You could plan an adrenaline-fueled adventure, a multi-day forest hike, or a culture-focused trip around the major cities. No matter your tastes and travel style, there's no doubt you'll find what you're looking for.
Chances are you're concerned about how to keep things cost-efficient. But being a budget-conscious traveler doesn't mean you have to miss out! Budget travel to Europe is more than possible using the following tips and tricks. Let's roll!
Tips for Traveling Europe on a Budget
Europe is a land of contrasts. The continent encloses natural splendor and soaring skyscrapers, ancient ruins and cutting-edge culture. Planning a trip around Europe can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. There are countless activities and attractions you really can't miss.
There's so much to do, but with limited time and a frugal budget, you have to get realistic. Whether you want to go beach hopping in the Algarve or cruise along the canals in Amsterdam, figuring out the logistics can be frustrating.
Ditch the calamities of preparing last minute and get pumped up with this in-depth guide to planning a trip around Europe. In just 8 simple steps, you'll learn the best way to decide on your travel dates, destinations, transport, and more. Now, let's dive into how to travel Europe on a budget.
Get Frugal When It Comes to Flights
If you're traveling from North America, flights will likely put a big dent in your wallet. As a general rule of thumb, the earlier you book your flights, the better. You can use sites like Skyscanner to scan airlines for the most affordable flights.
Opt for Off-Season
This is an absolute must if you want to explore Europe on a budget. Europe's off-peak season, usually between November and March, offers lower prices on accommodation, flights, transport, and activities. Your wallet will thank you later, and you'll get to enjoy all the sights without the bigger crowds.
That being said, this is Europe. The low season does hone in on a little more peace and quiet, but it's popular year-round. Each European destination offers something unique at every time of the year.
Whether it's Christmas markets in December or Carnival in February, you'll be sure to find something to do. Even in the off-season!
Narrow Down Your Accommodation
The best way to find budget accommodation in Europe is to search for hostels, hotels, and Airbnb rentals in advance. You can expect to pay a lot more for accommodation in places like Barcelona, Paris, and London. That said, staying in the major cities isn't ideal for budget travelers.
Some of the most affordable cities in Europe include Slovakia, Budapest, Zagreb, and Hungary. If you're a backpacker or are simply trying to stick to a tight budget, these cities in Eastern Europe should be at the top of your list.
Indulge in Food, But the Right Way
Dining out in Europe may be affordable in some cities, but the costs can add up quickly. If you're wondering how to travel to Europe on a low budget, food is a factor that can make a surprisingly big difference. Especially if you're a foodie!
Depending on your accommodation, you could buy ingredients from local markets and cook your own meals. You could even put together a picnic to enjoy with friends outside in the summertime. Whether under the Eiffel Tower or on a beach in Croatia, a picnic can be a pleasant way to enjoy a more authentic travel experience.
Don't Be Afraid of Tours
If you're looking for ways to travel around Europe on a budget, tours and attractions probably aren't the first things to come to mind. However, a tour can be an ideal fit for those looking to see multiple countries in one go without having to worry about transport.
Aside from the conveniences of a tour, it's also a great way to socialize and make friends, especially as a solo backpacker! If you're a budget traveler interested in Europe's best tours, check out this in-depth guide for all the details.
If you prefer to plan things at your own pace, you could also consider passes like GoCity. These are convenient and cost-effective ways of seeing multiple attractions at discounted rates. Talk about bargain hunting!
Opt for Public Transport
Most of the top European cities are easy to explore on foot, making attractions accessible for budget travelers. Sometimes, you'll have to step out of the city center, and the best way to do so is by public transport.
Many major cities offer well-connected and frequent public transportation. These include Rome, Barcelona, London, etc. Be sure to look online beforehand to see if there's a pass available that can save you some money.
You don't just have to rely on flights for transport between cities. High-speed trains like the Eurail are ideal If you're on a fixed travel budget in Europe. If you don't mind spending a little extra time, you can consider options like Flixbus.
Planning Your Backpacking Budget
If you're dabbling in the idea of backpacking in Europe, you might be wondering how to make this endeavor work. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Europe is a destination with plenty to do. But things can get expensive if you don't plan your finances properly.
Make the most of your time, money, and effort using this guide to backpacking through Europe. It breaks down all the basics, including the average costs in Eastern and Western Europe and what you should include in your travel budget.
Europe's Packing Lists for Backpacking
Alright, alright, alright! You've dived into the planning process for budget travel in Europe. Now's the time to get down to the nitty-gritty. Packing can be fun, but it can also be stressful, especially if it's your first time visiting a new destination.
If you're hyping yourself up for a backpacking trip around Europe, you can keep that hype up! Check off all the essentials and unexpected items with this go-to packing list for backpacking around Europe. With everything from reliable backpacks and packing cubes to socks and thermals, this list covers all you could ever need.
Budget Travel in Europe and Beyond!
Whether you're on a month-long backpacking trip or 2-week vacation, Europe has plenty to offer. Budgeting ahead of time will ultimately make the biggest difference, so don't forget these tips. Go further into the planning process with Pilot and begin the countdown now!