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Spending 4 months travelling throughout Europe taught me a few things. Europe is hella expensive. But only if you make it expensive, it is possible to travel on the cheap. Traveling for 6 months on just the money I saved prior definitely made me think about what I was spending.
My style of travelling is on the budget side however if there something I really want to do or buy I will splurge on it. I sort of go in and out of really cheap travel and then a little more expensive when I feel like I need it.
I am sharing with you the ways I travelled through Europe fairly cheaply. Just as a quick guide on how much I spent, my average per day for the total trip was $69 in spending money only, the accommodation was a little hard to calculate because I quite a few tours that included the accommodation. $69 AUD per day is quite high but this is where I wanted to do a few expensove things such as go paragliding or go to the top of Jungfrau Mountain and I also partied quite a lot and didn’t really worry about paying for alcohol out especially on contiki and at music festivals.
Anyway, I will do a full post on breaking down my Europe budget super soon but for now, I am just sharing my tips on how you can travel Europe for much cheaper than I did. There were some days where I only spent $15 AUD by using these tips.
Often there is the impression that to get cheaper accommodation you should stay further out from the city. While this can definitely save money sometimes it can also cost you more money. Something people often forget to think about is how they will get into the city centre/area they want to visit. This costs money.
There are some cities where transport is quite expensive, especially if you are having to take multiple trains/trams/buses you have to pay for every single trip and then calculate that twice a day to get there and back. This may just make up the difference in paying that little bit extra to stay somewhere you can walk to the city centre from.
I like to try and find accommodation that is about a 20 min walk from the city centre. I find that this lowers the price enough to make it worthwhile and at the same time you get a little bit more exercise in and it’s not too far away that you have to think about paying for another way to get into the city.
Dorm Rooms. Traveling as a female solo, hostel dorm rooms are the cheapest and safest option in my opinion. Depending on what are you are in they are relatively cheap, the lowest place I stayed was $20 AUD per night and still within walking distance to the city and the most expensive I paid was $60 AUD but that price is pretty rare. Generally, I would budget for about $40 AUD per night for a decent hostel.
You don’t want to just go for the cheapest option you can find because it still needs to be sleepable and safe. Make sure to always read the reviews if something looks too good to be true.
If you are travelling with another person then quite often booking an apartment will cost the same price as 2 beds in a shared hostel room. Make sure to look at all options and make sure you are getting the most for your money.
RELATED: Struggling to save enough money to travel? Click here to see how I saved to travel for 6 months!
If you can take an overnight train or bus to save on accommodation for that night. A lot of the time that will be a cheaper time anyway.
Don’t Take Taxis
Taxis, especially in Europe, are crazy expensive! And with most cities having really awesome and easy to understand transport systems you are silly to waste the money on taxis. If you are a little worried about taking the transport because you won’t know what to do, you can find everything you need to know online. There are trains or buses from basically every airport in Europe and most of then run 24/7 as well so you can still catch one if you are arriving late into the night.
The larger cities also have really great metro systems to help you get around the city once you’re there. I find that the metros are the easiest method of transportation to understand. Buses on the other hand really confuse me. Metro stations will always be labelled so you know exactly where you are, they stop at every station so you won’t miss the one you need to go to.
To save a few extra pennies look to see if there are bulk ticket options. For example, in Barcelona, you can just buy single tickets or you can buy a T-10 ticket which is 10 single tickets that work out to be a lot cheaper than if you were to buy 10 individually. So make sure to look out for deals like that and work out if you’ll be taking the transport enough for it to be cheaper for you.
Ask your hostel if there are any cheap bars around. I went to quite a few shot bars and they have super cheap shots for only a few euros they can be super fun because they have all different themes to them (there’s a lot that gets set on fire). Although just be aware, these shot bars really get to you-you think you’re all fine then bam the alcohol hits you and you’re on the floor.
Find Free Things To Do
There are so many free things to do in all different cities that you would even know there was to do. So just a simple quick google search of free things to do in *insert place* can fill in days without even paying a cent.
Museums During Free Hours
Most museums in Europe will offer certain hours of the day where it is free to enter the museum. This is usually in the morning or at night. Some even offer a certain day of every month for free so look up the museums you would like to and see when they are free and save a few pennies by simply going at those times.
There are lots of restaurants that will offer a lunch special which will include something like an appetizer, main course, dessert and a drink. They will be a cheaper price than if you were to order these all separately and I know what youre thinking ‘I wouldn’t order that much food anyway’ but if you have a really big lunch like this then you won’t need to have a massive dinner and go for something small and cheap. So overall for the days total it will be saving you money.
Leave the Tourist Areas
The closer you are to a tourist attraction or a giant plaza the more expensive the food will be. So walk a few streets back from the attraction and the food will dramatically drop in price to something a little more affordable.
Don’t Order a Drink
Ordering a drink with every meal with cost you a lotttttt of extra money you don’t need to spend. Also if you are constantly ordering soft drinks or other drinks packed full of sugar you are just adding in unhealthy drinks you don’t need to be drinking. Stick to just drinking water but make sure to bring your own water because water is not free in Europe they will bring you a fancy 10 euro bottle that just tastes the same as water out of a tap.
Try to book accommodation with free breakfast. This way you can save money on a meal for the day and I also find it just makes the day so much easier because you can quickly grab something to eat and then go out for the day without any extra thoughts.
Another tip which I haven’t used personally but someone I shared a dorm room with did and I thought it was a pretty good idea. Usually, in Europe, they will offer some sort of bread/rolls and ham for breakfast so you can take a little extra and have that for lunch as well!
Make Your Own Food
Something I like to look for when booking a hostel is if it has a kitchen. This meant I could save money on food by cooking my own and also a lot of the time it was really nice to cook something I would normally eat at home because European food is a lot when you’re there for such a long time.
Even if your accommodation doesn’t have a kitchen you can still make food that doesn’t require cooking such as sandwiches or pre-made salads and save money sometimes like that. Even grab some food from the supermarket and go to a pretty place with the view of the sunset for dinner.
HOW DO YOU TRAVEL ON THE CHEAP? LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!
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