A weak dollar threatening to scrap your plans to visit Greece? You don't have to let it. Here are some tips that will save you money and might even make it a better trip.
The best advice I can give Americans wondering how to visit Greece cheaply is to...
1) Get the cheapest flight you can find (try www.greeceflights.com)
2) Stay at the cheapest hotels (c-catagory, simple rooms even campsites on the islands) Do you really need a pool on the beach? At Hotels of Greece I have simple rooms, apartments and budget hotels in the white sections. You can also find cheap hotels with reviews, photos etc at Booking.com.
3) Use ferries instead of highspeeds
4) Spend more time on fewer islands
5) Don't order the expensive fish. Stick to fried gavros (anchovies), fried or grilled sardines, mackerel, fried kalamari, fried or grilled gopes (bogue)
6) Have a light lunch in one of the fast food places like a souvlaki shop, Everest, or Goody's which are pretty good as fast-food goes. Or if your hotel includes breakfast fill up there and have a snack for lunch.
7) Drink coffee in the cafes where the locals hang out instead of the hip coffee shops. You don't have to drink cappuccinos. Drink Greek coffee or nescafe, or frappes rather than fredos.
8) Don't go to the music bars and cafes that charge 5 or 10 euros for a drink. Go to the unpretentious cafeneon and have an ouzo or a beer. Cafes on the main streets will be more expensive than those on the back streets.
9) Don't take a taxi from your hotel to the ferry. Use the metro. (watch out for pickpockets though)
10) Don't go in August or peak summer months. May, June, early July, September and October have almost the same glorious weather, even better. To save even more go during the other months. Even the dead of winter in Greece is probably better weather than where you live.
11) Visit less famous islands like Sifnos, Serifos, Milos, Tinos, and Lesvos instead of Santorini, Rhodes and Mykonos which are the most popular islands and so everything costs more.
12) Use public transportation on the islands. The buses have daily schedules posted around the towns and beaches. Read them and plan your day around them.
13) Find the simple working-class restaurants. Eat horta (wild greens), vegetables, beans, sadziki and bread instead of heavy meat dishes.
14) Drink wine from the carafe, not bottled. Ask for 'hee-ma kra-see'.
15) Go to the Acropolis early and use your ticket to visit all the other sites and museums that it is good for.
16) If you are renting a car for the islands, rent them on each island if you need it rather than putting it on the ferry. Don't rent a car for Athens. Rent one for the day you leave Athens if you are exploring the mainland.
17) Make friends to share the cost of private tours of the mainland.
18) If booking hotels individually on Booking.com look for the word's Budget Friendly and Budget/Backpacker
19) If using a Greek Travel Agency tell them what your budget is. You can bring the price down by eliminating transfers and using buses, the metro and even street taxis.
20) Decline optional hotel breakfast. Tiropitas (cheesepies) and spanakopitas (spinach pies) make a filling breakfast or lunch and they are cheap. You can easily have a 2 euro meal.
21) In Athens stay within walking distance of the Acropolis. That way you will be close to all the restaurants, shops, cafes, bars,, museums and archaeological sites and the only time you will need to spend money on transportation is when you are arriving or leaving the city.
22) Staying at a hotel with free wireless will save you money too. If they also have a computer room with free use of the computers that will help too, plus you can research your trip as you go and you won't need to bring your own laptop.(The Hotel Attalos in Athens offers both 21 and 22)
If you do all or most of these not only will you have a more authentic trip to Greece, but the dollar could drop to 2 per euro and it would still be an affordable holiday. If you have some more tips e-mail me and I will add them. Remember that you can find budget accommodations for all the islands through Booking.com's Greece Pages which also contributes to my website when you book.
Be sure to check out Trips for Budget Travelers which are inexpensive packages which can't be beat in terms of price, quality of accommodations and convenience because they include transfers and tours. (and even breakfast)