WWII Tours on a Budget: Tips and Tricks for Every History Buff

image by Lara Jameson

Are you a history enthusiast with a penchant for World War II facts, stories, and landmarks? Do you dream of Normandy beach tours, exploring Churchill’s War Rooms, or retracing the Battle of the Bulge, but worry that your budget might not allow it? Fear not; you’ve come to the right place.

This guide is your go-to resource for uncovering the secrets of the past without breaking the bank. We’ll explore cost-cutting tips and budget-friendly destinations that will satiate your thirst for knowledge while keeping your wallet happy. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through history. 

1. Research and Plan Your Itinerary Well in Advance

Planning your itinerary gives you ample time to find the best deals and discounts. Start by listing down all the places and landmarks you wish to visit. Jot down everything that interests you, from renowned locations to lesser-known but equally compelling sites. You may not be able to visit every single spot on your list, so focus on what interests you most.

Once you have your priorities set, create a rough schedule. You don’t have to follow it to the minute, but having a general idea of when you’ll be where can be incredibly helpful. It lets you cluster nearby sites together, saving both time and travel expenses. With a draft itinerary ready, you can now start looking for deals and compare prices for accommodations and flights to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal.

2. Consider Visiting During Off-peak Seasons

During off-peak seasons, demand for accommodations and flights typically reduces. Hotels and airlines often lower their prices during these periods to attract travelers. You can take advantage of these lower prices to save on your overall travel costs.

Moreover, popular WWII sites can get very crowded during peak travel seasons. By choosing to visit during off-peak times, you’re likely to have a more leisurely experience, with more freedom to explore the sites at your own pace. This also means shorter lines and less waiting around.

3. Use Public Transportation 

Public transportation fares, whether it’s for buses, trams, trains, or subways, are generally much lower than the cost of taxi rides or rental cars. Many European cities have excellent public transportation systems that can get you to the major WWII sites.

However, you must understand the local transport network and schedule. Don’t forget to check the operating hours to ensure they align with your visiting times.

4. Take Advantage of Free Tours and Museums

Taking advantage of complimentary tours and museums can greatly enhance your WWII tour experience without straining your budget. Some of these tours are typically run by knowledgeable local guides who work on a tip-based system. This means that you can pay what you feel the tour was worth at the end.

Additionally, many European museums offer a free entry day on the first Sunday of every month. This can be a great opportunity to visit WWII sites like the Museum of the Resistance in Paris or the War Museum in Athens without having to pay an entrance fee. Some museums have free permanent exhibitions, like the Imperial War Museum in London, which houses an impressive collection of WWII artifacts.

5. Pack Snacks

Food and drinks at WWII sites can be expensive due to their prime locations. Bring your own snacks and water to save money. Think of simple, non-perishable items like granola bars, trail mix, or fruit that can stave off hunger between meals.

While packing snacks is a great idea, remember to respect the rules of the site you’re visiting. Some places might not allow food or drink on the premises. Check this beforehand to avoid any issues. Also, make sure to dispose of any waste responsibly to keep these historical sites clean and preserved for future visitors.

6. Join a Group Tour 

Group tours often have a set price that includes various costs like transportation, entry fees, and guide costs. When these costs are divided across a larger number of people, it can result in a lower price per person compared to what you might spend exploring on your own.

Some museums and historical sites may even offer discounted rates for larger groups. As part of a group, you can take advantage of these discounts that wouldn’t be available to individual visitors. However, group tours might not be for everyone. They can be less flexible, as you have to stick to the set itinerary and timing. 

7. Use Budget Accommodation

Use online platforms like Booking.com, Hostelworld, or Airbnb to find affordable options. Hostels and guesthouses are typically cheaper than hotels and can offer a more social experience. Homestays or Bed & Breakfasts can also provide an affordable and more personal experience.

If your tour includes rural areas or national parks, consider camping. It can be a very cost-effective option, though you’ll need to be comfortable with the idea and prepared with suitable gear. But if you’re traveling with others, consider booking a larger room or apartment and splitting the cost. This approach is often cheaper than booking individual rooms.

8. Pack Wisely

Bringing along everything you need for the tour ensures that you won’t have to buy these items on your trip. Pack comfortable, weather-appropriate clothes. Check the weather forecast before leaving to prepare for the climate. Include a mix of light layers so you can adjust to weather changes. Remember to bring a good pair of walking shoes, as tours often involve a lot of walking.

Keep these travel gadgets close. With a portable power bank and a universal travel adapter, you won’t have to deal with the frustration of drained batteries. A language translator will break down language barriers and help you connect with locals easily, whether you just want to chat, try out new food, or ask for directions. You’ll likely want to document your trip, so don’t forget your camera.


You see, planning a WWII tour on a budget is absolutely possible. With a bit of research, smart packing, and careful budgeting, an enriching and educational journey awaits you. Remember, the goal is to enjoy the journey and learn as much as possible, and that doesn’t require a hefty price tag. Go on and start making memories that will last a lifetime. Happy history exploring.

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