The continent of Europe is vast and a great place to start your international journey. However, traveling to Europe isn’t often cheap, as some cities in Europe can be just as expensive as living in New York City or LA. But don’t let that discourage you from taking the plunge as there are many ways to save money on your trip.
Traveling in Europe is full of excitement, romance, adventure, and… confusion. The new surroundings are fun to explore. But they can destroy your budget if you don’t take the time to carefully plan and stay budget-focused. Cheap travel in Europe is about more than using the right apps or picking the right season. It’s about starting your trip off on the right foot with some simple but important money-saving measures.
Convert Your Budget
Save money on converting currencies by finding out what rates are offered by your bank. Also, find the banks that offer the best rates. You may be able to secure a debit card that minimizes the cost of converting currencies.
The other conversion you should make is the one in your own mind about what currency you have. If you have a set budget in US dollars, convert that amount to euros and break down your budget costs using the European currency rather than your own. Keeping clear on costs from the beginning without generalizing values is the best way to stay on top of your travel budget.
Pinpoint Opportunities to Save Money
The best way to save money on every kind of travel is to understand where your money goes when you travel. Identify the key areas you spend money on. Think about food, transportation, etc. You will discover your opportunities for cheap travel in Europe. Look where you spend the most first to start shaving the cost of your trip.
Keep Your Budget in Mind
When you plan your trip, keep your budget and interests in mind. That way, there is no conflict between your expenses and what you plan to do. If you want to walk a lot, then look for lodging near the locations where you plan to take in the sights on foot. If you are visiting a part of Europe known for its many public parks, then that may be the focus of your stay, and you can gear your experiences toward those free locations.
You should also try to save money on food by eating at local restaurants and cafes. You can get great deals on meals if you are willing to spend a bit of time searching for them online or asking locals for their recommendations. This is a tip I learned early on as I would ask the locals where they go to eat and while sometimes it may be out of the way, it’s far away from the tourist traps, much better and less expensive. Also, try to buy groceries from the supermarkets rather than eating out in order to avoid costly restaurant bills. Or if you don’t have a way of cooking, buy snacks and bottled water instead of utilizing the mini bar at your hotel.
Look For Free and Discounted Things to Do
Another opportunity to save money on attractions in Europe is to know when the museums are free. There is often a select weekday or monthly date when museum entrance is complimentary, plan your visits accordingly and save. For example, we recently visited Warsaw, Poland, and were lucky to visit the museums on their free days, which in turn saved us some money.
You can save money on other European attractions by purchasing tickets at AttractionTix. They have discounted tickets for tourist attractions all over the continent, which makes cheap travel in Europe even more exciting.
Don’t Forget Your Phone
Lastly, consider your phone. Check with your carrier on how they handle roaming charges on data and on calls. It’s a good idea to record a new voicemail message with the dates you’ll be gone and ask callers not to leave a message unless it’s an emergency. You can also set up call forwarding for somebody you trust to handle calls while you are away.
Planning an efficient trip that won’t cost you too much money to enjoy is the first step to cheap travel in Europe. Before you go, you need to pack efficiently. This is where lots of expert travelers will give you conflicting advice. Especially among solo travelers. The biggest debate is between traveling light and being prepared. If you want to save money during your travels, you don’t want to be spending it on things you should have brought with you to begin with. However, you only want to take what you need, especially when overpacking can lead to overpaying to check your luggage.
Only pack what items fit into your specific plans that you have budgeted for, and try to stick to your itinerary. It’s okay to leave a certain margin for things that come up, but how wide that margin is will depend on how much you are really trying to save.
Look For Affordable Accommodations
If you’re looking to save money without sacrificing the quality of your experience, one of the best strategies is to look for affordable accommodations. Look for budget hostels, rent out an Airbnb apartment or house, or find a deal on a hotel stay. If you are flexible with where and when you go, you can often find great deals. It’s also smart to plan ahead—booking flights and hotels far in advance usually gets you better prices than waiting until closer to your travel dates.
Another way to save money while traveling in Europe is by staying with family or friends. They may not charge you any accommodation fees and may even pick you up from the airport if they are located nearby. Plus, it will be great catching up with them along the way!
Take Advantage of Local Transportation
Another way to save money while traveling in Europe is by taking advantage of local transportation options like trains, buses, and bike rental services. Not only are these forms of transport often cheaper than flying or driving, they can also be more convenient depending on where you are. Buses often have WIFI, and some also offer sightseeing opportunities along the way that you would miss if you were flying or driving. Trains can take you from country to country in no time, while bike rental services let you explore cities at your own pace for minimal cost.
By following these tips, you can save money while still getting the most out of your trip to Europe. You can have an amazing time when you travel to Europe while still sticking to your budget. Save money on your trip and enjoy what Europe has to offer without breaking the bank! With careful planning and mindful spending, cheap travel in Europe is possible.
Enjoy your travels!