Coming from the States, travel throughout Europe can seem like a busy, far-away, and expensive trip, so most people keep putting it off and never end up getting the chance to explore all that is out there. I’ve learned that Europe is actually much more accessible and affordable than it seems, and with a little planning, you can enjoy an amazing trip for a minimal cost!
- Booking flights early in the morning or late at night is usually cheaper than during the day (and maximizes your time where you’re traveling without having to pay for an extra night of housing!)
- Pack light! Having to pay for more checked bags is usually an unnecessary added cost, so look into how many bags you are allowed free with your airline (it’s easier to travel with fewer bags anyways)
- Take into account how far away the airport is from where you need to be – sometimes it could be an hour or two outside the city, so plan accordingly!
- For travel between cities within Europe, compare flights with buses and trains – sometimes it’s cheaper to take a train, and not too much longer (and if you’re really on a budget, you can take an overnight bus or train to save money on a hotel!)
- Look at ALL of your options when booking a place to stay. Depending on the city, your group size, and how much you’re planning on being in the room, hotels, hostels, and Airbnbs can all be good options.
- Look at where you’re staying relative to the city center, or wherever you’re planning on spending most of your time – account for transportation costs!
- Public transportation is usually the cheapest option and not too hard to figure out in most cities, so it’s worth trying if you’re on a budget
- That being said, make sure to buy a ticket! Most cities allow you to get on a bus or train without having to scan any ticket, but you can be heavily fined if caught without one.
- Some cities, don’t have Uber or other ride sharing services, so make sure you know which services are available
- Plan ahead for whatever activities you want to do – some things require tickets, so make sure you purchase that all in advance in case things sell out!
- You’ll also want to plan transportation and timing ahead of time. Set up a loose itinerary for each day to ensure you get to do everything you have planned.
- Be aware of local customs! Not only is this respectful when visiting another city, but it can be helpful for you, too. For example, we tip employees most places we go in the States, but in most European countries, this is not necessary.
- This was something I learned the hard way, but as a population, Europeans drink significantly less water than Americans, so restaurants will not give you water unless you ask, and when they do, it’s usually a very small glass. Make sure to stay hydrated and carry a bottle with you, especially if you’re busy throughout the day!
I hope these tips help! There is definitely a lot to learn along the way, and I’m sure I could come up with lots more suggestions for European travel, but for the most part, it’s relatively simple as long as you’re prepared. Feel free to comment any specific questions before your trip, I am happy to give any advice I have, and subscribe below for more content each week!