- Don’t travel to Europe in the summer if you can avoid it
This is actually the worst time to visit Europe. Prices are at their highest, the cities are uncomfortably crowded and all of the locals are on holidays.
Travel off-season instead for a more local experience. In winter, hotels can be discounted by 40% so you can get a great deal.
- Visit the Tourist Information point
When first arriving in a new city make sure to stop by the tourism bureau for discounts, free maps and cost-free events.
- Try to find if the city offers an all-inclusive pass that gets you access to museums plus also public transportation.
If you are planning to pack in a number of visitor attractions, in the end , you save a lot of money when using these passes. Eg: Oslo Welcome card, Berlin Welcome Card which includes free public transportation and lots of discounts to sights, tours, restaurants, museums and more.
- Walk or use local transport
Walk as much as you can, but if you can’t then use public transport over taxis; buy 24-hour, 3-day or even weekly public transport passes, which work out cheaper than single tickets.
- Do as the locals do
Join local workers at pubs for happy hours; check out local sports matches which are often free or cheap; and if you see a local fair or festival advertised, get along to it. All of these things can provide a terrific insight into how people lead their lives and be just as rewarding as visiting a major visitor attraction
- Go slow and cheap
Use bikes or try trains, especially regional and local trains, which can be very cheap in countries like Poland and Hungary.
- Mobile internet- how to avoid a costly bill at the end of the trip
Roaming charges and accessing internet abroad is still ridiculously expensive so go local and get yourself a local internet data only simcard. If you can unlock your phone, brilliant. If your phone is locked then buy a mobile Wi-Fi (mifi) device which costs around €50. In terms of making free phone calls to friends and family- you’ve got FaceTime (if you both own an Apple phone) or try the Viber app ( free to download) or Skype. Another useful app in terms of free messaging is Whatsapp which too is free to download.
- Taking the train? Consider going point to point
If you can plan your Euro trip well in advance, there are some great savings to be made from booking train fares in advance.
Plan your schedules using the excellent German D Bahn website and also check out Rail Europe. For example you can go from Frankfurt to Amsterdam or Paris in less than 4 hours from just €39 or from Copenhagen to Hamburg in 4.5 hours starting at only €29.
- Take the night train?
A great way to save time and money when travelling across Europe is by taking the night train. There are lots of sleeper trains between major cities in Europe and they are comfortable and convenient. For example you can take advantage of Deutsche Bahn’s excellent SparNight promo fares where you can go from Amsterdam to Copenhagen for around €29-€49 range.
- Travel with a friend or partner
Travelling in Europe is still not as solo travel friendly as you might think it should be in the 21st century. Lots of hotels charge supplements for single travellers which is unfair. Plus single rooms tend to be quite basic and stripped down. The cost of a double is almost the same as a single so if you can travel with a friend or partner, great.
- Don’t withdraw money abroad from an ATM.
You are likely to get a very poor exchange rate from your bank and be also charged a fee for every withdrawal.
- Don’t buy your travel currency at the airport
Don’t leave buying your travel currency till reaching the airport-you will get ripped off.
- Travelling with family? Try a hostel
Apartments are excellent but if you are looking for cheaper alternatives, you should also consider hostels. There is a new breed of family friendly hostels popping up across Europe.
- Rent an apartment
Rent an apartment, shop at the local outdoor market and cook your meals to save money on your food bill.
- Rome in August?
In August, take advantage of cheaper rates in cities like Rome where the locals have ‘gone to the coast’
- Stay away from the city centre
In almost every major European city you can get significantly cheaper prices if you are willing to stay away from the city centre.
- Picnic in the park
Public parks and gardens can be a great source of entertainment; take a picnic lunch and take in the action and just delight in how differently people live their lives in other places.
Source: budget traveler