Traveling through Europe can feel like a journey back through the modern history of the world. There’re medieval castles, Renaissance cathedrals and ultra-modern libraries and galleries to be sampled across a continent that’s produced so much of the world’s popular culture. If you’re salivating at the thought of travel in Europe but you’re worried about the costs, this is the article for you. Below, you’ll find simple tips to help you save money on your trip, which means you’ll be able to cross more borders and see more incredible cities without breaking the bank.
Europe’s traveling season is generally during the summer, in which all of the continent is bathed in wonderful sunshine, and schools across the land have ended for their summer break. Equally, traveling around the Christmas period can be expensive and tedious, with big crowds gathering at markets and restaurants. Instead, find a time to visit far away from peak season – you’ll find more bargains, and be less crowded as you travel.
Movement and Transport
As you’re on a trip to sample all that Europe has to offer a culture vulture, there’s going to be a fair bit of travel between different cities and countries as you go. While ‘inter-railing’ – moving between locations by train – has become the romanticized way to travel in Europe, it’s far cheaper and more enriching to rent a car. Search Europe car rentals to compare prices and find yourself with total independence. Remember that all cities in Europe have a ‘park-and-ride’ service, which helps you avoid awkward city-center driving.
When you’re inside the city, you’ll find that public transport is extremely cheap and about as reliable as taxis, which are usually fairly expensive. You’ll also find that you can walk between most sites, or, alternatively, find a hire bike and experience the joys of cycling in some of Europe’s most bike-friendly cities.
This will be your major source of expenditure, and it’s unfortunately something that you’ll not be able to avoid. The cheapest accommodation in most cities is hostels – shared rooms with bunk beds – but you’ll find private rooms at low prices in low season too. Usually, the further you are from the city center, the cheaper your room will be.
Alternatively, why not sign up to CouchSurf with the thousands of hosts that live in Europe’s finest cities. It’s free and easy to organize and, if your host’s free, they’ll take you on a local’s tour of the city – far better than any paid-for guided tour.
If you are traveling in a group, Airbnb can be a luxurious but cost-effective accommodation option. You pay per night, not per guest, so if four of you are staying in a whole apartment that costs you £50 per night, that’s £12.50 per person, each night.
Food and Drink
Europe’s also fairly expensive when it comes to eating and drinking while out and about. Instead, the major tip for saving money here is to have access to a kitchen (in a hostel, guesthouse or hotel) where you can make your own supermarket-bought food. Food in European supermarkets is incredibly cheap and making the effort to cook two meals a day will save you hundreds of Euros throughout a month-long trip.
Save money and see one of the finest collections of art and culture in the world by traveling Europe on a budget, using the tips above to save your hard-earned cash.