Travellers on a budget typically don’t consider Europe as a budget-friendly destination. If you’re hoping to travel cheap, you might look into countries like Mexico, Thailand, and India without giving Europe the time of day. But shockingly enough, it is possible to travel through Europe on a tight budget.
If you’re hoping to stay in a luxurious hotel in Paris or eat like a king in Italy, you’re definitely setting your sights too high. However, there are plenty of ways to stick to a budget as you’re making your way through Europe. Keep in mind these travel tips for budget-weary travellers for your next European backpacking adventure.
Go with a budget in mind and try to stick to it
Unless you were fortunate enough to win the lottery, find success in business, or you got lucky with Dash or Bitcoin, budget and travel goes hand in hand. When determining your budget, try to be realistic. Think about how much you’ll need to spend on food, a bed, and getting around.
Do some research on the countries your planning to visit and figure out a feasible daily spending amount. Cities like London and Paris in Western Europe are typically more pricey than Eastern European cities. If you are on an extreme budget, consider visiting places like Budapest and Istanbul.
Take advantage of couchsurfing
The cost of accommodations adds up quickly, and this can even be true for crowded dorm rooms. Paying for a private room is not an option for most cost-efficient backpackers. If you’re okay staying in a stranger’s home, check out Couchsurfing. Hosts on this site don’t charge for lodging; this is the easiest way to find the cheapest (aka free) places to stay.
A lot of the hosts providing a free couchsurfing stay just want to be a part of the travel community and help out fellow backpackers. It is not unusual for a host to show you around the city and take you to local hotspots. You’ll get a true travel experience and might even make a lifelong friend.
Cut back on unnecessary expenses
Is it necessary to spend $80 a day on alcohol in Germany? Some people might say that it is, but do your best to cut out things like alcohol, or at least set limits. Food, accommodation, and transportation costs are the necessity, but other than that set your “fun” spending budget on beer, wine, or unnecessary shopping sprees.
Look for free sightseeing opportunities
The internet is a beautiful thing. If you’re looking for free or cheap sightseeing near you, just hop on Google and see what you find. For example, when you search “free sightseeing Paris” you get over ten options. You can even explore the famous Notre Dame free of charge.
Take advantage of cheap air travel within Europe
Shockingly enough, the cheapest way to travel within Europe is typically by plane. Travelling by train might be more convenient, but you can’t beat a $40 direct flight from London to Barcelona. Set alerts on Skyscanner, Kiwi, and Expedia to keep an eye on cheap flights throughout Europe.