10 tips to save money and travel around Europe on a budget

Stretch your vacation budget to the extreme and still have the time of your life with these 10 tips to save money when traveling in Europe.

Traveling through Europe is a dream for most vacationers. One of the most beautiful and historic continents on the planet, there are incredible, bustling cities and picturesque countryside to visit in every European nation.

While you will have to use Cignpost Diagnostics before your train or plane ride to the first destination on your European tour, the rest of your preparation can focus on where you will stay, how many great sites you can visit, and how you can stretch your budget to include more destinations.

Read on for 10 trips for traveling around Europe on a budget. Even if you were not able to save as much as you were hoping for this year’s vacation, you can still have an incredible time with friends or family on your upcoming trip.

1) Stay at a hostel

The number one tip to save money when you are traveling around Europe is to choose back-to-basics budget stays. Opting for basic stays like hostels or affordable Airbnbs can save you a significant amount of money as they cost a fraction of the price of hotel rooms.

Plus, you are likely to spend most of your time outside anyway. Hostels are extremely affordable, and if you explore online reviews you can find one that is clean and in a convenient location.

2) Book your tickets early

If you are planning to take a plane journey to your first destination of this European vacation, book your ticket as soon as possible. You are likely to get a cheaper flight if you book early. Even if you are traveling by train, booking tickets a few weeks in advance lets you take advantage of lower rates.

3) Avoid a summer trip

Not only is summer the busiest time to travel around Europe, but prices are also higher during those months. If you are hoping to see as many cities as possible on a budget, then you should consider traveling during the spring, fall, or winter.

The main reason for this is that you can catch the off-season which means fewer crowds and of course, better priced tickets, helping you travel Europe without breaking the bank.

4) Use local transit

Tourists can end up spending far too much money on taxis and Ubers when they are traveling across Europe. While you may be tempted to take a taxi each time you are going somewhere or heading back to your accommodation, you are much better off riding local transit. Not only will you save money, but you get a feel for the experience as a local in that city or town.

5) Check your phone plan

Before you head off on your trip, double-check your smartphone plan to ensure that you will not have to pay extra fees for using internet service outside your home country. Some carriers require you to pay a modest fee for data coverage abroad, while others may not have the option available at all.

6) Visit neighborhood favorites

A mistake that many tourists make when they are doing a tour of Europe is to only visit spots near the city center. While those areas may be the most popular, they are not necessarily the most indicative of the charms of a city. By searching local favorites in various neighborhoods, you can find great places to eat, sightsee, and enjoy activities while saving money and having an enjoyable experience.

7) Explore smaller towns

Do not limit yourself to European capitals or major cities. Cities such as Paris, Berlin, Milan, and Madrid are beautiful, but they are not the only charming parts of Europe. Smaller cities, towns, and villages are equally enjoyable, especially if you take the time to research the most picturesque and tourist-friendly areas.

8) Focus on a few countries

When you are on a budget for your European vacation, seeing the entire continent may not be practical. Not only would it mean having to spend very little time in each place, but you would run out of money fairly quickly. The best way to travel on a budget is to pick three or four countries and explore those, and then visit other places the next time you plan a vacation.

9) Check for online discounts for events

If you are hoping to attend sports games, theater performances, concerts, or museum openings, check online to see what discounts are available. You may find deals through your credit card company, the website of the event organizer, or on social media. 

10) Keep walking

Do not shy away from walking a great deal when touring. Europe is best experienced by leisurely strolling around its various cities and towns, as you get a feel for the local atmosphere and charms. You can walk through neighborhoods and visit tourist attractions without having to spend a penny, all the while having a stellar cultural experience.

Photo by Vitor Monteiro