So you wanna go to Greece?!
Updated: Jan 21, 2019
Budgeting an overseas trip isn’t easy especially when you’re planning to stay for a month. Below are our tips and tricks on how to make your dream trip to Greece happen without going into debt (let’s be honest, more debt than you’re already in because who doesn't have student loans... am I right?!)
We all want to travel luxuriously with first class seats and private villas overlooking the Santorini sunset, but while our minds/hearts are telling us yes, our wallets are telling us hell no. Be realistic with yourself. If you know that you can only afford a 2 week long trip don’t plan to be there for longer. Your best option might be to postpone so you can save money for an extra couple days.
Do what works best for you
Your budget can go a long way if you plan accordingly. Let’s just say you managed to save $4,000. You booked a roundtrip flight for $1000 (go you!) and you have $3,000 left for accomodations, food, and other activities (i.e boat tours, museums, nights out). You may choose to stay for a week and book 5-star hotels while others choose the more budget friendly options and stretch that $3000 over 3 weeks. At the end of the day this is about how you choose to spend your time and money so do what’s best for you.
If you’re more of a budget traveler then it’s important to be flexible with booking flights, ferries and also the itinerary. Apps such as Hopper and Skyscanner compare airlines and dates to help you save money. Even Google Flights is an excellent resource if checked regularly.
Don’t pick a certain date to leave, pick a range because leaving Friday or Saturday can cost you up to $200 more per ticket than leaving on a Tuesday. The great thing about the apps is the ability to set up alerts for specific dates, this allows you to know when the prices are at their lowest.
And I know how annoying layovers and stops can be... an 8 hour plane ride may turn into 15 hours but it can also save you hundreds (which you can use towards drinks at dinner).
So you know your budget. But when is the right time to go?
Picking the perfect month to travel to Greece is really dependent on the traveler’s themself. Obviously you want to go to Greece when the weather is beautiful (duh!). However, peak season may not be realistic if you are looking for the most affordable travel.
Hottest Months: July, August
Most Affordable Months: May, June, September,October
Not only are July and August the hottest months, but it is during peak season. Peak season calls for hot weather, high prices, and huge crowds. In the Greek Islands, peak season starts in June and ends around early September. August is the busiest month and the most expensive. During peak season, the Greek Islands are very crowded.
Sunny Weather: May, June, July, August, September
The best time to travel to Greece would be May, June, September, and October. The weather is more bearable, especially when you’re sightseeing all day. Places in Greece are not as crowded as they would be during peak season. Prices of hotels, restaurants, and rentals are a lot more affordable and available than peak season.
Mainland v.s Islands
Greece is well known for its beautiful islands and beaches but the country has so much more to offer than just that. When we planned our trip we wanted to see a wide variety of Greece’s culture. The experience you have on Mykonos are vastly different than the ones in the Mountains of Delphi. Not only are you enjoying different activities (partying versus hiking) you are also spending much more money on the islands. A daily budget in Athens where there is more flexibility and options in accommodations, transportation, and food is vastly different then on a tourist island such as Santorini. Our advice is to factor in these differences when booking your trip. Read up as much as you can about public transportation, hotels versus airbnbs, and how much you can afford to spend on excursions. You don't wanna blow your whole budget in the first half of your trip and then miss out on memories because you didn’t plan well enough.
Money Saving Tips
Get Airbnbs with a kitchen so you can buy food at a local supermarket and cook meals when possibleGyros were a godsend when we were in a rush to eat and wanted to save some money (usually about 3 euros)Book in advance if possible. Prices rise closer to your trip especially on the islands. If you book in advance, you’ll have more options to work with.Haggle taxi prices, especially on the islandsDon’t be afraid to take public transportation. You will save so much money taking the bus rather than taking a taxiTravel reward Credit Cards are your best friends. Earn those points and you could end up getting a free plane ticket
Knowing when to say YES
This may all sound overwhelming and don’t get me wrong at first it is. You’ll say no to things that you really want to do because it’s not in your budget but don’t be afraid to say yes to something that sounds unbelievable. We took 2 boat tours which we debated on heavily but looking back I’m so glad we did. It was an amazing experience with some beautiful views we would’ve missed otherwise. Always leave wiggle room for these last minute decisions. You never know what opportunities will present themselves while you're traveling and some are too good to say no to.