How to travel Europe on a Budget

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The most common excuse I hear people make about the reason they won’t travel is that it is expensive.  However, there’s always cheaper options at your hands that you are unaware of.  For my 3.5 weeks in Europe this past summer it cost me aboutof $1800.  That included literally everything,  flight, travel within Europe, food, accommodations, attractions and going out for drinks.  The truth is I could have even saved more money if I really needed to.  The way I see it is, if you want to make travel happen, you’ll find a way and you’ll find the money. I am extremely passionate about traveling and am the happiest me I can be while traveling, so travel is a priority in my life.

So how did you travel Europe on a budget?

  1.  Book in advance.  Once you figure out where you want to go check search websites like booking.com often, or even daily.  Even when I booked my flight, about a month later the prices went down about $200. I booked my flight in November for travel in July, so if you can plan that far in advance I would recommend it.  You can save money by booking airfare, train tickets, accommodations and a lot of activities in advance.
  2. Fly into and out of a major hub airports.  Luckily for me I can fly out of LAX. But  when I was in Buffalo I couldn’t, I would have had to fly out of Toronto or NYC.  Flying out of those major cities would cut the cost of my flight in half even if I did book a short train ride or flight to those cities.  Flights within Europe are normally extremely cheap, so if you are planning to travel to a destination with a smaller airport, I would check the price of flying into a larger one, such as London.
  3. Hostels!  The key to cutting a huge chunk of cost off your travel.  if you don’t know what hostels are they are shared rooms of four to potentially 20 people. If you are a solo traveller like myself, they are also the perfect way to meet like minded people like yourself!  If you have a travel buddy and aren’t keen on sharing a room with other people, most hostels often have private rooms which are still a lot cheaper than most European hotels.  The hostels I stayed at ranged from $15 a night to $25 a night, which is a fraction of the cost if I would have stayed in a hotel, and you can get even cheaper in the off season.
  4. Travel in the off season.  This could have saved me a lot of money as well, however with my work schedule I only am able to travel at certain times of the year. However, if you can travel in September instead of peak season in July you can save a huge cost on accommodation and even airfare.
  5. FOOD! Food is definitely one of my favorite parts of traveling.  I am a huge foodie so trying the food of the places I was traveling to and immersing myself into the culture was very important to me.  This is also the area where I went over my budget in.  What I would do differently is go to a local grocery store when I first get to each new city and get foods for at least breakfast and maybe lunch (some hostels have refrigerators some don’t so be cautious when buying).

What are you tips for traveling Europe on a Budget?

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