Simple tips for doing Europe on a budget
Fact: Europe is gorgeous. Fact: most of us want to travel extensively through Europe. Fact: most of us can’t afford it. Fact: you can travel on a budget in Europe!
Stay just outside capital cities
One of your biggest costs during a European holiday is accommodation. The bigger the city; the bigger the hotel bill is going to be. Of course, you could do the backpacker thing and stay in a dorm at a YHA. But if that’s not your thing, look for accommodation that’s just outside major capital centres.
Europe is so much more compact than Australia and for that reason, they have brilliant public transport. When a friend and I stayed in Venice, we stayed in a little hotel just outside of the city. A bus ran directly into the heart of Venice every 15 minutes and cost us next to nothing.
Also, big cities are noisy, so you’ll also get the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle at stand a better chance of getting a peaceful night’s sleep.
Ever tried ‘glamping’
You’ve probably heard of Glamorous Camping or ‘glamping’ for short? An Irish friend of mine believes that Europeans invented it, which is probably likely given that Europe is generally synonymous with class and sophistication! When she holidays with her hubby and two kids, they head for cabins in caravan parks. Cabins vary in size and creature comforts and can be an excellent way to cut down your accommodation costs.
Drive your way around Europe
Your second biggest cost during your European holiday is transport. If you’re up to the challenge of driving on the other side of the road, hire or buy a van and doing a driving holiday. You’ll not only get the opportunity to get off the beaten track, you’ll save a fair bit of money and have greater flexibility in where and when you travel.
Check out low cost airlines such as Ryanair, for their crazy cheap flights. Of course, you won’t be flying directly into a capital city, but you’ll be close enough and most airlines have dedicated shuttle services that will take you directly to your destination. If you’re flexible with your dates, this is a great way to cover large distances quickly.
Buy your Eurail pass before you go
The train network across Europe is nothing short of brilliant. You can access almost all of Europe this way. Trains are clean, fast and ridiculously reliable. If you’re travelling for a good length of time, save big bucks by buying your Eurail pass in Australia before you go, as you can’t season passes once you’re over there.
Weekend trips from the UK
If you’re thinking about doing a working holiday in the UK, do it! City breaks in Europe are probably the best way to travel around Europe as you can earn British Pounds which are worth way more than Aussie dollars and the Euro.
Using the UK as your base, you can do quick weekend trips to the continent and back or save you Pounds and take a few weeks off throughout the year.
So don’t despair, you really can find way to cut costs while travelling around Europe. Talk to as many people as possible for clever travel tips, including travel agents and plan ahead as best you can. Bon voyage!