How To Travel Europe On a Budget

Most people assume, when planning their first Eurotrip, that they’ll have to break their bank in order to do everything they want to do during their trip. Of course, when thinking about flights, accommodation, food, public transport and emergency costs (among many others), it might seem a little bit daunting, and almost as if you’ll have to work for years to earn the money to travel Europe. The good news is that this is not always the case. Below are a few handy tips to show you that you can go on an adventure-filled trip and travel Europe without splashing out cash you don’t have!

Travel Europe December in Amsterdam
December in Amsterdam

Be Savvy When Booking Flights

Assuming you’ve got enough money and know exactly where you’re headed to travel Europe, booking the flights is probably the best place to start. Rather than booking in person from a travel agent, the cheapest and easiest option is to book online from the comfort of your own home. There are endless options of price comparison and budget airline sites offering surprisingly good prices that you’d be silly to refuse! Some examples are skyscanner, ebookers and expedia to name just a few. Because prices are constantly getting higher and lower, check the cost of your chosen flight as often as possible. These sites are so flexible that in the morning the flight could cost $1,000 USD and go right down to $600 USD in the evening. Plus, checking regularly helps to understand when the cheapest time is to book.

Stay In Budget Accommodation

If your primary concern when travelling around this beautiful continent is to spend as little money as possible (whilst still having the best time, of course) then staying in low-cost hotels and hostels is your best bet. Sites like Go4 Accommodation provide a price filter and a wide choice of hostels with impressive prices in all European cities, many of which you don’t need to pay for until you arrive to travel Europe. Another option is couch-surfing, an increasingly common process in which travellers can stay with someone local. Couchsurfing has over 7 million members worldwide who are happy to accommodate travellers in their homes. If you’re a little wary of this, you can check the reviews of every active member to be reassured that they’re genuine and safe.

Make The Most Of Public Transport to Travel Europe

Europe is a place that certainly isn’t lacking where public transportation options are concerned. One of the best secrets of travelling this part of the world on a tight budget is to be wise when choosing the best option of public transportation. Instead of taking a taxi (which is known to sometimes be extortionate for vulnerable tourists), take advantage of buses, trams, trains, or even walk to your destination if it’s close enough. This is the perfect opportunity to get your bearings, and a much better insight into the city you’re in. Find out as much information as you can about public transportation stops, times and prices in the location that you are staying, and plan your days around these. What’s more, if you’re planning on visiting numerous cities when you travel Europe, use InterRail instead of flying. InterRail is a unique, cheap and once-in-a-lifetime experience that everybody should try at least once. Check out InterRail for more information. Using public transport around Europe is a key strategy when it comes to saving the pennies!

Do As The Locals Do

In order to save money, a handy trick when eating out in popular European destinations is to avoid the typical tourist hotspots. Signs of these include menus in English, food on the menu that isn’t native to the actual place, touts (the slightly annoying guys outside whose job is to stand outside the restaurant and persuade you to eat there) among others. Instead, look out for small, hidden-away places with only a handful of locals eating there. This will help to both save plenty of money and allow you to try the genuine cuisine of the location, giving you more of a cultural experience and leading you away from the tourist traps. Win-win, right?!

These are just a few of the useful ways in which you can travel Europe and not overspend. Other tips include making large withdrawals on ATMs as opposed to smaller ones (this will help to minimize fees) and doing your research about what to purchase where, depending on where is cheapest. For example, in Portugal you can eat a 3-course meal for 2 and spend around 20 Euro, but spend 30 Euro on a basic t-shirt. It’s all about the research!

Bon voyage.

About Lauren Davidson

Since 2013, Lauren has been writing for various travel and lifestyle websites. Her first piece of writing was a travel guide on the Algarve region of Portugal, where she lived for over a year. Currently residing in Sheffield, England, she is studying Journalism and has a blog at You can follow her on Twitter at @Lozikinz.

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