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    Cost-Saving Travel Hacks Post COVID-19 + Cheap Car Rentals in Europe

    The global coronavirus pandemic has wrecked countless travel plans, but we’re finally starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel throughout Europe. As more countries are beginning to open their borders and economies with open arms, it’s time to start planning your next adventure — and take advantage of savings along the journey. Here are our top nine cost-saving travel hacks that can help you travel on the cheap in a post-COVID-19 landscape:

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    1. Take Advantage of Savings Now, Even If You Can’t Travel

    The travel and tourism industry is hurting around the world. The pandemic closed borders and severely limited travel, which has resulted in major financial losses for hotels, airlines, cruise lines, shop owners, attractions, and others who rely on tourism dollars.

    But now that conditions seem to be improving and more tourism-based companies are returning to work, they’re eager to make up for lost revenue, even if it means offering their services at a discount to earn market share.

    Even if you aren’t planning to travel in the next month or two, you can start planning your future trips and book early to score savings. Truly, it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen if a second wave appears in the coming months. But booking now and hoping for the best can help you slash your travel costs and give you something to look forward to. Worst case scenario, your trip scheduled months in advance may get canceled and you’ll get a refund.

    2. Stock Up on Healthy Essentials

    Face masks, disinfectant, hand sanitizer, hand soap — these are becoming common staples in every traveler’s luggage. It’s best to stock up on these items instead of trying to buy them while on the road. Hotels and markets in touristy areas will likely charge a premium for them, but you can save money when you get them locally.

    3. Bring Your Own Pre-Packaged Snacks

    If you want to avoid stepping into too many markets or restaurants and want to skip the vending machines, make sure you pack plenty of your own pre-packaged snacks. Buying snacks in bulk can save you money and ensure you have food within arm’s reach when hunger strikes. Plus, you don’t have to go to crowded restaurants and pay a premium every time you want to eat.

    4. Focus on Small Town Destinations

    Renting a Car During the CoronavirusIf you want to travel freely without spending a fortune or fretting over social distancing, it’s a good idea to skip the big cities and take your adventures to smaller towns. There are fewer people to come in contact with, plus you may be able to save some money when it comes to accommodations and dining.

    And since most airliners only travel to the big city, you can save even more money by renting a car to carry you on your way. Road trips give you way more flexibility over where and how you travel (and it’s one of our favorite cost-saving travel hacks!).

    5. Support Family-Owned Businesses

    Major brands and popular destinations tend to have deeper pockets than family-owned businesses. These are the ones that will likely need more support getting back on their feet.

    Do your best to support local economies by visiting smaller restaurants, markets, guide services, and retail shops. You’ll be helping them to stay in business after potentially having to go several months without income. Plus, you can usually expect a higher level of personalized service, comfort, and quality.

    6. Travel During the Offseason

    Historically, traveling during the offseason is guaranteed to land you great deals. Hotels, activities, and transportation are all typically lower in price.

    But in a post-COVID-19 world, there’s no telling if Europe will have a designated off-season when it comes to tourism. Travelers who are itching to get back out and explore may end up traveling outside of their normal schedules, which could lead to an influx of people in places where crowds used to be minimal. Especially now it is a good moment to make plans because you can save money and also in the case of Europe is getting better and some countries are good to go.

    Still, it’s a good idea to plan your next trip during historically low peaks to minimize your contact with others as much as possible. Keep your finger on the tourism pulse to see where people are flocking to the most — you might want to avoid these areas.

    7. Plan for Picnics

    Meals can quickly drive up the cost of your trip. If you’re looking to save some serious cash, stock up at a local market and plan for a roadside picnic. You’ll have more control over the menu and the scenery, plus you can spend (and eat!) as much or as little as you please.

    One of our favorite things to do is to pull over on the side of the road when traveling between towns to soak in some of the local flairs. It’s a less crowded and truly custom dining experience.

    8. Get Cheap Car Rentals with AutoEurope

    Why risk a crowded, germ-infested airport to explore Europe? Car rentals are hands-down the best way to see the European countryside and keep you healthier in the process. When you have your own car, you’re in control of the journey and can do all the social distancing you choose.

    Get cheap car rentals with AutoEurope, starting at just $8 per day (depending on the day and the location). And for most cost-saving travel hacks and inspiration, head back to our blog.

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