Have you ever thought about building your next vacation from scratch while remaining in your set budget?

Tudor M. (grade 9), Project Manager and Editor for Math-Ly-News wrote this article with tips & tricks that might come in handy the next time you plan on going away on holiday.

Now that summer holiday is on the horizon, we can finally start to seriously think about our travel options. But before you start running to the nearest travel agency, consider the realistic possibility of organizing your trip from scratch. In the following article, I will be detailing the process of estimating and planning a holiday abroad.

The first step is to choose the timeframe you wish to travel in. Try to remain flexible, pick a month to look into (For this example I will be working in August 2022).

The second step is to choose your method of transportation. I decided to research price ranges for Plane and Car travel (these are the most efficient and popular modes of transport for Romanians).

Air Travel

Although faster, air travel is not always the best solution. Above, I have attached a map to show the average prices for flights to each European country (for one person with a week between outbound and inbound flights ). Almost all of the prices you see are for flights with the Lufthansa Group (except Turkey, which is through Turkish Airlines). I suggest avoiding Low-Cost airlines. The name is often deceiving, and unless you are willing to travel with only a backpack, Low-Cost airline tickets with carry-on luggage can cost more than Mainstream airline tickets.

Plus, Mainstream airlines often have offices in major airports, so if you have any trouble regarding your flight, you can easily refer to one.

Car Travel

Car travel is another great alternative for those who wish to avoid air travel at all costs. The map above tells us the number of days of travel needed to reach each European country. As you can see, the further north or west we go, the more unreasonable the number of days gets. It is easy to fool ourselves into thinking that car travel is slower but cheaper than air. Whilst yes, you already have the car, you still need to pay for fuel and accommodation on transit nights, not to mention the road fees or even ferry fees in some cases.

Car Vs Plane

Ok, we have talked about the pros and cons of air and car travel, but how should we make a choice? The map above shows what I would suggest for each European country depending on the costs of flight and the distances you would need to travel by car. The suggestions are designed to be an optimum between reasonable travel time and budget.

The third step, after choosing your transport, is finding accommodation. Prices for one night accommodation in a 3 star hotel in Europe for two people can very alot by day or location as shown below.

It’s a good idea to look at how expensive the accommodation of a country is before purchasing your plane tickets. In some cases, the transport to a country is relatively cheap, but the accommodation is very expensive (Ex Austria). In other cases, the transport costs are high, but the accommodation cost is low (Ex Estonia). Cheap accommodation can help you save money on week long holidays, and it can make the higher plane prices worth it.

With all of this data, you can start estimating budgets for holidays:

For example: “I want to go to Finland for 7 days with a friend”

  • 7 days * price for 1 night of accommodation + 2 people * flight price = estimated cost
  • 7 * 120 + 200 * 2 = 1240 eur

This estimation does not include National Travel in the country you are visiting or food consumption and can change slightly depending on the exact dates of travel.

For national transport I suggest renting a car if you have a larger budget, or using public transport if you’re looking for more economical options. Look up car prices beforehand, in some cases it is worth it ( Ex: in France a 5 person car is 100 eur a day) but in other cases it isn t worth it (Ex : in Ireland, a 5 person car is 300 eur a day). Public transport is way cheaper and sometimes faster, research beforehand to see if it is available (you can use google maps to do that)

This is the process you can use to build a personalized holiday easily and swiftly. Keep in mind that the data you see in the tables can change over time as we get closer to the month of august. Enjoy your holiday season!

Written by Tudor M. (9 Alfa)