Turkey is also an excellent and affordable destination. The resorts around Mamaris and Antalya, like Gumbet and Bodrum, have plenty of accommodation and there’s much to do on your doorstep – there are water sports, and also historical sights. In some Turkish resorts, its possible to do a day trip to Greek islands.
Poland also offers great value, and is particularly worthwhile if you’re more interested in art, culture and history than beach holidays. Krakow and Warsaw are both popular destinations – both have medieval old towns, castles, cathedrals, museums and great nightlife, and a wide range of hotel accommodation. Much of the rest of the country can be visited from these two cities.
European Affordable Accommodation Guide
Most major European destinations offer a wide variety of accommodation choices. While the exact circumstances vary from town to town and country to country, here are some general pointers to get you started:
All over Europe, pensions or guesthouses are a good choice. Often family-run and reliant on repeat custom, they generally provide breakfast, and are less anonymous than large hotels.
The summer school holidays are generally in July and August. If you can, then May, June and September still generally have good weather but prices are lower and there are fewer crowds.
Staying in a family home can be an option, particularly if you want to learn a foreign language and stay in the countryside. Schemes operate in much of Eastern Europe, and some parts of Western Europe.
Accommodation around the coasts and major attractions is often in large package resorts. These are generally cheap to stay in, but bear in mind that prices for food and drinks in the resort will be much more expensive than outside. Try exploring on your own to get the best of both worlds.
There are campsites near many European cities, which are often near public transport routes, so you don’t need to worry about driving into town. Campsites are also a great option for the countryside too. While it may not be feasible to take your camping gear with you on holiday, many sites offer self catering bungalows, chalets, static caravans or log cabins. The larger sites have evening entertainment, most will have at least a pub or café within walking distance.
In cities, budget chain hotels often offer good prices when booked in advance. Another option is hostels – most have dormitory beds for backpackers, but will also have four-bed rooms that you can book, or doubles, with or without en-suite bathrooms.