Top 7 tips for budget travel in Europe

Top 7 tips for budget travel in Europe

Wondering how to have budget travel in Europe? Here are 7 tips to help you country hop your way across the old continent!

Generally speaking, traveling through Europe is not the cheapest option when you compare it to Southeast Asia or Latin America. However, there are various ways that you can save hundreds of dollars traveling through Europe without skimping on the quality of your travels. Here are our suggestions for experiencing a less expensive, budget-friendly time while traveling, living and teaching English in Europe.

1. Consider heading to the Eastern to have budget travel in Europe

France, Spain, Italy, & Germany are all amazing destinations with a lot to offer a visitor to Europe. However, Western Europe is notoriously costlier and especially in major cities such as London, Paris, or Munich than many countries in Eastern Europe.  Also, Countries not on the Euro tend to be less expensive.

Consider heading to the Eastern to have budget travel in Europe

In 2017, Bulgari, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Hungary are expected to be in the top five least expensive destinations in Europe. Where it is possible as a backpacker to spend only about $25 USD per day in Bulgaria including accommodations, transportation, meals, entertainment and attractions, it is approximately estimated that it will cost $55 per day in Madrid and $60 per day in Berlin.

2. Budget travel in Europe: You can save on Booze & Food

Do as the locals do. This tip comes in handy with pretty much anything related to travel. However, it is also good advice when trying to have a good time on a budget. 

  • Find pubs & with happy hours filled with locals - not tourists & other foreigners! In many Spanish bars & taverns, free tapas are often served with drinks (this is often the case in wine bars and other taverns in Europe).
  • Join a botellon in Madrid and drink with the Madrilenos in the park or in a plaza.
  • Order the “Wine of the House” in Italy. It’s always cheap and delicious.
  • Shop in local markets & avoid restaurants that cater primarily to foreign tourists. Grab a bottle of wine and some world-class cheese and have a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower or any major park or monument & you will save a bunch compared to eating at any restaurant with comparable views.

Budget travel in Europe: You can save on Booze & Food

3. Be savvy about budget travel options

Travel through Europe is quite easy but can add up, especially if you aren’t aware of discounts and money-saving travel hacks. 

  • Take the train. It’s usually pretty comfortable and can be affordable. If you buy second-class tickets, they tend to be about 50% cheaper. Depending on what you are looking to do, it might be cheaper to buy a pass OR individual train tickets right at the train station. Check out RailEurope, Seat61, RailPass or even the country’s direct train website such as French Railways.
  • Buses aren’t as quick as the train but they can be very affordable if you have the time. Megabus, National Express, Eurolines, and more are all great options to move across Europe on a budget depending on which countries you are traveling through. For instance, Bus about is a company that allows you to plan your route and hop on and hop off at 46 different destinations. Even renting a car in certain countries is a very fun and realistic option!
  • If flying is your preferred method of travel, check out budget carriers such as Ryan Air and EasyJet. Tickets can be found for as low as 20 Euros ($23 USD) but be aware of the baggage and cancellation fees.

4. Check out free walking tours to get budget travel in Europe

Lasting anywhere between 2 and 4 hours, free walking tours are the way to travel Europe on a budget!  Typically it requires signing up online in advance, tipping the guide at the end, and that’s it! 

A very popular free walking tour company throughout Europe is Sandemans New Europe which has tours in 18 different cities.  Many other companies are following suite and copying this idea all over the world so depending on which city you are in, make sure to research and see if one is available.

Another great, free, way to tour European cities is to download Rick Steves's audio Tours.  The audio tours direct you which way to go and explain all of the fascinating sights along the way.  There are tours available in 9 countries with new ones coming in 2017!

And don't forget MB87's minibus rental europe service with the cheap cost. We believe to help you trip become more impressive.

5. Avoid restaurants in touristy areas

Steer clear of restaurants near the Colosseum in Rome, Astronomical Clock in Prague, and Palacio Real in Madrid. Always look for restaurants filled with locals. 

If someone is outside, shoving a menu in your face, soliciting you to come into their restaurant, chances are it is going to be overpriced and not authentic. If there are pictures on the menu and “We speak English” signs or multilingual menus, it is likely that the quality of the food will not be as good and you will be charged tourist prices.

Avoid restaurants in touristy areas

6. Budget trave in Europe: Travel during off-seasons

If you travel from October to April, it may not be as warm and you probably won’t get to spend much time on the beaches. However, you are more likely to save money on flights, and accommodations. There will also be shorter lines and more availability. When it does come to the weather, in Southern Europe in particular, it will still be quite pleasant, even during the winter months.

7. Research budget lodging options

Nowadays, there are various options for saving on accommodations in Europe. 

When traveling solo, hostels are always a great option as they can be very affordable, especially when booking a bed in a multi-person dorm room. Hostels are also great resources for meeting other travelers and are usually located closer to a city center.

Couchsurfing is also an excellent option for travelers who are on a tight budget, are adventurous, may not need a lot of space and are up for meeting new people.

If hostels and Couchsurfing aren’t for you, consider Airbnb for budget-friendly private space. Renting through Airbnb can be cheaper than hostels, especially for couples. Housesitting is another way to stay for free while helping someone. Europe offers frugal travel opportunities. Use the guidance to navigate budget travel in Europe.

>>See more: The best way to plan a great trip to Europe


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