How to Travel to Europe on a Budget

We all know the biggest pain when it comes to travel is the expense. It’s the part of trip planning we all dread. What many people don’t understand is travel doesn’t always have to be outrageously expensive. There are so many ways to travel on a budget, you just have to look a little deeper. Luckily, we’re here to show you the ropes of budget traveling, so that you can get planning your next big trip to Europe, without breaking the bank.

Minimizing Travel Expenses

Waiting at airport gate

You can’t get to your grand destination without flying there first! Airfare is often one of the most expensive factors when it comes to traveling, especially if you’re visiting a big European city like Paris or London. This is why it’s important not to settle for the first flight you find. A variety of sites offer incredible deals for airfare. These include Skyscanner, Momondo and Google Flights. While they may seem like lesser-known travel sites and aren’t quite as recognizable as companies like Travelocity, they offer the best deals!

If you plan to travel to multiple cities once you’re there, the Eurorail is a great option. This train system will take you just about anywhere you want to go throughout Europe. You can either buy individual tickets or a Eurorail pass, depending on how many places you plan to travel to. This way, the only planes you’ll have to take will be to and from home.

Once you’ve reached your destination (cheaply, might we add), you’ll need a way to get around. While cabs and rideshares may seem like the best option, those costs can add up very quickly. When it comes to traveling in Europe, public transportation is your best friend. Many cities such as Paris and London have subway systems, which allow you to get around the city quickly and for very little money. In addition to this, many European cities such as Barcelona, are extremely walkable. Walking a city can be both a great way to get around and a great way to see the city, as long as you have plenty of time.

Affordable Accommodations

Staying with a nice host at an Airbnb

Another costly element of traveling can be accommodations. The high prices of hotels in cities like Paris are rarely forgiving. Luckily, there are so many options beyond hotels. Airbnb and sites like it are great options for a cheaper stay. You can often find an entire home or apartment for less money than a hotel room. When traveling to a foreign country, staying in a privately-owned home like this can often add to the authenticity, as you are given the opportunity to stay in a resident’s home and interact with knowledgeable locals.

Hostels are another cheap possibility. Hostels are of course, not for everyone, but if you’re up to it, they’re a great option. Hostels can be just €20 a day, sometimes less. If you’re traveling style is to get up early and explore nonstop until the evening, hostels might be perfect for you.

Food For Less

Grabbing a bite in Helsinki

Eating cheaply is often hard when it comes to traveling, which is why our best advice is to do as the locals do. Locals do not eat out at every meal, so your best option is to cook some meals yourself. This, of course, is only an option if you are staying in an Airbnb or a hotel with a kitchenette, but it can make all the difference. Another way to save money is to eat out for lunch rather than dinner since these meals usually cost less. There is also a variety of cheap eat guides that can be found for different cities. In Italy, Spain and Portugal, bakeries are the best option for quick, cheap food while you’re on the move. Where you can find cheap food will differ from city to city and country to country.

Additional Tips

Visiting the Roman Colosseum

  • Don’t withdraw money from an ATM while abroad.
  • Take a night train for the best prices.
  • Avoid traveling to Europe in the summer.

Cheap European Countries to visit

  • Romania
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Poland
  • Hungary

We hope we made planning your big European excursion a little more bearable!