Traveling through Europe is a great option for holiday makers on a budget, and although some European destinations can be pricey, there are many different EASY ways to cut costs.
Whereas far-flung holiday spots involve pricey long haul flights, it is both easy and affordable to reach the continent and continue your travels by taking the euro train service with Eurostar.
Special offers and promotional deals can be found on journeys to major stations in cities like London, Paris and Brussels, from where connecting trains can be taken to numerous countries across the continent.
Another wallet-friendly way of traveling from country to country is by Interail. Passes for single countries can be purchased, or for longer trips take the Global Pass, which offers unlimited train travel in 30 European countries.
Buying a pass in advance also means that what can be a major expense of a trip is fully covered, taking one financial burden off your mind. Transport costs once you have reached your destination can also easily add up, especially in major tourist cities. In places like Paris and London, for example, taking the tube or Metro may seem like the convenient option, but it can also be the priciest.
Instead, wait those extra few minutes at a bus stop and enjoy lower fares, with the bonus of great views!
Try Bike Sharing!
In the past ten years bike sharing systems have taken off in cities across Europe, providing both a fun way of sightseeing as well as affordably getting from A to B. This is an option which should be considered if visiting more expensive cities in northern Europe: Copenhagen for example has a Bycyklen service and Norway offers the similar Oslo Byskykkel.
What about accommodations?
Accommodation needn’t be a major expense and if you’re planning on being out sightseeing most of the day, a five star hotel is hardly a necessity. For a free place to stay sign up with Couchsurfing, where you can browse hosts’ profiles and stay with a local. Offers vary, so be sure to read up on the details closely. Hosts usually allow visitors to use kitchen and cooking equipment, which means there is not the added expense of eating out. Best of all: local knowledge and insider tips are priceless!
Free accommodation can also be found in exchange for work, which is a great way to meet fellow travelers and find out more about the area you are visiting. Wwoof.org offers worldwide opportunities on organic farms which offer free accommodation, and similarly, workaway.info links visitors with hosts looking for some extra help. In addition to free lodgings, hosts will often offer meals in return for labour.
If you prefer more conventional accommodation options, there are still other ways in which you can cut back financially. Many hostels have excellent kitchen facilities, meaning you can stock up at local street markets and prepare breakfasts and dinners for yourself.
Making a packed lunch to take out for the day makes it easy to eat on the go and avoid paying the inflated café prices which are found around so many tourist sites.
Don't forget to do research and plan other parts of your trip.
If you are going on a trip, you should always look into holiday insurance. Holiday insurance can cover many different parts of your trip, and it can be a lifesaver. You never know if something will come up.
Finally, if you are looking to snag a bargain do some pre-trip research and keep an eye on discount-offering websites whilst you are away. Sign up with sites such as Groupon and Travelzoo, which offer regular promotional deals on anything from accommodation to sightseeing trips and meals out. If your traveling style usually involves the finer things in life, offers such as these mean you can still have these experiences without breaking the bank.
Photo via Flickr by kokorowa
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