The Old Continent is an amazing place to explore, but unfortunately it is surrounded with a myth of being too expensive for tourists, which discourages a lot of people from traveling there. If there is anything life is teaching us with years and experience that is that everything that is expensive can be made cheap with some careful planning and previous research. In fact, traveling to Europe on a budget is not only possible, but it can also be much better and exciting than luxurious full-package deals you might get from various agencies. Here is how to do it.
Find Affordable Transport Solutions
Depending on your starting point, you can travel to Europe by air or land transport. If you decide for air, you should go with the budget airlines (Ryan Air, Easy Jet, etc.), which offer by far the cheapest deals. If land is your transport of choice, you can use the railway (Eurail Passes are the best way to save money), the bus (go with the backpacker’s favorites – Busabout, Mega Bus and Eurolines), or a car (instead of renting a car or hitchhiking, use websites that offer ride shares, such as Bla Bla Car), or, why not, even a bike.
Plan Your Itinerary
Europe is enormous and basically each country has something amazing to offer for tourists, but unless you have unlimited time and resources, you cannot see it all. Consider the logistic of your trip and visit neighboring regions or countries (e.g. the Iberian Peninsula, the countries of Benelux, etc.). Do not try to see too much in the course of a single trip, because you will miss out the chance to truly experience the cultures.
Take the Road Less Traveled
Sure, Paris is mesmerizing and London fascinating, but there is much more to Europe than these tourism giants. Some of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit are Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Poland, Serbia, Romania, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Albania, Ukraine, etc. In many of them you can find amazing tourist attractions, sublime nature and even fabulous beaches.
Traveling light can save you much money and time. First, you will need to find the perfect traveling bag that will be able to hold your clothes and your laptop at the same place. A pacsafe duffle bag will keep your luggage safe with smart-locking zippers and help you move around with rolling wheels. Also, try not to fill up your bag with souvenirs on your way back, since they can be very expensive. You do not need a better souvenir than your own memories.
Stay in Small Family-Run Motels
There are plenty of such accommodation options in most of the European cities. If you do not mind the slightly out-dated look of the room, you will find such motels very pleasant, peaceful, clean and cheap. Another way to save money on accommodation is not to travel alone, since single rooms are always more expensive.
Meals in restaurants tend to be very expensive and so is the food in shops near popular tourist sites. You can find cheap food in Indian, Chinese or Turkish restaurants, but if you want to really get the taste of your destination, try its street food. Most of the European countries have delicious street food, from Greek gyros and Hungarian langos to Bosnian burek and Austrian bratwurst.
Now that you know that budget travel to Europe is quite doable, it is time to pack your bags and set off to explore the Old Lady.