Do you want to be cycling along the canals in Amsterdam? Paddling on the shores of Greece? Or walking along the fabulous, Champs Élysées? Travelling the continent of Europe may seem like quite an expensive option, however with just a few tips and tricks you will be strolling around with a heavier wallet, like the savvy traveller you are. We have travelled quite a few cities across Europe and have picked up some serious money-saving tips along the way. Here are our top tips for enjoying a trip to Europe on a budget!
Find cheap accommodation
These days you don’t have to go far to find great deals on accommodation. Comparison sites and apps like Airbnb have completely changed how people from all over the world choose spaces to rent and live whilst away. Airbnb in particular offers thousands of unique properties that are, for the most part, much more affordable than the average hotel, especially when split between a group of people.
Also, don’t forget that hostels provide extremely cheap accommodation. Even if they don’t seem as attractive, remember that you wont be spending too much time there so if your budget is tight you don’t need all the luxuries that a hotel room can offer.
Think about your transportation
There are so many ways to get around Europe whether it be by plane, train or automobile and it can be hard to know which one is going to be the most affordable. Think about what is going to suit the cities that you are visiting the best. For example, we flew to Copenhagen but would take the Eurotunnel train to Amsterdam.
Once you are there it is also important to think about what transport is best to get around the countries. A lot of cities in Europe are great for cycling around and it is easy to find bikes to rent, especially in cities like Amsterdam or Copenhagen where there are more bikes on the road than cars. But if you still don’t want to fork out money for a bike, a lot of cities are walkable. By walking you can see so much more of a city than if you are on a bus, tram, train or underground; and can get great pictures as you walk along too! We have found that an app called Citymapper can be useful for getting around a lot of european cities, especially London. It will give you directions whether you are walking, taking a bus, or an underground and will offer alternate routes if one of the transport lines are down. In London, Citymapper is essentially our travel bible, and they have maps for popular cities all around Europe too!
Turn off your data
Nobody likes to get home from a trip to find an extortionate bill from their phone providers because of data roaming charges. I’m sure by now we all know to turn off data roaming when away or make use of free wi-fi post (like Starbucks). If you are going to be away for an extended amount of time think about getting a local sim card. This will save you from that horrible bill for data on your return.
Don’t buy unnecessary souvenirs
Collecting sentimental items from your travels may seem like a great way to remember your time away but do you really need another novelty shot glass? Think about how much room you have in your bags for gifts and souvenirs and ask yourself if you really need to get that beautiful, but expensive, hand-painted plate. Photos are always a great alternative memento for our trip.
Don’t always eat out
Discovering new cuisines is without a doubt one of our favourite things about travelling. However, that doesn’t mean that discovering local delicacies should break the bank. In a bid to avoid over-priced tourist traps and an alternative to eating out, look out for food stalls -plenty of which are highly praised in Europe- for reasonable priced food at an almost gourmet level. Another big money saver is buying from local supermarkets to create your own meals. Grab a few antipasti or bread with a bottle of wine and find yourself a unique viewpoint of the city to eat.
Find free entertainment
Whilst tourist attractions are fun and are normally high up on everyone’s ‘must-see’ list, there is so much more to do in European cities than pay extortionate amounts to visit ‘must-see’ buildings and attractions. Instead, before you go do a bit of research to find free events in the city you are in. Festivals, markets and live performances are all places that you will find not only tourists but locals too – You will be getting a mores authentic experience by doing as the locals do.
Let us know your top tips for saving either below, or on Twitter!