It is a fact, travelling can be expensive. Especially in Europe (or at least when it comes to certain parts of the continent). There are some hidden costs that you might not be aware of, or some facts you never even heard of. Therefore I would like to shed some light on travel costs in Europe - and give you some useful tips on how to save money while travelling that lovely continent.
Try to avoid visiting any of the cities in Europe during the summer. This is the most expensive time of the year, and the hotel rates are rocketing sky-high. Additionally, the cities are all overly crowded during this time of the year. The best time for visiting European cities would definitely be late spring or early autumn. Try also to stay away around the holiday season. You wouldn’t believe how much more hotel rates tend to bounce up during that time of the year.
Walk the city or use local transport.
Usually you can save a lot of money by using public transport if you are staying somewhere in the city centre. Most of the time public transport is a really great and also usually cheap option to get you around. Please keep in mind not to buy single tickets at all. You will find great deals on 24-hour, 3-day or even weekly public transport passes, which always work out cheaper than single tickets.
Please make sure you do some research on that on the internet beforehand. Nothing is more irritating than to hang around a ticket automat and don’t have a clue what tickets to choose.
Also make sure to check out the sightseeing spots you would like to visit beforehand, so you can create a walking – or jogging – route (or find an existing one) to get a feeling for the city instantly. My personal tip: Sight walking/ sight running is the way to go. You certainly have to try it.
Check out some (short term) car rental possibilities.
In most of Europe’s cities you can find a large variety of car rental or car sharing companies. In Europe you should especially check out the car2go offer. The great thing is that you can drive around the town with one of the cars, paying a small fee, and you can just park the car somewhere else in the city once you don’t need it anymore. So you basically pay as you go (or rather drive) plus: if you register once you can make use of the cars in all other cities where the service is available.
Try to avoid taxis if possible.
Cabs are expensive. Try if possible to avoid them at all costs. Otherwise this will turn out to be really expensive and bust your travel budget rapidly.
Choose one area in Europe rather than planning a big road trip.
If you visit Europe, don’t squeeze in too much cities into one trip. I would recommend visiting one or two cities for example and then explore the peripheral area. It might seem exciting to do a big road trip: Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Paris and etc. but this will turn out to be a massive strain on both your enjoyment of your holidays as well as your budget.
I highly recommend you really take your time and pick out the must-sees for you in Europe once you start planning your trip. Visit some of your desired cities virtually and make a decision where to go.
If you plan a Road Trip.
If you choose to visit more cities in one trip I would recommend, instead of renting a car, to go by train and buy an Inter-Rail ticket. These tickets are valid for a certain time period, and you can travel wherever you want to go. The great thing about Inter-Rail is that you can also use overnight trains. This way you get to wake up in a new city almost every morning.
Be careful with foreign currency exchanges.
Try not to withdraw money in Europe from an ATM. You are highly likely to get a really hefty exchange rate and you will get charged an additional fee for every withdrawal. Also don’t exchange your currency at airports or in malls – you will always get ripped off.
If you plan to exchange your brought-along currency locally, you should only do that in a bank.
Try to rent a holiday apartment.
If you go on the Internet you will be surprised how many holiday apartment are being offered in Europe’s cities – and they can be real money-saver as well. I started to rent apartments a long time ago, and I never ended up in an awful or dingy one. In fact I cannot recommend this enough.
If you really want to stay in a hotel, I would certainly recommend you to check out some of the (cheaper) but more well-known hotel chains which are spread throughout Europe and you will be fine: great rooms and great locations guaranteed.
Visit the Tourist Information point.
When first arriving in a new city make sure to stop by the tourism bureau for discounts, free maps special visitor deals. You can save a huge amount of money by checking out combo passes for museums – often you will be surprised to find free transportation included. You can visit more than you’ve originally planned for a fracture of the price. Plus: You don’t need to queue with everyone else and save a lot of time this way.
Travelling on a budget requires you to get creative, so I hope my tips can assist you in saving money during your trip to Europe.
Do you have any additional Tips for Europe? Bring it on: I would love to hear them.
Have a safe trip!