My roommate had once told me that if I could ever find a trip to Greece for under $1000 to just go ahead and book it for us.
He had seen photos of Greece from my previous eurotrippin 2015 trip where I had visited Athens, Mykonos, Paros, Ios and Santorini, and from there he added Greece to his bucket-list. He's not one to travel abroad much and I'm one to go travel for just about any reason so I kept an eye open for deals.
Some time later, Wow Airlines was having a sale- flights from Los Angeles to Copenhagen, Denmark were $69 USD. I pitched the deal to my girlfriend and to my roommate- my roommate got back to me immediately with his credit card info whereas my girlfriend got back to me after the deal was sold out, her loss! (not to sound rude- I take her on plenty of adventures and trips).
If you're not familiar with Wow Airlines, they're an Icelandic budget airline that flies to and from Reykjavik, Iceland. The base fare includes nothing, no carry-on bag, seat assignment, food, entertainment, etc.. With that being said, our flight had 1 overnight stop in Iceland before continuing on to Copenhagen, which was the perfect amount of time to explore one of the wonders of the world - the Blue Lagoon.
The original plan was to spend one week in Greece and then return home. The island of Santorini was a must, other islands we looked into were Mykonos, Thessaloniki and Crete but ultimately decided on Zakynthos based on flight schedules and the desire to explore Shipwreck beach. During the planning stage I searched Google Flights for one way flights with no destination, based on price I would select a destination and book it. The original plan of one week in Greece for under $1000 turned into two weeks for $2000; neither of us had a problem with that as we decided to extend the trip to Italy and drive the Amalfi coast, explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii and sail out to the island of Capri. Oh- and eat a lot of pizza!
This wasn't your typical budget eurotrip in the sense that we did not stay at hostels and take trains everywhere. We were able to work out flying everywhere, renting cars or scooters and staying in private hotel rooms everywhere we went. It also helped to have a Priority Pass airport lounge membership for meals and a private area to relax at the airports.
The European sample platter (our itinerary) -
04/29 - Reykjavik, Iceland
04/30 - Copenhagen, Denmark
05/01 - Mallorca, Spain
05/02 - Santorini, Greece
05/03 - Zakynthos, Greece
05/06 - Sorrento, Italy
05/07 - Capri, Italy
05/08 - Amalfi, Italy
05/09 - Venice, Italy
05/11 - London, UK