It seems as though traveling throughout Europe is like a rite of passage. Whether you’re fresh out of high school, retired, traveling to one country or several, it’s an amazing place to start your journey as a vagabond.
Unfortunately, Europe can also be incredibly expensive. If traveling to Europe is on your bucket list but you don’t quite have the funds to do it, check out these 6 tips to make an epic trip to Europe possible!
Work Hard, Play Hard
Europe’s price tag means you’re going to have to save quite a bit before your journey. Of course there are ways to get around Europe without spending your life savings away (I once met a guy who spent only $700 during his 3 months in Europe, eating only rice and sleeping in train stations to get around). However I assume most of us don’t plan to travel like that.
This means it’s time to roll of up your sleeves and get to work. Pick up extra shifts, ask your boss for overtime or work on extra projects. If you can’t get any extra dough from your day job, check out these extra ways you can make money on the side!
Accrue Those Travel Points
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: collecting travel points is one of the best ways to save money for traveling. Of course, I don’t recommend this option if you cannot pay your credit card bills off monthly. However if you are able to responsibly consolidate your debt every month, you can not only get points from bonus sign up programs, but you can also collect points for every dollar spent.
Point collecting is especially valuable in Europe. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a city that doesn’t have a hotel chain that uses travel reward programs. Major cities like London, Paris, Berlin and Stockholm are home to some of the best hotels in the world, all of which you can pay in points.
Know Where to Get the Best Deal
Transportation throughout Europe can be expensive. That’s why it’s important to know where to find the best deal. Sure, you may not get as much legroom or enjoy the bumpy ride, but it’s Europe, who cares!
- Hostel World
Invest in the Right Luggage
We all wish we had an old Louis Vuitton trunk filled with French apparel and trinkets. Unfortunately, hard luggage is a lot more difficult to travel with. It tends to weigh more, it’s hard to maneuver around cobblestone streets and it can be a struggle to pack the right amount of clothes.
If you’re traveling for a short amount of time, consider a carry-on bag. It will save you a lot of baggage fees and you won’t be responsible for too many items. If you’re traveling longer, think about a backpack! They’re easier to maneuver through multiple types of terrain, can be inexpensive and don’t weigh as much. Here are some wonderful places to buy a backpack:
Consider Some of the More Affordable Countries
Did you know that you could visit Budapest and spend less than $25 a day? Did you know that accommodation in Prague is super cheap? There are plenty of countries in Europe (specifically Eastern Europe), that is budget friendly. Some really popular, inexpensive countries include Hungary, Czechia, Poland, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Turkey, Croatia and Spain.
So make a pitstop in Paris and be sure to check out London for a night or two. But spend some significant time in these countries if you want to save a buck.
Prepare to Save Money When You Arrive
If you’re not able to spend a certain amount beforehand, make sure to keep a low budget while you’re traveling. That sounds pretty difficult considering the amount of sites you want to see and all of the foods you want to try. But try some of these tips to make sure you’re saving money on the road!
- Travel during off-season (or at least avoid traveling to Europe in the summer)
- Use local transport or walk
- Use Lyft or Uber instead of a taxi
- Eat at the local restaurant and split entrees with your traveling companion
- Try not to drink too much alcohol
- Get a local SIM card and phone instead of paying for data
- Travel by night on a train (that way you can save at least one night of accommodation)
- Couchsurf or stay in a hostel
- Make money on the road with Grabr
- Don’t stay in the center of the city when looking for accommodation
Sebrin Elms is a twenty-something newlywed with two kitties and a serious obsession with travel. She started her blog, The Clumsy Traveler, in anticipation of a 3-month long honeymoon around the world. When she came back, she wasn’t ready to stop writing and traveling! You can learn more about her story on her blog or follow her on Instagram @theclumsytraveler.