These Europe travel tips are a must read if you’re heading to the continent! Backpacking in Europe can be tough and expensive, but there are certainly easier and more affordable ways to go about it. Check out our tips on how to travel smart in Europe and have a grand time!
Europe Travel Tips | A Guide for Your Euro Adventure
1. Set Your Budget
We know that Europe can be an expensive destination to visit. That’s why you must save and prepare for it. You’ll also need to set a strict budget if you don’t want to drown in debt after your vacation–that guilty feeling of splurging mindlessly can spoil your trip. You can cut back on several expenses and still make the most of your European travel!
2. Choose Your Destination
Europe is a big continent with many fascinating countries and cultures. It’s impossible to see them all in one trip unless you’re backpacking for a year! With that in mind, choose the destinations you want to see the most and plot your itinerary.
3. Use Price Comparison Apps for Transportation
Over the years, technology has done a great deal to make our lives more convenient, even in traveling! Now you don’t have to visit the website of every single airline just to see who has the best deal. Simply download a travel app like Skyscanner, Kayak, or Hopper, which compares prices among airlines or notifies you when the best prices for a certain destination come along.
You can even use transportation comparison apps when you’re already in Europe. Apps such as GoEuro compare the prices of flights, buses, and trains, so you know the most affordable way to get around.
4. Book Your Flights Early
Europe is a very popular destination, so you can expect that ticket prices won’t be inexpensive. You can save some money if you book your airline tickets early. Sure, travel apps can help you find low-cost deals at a certain time, but if you book near your travel date, you’ll still pay a higher price.
5. Go for Budget Airlines
If you want to save money on airfare, go for budget airlines! There are loads of budget airlines flying all over Europe, and they cost very little. You can use the money you save on flights for other experiences instead.
6. Cut Down on Clothes
We understand you want to look great during your vacation, especially because you’ll be taking lots of pictures. However, bringing heavy clothing which you’ll wear only once on your trip is an impractical move.
Lessen the weight of your bag by bringing cotton clothes. Cotton fabric doesn’t easily wrinkle, which means you can also leave behind your iron or steamer. In addition, stick to a certain color palette or neutral colors as much as possible.
Choose tops and bottoms you can easily mix and match and avoid loud prints if you can. This way, you can easily repeat outfits, and it won’t be noticeable.
7. Bring Travel-Sized Toiletries
Don’t just grab the shampoo bottle in your bathroom and pack it in your bag! Save some space in your luggage or carry-on bag by bringing travel-sized toiletries. If you prefer not to buy new toiletries, find some small bottles and fill them with your bathroom essentials.
8. Choose a Portable Bag
Portability is essential when choosing a travel bag, especially if you’ll be backpacking across Europe for weeks. Be considerate of other passengers and choose a bag that won’t hog space in the airplane compartment. Plus, you’ll thank yourself for bringing a convenient carry-on once you realize you’ll be lugging it around for hours.
9. Be Organized
Traveling to several countries means going to several boarding gates or immigration officers. Make sure you always have your travel documents ready in a reachable place in your bag, so you don’t hold up the line. Also, keep your clothes and other essentials in your luggage organized or packed in travel bags to make backpacking more bearable.
10. Pack Your Own Medicine Kit
Bringing your own medication will save you money, especially if you don’t know how much they’ll cost in another currency. Plus, you might not be sure whether pharmacies in another country have the same meds you take, so it’s safer to bring your own. To save space in your bag, pack your medication in little pill boxes instead of taking the entire bottle.
11. Wear Your Heaviest Shoes at the Airport
You’re probably going to bring more than one pair of shoes on your trip. To save your bag some weight, when you head out to the airport, wear the heaviest pair of shoes you’re bringing with you. Make sure all the shoes you bring with you are comfortable because you’ll be walking a lot on your trip.
12. Book Hostels with Free Breakfast
You can already save cash by choosing hostels over hotels, but you’ll save even more if you choose hostels that offer free breakfast. Sure, they may not serve a huge buffet, but it will be enough to keep you full in the morning and energized for the day’s adventure. That’s one less meal you’ll have to worry about for the day.
13. Try Couch Surfing
Accommodations are one of the biggest expenses to consider on a Europe trip. Another way to save, aside from picking hostels over hotels, is through couch surfing. Websites like couchsurfing.com can help you find locals who are willing to take in travelers. Not only will you save on accommodation, you’ll also meet new friends!
14. Don’t Exchange Currencies in the Airport
Many money exchange counters have horrible rates, and those in the airport are usually the worst. Instead of exchanging currencies, contact your local bank to inform them that you’ll be using your credit card or swiping your ATM card in a foreign country.
Be wary of charges if you plan on withdrawing from ATMs. Try looking into other options, like Revolut, which is a top-up card that doesn’t charge for international ATM withdrawals.
15. Avoid Restaurants Near Tourist Spots
Menus with pictures on them seem convenient, but these are usually from tourist restaurants strategically located near popular tourist spots. They often charge double the price while serving half the quality of authentic European cuisine. Walk a bit farther from the usual famous spots and see where the locals are eating!
16. Go Picnicking
Save a ton of money by skipping restaurants altogether and hitting the groceries! Get some bread, cheese, peanut butter, and a bottle of soda or wine and have a picnic near some of Europe’s best spots! Imagine having lunch with a view of the Louvre, or the Eiffel Tower, or the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Fun, affordable, and easy, right?
17. Bring a Student ID
If you’re a student, make sure you bring your school ID! Lots of tours, museums, and even transportation outlets offer discounts and good deals for students. If you’re not a student anymore, don’t fret! Maybe you can get lucky and visit a museum on a day when it offers free admission.
18. Carry a Water Bottle
If a basket of bread and a bottle of water are served at your table in a restaurant before you order, don’t immediately assume they’re free. Some restaurants charge for water, and you’ll save some change if you bring it yourself. You can use a foldable water container so it doesn’t take up much space in your bag once it’s empty.
19. Go for Free Walking Tours
Lots of places in Europe have agencies that give out free walking tours. Ask your hostel receptionist, who may be able to recommend a good tour. You’ll be getting exercise while visiting amazing places.
20. Ride Bikes or Trains
Skip the taxis and get around like the locals do. Regional and local trains are inexpensive in countries like Hungary or Poland. For your biking needs, try a community of bicycle tourists such as Warm Showers.
21. Avoid Scheduling Your Trip in the Summer
If you can avoid it, don’t schedule your Europe trip for the summer. It’s the peak season and you’ll find yourself dealing with higher prices, fully-booked hotels, and crowds everywhere! If you’re really looking to travel on a tight budget, try going to Europe in the winter, when the prices are lower than they are during other seasons.
For more Europe travel tips, check out this video from Ally Archer:
Europe is a dream destination for many, but it’s an intimidating trip to take because it can get really expensive. Even so, while many see it as luxury travel, traveling to Europe on a budget is certainly possible! Save up, heed these Europe travel tips, and plan your vacation. Go ahead and make your Euro trip dream a reality!
Have you traveled to Europe? What was your favorite experience? Let us know in the comments section!
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