Europe is certainly one of the best places to visit. Sadly, it is not one of the cheapest. If you think you need to burn your pocket to plan your next trip to Europe, you are not quite there yet. If you plan wisely, you can save a lot and have a budget trip to one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Here are some foolproof ways to help you explore Europe like a local without causing a dent in your pocket.
1. Eurail Pass
This might surprise you, but the best way to explore Europe is by tracks. Almost all the major countries are connected to each other with a reliable railway network. Instead of booking flights, simply take a Eurail pass. You can customize your pass to save money as well. The duration of a pass is ideally from a few days to as long as 3 months.
This is one of the best-kept secrets of backpackers who visit Europe frequently. Busabout has plenty of spots all over the continent. You can just hop on and off wherever you want and save big on transportation.
Just trust your gut and ask for a lift or a ride. There are also dedicated apps (like Bla Bla) that help you share a ride in a hassle-free way.
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Start staying in hostels and bid goodbye to those high-priced hotels. Not only will you get a chance to save big, but would also interact with other fellow travelers. You can get a dormitory bed at a decent hostel for as less as $10 a night in almost every major city.
5. Free Tours
This might surprise you, but there are plenty of community members who believe in giving free tours to tourists. You can easily find various websites and active forums offering free tours.
When you are in a city like Amsterdam or Venice, don’t spend your hard-earned money on a cab. Instead, prefer walking as much as you can. This is how you would soak-in the true spirit of a city.
7. Budget Airlines
If you plan everything wisely, you can definitely get a ticket for as less as $25-30 while commuting from major cities like Barcelona, Paris, or London. There are lots of budget airlines like Easy Jet or Ryan Air that can let you save your time and money. You can always use websites like Skyscanner, Kayak, Orbitz, etc. to get the best deals.
8. Bike Rents
There are plenty of companies that offer bicycles for rent. Just rent a bicycle for as long as you want and explore a classic European city at your own pace.
9. Free meals and accommodation
Even if couchsurfing is not your cup of tea, you can get a decent meal and accommodation in Europe for free. There are lots of programs that offer free stay and meal for volunteers. Though, this usually works if you are planning to stay in one place for at least a week or two.
MegaBus is undoubtedly the cheapest way to travel Western Europe and the UK. You have to book your seats at least before a month, but can save a lot while traveling. A trip between two major cities can cost as low as a euro.
11. Travel off-season
Needless to say, a summer-trip to Europe might cost you almost 50% more than a winter getaway. Additionally, you won’t be able to enjoy your trip in the middle of crowded streets and overpriced cafés.
12. Skip Museums
This might surprise you, but most of the museums in Europe are over-rated (and over-priced). If you don’t have an EU passport, a ticket to one of the premium museums would cost around $20-30. You can get an early bird ticket from London to Paris at almost the same price.
Now when you know how to explore Europe the other way, nothing can really stop you from planning that big Euro-trip of yours!