Europe is a dream destination for many young travel lovers, but not everyone can afford to go when they are young. Don’t let that thought sway your desire. If you travel smart and use the following tips, you will save a lot and make that dream trip in your hands. So, are you looking for some best ways and best tips on how to how to go to Europe on a budget (how to travel around Europe on a budget, how to travel Europe on a budget, how to travel through Europe on a budget, how to visit Europe on a budget)? Let’s check out our top 20 useful Europe travel tips on how to travel around Europe cheaply (how to save money on Europe trip, how to travel Europe cheap) to clear the answer!
#1. Book flight tickets on promotions
All airlines have their own promotions during the year to Europe. Emirates has sales in April, September. Turkish Airlines in February and November. To keeping track of the sales promotion, you should follow each airline’s fanpage, other their social networks (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest). Note, the promotional airfares are only applicable for round-trip flights, not for multiple city flight tickets (flying to and return from different cities).
#2. Buy a Metro Pass instead of a single ticket
The metro system in each city is different, it is recommended that you should buy a metro pass that is valid for 1 day, 2 days or 3 days in each destination, because you will definitely go to wrong station leading to losing money. For example, in Paris, buying a metro pass a day for 3 central zones is only 14.50 euros, a single metro trip costs minimum at 1.90 euros already, if you travel a lot all day, you should buy a metro pass at train stations.
#3. Walk to experience
European cities are very pedestrian-friendly, so it’s completely safe to walk in cities. Vehicles moving, by law, must yield to pedestrians first. In my opinion, walking in Europe is the best because you will find the nooks and crannies, the best frames for shots.
#4. Use Uber if traveling with a large group
Taxi prices are sky high, but Uber is 40% cheaper. If traveling in large groups, you should choose Uber to traveling in big cities.
#5. Visit places for free
The parks and monumental works of each city are mostly free if you do not want to go inside to visit. In my opinion, works like Eiffel Tower are most beautiful when we stand outside and watch, going up just takes more time to queue and costs more money.
#6. Go to the museum on free admission days
Every European city owns many beautiful museums, but admission is also quite expensive. But every city has a special day in every month that will open its museum for free. For example, in Florence, the first Sunday of each month you can visit national museums such as the Uffizi, Accademia, Bargello, Medici Chapels, Pitti Palace without any entrance fee.
#7. Book tickets in advance before going to the museum
The important thing is that you don’t have to wait in line, but the second thing is to be able to know in advance some of the month’s deals on the website and possibly save a bit.
#8. Take advantage of discounts for students and ages when buying museum tickets, train tickets
If you are under 18 years old, you will be able to visit the museum for free, and the train ticket is also cheaper. If you are a student (remember to bring your student card), you also get a discount. And especially in Paris and some TGV trains, under the age of 26 you still get a discount. Like the last time I went to the Musée d’Orsay, the regular fare was 15 euros, but when I gave my passport, I was under 26 years old, so I only needed to pay 9 euros.
#9. Go to a supermarket to buy food instead of eating at a restaurant
Dining at the restaurant you have to spend from at least 15 euros to infinity of money for a meal. But when you go to the supermarket, the price of food is extremely cheap. You don’t have to buy fresh food and cook it at home, there are a variety of delicious, ready-to-eat foods at supermarkets. Of course, you should divide 50-50, that is, 50% of the meal is economical, 50% of the meal is a little liberal to enjoy the whole trip, don’t be too frugal.
#10. If eating in restaurants, stay away from restaurants in main road areas
In Paris there is the Champs-Élysses, in Milan there is the Via de Mercanti, which are examples of the expensive roads. I had a meal at Martini Caffe in Milan, a pizza was about 15 euros, then I went back to the nearby hotel that sells the same pizza for only 6 euros. In general, if you can avoid major roads, eating at restaurants is not too expensive.
#11. Eat luxury in cheap countries, eat sparingly in expensive countries
That’s what I learned when traveling through different cities. In big cities like Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, eating frugally is equal to the price of luxury food in cities in cheaper countries like Prague, Budapest, Warsaw.
In Europe there is a saying “The Easter you go, the cheaper it gets”. And yes, in France, Germany, England, the Netherlands, Belgium which are Western European countries with extremely expensive compared to Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. So you can base on that to spend reasonably.
#12. Take a night bus when traveling between cities
This is what I like most because I can save a hotel night and the cost of taking a bus is half cheaper than taking a train.
#13. Compare train, bus and plane fares while traveling within Europe
I often use GoEuro.com website, which allows you to compare train, bus and flight prices in Europe. For example, taking a bus from Strasbourg to Colmar costs 7 euros, it takes almost an hour, but the train is a bit more expensive at 9 euros, only 10 minutes away. So you can choose the train. Not default, the train will be more expensive than the bus, if possible, I still want to choose the train because of its speed.
#14. Booking train and bus or ferry tickets before going to Europe
Trains and buses in Europe are not like the carriers in Vietnam, the closer you book to the departure date, the more expensive the ticket will be. So I always book tickets for specific trains and buses in advance to save money. There was a time when I booked a bus ticket from Paris to Brussels, it only cost 5 euros due to the right promotion.
Booking in advance also helps you to plan a detailed itinerary and there will be no “excited” moments when you want to stay in your favorite place longer and have to book a hotel close to the travel date with expensive room rates.
#15. Use cash instead of credit cards
The very high fees of currency exchange of banks is the first disadvantage point. The second point is that using cash helps you know if you are spending too much money or not. So, using cash is quite convenient.
#16. Prepare medicine for cold and stomachache in advance
This is thing I found it’s very useful, because buying medicine from abroad will not be familiar to you, it will be more expensive. Preparing medicine for minor illnesses during the trip will help you better prevent yourself from falling ill.
#17. Going with friends
Sharing money to stay together at hotel will also be much simpler, you will not have to pay for a private room by yourself. And when eating, you can also order more dishes and share them, unlike when you go alone, you have to eat a whole of pizza with exactly one taste.
How to travel Europe cheap: #18. Prepare adapter sockets and Multi-Plug Outlet Extender in advance
These items are more expensive to buy in Vietnam and take time to find. In Vietnam, just buy a device of Dien Quang company that can be converted to any type of socket, and you just need to bring a Multi-Plug Outlet Extender to use for all devices you have.
#19. Stay in Hostel/Dorm/Airbnb
If you go alone, try staying at a hostel & dorm, it will reduce up to 50-60% of the cost of stay. Because private rooms in hotels are often very expensive, you will be stunned at the price and will not see it as worth it. Usually when I traveling to Europe, I go out from morning to night to play. If you are young, I think you can live with strangers for few days and have fun and make new friends if you are brave, right?
How to save money on Europe trip: #20. Join the Free Walking Tour
In small cities, this type of tour is not available, but famous large cities all have Free Walking Tours. When participating such a tour, you just have to come on time, go and listen to local young people talk about their city passionately, then you just need to tip them a few euros, it will be much cheaper if you hire a guide or buy a day tour. To find Free Walking Tours, just go to Google and type “Free Walking Tour + Name of the city you are going to” and you’re done!
Saving money on the above costs is to cut down on unnecessary expenses during the trip. But travel is for enjoyment, so I don’t encourage you to chew bread, or bring instant noodles to eat every day. I myself am willing to spend money to eat at a restaurant on the Champs-Élysses to try French cuisine to see how it’s like, and willing to take the cable car to enjoy the Alps in Austria. So, save but not too much, be a little comfortable with the expenses for enjoying yourself.