Europe is one of the most diverse and fascinating areas in the world. In addition to all its rich history, just a couple of hours of traveling can find you in a completely different culture with a completely different language and heritage. It is truly a continent in which everyone in the world should have thoroughly explored at some point – if possible more points – in their life.

However, many travelers are intimidated not only by the concept of navigating such a busy and massive area, but the strain it puts on their pocketbook. And traveling in Europe really will require some money – there’s no getting around that. But, with the right planning and a bit of discipline, you can cover all your bases without breaking the bank. Here are several tips how to travel cheap in Europe.

How to Travel Cheap in Europe
Get a Eurail Pass

Travel Cheap In Europe
If your itinerary involves traveling long distances to see the destinations you really want to visit – or just involves lots of different places, Eurail is a fantastic option. Unlike air travel, you actually get to see the beautiful landscapes you pass as you go. It’s a great opportunity to relax, meet new people, or catch up on your news. The trains typically stop right in the heart of Europe’s major cities so you won’t need to worry about extra travel expenses to get to the hot spots.

Perhaps the best part about this mode of transportation is the frequency. You can almost always hop on a train for a spontaneous trip without being locked into a schedule.

Travel cheap - budget Europe

 

And where should you be aiming for if you wanna keep it cheap? Here are Europe’s top budget destinations for anyone looking to spare a bit of cash.

 

 

How to Travel Cheap in Europe
Stay in Hostels

Travel Cheap In Europe
If you want to save money on your trip to Europe, you’ll have to immediately rule out fancy hotels in prime locations. One of the greatest things about this continent is the general traveler-friendliness here. There is no shortage of cheap, clean, and friendly hostels in great locations. Hostelworld is a phenomenal site that gives you in-depth information on countless hostels so you can find the perfect accommodation that fits your needs in terms of location, atmosphere, and course, price.

Hostels are one of the best ways to experience Europe. Going beyond saving you a few Euros, you can meet all kinds of travelers in the same situation as yourself, who are almost certainly open to making new friends too!

How to Travel Cheap in Europe
Join CouchSurfing.com

Travel Cheap In Europe
If you want to stray away from the whole “traveler culture” and still save money, CouchSurfing.com is a website where you can find accommodations wherever you are. Going this route is a great way to get a taste of the actual culture within a certain country and see how people live their daily lives. You can really get in touch with the locals here.

With the exception of a voluntary donation, the service itself is free. Of course, if your host is really great, you might want to consider bringing them a gift from your home country as a thank you. Keep in mind, arrangements can vary from place to place. Sometimes you might find yourself sleeping on a couch or an air mattress, whereas at other times you may have a full room or suite.

This 21st century-era tool is one of the best ways to travel around while keeping costs low. However, make sure you use it safely. Travel with a buddy or research your host thoroughly from their (hopefully multiple) positive reviews to any social media accounts they have.

 

How to Travel Cheap in Europe
Don’t Eat Out Every Meal

Travel Cheap In Europe
We’re not saying it’s easy. And this one will most definitely require a good deal of self-restraint, as places like France, Italy, Spain are home to some the best cuisine in the entire world. It’s that’s not to say that you shouldn’t spoil yourself with an authentic meal once or twice, but eating out too frequently will drain your wallet quickly. Hey, your call.

Travel cheap - food photography

 

P.S. If you want to make the most of those few times where you do eat out, then learn how to take attractive pictures of your food here. We have put together the top tips that you should know before undertaking any food photography of your own. 

 

 

If you are staying in the same area for a few days, go to a grocery store or a local market and stock up. Most budget-friendly accommodations like hostels, Airbnb, or couch surfing spots will almost always have places to prepare and cook your own food.

While dining out is certainly part of the whole traveling experience, it doesn’t need to account for the majority chunk of your budget. Don’t be afraid to ask around for help finding good, cheap restaurant options.

 

How to Travel Cheap in Europe
Pick the Right Season


When traveling anywhere, there are almost always times of the year when tourists flood the area even more than normal. In Europe, flights and boarding are generally pricier during the summer – around the middle of June through to August – basically when the kids have summer holidays.

To avoid extra costs and the whole tourist crowd scene, try to book your trip in the off seasons. Consider going April to the early part of June, or in the fall (September and October). You can even go during the winter if you don’t mind the cold. However, the days are much shorter and you might run into expected delays due to extreme weather.

 

How to Travel Cheap in Europe
Use Free Communication Apps


In 2017, we are extremely lucky to have a plethora of programs that allow us to communicate across the world for free. Instead of getting charged like crazy for international calls or roaming, download apps like Skype or WhatsApp to get in touch with people back home. These days, most public places in Europe are equipped with WiFi.

If you don’t want to strictly rely on WiFi, consider buying a local sim card in your country.
Travel cheap - apps

 

Find out which 10 holiday apps you need to have on your phone before you go travelling around the world – if you want to save yourself all sorts of trouble!

 

 

Experiencing the unique culture and seeing the sites in Europe can be a life-changing experience. Sticking to a budget on your trip is no easy task, but it certainly can be done. With a little frugality and conscious spending, you can enjoy Europe to the fullest extent without going broke.

Have a look at these 9 amazing bike routes through Europe to experience the world a little slower. 

Author

Hey, I’m Theresa! My motto? Try everything once! Traveling, taking pictures, working on DIY projects - I’m always up to something. In between I write down my tips and tricks on this blog - and capture all my crazy adventures on postcards of course!

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