What's better than a spring getaway to Europe? Answer: A spring getaway to Europe at an attractive price. If you're looking for a bargain, March through May are value-friendly months for a European trip.
According to the airfare prediction app Hopper, for example, round-trip prices for tickets from the United States to Europe were an average of $870 in April. In June, the start of Europe's peak tourist season, that number jumped to $1,110, and in December, that number is $1,050.
Also, Simone Amorico, a co-owner of Access Europe, a company that sells private, high-end trips to Europe, said that a European vacation is 30 to 50 percent less expensive in spring, compared with the summer. "A holiday that's $10,000 in June will cost between $5,000 to $7,000 in April or May, depending on the destination," he said. Whether you're on a budget, or just like to make your dollar stretch, you have plenty of options.
In Italy's Lake Como, the 19th-century Villa Flori, built by the Marchese Raimond (whose daughter was one of the Italian general Giuseppe Garibaldi's many conquests), has a two-night package for two people that includes accommodations in a junior suite with a balcony overlooking the lake, a welcome amenity of two cocktails, two hourlong massages in the property's spa, daily breakfast and one lunch. Prices start at 700 euros (about $865), and you can book by emailing the property, at email@example.com.
In Tuscany, Il Poggione, a winery set in the countryside of Montalcino, offers visitors a seven-night package in its agriturismo, situated in a restored farmhouse. Guests stay in a two-bedroom apartment with a kitchen, get a private tour of the winery, enjoy a multicourse lunch paired with wines and have access to bikes they can use to explore the region. Prices start around 1,500 euros. Book by emailing the winery directly, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Costsaver's 13-day Iberian Explorer itinerary, available through the spring, has stops in nine cities in Spain and Portugal, including Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Salamanca and Valencia. Prices start at $1,695 a person, and include accommodations, breakfast each day, four dinners, internal ticket transfers and even hotel tips. Book by calling 866-617-3751 or directly through their website.
The Istanbul-based luxury travel company Sea Song has a seven-night private trip to Istanbul and Cappadocia, a region in central Turkey that's famous for its geological landscape of cone-shape rock formations. The trip includes accommodations in high-end hotels, including the Four Seasons Sultanahmet in Istanbul and the Museum Hotel in Cappadocia. A private car, driver and guide throughout your trip, three-days of guided sightseeing and a private yacht cruise on the Bosporus in Istanbul are also included, as well as a round-trip flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia. Travelers also enjoy a hot-air balloon ride and lunch in a private home in Cappadocia and all breakfasts included. Packages are available from March through early June. Prices start from $2,720 a person. Book by emailing the company directly, at email@example.com.
British Airways Vacations has several hundred airfare-inclusive packages for trips to London and Paris departing this spring from more than 20 cities in the United States. Each option is valid for specific travel dates, and the inventory is updated frequently, so if you don't see something that works for you, check back later. One recent deal is a trip to London from May 16 to 22, which includes round-trip flights from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to Heathrow Airport and five nights' accommodations in a four-star hotel in Kensington. Packages start at $999 a person, and you can book directly through British Airways.
In addition to complete vacation packages, British Airways also offers affordable round-trip flights through the spring to London from gateway cities in the United States. Prices start around $505 and if London isn't your preferred destination, the airline also has round-trip spring flights from Kennedy and Newark Liberty International Airport to Charles de Gaulle Airport, in Paris, with prices from $430.
Expedia, the travel booking site, has several thousand air-inclusive packages to Europe this April and May. Travelers can expect to pay between 15 to 30 percent less for them during these months, compared with June through October, according to Sarah Gavin, a company spokeswoman.One example, available from May 21 to 25, includes round-trip airfare on the low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle from Kennedy to Stockholm Arlanda Airport and a three-night stay at Nobis Hotel Stockholm, a luxury property in the heart of Stockholm, all for $1,155 a person.
If traveling by sea is your preference, the river cruise lineCrosiEurope offers a five-day itinerary this spring from Paris to the Norman Coast, with stops in Versailles, Rouen and Honfleur and includes excursions and all meals and drinks. Tickets start at $1,424 a person. Book online at their website.
For travelers interested in exploring Portugal, TAP Air Portugal has fares this April from Kennedy to Lisbon Portela Airport starting at $690 round-trip. It's also possible to fly round-trip to Rome from $674 a person or Madrid from $705 a person and stop in Portugal for up to five nights for free. This stopover program includes discounts at more than 150 hotels, a free bottle of wine at select restaurants, as well as free local experiences such as tuk-tuk rides and free admission to several museums.
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