Wanderlust can be expensive. Sometimes the airfare costs alone are enough to make a dream getaway seem out of reach.
But for every over-the-top luxury vacation package on the market there’s some affordable alternatives. Find them is a challenge, however. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Here are some of the best European travel packages for under $1,000.
Uncover Your Roots in Ireland
With prices starting at $999 per person, Irish airline Aer Lingus offers a six-night package that includes roundtrip airfare from several major American hubs to Dublin, the use of a rental car for a week and two nights at the North Star Hotel, a four-star property in the heart of Dublin. While in the capital of the Emerald Isle travelers also get free admission to EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum and a one-hour session with a genealogy expert at the Irish Family History Centre.
After uncovering their Irish ties, travelers can chart the course for the rest of their trip, picking which towns, villages and attractions — like Blarney Castle or the Cliffs of Moher— to explore. And once they’ve decided where to go, travelers get to choose coordinating B&Bs, all of which come complete with famed Irish charm, hospitality and homemade breakfast.
Visit the Big Three in Italy
According to new figures from Istat, Italy’s National Institute of Statistics, 420 million people visited Italy last year alone. And most of those travelers visited one or all of the country’s most famous tourist havens — Rome, Florence and Venice.
Typically, walking in the footsteps of the Ancient Romans, marveling at Michelangelo’s work and taking gondola rides down picturesque canals doesn’t come cheap. But Go-today offers a nine-day package starting under $1,000 that includes most of the essentials for an Italian adventure, including roundtrip airfare from New York, accommodations for four nights in Rome, three nights in Florence and two nights in Venice, plus reserved rail tickets to travel between cities. All accommodations are also located in the heart of their respective cities to make sightseeing a breeze.
According to World Population Review, Madrid and Barcelona are easily Spain’s largest cities and arguably two of the country’s most important historical and cultural hubs. Madrid, in the heart of Spain, and Barcelona, on the coast, are also major tourism hotspots, offering attractions such as world-renowned museums, Michelin-star dining, pulsating nightclubs, designer shopping and sprawling sandy beaches.
Spanish excursions can be pricey, but not this eight-day package from Gate 1 Travel. Starting from just $909 per person, travelers get roundtrip airfare from New York, New York, to Madrid, Spain, including airfare between Madrid and Barcelona as well as accommodations in both Madrid and Barcelona and daily breakfast. Travelers can also purchase tours through Gate 1 that guide them through each city or take them to tourist destinations outside of the cities, like Toledo, the “Museum City," or El Escorial, an epic monastery often regarded as the eighth man-made wonder of the world.
Explore in Iceland
For those dreaming of visiting Iceland, Go-today offers a four-night package starting at $899 per person that includes roundtrip airfare from New York, New York, to Reykjavik, Iceland, as well as full accommodations, daily breakfast and a full one day tour. Visitors start their trip with a free day in trendy Reykjavik before embarking on the Golden Circle Tour, a tour that takes travelers to three of Iceland’s biggest attractions —Thingvellir National Park, the Gullfoss waterfall and a geyser geothermal area.
Thingvellir National Park encompasses Iceland’s largest lake, Lake Thingvallavatn, and is one of the only places in the world where travelers can see two tectonic plates, the Eurasian and North American, exposed from the earth. The park, whose name translates to “Fields of Parliament," is also on the land where the world’s first democratically elected representative parliament met in 930. After Thingvellir guests are taken to see the amazing Gullfoss waterfall.
Get it All in Ireland
They say you can’t have it all, especially when traveling. But one six-night package with Great Value Vacations that starts at $926 per person offers those looking to spend some time in the Emerald Isle roundtrip airfare from New York, New York, to Dublin, Ireland, as well as six nights in three- and four-star hotels in a handful of great Irish cities — Kilkenny, Killarney, Galway and Dublin. All hotels included in the package also have complimentary breakfast.
As if that wasn’t already a good deal, the package also includes free admission to the most popular tourist attraction in Ireland, the 350 million-year-old Cliffs of Moher. And as a cherry on top, the package also throws in a free guided motor coach tour of the Ring of Kerry, an 111-mile driving route that offers glimpses of wild, rugged, green Ireland.