Europe continues to be a preferred destination for many World travellers. Travelling across Europe on a budget is possible if one is smart about it. Travelling in a specific budget is difficult yet not an impossible task. We are often searching for various loopholes to avoid unwanted costs. Some factors that have helped travellers get around Europe cheaper are weaker currency exchange rates, new bus options, and lots of new budget airlines. We have specifically curated a list of 15 cheapest ways to travel Europe for all the enthusiasts. The list covers all the necessary budget measures to travel to Europe.
There are several ways to get around Europe: bus, plane, train, car share, backpacker tours, Eurail pass, and hitchhiking.
Here are the 15 Cheapest Ways to Travel Europe:
1. Travelling by Megabus:
If affordability is what you seek, then travelling by bus is the option you have got. Megabus is one of the cheap ways to get around the United Kingdom as well as to Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam. Their tickets can cost as little as 1 GBP if you book at least a month in advance on popular routes. However, even if you are unable to get these amazingly cheap deals, you can still travel for a reasonable price than on the national bus system, as fares rarely top 20 GBP.
Megabus also operates trains to some destinations around the UK, starting at 10 GBP which is very less. Megabus is one of the cheapest ways to get around the UK and to get to Paris, Brussels, or Amsterdam.
2. Travelling by Busabout:
Busabout is a hop-on/hop-off bus service which is similar to Oz or Kiwi experience in Australia and New Zealand, respectively. It is one of the best methods of travel to get around as well as to meet other travellers. They provide with the liability of getting on and get off whenever you want on any one of their set routes. One can buy tickets that will let him travel the whole network with a set number of stops, for example, a nine-day flex pass, which gives you nine stops from your starting city. The pass also comes with a guide which sometimes includes group activities. A two-week pass costs around $ 299 USD.
It is one of the cheapest ways to travel Europe that can save you a lot on unwelcomed expenses. They provide lots of passes options in which one of them is their unlimited passes which costs for $1500 for six months of travel as it is the best long-term transportation deal. Busabout is limited to certain cities and if you want to visit a city, not on one of their routes you have to arrange your route on your own.
3. Travelling by Flixbus:
This new German-based company entered the market in 2013 and totally changed the bus-system in Europe. It has routes in 20 European countries and thousands of cities with prices starting as low 5 euros. Their buses not only offer comfort but also provides Wifi, electrical outlets, and up to 3 free bags. It is one of the best and cheapest ways to get around the whole of Europe. In 2018, they also launched FlixTrain which expands this service into the rail industry.
Another option is to take Eurolines. They offer a lot of routes around Europe and their customer reviews show that they are very punctual.
4. Travelling Europe by a Budget Airline:
One of the most popular and relatively cheaper ways to travel in Europe is through budget airlines. These airlines are huge in number that’s why their competition has led to incredibly cheap fares, often as cheap as 1 euro. When you need to go somewhere early or want to avoid long bus or train journeys these airlines comes to your rescue and are some of the cheapest ways to travel Europe. Some of the famous budget airlines are-
Sometimes these airlines are even cheaper than the bus. To find best deals use Skyscanner and Momondo for best results. But always remember though these airlines provide you with cheap rates and this means limited legroom and additional costs for everything including extra bags, in-flight meals and even printing your ticket at the airport. So keep yourself familiarize with each airline’s rules and hidden.
5. Travelling Europe using bla bla Car:
It is the cheapest way to travel to Europe. BlaBla is a very famous carpool service that matches up drivers/passengers who are going to the same places. It is quite affordable and is a great way to know locals and have a friendly conversation. You just have to find a ride, they agree to take you and off you go. It is the most convenient way to get around. These rides can cost you as little as 5 Euros.
6. The cheapest way of travelling in Europe: Hitchhiking
Cheapest and best way to travel is by hitchhiking, as in this way you can travel without paying. Hitching is quite common in Europe and many travellers use this way to travel around Europe. This way is also suited for some areas than others. Though this way is cheapest sometimes it becomes time-consuming. For reference, one traveller shared that he reached from Amsterdam to Munich in 16 hours through hitchhiking. It is one of the cheapest ways to travel Europe that is something adventure lovers would prefer.
Remember hitchhiking is not for everyone. It is not as dangerous as many people think, it still carries some risks and disadvantages so you should trust your instinct while trying this way. You should not hitchhike if you are an introvert or too shy to have a conversation with strangers, you are limited in time.
7. Travelling Europe with a Train:
If you love travelling by train, sitting in a big seat, relaxing with a book or just like to watch the stunning landscape go by then you can consider travelling by train. It is more comfortable than a bus or a budget airline. Also, European Rail System is one of the best and extensive networks in the world. Train travel is incredible but it can cause your budget to havoc. However cheap train travel is possible in Europe but you have to keep certain things in mind.
If you are eager to watch Europe by travelling through train then Eurail pass is your best bet. Eurail offers lots of passes from different countries and time periods. These can be much cheaper than buying tickets individually. It’s a good value for money. But one must get ready to do a lot of research prior to buying a pass to see how much tickets cost for your intended travel route. The best way to use the pass is for long distance trains because their single ticket will cost you more. So try to make a pass for long distance trains while paying for cheap tickets or short trips on the go. If a person is travelling vast distances over multiple countries, using a lot of high-speed trains, and travelling (semi) last minute, a Eurail pass will certainly save your money and is worth purchasing. If you want to book a pass, visit Rail Europe, It is the largest broker of European rail passes and they often have a discount on their passes making it one of the cheapest ways to travel Europe.
Another way apart from the Eurail pass is booking as early as possible because European tickets are sold in batches, with a selected number of really cheap tickets available first, then moving into higher prices range as they sell out. If you are sure where you are going then it is convenient to buy tickets as early as possible.
A great way to save time and money while travelling across Europe is by taking the night train. These are often less in prices.
8. Book your Accommodation Forehand:
Hostels are the best way to save a lot on your trip and also if you will book early there are chances that you will get suitable deals matching your budget. Youth hostels are safer, cleaner and comfier than many cheap hotels If you want to stay elsewhere, use Booking.com as they provide very cheap rates for guesthouses and budget-friendly hotels.
Apart from booking, there are certain ways that you can use.
Some travellers also try Couchsurfing which is a great way to meet locals and save money. Hospitality on Couchsurfing is absolutely free. You can offer to cook a meal from your home state in return. Visit their official website to know more. It is one of the cheapest ways to travel Europe that can help you save money as well as time.
Another way is camping and in this way, you would be able to save a lot on your expenses, moreover, many European families choose to travel by using Camping as there choice.
You can rent an apartment, look at HouseTrip and HomeAway.
Stay away from the city centre as you will get significantly cheaper prices if you’re willing to stay away from the city centre. Stay at a budget hotel chain like a Travelodge or an Ibis.
9. Travelling by Renting a Car:
Travelling by car may seem like a wonderful dream in Europe but it is complicated a little. The main issue with renting a car in Europe is that it contains hidden costs, including extra fees for crossing multiple countries, dropping off at different points etc. It is most unlikely that renting a car would be the cheapest way to travel to Europe, but you can get some of the best deals if you would research a little.
A good way to do that is using a comparison website to find the most competitive prices for a car rental. Expedia is one such option.
Always consider the hidden prices, many comparison websites would not show that so be sure to do your research. It is one of the safest and most preferable cheapest ways to travel Europe.
Consider Honey a free google chrome extension which looks up free coupon codes for you automatically and is an awesome way for saving a little extra on all travel bookings and any other online purchases.
10. Purchase a Local Sim card:
Roaming charges and accessing internet abroad can cost you ridiculously expensive so get yourself a local internet data only sim card. It will let you save a lot on your mobile bill.
11. Travel by a Bike:
If you can travel by bike. It not only saves you money, but it’s also great for your health. To book yourself a bike you can sign into Warmshowers website.
12. Don’t Withdraw money abroad from ATM:
It would possibly provide you with poor exchange rates from your bank and you may get charged a fee for every withdrawal. This tip is one of the cheapest ways to travel Europe that will help you save the conversion costs.
13. Travel Rome in August:
In August you can take advantage of cheaper rates in cities like Rome where the locals have gone to the coast.
When visiting museums and other notable sites, always ask if there are special rates available for students, seniors, or groups.
In Paris, plan your trip around the first Sunday of the month when all the main museums are free.
14. Try Housesitting:
Another cool option for finding free accommodation in Europe is trying out House sitting. It is kind of like exchanging homes with some local willing to travel and offering him your own place. This way he can make most of your world and your city while you do the same with his, just like recreating the famous Hollywood movie. It is one of the most intriguing cheapest ways to travel Europe that one should try once in a lifetime.
15. Shop Locally and Eat at Streets:
Buy your groceries at local markets, look for farmers markets and observe locals what they are buying to get the best deals. If you visit Spain then the cheapest way to eat out is by ordering the Menu del Dia, a fixed price menu which is offered to guests at lunchtime. It consists of a first course, the second course followed by dessert and coffee. In Northern Italy, the cheapest way to eat out is in the evening when you can go out for an ‘aperitivo’. The hours are generally between 7 and 9 pm. You order an ‘aperitif’- a glass of wine or martini and you get access to a buffet or some tasty snacks delivered to your table.
Timing plays a vital role in finding the best deals that are actually making ways for finding the cheapest ways to travel Europe. Avoid travelling during peak seasons and European holidays. Do proper research on your stay, and make plan likewise to enjoy your trip hassle-free. Research the current exchange routes as well that where is the dollar strongest. Select your locations according to your budget because some places are particularly easy on the Wallet. Cities like Prague and Budapest are more affordable as compared to others. Try to mix match your transportation like for short trips use bla bla car, for medium length take the bus and for long-distances take a high-speed train. Through strategic planning, you can get the most out of Europe.