Thinking of traveling to Europe? What should you know before embarking on your adventure to the old continent? What are the best recommendations to travel through Europe easily and cheaply?
Europe can seem like an intimidating part of the world for travelers.
Lots of different countries side by side, each with its own language, culture and lifestyle. How difficult it seems to find the best way to travel and get to know this wonderful continent!
As soon as you search, you will discover that everyone has their own concept of what is the "best" way to travel in Europe. There is a set of features that makes each country unique, and that are worth knowing.
When you travel to Europe you have the opportunity to spend a long time in a single country, making a cultural immersion and discovering each of its corners. Although you can opt for a long journey, where you absorb the culture of the different nations that make up this continent.
Whether you choose one option or the other: it is always possible to do it on a low budget. It is always possible to navigate this maze of countries even when your budget is limited.
Controlling the level of your expenses during the trip is a task that you must carry out both before and during the trip. Below you will find a selection of the best recommendations to travel to Europe and enjoy an unbeatable adventure, while saving money and adjusting to your own budget:
Before traveling to Europe: how much, when and where?
If you are in the phase of planning your trip to Europe, your priority right now is to save as much money as you can in your home country.
Having a savings mattress before you leave will make you feel more calm during your journey, especially if you are not thinking of working abroad. You must always have enough money to spend, but at the same time you need to have additional funds to cover any emergency.
For this you can work overtime or reduce the expense of other things. You will be glad you made this financial sacrifice when you find yourself touring the continent.
After you have saved the necessary money and start preparing the logistics of your trip, it is time to think about when is the best time to visit Europe.
For travelers on a budget, cost is a top priority. If you want to save money during your trip to Europe, choose to start your adventure during the low season, since these are the slowest months in tourist terms.
Due to the favorable climate, the summer months are usually the busiest times in Europe. This causes flights to be more expensive and there is a greater overcrowding.
The months of December, January and February are the most favorable for finding a cheap flight to Europe, as they are the coldest and least desirable winter months for tourists. Many travelers are looking for a pleasant mix of affordable flights and decent weather, which usually falls between the high season and the low season - spring and fall.
Although traveling in winter is not as comforting as doing it during summer, the reality is that many countries become almost magical during this season.
As you can see, it is always a good time to travel to Europe, so it is only up to you to investigate which flights best suit your budget to make the most of your trip.
Find the best flights in advance
You just need to do an in-depth search on the internet to easily locate the cheapest flights to Europe.
With tools like Skyscanner you can select your preferences and thus find the cheapest month to examine the most favorable dates and airports under your budget.
If you are traveling to a specific place, it is usually cheaper to enter Europe through a busy international airport, such as London or Paris, and then take a connecting flight to your final destination.
Flexibility is very important when it comes to traveling to Europe, and you need some creativity to make the most of your flight to Europe on a budget.
Once you have your flights ready, it is time to decide how to get to another country once you are on the continent. Many people tend to do this, although it is not necessary to plan all the transport to the millimeter in advance. However, it is advisable to do a little research on all the countries you would like to visit.
Enjoy gastronomy intelligently
One of the biggest expenses of any trip goes to food. In Europe, with so many world-famous gastronomic styles, it is important to be able to enjoy it all.
However, you need to be careful to always stick to your budget. Start by visiting the local food market, which exists in almost every European city. These places are great for getting fresh produce to cook and unique local produce, usually at decent prices. Try to cook more often than eating out, as this will save you much more money.
If you choose to dine out, try to avoid tourist restaurants and opt for those where you can enjoy typical European dishes, which are usually more affordable and authentic. These restaurants are generally hidden away from the tourist crowds. They don't usually have a flashy sign on the door, so you'll need to ask the locals where their favorite restaurant is, and you're sure to find a wonderful place to dine.
Similar logic should apply when it comes to drinking. Try buying your drinks from a liquor store, rather than buying individual drinks at the bar. You'll save a ton of money and can still find local drink options at the store.
Go whenever you can
If your destination is close enough, try to walk whenever you can. You'll exercise and have one more chance to explore your surroundings - saving money while doing it!
Exploring any city on foot is very different from doing it by other means of transport, but when you need to pay to travel, opt for public transport instead of a taxi. The subway and the bus are much cheaper forms of transport than the taxi, which also allow you to interact with other locals while you move.
Choose low-cost attractions
Tourist cities have many attractions that cost money - sometimes a lot of money - but you don't always need to participate in every activity that your travel guide recommends.
If something attracts your attention powerfully enough to participate in it, without a doubt: do it. However, don't go into every museum or monument simply because you feel like you "should."
You can always find free things to do wherever you go. For example, most European cities have splendid parks where you won't have to spend a penny.
Research accommodations that suit your budget
This is another of the main questions of travelers to Europe: where to sleep.
While many are tempted to opt for a luxury hotel, staying in a hostel is much more cost efficient. Europe will find hostels for travelers like you at surprisingly low prices - between € 15 and € 30 per night and, sometimes, even for less.
Another option is to try Couchsurfing, so you can save even more money on your accommodations. It is an online platform where locals can offer their sofas or beds to travelers for free. Always read the opinions of other guests before agreeing to stay somewhere, and never stay where you do not feel comfortable.
It is also common to work in exchange for accommodation. Many hostels, farms and small businesses hire travelers to work for a few weeks in exchange for a free bed and sometimes even food. This is another great way to get to know the local culture, explore the area, and build relationships with the locals, while saving money.
Visit affordable European destinations
The cost of living in Europe depends on each place, so it is your mission to research each destination to make sure it suits what you are looking for.
Generally speaking, the north and west tend to be more expensive, but you can always find cheaper options even in those less affordable areas.
The beauty of the European continent is that each destination is unique and seems to have no end. Within each region you will find unique cultures and landscapes. And within each country, there are cities and towns that are waiting to be discovered.
Some places in Europe require more attention than others, but don't let this stop you from venturing to lesser-known countries and cities.
In Europe you will literally find wonderful places and you will live amazing experiences that are waiting to take place.
Always travel with an open mind and don't let money interfere with your travel goals.
If you follow these recommendations and prepare in advance, you will be able to travel intelligently to any country no matter what your budget is.