you're planning a trip to Europe. Perhaps it's your first time traveling abroad. You do a few searches online, only to find that the cost is a bit higher than you expected. The cost of traveling to Europe can be a deal breaker for many. However, it doesn't have to be.

Many Ways to Pay for a European Trip

If you're booking a package trip, you have a couple of options. First, you can pay all of the costs upfront. Often with trip packages, the flight, hotel, and sometimes extras such as tours or airport transfers are all included in one price.

When you pay all of the costs upfront, you are able to lock in your rate. The benefit is that you won't have to worry about changes in the exchange rate from dollars to another currency such as euros or British pounds, which can drive up the cost of your trip. Also, packaged trips usually offer better rates than booking each of the items (flight, hotel, etc.) separately.

Another option is to pay for your trip in installments on packages offered through travel agents. You pay a deposit on the package you want. Then, over the course of a few months, you contribute small amounts to the total cost until the balance is paid.

With this trip installment payment plan, there will be a deadline to pay the balance. Miss the deadline and you lose your deposit and reservation. Still, this way to pay for your European trip allows you to lock in the rate, but lets you stretch your payments over time.

Finally, there's the a la carte way to pay for your trip. With this method, you book each component of your trip separately. Some things such as the total cost for your flight will have to be paid in advance. Sightseeing tours generally must be paid in advance as well.

However, some hotels can simply be reserved with a credit card and you pay upon check out. A travel agent can also offer you this option.

The one caveat with paying upon check out is that as currency rates fluctuate, your price in dollars can change over time. So, if you book a room at 100 euros that's $120 per night today, in 5 months, the exchange rate for 100 euros could be $135.

See also: How Much Does a Trip to Europe Cost?

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