How to Travel Europe on a Budget

Ready to snap selfies in front of Stonehenge, sip cappuccinos near the Colosseum or fall in love at the Louvre? Backpacking through Europe is an adventure that appears on many Americans’ bucket lists, but the assumed price tag prevents most from making their dream a reality. Fortunately, the internet, smartphones and the share economy make it easier than ever to travel through Europe affordably.

If you yearn to stretch out along the Seine or pound a pint in Ireland, here’s how to travel Europe cheaply so you’ll have more loot leftover for binging on bratwursts and baguettes.

Planning Your Passage

The destinations you visit dictate how far your money goes. The UK and Scandinavia are a bit spendier than mainland Europe, while you’ll get more bang for your buck in Portugal, Germany and the farther east you travel. Your plane ticket will likely be your single largest expense, so here are some tips to help you save a bundle when booking.

Staying Connected

Documenting your trip on Instagram can be insanely expensive thanks to ridiculous roaming rates. Be tech-savvy and avoid shocking bills while still getting the most out of your device.

Catching a Lift

Putting some thought into how you’ll get around can go a long way when planning how to backpack Europe cheaply. Keep these suggestions in mind when plotting out how you’ll arrive at the various stops on your itinerary.

Scoring Some Zzzs

A big part of learning how to travel on a budget is keeping your lodging and dining expenses under control. In general, if you’re looking to save money, hotels aren’t your best options.

Chowing Down

When it comes to getting your grub on, avoid restaurants in favor of more affordable options, and you’ll get an authentic experience at a fraction of the cost.

Seeing the Sights

Enjoying Europe’s signature landmarks could likely be the best part of your trip, but it doesn’t have to be the most expensive.

Spending Smartly

For first-time travelers, wrapping your head around Europe’s exchange rates and various currencies can pose a challenge. Keep these rules of thumb in mind, and less of your money should go to waste.

Now that you know how to have the European vacation of your dreams—without coming home broke—let Mint help you build a budget. Bon voyage!

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