Before I set out on my journey across Europe, I was terrified of travelling alone. My wanderlust overpowered my hesitation, and a year later, I’m still in love with my adventures, a versed traveler and a fan of making do. It’s a challenge and a thrill to find yourself in less than perfect conditions, when you can test your skills and adaptability.
I’ve decided to share my experience in the hopes of encouraging you to get out of your comfort zone, have a taste of various cultures and prevent possible troubles. Here are a few tips on how to travel on a tight budget and make the most of your visit to Europe!
Learn and plan
While it may not sound adventurous, taking your time to plan your route will save you the trouble of paying for unplanned stays, transportation or extra clothes for colder destinations. With a limited amount of money, you need to take any possibility into account, so learn as much as you can about your preferred destinations.
Make notes in your phone and book everything you can ahead, try finding some local restaurants and learn about the public transportation system of the country in question to make sure you are well-connected. This way, you will save time as well as money and you’ll be able to visit more relevant spots without excess spending.
When in Rome
In my experience, every single European city I’ve visited has an incredibly unique charm and personality that comes with the local spirit. Common sightseeing spectacles pale in comparison to local pubs, free public concerts and performances, as well as unadvertised games and hidden marketplaces teeming with the locals.
To taste the true charisma of the place you’re visiting, talk to the natives, ask for advice and keep your eyes open for less conspicuous flyers and notices that will lead you to experiences unique to that particular place. You can even find work to pay off some of your expenses! Although it’s always fun to see the most famous monuments, I have to say that a beer with a local brewer gives you a much more personal insight than a tourist-filled city spot.
Mingling with the locals also has an added benefit of picking up on trusted places to stay. Skipping hotels and fancy rooms will not only save you money, it will give you a priceless opportunity to share a flat with someone new and get into the spirit of the city even more. Staying with local flatmates for the duration of my visit to the UK has turned out to be the best way to experience the country.
I was able to spend less than $100 per week on accommodation, meet incredibly interesting local people and get inside information on the places that were worth a visit. Pre-booking my stay also helped cut down the costs and getting in touch with people prior to my travels ensured a safe, comfortable stay at a very low price.
Look for an all-inclusive city pass
Larger cities such as Paris usually offer these passes that offer tourists various discounts on different museums, art exhibitions, public transportation and historic landmarks. The value of a single pass is usually a fraction of the total cost of these offers if you were to pay their regular prices separately.
While you may want to see more than what these passes offer, you should always prioritize, because traveling on a budget also means making reasonable sacrifices, so that you can see more cities. On the other hand, culturally rich cities also have annual festivals that are worth a visit, so use that planning time to consider when these events take place and if there are any added perks and discounts during that particular season.
Although we can all agree that travelling is a priceless experience no matter the destination or the length of your stay, keeping in mind your budget will give you an equally invaluable peace of mind for the duration of your adventures, and you’ll greet your next journey as a much wiser traveler!
About the author
Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. Most of her free time at home she spends walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.