😩 Yikes! Will all this talk about a recession put your first-time Europe travel plans on hold?
Travelling Europe on a budget is a great, no-frills way to learn about its rich cultural history, its glorious landscapes and unique architecture.
If you want to travel for less, you'll need some idea on how to navigate that. That's where this blog post comes in.
Here are some budget travel tips so that you can save money while still having an amazing experience abroad as first-time traveller in Europe.
✈️ Book your Eurotrip flights wisely.
First off, the best way to book your flight is right when they go on sale (usually six months or so before departure). If there's something specific that interests you—like visiting Greece during the summer or skiing in Switzerland during winter. It might be wise to start looking at those dates early and making sure they're available on the airlines that interest you most. If not, there are still plenty of other options - Google Travel is a great way to view all flight costs over time all at once.
Second: try not to obsess over price too much when searching for flights online; instead focus on convenience factors like layovers, connections through different cities or countries, etc., which may influence whether or not one airline is better than another for this particular trip.
Third: once you've found a route that works well for all those criteria above (and any others), add them all up into one big trip with one big price tag rather than lots of little ones from individual airlines; this will give you flexibility should anything ever change later down the road (such as needing more miles).
🏨 Research the cost of living by destination.
In Europe, the cost of living varies widely from country to country and city to city, so it's important to research the average costs before you go.
You can use websites like Numbeo or Expatistan for an idea of how much things will cost in each place you'll be visiting. For example, you need about 65 EUR per day in Western Europe, 40 EUR in Eastern Europe, and about 85 EUR in Scandinavia.
If you want to save more money on your Europe trip, consider spending some time in a rural area where rent is typically lower than in urban areas. And if possible, visit countries with weak currencies; their lower prices can help offset the higher prices of European cities that have strong currencies (like London). If you have your heart set on European cities, getting a city tourist card from local tourism offices can help you find heaps of deals on shopping, sightseeing and sometimes even transport.
🍝 Make a food budget.
You can't explore Europe without treating your tastebuds to at least a few tasty delicacies!
But that doesn't always have to come at high cost (we're not talking 33 karat gold-flaked croissants here!). Think about how often you'll want to treat yourself to a restaurant meal (perhaps how many coffees you’ll want everyday too!) and budget per meal. But, if you're opting to buy most meals and snacks in bulk (like simple sandwiches or packaged supermarket purchases), or choosing local grab 'n' go shops (which are well-known for a variety of delicious local fare anyway), your budget could lower. Drinking less alcohol and bringing a water bottle around with you helps, too - trust us, those 5 EUR beers really add up!
🚌 Know your transportation needs.
If you are planning to travel by public transportation, know that some cities have a large amount of stations and lines. This means that it can be difficult to get around without having a detailed map in hand. And of course, if you decide on renting a car, it really depends on what European city you're looking to explore (the more you drive the more gas is needed obviously!). Knowing how much time you have available for sightseeing is also important in budgeting and planning your trip because certain European tourist attractions will require more time than others. (👉Hot Tip: A travel SIM card ensures that you’re always connected to Google Maps as well.)
The great thing in Europe is that you'll be able to find free walking tours in most major cities; plus bus companies like FlixBus can take you around with tickets starting from 5 EUR! Rideshare companies like BlaBlaCar are a great way to save on travel too especially if your schedule is more flexible.
🛌 Get comfortable with hostels and Airbnb's.
One of the cheapest ways to stay in Europe is by staying at a hostel. Hostels are basically dormitories that cost as little as $10 per night, and you can find them everywhere, even in smaller cities. They're a great way for travellers to meet fellow adventurers, so if you're planning on travelling alone or with friends who don't know each other well, consider booking a private room (which might get more expensive than just paying for bed space).
Hostels aren't just for backpackers or young people—there are plenty of hostels catering specifically to families and retirees, too. And it's also not just men who stay there: women-only hostels exist all over Europe! Even if you want some privacy when you travel, many hostels offer private rooms that are cheaper than staying at an Airbnb apartment or hotel room alone.
🕒 Be aware of locals' opening hours.
It's important to keep in mind that opening hours vary widely across Europe. As a general rule of thumb, the further east you go, the more likely it is that stores will close early (or not at all). The more expensive countries are also less likely to have flexible opening hours.
The following list is just a sampling of some common European countries and their respective closing times. In Spain, shops usually close at 8pm on weekdays and between 2pm-6pm on Sundays.
📞 Stay connected in Europe.
It is important to stay connected while travelling in Europe. After all, what's the point of taking a vacation if you can't post photos on Instagram? 😝
The easiest, most cost-effective way would to stay prepared with our SimCorner travel SIM card before you fly (they cover multiple countries and you can get them ahead of time too)! SO many of our customers have said this is an absolute MUST - just in case you get stuck in an area with low connectivity, you’ll still be able to Whatsapp with ease.
💸 Be smart about your budget.
Travelling is fun, but it can be easy to throw caution to the wind. It's all about being smart about your spending and maximizing value for money. The best part of budget travelling is that you're likely to meet lots of interesting locals and travellers along the way who can help you out based on their own experiences but you need to set clear boundaries for yourself too budget-wise!
Being a frugal traveller doesn't mean you're foregoing the best Europe has to offer - it's being selective about what matters the most to YOU! Going off the tourist track could be a great way to enjoy things that don’t cost a hefty entry fee.
🏖️ Ready for your first budget-friendly trip to Europe?
Overall, researching well ahead of time will help ensure that you don't overspend on things like transportation costs or accommodation costs (as well as make sure there's something available at all!). We hope this article has helped inform your trip!
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