So then, if you’re planning an itinerary to travel Europe cheap then a good start would be to decide which routes your journey will take you on, well in advance. If you do some homework and make advance bookings then depending on where you want to go and how you plan to get there, you may be able to save quite a lot of money.
Another thing you should look out for are last minute offers and discounts because when these come along you can usually grab a bargain. If you want to travel Europe cheap, the unavoidable fact is that you’ll need a deep knowledge of the market, so never underestimate the value of doing your research in advance. And need we say it again? – the recent phenomenon of the Internet allows your research to be both time efficient and easy.
Probably the most significant expense associated with your trip to Europe will be the cost of the initial plane flight to get there. You thought it might be accommodation didn’t you. Well, we’ll discuss that in a minute.
The airline market might have plenty of competition and air fares are lower than they used to be, but this doesn’t mean they will be cheap. It pays to shop around with budget airlines. That way you might be able to ensure that your initial expense is as low as possible so that your special trip is as economical as possible.
How to Travel Europe Cheap – Once You Arrive
Once you have landed in Europe, your travel options lay before you. The one you decide to go with may depend on a number of factors. Firstly, how quickly do you need to get between planned locations. If you want to see a lot of places and not just in one country, then air travel will be your best option.
The major European cities and most of the well known coastal resorts are well served by airports. So back to the internet you go, shopping around and looking for the best value flights, together with special offers and before you know it, you’ll find your way to travel Europe cheap by air.
But what if your idea is to enjoy the trips themselves and make them more interesting? Then this could be a good reason to consider including train travel into your schedule. Air flights are great from getting from here to there, but with train travel, you’ll find it’s a great way of seeing something of the countries you are passing through.
What About Accommodation Costs?
You may have heard stories of broke students who sleep in trains in order to save money on hostels or hotels. After all, Europe has a reputation of being an expensive place to visit. So here’s a couple of ideas about how to avoid accommodation costs and yet, still live well while traveling Europe.
If you’re English speaking, you might like to earn some income by becoming an English language teacher online. At the same time, you can save on accommodation by doing some house-sitting. House sitting is an awesome way to save money. The concept is, that you stay in someone’s house or apartment while they are away on vacation, for the purpose of looking after it – and this often includes their pets.
It’s a win-win situation all round. The home owner doesn’t need to pay for pet accommodation and they also feel better about their home or apartment not being left vacant while they’re away and having someone to collect their mail. Moreover, because you have a temporary home base, you can virtually eliminate the need to eat out. Buy your own groceries and prepare your own meals – it’s much cheaper.
So if you combine online teaching with house sitting, you save money while earning some at the same time.
You may need to do a little research, in order to find placement services that match home owners with house sitters, but it’s well worth it. A good starting place might be Trusted House Sitters – they have a database of house sits around the world. Check out a few others though before settling on one or two, because these sites usually include an annual fee.
You needn’t worry about the various languages and customs in the countries your journey will take you through because English is widely spoken and internet booking makes planning it all much easier. Some of the tariffs and requirements can be rather complex, so being able to book in advance using web pages professionally translated into English is a great help.
If you’re under 26 and want to travel Europe cheap, then you should consider purchasing a discounted Eurail Saver Pass. Even if you’re older, this is a great option for traveling between European countries.
Car sharing is another concept which was started by a French company called Bla Bla Car and which has since spread widely across Europe. Find them online …. but be careful that you only travel with people who have good reviews.
Warning: Do not hitchhike, especially if you’re female and traveling alone. There are many reports of people ending up dead in some remote corner of Europe, this way.
On the other hand, you might find it appealing to hire your own car and enjoy complete freedom and control over your travel. Car travel will never be the fastest option, unless you are going to be visiting places out in the country well away from transport networks. But don’t expect it to be the best way to travel Europe cheap if you are doing it all on your own, although it could be if you are part of a family or group.
Paying Your Way Cheaply
You want to try to avoid withdrawing cash because bank fees are expensive, especially when it comes to foreign currency exchange. A better idea is to take an international debit or credit card with you. One of the best and cheapest services for exchanging currencies is with Transferwise. You can apply with them for a debit Mastercard, deposit funds, or have people pay into your account – and then pay for your expenses in any number of European currencies.
When it comes to budget travel, Europe offers many options, and the best way to save money while driving is to buy what you need in the cheapest place. Here’s a thought – it might even be worth your while to buy a car in a place where cars are relatively cheap, drive it throughout Europe, and then sell it in a country where prices are higher. This has been done many times. The profit you make will offset the cost of your trip and it’s a great way to travel Europe cheap.
Other Ways to Travel Europe Cheap
- Instead of dining out or buying take out food, consider eating as many meals as possible by purchasing supplies from supermarkets, small local stores and street shops.
- Do some research on free walking tours, or self-guided walking tours. You’ll find that almost all the larger cities in Europe offer free walking tours. These are often run twice daily from the city center, or starting from a popular tourist attraction. You’ll have the option at the end of the tour, to tip whatever you can afford.
- Try to locate your accommodation close to the city center and aim to walk everywhere. This will save on transportation costs. But even if you do need public transport, a central location will make it easier and less expensive to connect – the cost of Uber or taxi trips to train and bus stations can mount up.
- Book in advance to get the best prices at popular European attractions. Also, try to be as flexible as possible with your itinerary so that you can take advantage of last minute events and festivals, which seem to never end in Europe. Also, where possible, book online – it not only saves time waiting in queues but it’s where you’ll find the discounts.
Travel Europe Cheap – Further Reading:
- Backpacking Europe For 2 Months -We’ve already discussed backpacking Europe as a general topic, but what if you have a specific time frame in which to achieve your backpacking goals. The backpacking lifestyle provides wonderful freedom and at little expense ...
- Cheapest Cities to Visit in Europe -A European travel escape isn’t exactly known to be friendly on your wallet. However, there are plenty of ways to get that dream trip without having to sell an organ. If you know how to ...
- Best Travel Backpack for Europe -How To Find The Best Travel Backpack for Europe Options Travel backpack for Europe options present exciting opportunities for the adventurous minded. Not only so, but if you get it right, you can do it with ...
- Travel Europe Cheap Packages -There are many ways to get the best deal for your next European holiday, but three of the best tips are: to book early to ensure you get the best price, to use a reputable company that ...
- Travel Expenses in Europe -How to Budget Your Travel Expenses in Europe Working out your travel expenses in Europe on a budget can be a bit of a challenge. How much you will need varies from individual to individual depending ...