It used to be that package holidays to Europe were not only affordable, but it gave you an all-inclusive stay at a luxury hotel. Unfortunately, it seems that in recent years, not only are these package holidays becoming more and more expensive, but also the quality of the hotels are just not what they used to be. But fret not! Just because you rarely get a good deal with package holidays, doesn’t mean you have to ditch your annual holiday. With some of these alternative accommodation ideas, you’ll not only save yourself money, but you’ll also get to stay in some of Europe’s most unusual rentals:
10 Couch Surfing
If you’re looking to travel through Europe on a seriously frugal budget, then Couch surfing could be your perfect hotel alternative. People will usually let you stay in their homes for free – you simply offer to buy/make your host a meal. As long as you’re comfortable staying in a stranger’s home, this is the perfect way to immerse yourself into a country’s culture and meet new people.
9 Home Rentals
Not only are holiday rentals far more affordable than hotels, they also come with some distinct advantages. For one, a holiday rental gives you far more privacy, just like being in your own home. Plus, most rentals come with their own private pools so you don’t need to be up at dawn to get your own sun lounger. Whether you’re on a budget or looking for luxury, there are holiday rentals for everyone across Europe, including these exceptionally luxurious homes in Marbella.
Europe is home to some of the most stunning colleges and universities – buildings that look like they’ve been taken from a Harry Potter novel. During the summer months, outside of term time, many of these academic buildings are available to rent. This allows you to stay in an incredibly historic building steeped in knowledge – usually for a fraction of the price a hotel charges.
Particularly popular in Amsterdam, houseboats line the canals of the Dutch capital making for quirky accommodation that is central to many of the city’s biggest attractions such as Anne Frank’s house. Houseboats usually come equipped with bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens – just like a small apartment on the water.
6 Camper Vans
If a caravan attached to the back of your car doesn’t have that ‘cool’ appeal, then why not take a trip back in time and rent your own psychedelic VW camper van? You’ll have the freedom to travel across Europe taking in all the sights and countries you’re desperate to see, all while safe in the knowledge that you can simply pull up to any campsite to rest. The freedom is simply priceless.
Think of a yurt as a serious upgrade to your two-man tent. Traditionally, a yurt is a portable and circular dwelling made from felt or skins. These days, a yurt rental is so much more. Available with beds, bathrooms and even hot tubs, yurts are becoming the ultimate glamping experience, especially across Britain.
When you think of treehouses, a vision of rickety pieces of wood up a tree probably comes to mind – certainly not somewhere you’d want to stay on holiday. But actually, there are a number of luxurious treehouses available across Europe to rent. Indeed, most of them look like wooden castles straight out of a fantasy novel.
The thing with camping is that when you close your tent at night, you miss out on all the stars and wildlife. That is, unless you opt to stay in a clear bubble for the night! Available across France, these bubbles are continuously pumped with fresh air from a silent blower and come equipped with their own queen bed as well as your own private bathroom.
If you’ve ever watched a Disney movie, you’ve no doubt felt jealous of the royal families living in their magical castles. Yet, did you know that Europe has thousands of castles that you can rent and stay in? Far more spectacular than a hotel stay, castles range from large rentals for weddings, to little apartments within a castle – suitable for couples.
Everyone loves a bit of snow – especially during the festive months. And nothing feels quite as festive as sleeping in your own igloo. In France, you can go on your own expedition to the Alps with a guide who’ll help you make your own igloo to sleep in overnight. Or, if you prefer a more luxurious igloo stay, there are glass ‘igloos’ for rent in Lapland where you can watch the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed.