Travelling around Europe can be expensive, even with recent trends in the currency exchange. There are so many different countries in Europe – which means so many wonderful towns and cities to visit. Although this makes it a traveller’s paradise, it can also make it quite expensive, especially if you’re trying to travel Europe on the cheap.
Saying that, there are a few things that make it favourable for people to travel Europe at the moment. The Euro has fallen in the past few years, making it a great time to exchange your money. Another great thing about Europe is that thanks to the EU, most countries share their economy so you won’t find too much discrepancy between the countries.
There are also so many different travel options – from buses to trains to flights. So much choice means you are bound to find a great deal if you’re planning on backpacking around this great continent. Read on for some insider tips on how to save money without compromising your travels.
Travel Europe on a Budget: Public Transport – Buses
- When in the UK, Megabus is a great way to travel. Although you have to book your tickets at least a month in advance to benefit from these deals. A lot of fares are as low as £1, which is a huge saving! Even for those looking to go further on these buses, fares are rarely higher than £20 meaning you can travel for less.
- While we’re on the subject of Megabus, they have recently added routes from London to Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris. Fares start at £10 making this a great option to get from the UK to the mainland.
- This famous hop on/hop off service is especially popular with backpackers in Europe. You can buy tickets which let you travel their whole route, with set stops along the way. Or you can buy a pass which allows you to get off and on wherever you want.
- However, there is a downside to Busabout which is the stops aren’t always right in the city centres. This means that you’ll have to make your own way into these cities. But still, the savings are so huge it’s worth this.
- German based company has routes between 20 European countries, making it one of the greatest options for backpackers or those travelling Europe on a budget. They do short haul trips but also longer haul routes which often go through the night, giving you a place to lay your head too.
- Flixbus also do routes which aren’t really served by Euroline or trains, which means you might get to see some things that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Travel Europe on a Budget: Planes
- Budget Airlines. This is by far and away the cheapest way to travel Europe, as long as you don’t mind planes! The reason that these airlines are so cheap is because so many people use them. That way many of the fares you can find are just the tax – nothing else!
- There are many different companies which offer amazingly cheap flights. EasyJet, Ryanair, Transavia and Vueling are probably the best companies for cheap flights. To scoop up these savings we recommend booking at least a month in advance. And keep an eye on their sites to see when they have sales on.
- Remember when using these airlines that they are very strict on things like baggage allowance. So read the fine print to avoid getting caught up in their penalty fees, and you’ll be fine. Another thing to remember is that if you’re expecting luxury – think again. There’s a reason these airlines are cheap, and it’s often because comfort is sacrificed to make way for practicality. It won’t be horrible, but don’t get used to leg room! But hey, that’s the ideal way to backpack Europe!
Travel Europe on a Budget: Trains
- Eurorail pass. If you are going to travel across long distances, then this pass is worth it. Getting ordinary tickets is fine if you’re travelling short distances. It’s when you start getting night trains that the cost starts to go up.
- This is where getting a pass will really help. Although they may seem like a lot of money upfront, think about the amount you’re saving each time you use the pass.
- Trains are also a great way to see Europe, because it allows you to take in the spectacular views while sitting back and relaxing as you make your way to your destination.
- Another great thing about travelling by train is that you can choose to travel via night trains then you are going to save money on accommodation too. You can lie back and get some shut eye, all while travelling. Two birds with one stone?!
Related Article: Save money travelling by Train in Europe
Travel Europe on a Budget: Car
- Is a great option for those who don’t mind getting some real face time with the locals. This service allows people to jump in with people going to and from work, or on their own travels.
- This is a great way to see Europe through the eyes of local people, meet some really cool and interesting people and practice your language skills! It will save you money in the long run and is hugely popular throughout all of Europe, so you’re always bound to find someone going your way.
Related Article: Cheap European City Breaks
Ultimately, the cheapest way to travel Europe on a budget is hitchhiking. However, there are a few risks around this, which are fairly obvious. Make sure to use your head and stay alert and you’ll be fine. If you don’t feel comfortable – get out. It’s important to trust your instincts. Saying that, you can also meet some great people and have some amazing experiences hitchhiking so it’s up to you!
Stay safe and happy travels!
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