How To See Europe On a Budget
Do you love that harmonious mixture between city escapes, mountain views, beach vibes and amazing architecture? If so, Europe is waiting for you! What you probably don’t realize is that you can explore the beauty of this continent without spending too much money. It can be considered expensive to travel around Europe, but we have some great tips on how to make it cheap.
This summer we embraced a new challenge: to travel on a budget. At the beginning we were afraid that we couldn’t make it, but soon we realized that once our priorities are set, we can actually achieve our goals. This is the type of adventure that constantly keeps you out of your comfort zone, so you become aware and start to learn and experience your true self. Having a tight budget, sleeping in cheap locations where sometimes the comfort was challenging, those feelings of fear and the stress between train journeys, made us realize that living the simple life, is the best way to fully live. So, where to start?
Travel with an Interrail or Eurorail pass
The best and easiest way to travel around Europe is with an Interrail pass (Eurorail for non-European citizens), where you can choose from a variety of options, from 5 days to a whole month of traveling. We chose the 22 days continuous pass, where you can have unlimited journeys by train within 22 days of your pass. The coolest thing is that you can travel around 30 countries in Europe and you don’t need to pay any regional or suburban trains. If it happens that you have to catch the fast train, you only pay 10 euro for the reservation, but most of them you don’t need it, as it is not compulsory.
Plan your itinerary
The next thing to do is to plan the countries and cities you wish to visit. We’ve been in 13 countries and 9 cities within 22 days, which can sound a lot in a short period of time but was totally worth it. To make sure we’d go to each place we planned, we did an excel sheet with the days, the destinations, the train journeys and times. We recommend staying at least 2 nights per city, so you can fully experience all it has to offer. To plan the train journeys, use the free Rail cc app, where you can check all the trains. And it also works offline!
Book your accommodation in advance
If you want to save money, the smartest thing to do is to book your accommodation in advance, preferably 6 months before your departure. We recommend using the hostelworld website and mobile app, where you can find most hostels around Europe, with an affordable price per night.
Set a daily budget
After you have every bit of your itinerary planned, you must set a daily budget for your expenses, especially because meals are not included in your accommodation (only breakfast in some hostels). In our case, we chose a 15 euro daily budget for the both of us, only for food and we incredibly managed to stick to it! How? Avoiding eating in restaurants as much as possible. Most Hostels have a kitchen or at least a microwave, so you can prepare your own meals if you always go to the supermarkets. All you need is to bring your lunch box with you! Cooking your own meals will save you a lot of money that can be used in other things, such as public transportation or city sights.
Walk as much as you can
Most European cities are huge and to go to the main attractions, sometimes you have to use public transportation. With the interrail pass, you have unlimited train journeys so if the train is an option to reach your destination, go for it! If the train is not a viable option, we recommend bringing comfortable shoes, as walking will save you a lot of money. The best part about walking, is that you can explore more places then you would do while on a train, bus or metro, plus you are doing your workout for the day!
Doing an Euro trip is a great way to make real connections with different people, explore the beauties of amazing cities and challenge yourself every single day. We can say that all together we’ve spent 1000 euro each - including accommodation, food, interrail pass and other expenses. That was pretty good, considering that we traveled for 22 days straight. It was one of the most fulfilling and challenging experiences of our lives. What are you waiting for? Let your adventurous spirit take over your body and make the best memories ☀