Listed below are THE MOST Economical Methods of Touring Europe.
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How can one best save money while touring Europe?
I've been wandering Europe for the past seven years, first as a) a broke student, b) a wandering backpacker, and now c) a restless expat, and I still don't know the answer to this question.
When I was a young adult, I took my first backpacking trip through Western Europe, and it was there that I got my first taste of low-cost international travel. Both Paris and London had been on my list of must-see destinations, and I had been able to visit both for less than the cost of six Chicken Nuggets.
To put it simply, it was thrilling. When my mind was blown, a monster may have been born, I suppose.
After a year away as an exchange student, I took advantage of cheap flights and weekend getaways to see as much as possible.
The crazy deals I found on bus tickets to Paris for 5 euros, to London for 20 euros, and to Morocco for 40 euros were just the beginning.
Not to overstate things, but it was like a whole new world opened up, and maybe even a new me. When I returned to Europe, I made good use of the many low-cost options available to me.
That's why I'm going to reveal the secret(s) to the easiest and most affordable way(s) to see Europe today.
In addition, if you click here, you can get a free checklist that details how I consistently find the most affordable options for getting from A to B. Enjoy
Traveling by plane, train, or bus? Check out Omio to find the best deal. Everything is ranked according to criteria like cost, popularity, length, etc. as well as costs nothing at all
Traveling Europe on a Budget: A Video Diary
When planning a trip abroad, determining your mode of transportation is crucial. Prefer a visual explanation of everything discussed below OK, here it is:
Using Buses as a Budget Travel Option in Europe
Traveling by bus in Europe is a great way to see the continent at a low cost.
It's not as relaxing, stress-free, or beautiful as taking the train, but it'll save you a ton of money (which you can use to buy more croissants and wine).
FlixBus has emerged as a dominant player in the European bus market.
In terms of affordability, adaptability, and convenience, I recommend Flixbus. When compared to other options, the 5-euro one-way price is unbeatable.
In addition, there is a convenient app that allows you to research schedules and buy tickets for buses up to the day of travel.
They also have the most laid-back ticket cancellation policy ever, allowing you to make changes to your reservation up to 15 minutes before departure for just one euro (note: in the good old days, this was even free). )
Why I think Flixbus is great for a last-minute, low-cost vacation
Even better, for only 99 euros, you can purchase an awesome pass called Interflix and reserve 5 separate trips. That's a steal at only 20 euros to travel between Europe's major attractions.
Explore the best Flixbus discounts right here!
Keep in mind that the old adage "you get what you pay for" holds true in all areas of life. While Flixbus isn't exactly known for its reliability or customer service, it does serve its purpose of transporting passengers from one location to another. If saving money is your top priority, I think you'll like them.
Here are some additional European bus options to consider:
Although I've only used Eurolines a few times due to Flixbus's ease of use, I've found that they're usually more punctual and offer more routes across Europe.
However, they are much less accommodating when it comes to cancellations and changes, with no money back guaranteed within 48 hours of departure and a 25-50% cancellation fee applied before then. Basically, Flixbus is the superior option if you value adaptability.
The RegioJet (also known as the Student Agency Bus) is the most luxurious bus ride I have ever had; I took it from Prague to Budapest two years ago.
It wasn't expensive at all, plus there were movies to watch and a "bus attendant" who offered us free hot chocolate and tea. It seems that the majority of their routes are entering and leaving the Czech Republic; however, if you are planning a trip to the region, you are in for a real treat.
In the past, I frequently traveled by Megabus (using them, I was able to travel from Paris to London in 2014 for two pounds, or less than the price of six chicken nuggets). Flixbus has taken over their European routes.
However, they are still operational in the UK, and offer ridiculous discounts for early bird booking (the first to purchase tickets on select routes can get them for only 1 pound).
National Express is another cheap option in the UK; I've taken their buses many times and they've never let me down. The best deals can be had if you book as far in advance as possible.
Local bus services: I used a variety of local coach companies to get around the Balkans. If you're looking for cheap, last-minute bus tickets in the Balkans, your best bet is to ask around at the local bus station.
2. Using low-cost airlines to hop all over Europe
Budget airlines are a common and affordable option for transatlantic travel.
Europe, in contrast to North America, is teeming with low-cost airlines that can get you from A to B for ridiculously cheap prices.
...even less expensive than taking the bus
If I book early enough with Ryanair, for instance, I can fly from Munich to London for only 10 euros. Getting to the airport would cost more than that.
For me, the best way to find cheap flights is to use the website Skyscanner. RyanAir, EasyJet, WizzAir, Volotea, EuroWings, and Vueling are just some of the major players in the low-cost airline industry.
Omio is another (free) option. simultaneously look up airfare, bus, and train fares to determine which mode of transportation offers the best value
Finally, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) like Private Internet Access can be used to check prices from multiple locations at once.
If you're looking for cheap flights to Europe, check out my free checklist; I dedicated an entire post to the topic, and the strategies and methods I present are applicable to booking flights within the continent as well. If you're interested in reading it and downloading the free checklists I created to help you find the cheapest flight every time, click here and here, respectively.
When flying low-cost airlines, you get exactly what you pay for.
Extra fees for everything (including extra bags, in-flight meals, and even printing your ticket at the airport) and less legroom than usual are the results.
But hey, you can't beat it for the price, right? You should be fine flying as long as you learn the ins and outs of each airline's policies and fees.
Read my frank assessment of RyanAir here, and my frank assessment of Wizz Air here, to get a feel for what flying with them is like.
It's better to accept a mildly uncomfortable 1-3 hours than to worry about having the most luxurious and wonderful experience.
Remember, for only 10 euro, you gents get to soar through the air in a hover-box. Kick back and (in)comfortably enjoy the lack of legroom in your seat.
Skyscanner is where you should go to find the best prices on airplane tickets.
Three, use BlaBaCar to travel Europe on a shoestring
You should check out BlaBlaCar if you're trying to find the least expensive way to travel across Europe.
BlaBlaCar is a ridesharing platform that connects drivers and passengers sharing similar itineraries. In exchange for a ride, you might offer to chip in for gas or other costs.
It may sound shady, but like Couchsurfing and AirBnB, it relies on the feedback of previous guests to determine whether or not to book with them. My circle of friends who use it consistently report positive outcomes.
HELPFUL HINT: Google Maps has started syncing up with BlaBlaCar in some areas, so when you search up how to get from Point A to Point B, BlaBlaCar rides will appear as an additional option below driving, public transport, etc.
Go to BlaBlaCar by clicking here.
Hitchhiking is a fantastic way to cut travel costs in Europe.
Hitchhiking is the cheapest way to travel Europe (really). Is it a glamorous job No However, there are 50 different shades of freedom, so...
The thing is, hitchhiking is more practical in some places than others.
One time I hitchhiked in Bosnia while in the Balkans, and the driver turned out to be a charming lavender farmer who (apparently) controlled the market for lavender in the region.
He had a limited grasp of the English language, so communication consisted mainly of him pointing at his fields and yelling, "LAVANDA LAVANDA."
What a delightful adventure!Near the spot where the man with the lavender scented van picked us up
I haven't tried it myself, but I do have friends who hitchhiked from Amsterdam to Munich to join me at Oktoberfest. This may not be as feasible in Western Europe.
The whole process lasted for 16 hours. This is the cheapest way to see Europe, but you should be aware that it can also be the most difficult and time-consuming.
Hitchhiking isn't for everyone, though. Even though it's not as rare or harmful as most people believe, it still has its drawbacks.
When NOT to hitchhike:
- The thought of traveling (especially by yourself) fills you with dread.
- Time is of the essence.
- You've meticulously planned out your whereabouts and arrival times.
Five Reasons Why Taking a Train Across Europe Is the Best Way to Travel
Train travel across Europe is one of the most unforgettable experiences in the world, but it can also seriously damage your bank account.
There are ways to travel Europe by train on a budget. Follow these suggestions!
A guide to inexpensive train travel across Europe:
Make your reservations as soon as possible:
In Europe, train tickets are typically sold in batches, with the cheapest (usually non-refundable and non-changeable) tickets going on sale first and the more expensive ones following.
Pre-purchasing is a good strategy if you have a firm destination in mind and don't mind being less flexible with your plans.
Check into group/regional tickets:
Group discounts and other deals are available in many European destinations. The Bayern Ticket, available in Bavaria (where I am currently residing), is a great deal for a group of five people to enjoy unlimited transportation throughout the entire day.
For a group of people, the price of 26 euros per person plus 5 euros per additional person is ridiculously low.
Check to see if any discounted or special offers are available for your destination; doing so can save you money compared to purchasing regular tickets.
Find out if you can save money by seeing if you qualify for any of these discounts:
Many European train companies offer additional discounts to those under the age of 26, especially if they are also students.
For only €6, youths under the age of 26 in Belgium can purchase a GoPass 1 and travel one way anywhere in the country. 60
A train ticket:
When it comes to North Americans, Eurail has a wide variety of passes available for various countries, durations, and other variables. These have the potential to be less expensive than buying tickets separately, with added convenience.
Although it's not the least expensive choice, you get a lot for your money. In order to save money on your vacation, you should investigate ticket prices for your desired routes in great detail before purchasing a pass.
To shop for discounted Eurail Passes, please click here.
6. Renting a car is the cheapest way to see Europe.
Although driving across Europe in an old Volkswagen decked out in fairy lights may sound like a wonderful bucket list dream, the reality is much more complicated.
Hidden fees abound when renting a car in Europe, such as those incurred when driving through multiple countries, returning the vehicle to a different location, and purchasing highway vignettes (required in many countries of Central Europe). etc )
The truth is that driving across Europe in a rented car is not likely to be your lowest cost option.
Do we really need to know if it Well, being able to stop wherever you like, go wherever you like, and leave whenever you like is pretty awesome.
If you decide to drive across Europe, here are some cost-saving strategies to keep in mind:
Find a website that allows you to compare prices:
To begin, it is recommended to use a price comparison website to locate the most affordable car rental rates. Every time I need a hotel, I use Expedia.
It is not enough, however, to rely solely on these published prices. Further, it's crucial that...
Think of the shady extras:
Typically, the prices listed on these sites will be lower than what you end up paying. Insurance, a global positioning system (GPS), one-way drop-off fees, multiple-country fees, tolls, vignettes, and so on are just some of the many optional extras.
Companies are not uniform in what they include in their listed price, so it is important to do your homework and read the fine print to determine which offer is best.
To learn about some of the less obvious expenses you might incur, check out the post I wrote about the topic.
Discover promotional discounts mechanically:
Honey, a free add-on for Google Chrome, automatically searches for discount codes on your behalf; highly recommended. It's super convenient for getting additional discounts on all of your online purchases (including airfare and hotel stays) with just one click.
Do you still have concerns about how to see Europe on the cheap?
For those of you planning a trip to Europe on a budget, I hope you found this guide helpful.
However, if you still have questions, please post them below.
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