Europe is the perfect destination for creating unforgettable memories that will last forever. However, the first thing that people think about Europe is how expensive it is. Let me tell you, traveling on a budget in Europe is possible with proper prior planning.
If you don’t know these money saving hacks, you might go over budget and end up wasting your money unnecessarily. I will be sharing my tips to save money while traveling Europe to upscale your experience on a backpacker budget.
1. Use Low-Budget Airlines
Plane tickets consume a significant amount of your travel budget. If you book a cheap airline for your journey, a large part of the money will be available to use anywhere else.
Sticking to low budget airlines like Wizzair and Ryanair will guarantee you the lowest plane ticket prices. Easyjet is also a good option. Most of the time they land in less known cities. This is the main reason why flying with these companies is way cheaper. If you’re visiting multiple destinations on your trip, try booking through Skyscanner, as it has the biggest database of different airlines and will tell you the best prices.
2. Stay in vacation rentals or hostels
The biggest factor when it comes to your budget is the accommodation. For finding the best places, I always go with Airbnb while traveling in Europe. They have a large amount of apartments, flats, and rentals at reasonably affordable prices.
Hostels are another way to avoid expensive hotel costs. They are convenient, comfortable, and economical. I usually go with Hostel World, as they offer the best deals for your travels around Europe. . It’s also a great way to meet other travelers and make new friends.
3. Use Couchsurfing
If you’re more of an adventurous type of traveler, then there is another great way to save your money on accommodation. Couchsurfing is an amazing platform where you can find a local to stay with for free. Some people are afraid of doing it but I had nothing but an unforgettable experience. Staying with a local host will help you learn more about the country you’re visiting and have a more authentic experience. I personally have done it in Thailand, Austria and the US more than 10 times and would do it again. It was such a wonderful opportunity. I know that this option will not be the best for everybody but I love the idea of Couchsurfing so much that I just couldn’t skip mentioning it.
4. Cook your Meals
Instead of eating in fancy restaurants every time, buy your groceries, and cook yourself. You will save a lot of money on food that way, as buying it from the supermarket makes it a lot more affordable. You can find a lot of great and delicious options there. Don’t forget that local people don’t go to restaurants every single day, so it’s a great way to try authentic meals as well.
5. Drink at the Bar
Another easy way to save money on a trip in Europe is to drink at the bar. When you order anything sitting at the table, it adds additional service charge to your bill. So, if you would like to save more money and don’t mind ordering at the bar, go for it.
6. Go for Free activities
Search for some free activities in the city you’re visiting. You can go to the tourist office to see if there are any free events happening at that time. You can check with your hotel/hostel reception desk if they have more information about such activities. Also, most of the cities offer free walking tours that you can join. It’s a great way to learn more about the place you’re visiting and meet more people. Another option is to do a simple Google research of “free things to do in…” and I’m sure you’ll be able to find a lot of great options as well.
7. Use Public Transport
Using taxis everytime in order to get somewhere can get very expensive very quickly. So, try to use public transport as much as you can. It is the most convenient, easiest, and cheapest way to get around in cities in Europe. You can save even more money by buying public transport passes for one day, two days, or for a week.
8. Use Buses instead of trains
Train systems in Europe are know all around the world because they are truly great. It’s probably the fastest and most convenient option to get from city to city in Europe. However, keep in mind that they can be pretty expensive and sometime a plane ticket with low budget airline will cost you less than the train ticket.
So, another great option to use to get around are busses. You can find a bus online for almost any city in any country and it won’t cost you a lot.
You can use different apps to book your bus tickets. The one that I use most often is FlixBus and Omio. Both of them have great apps so, you can book your tickets very easy in seconds straight from your phone.
9. Take the Sleeper Train
If you have a long way ahead, for which a bus does not seem fit, use the sleeper trains.
10. Use the Taxi Stand or an app
If you ever have to order a taxi, try to use an app to do it or the taxi stand. It will be your best money saving option. If you catch any random taxi from a street, chances are you will be overcharged.
While getting out of the airport especially, you will find a lot of taxi drivers trying to make you get in their taxi. Always reject their offer and take an Uber or book a cab to avoid any extra charges.
11. Walk by Foot
An environmental-friendly travel hack around Europe that helps you save money is to walk everywhere.Most of the European cities are very easy to navigate and all of the main attractions are located not that far away from each other. It’s a great way to explore the city at slower pace and enjoy all the beautiful surroundings. Also, European cities are full of charming, narrow streets that you will simply miss if you’re taking a ride everywhere.
12. Check the Tourist Bureaus
This is the step that I used to skip whenever I travel, thinking that I already know everything after searching online but it simply wasn’t true. No matter how good of a research you make online there are still some events, places and discounts that you will miss if you don’t go to the tourist office.
Don’t forget that they are made specially for tourists! You will always be able to get the answers to all of your questions there, learn more about discount deals, take a map and learn valuable information.
13. Buy city passes
Almost all of the big cities in Europe offer a city pass. It’s a city card that includes all of the main attractions and landmarks at a lower price. Usually, they are offered for 1,2,3 or 5 days. It truly will save you a lot of money if you’re planning on visiting a lot of places in a short time.
Don’t forget to check whether a public transportation ticket is included in the pass as well.
14. Travel off Season
As a price-conscious traveler, you should always avoid booking your tickets during the peak seasons. Summer is the worst possible choice to visit Europe on a budget. All the main attractions will be full of tourists and all the prices will be very high.
It’s better if you check online when the “low season” of the place you’re visiting is. For most countries in Europe it will be either spring or fall. It’s the best time to avoid large crowds and high prices. The weather most likely will be very nice as well. Traveling off-season also helps with the problem of over tourism during certain times.
15. Use an Audio Guide
Most of the popular landmarks will offer you an audio guide when you buy your ticket. It’s truly an amazing way to learn more about the place you’re visiting. However, if you’re traveling in Europe on a budget there is another great option to do it. Try to find either its app or a free audio guide online. It will still tell you all the important information that you have to know and save you money at the same time. I hope by the end of this post, you have found enough ways to save money while traveling in Europe.