Traveling Europe can be an eye-opening experience. The sights, the sounds, the smells… everything is so different from home.
That’s why you need to pack your suitcase with a backpacker’s mindset and a travel itinerary that won’t leave you disappointed.
Even if you are on a budget, don’t worry; we have some great money-saving tips for traveling Europe on a tight budget.
Know your budget
This is the first and most crucial thing you need to know when you’re planning a trip to Europe.
How much do you have to spend? How much are you willing to spend? These are questions you need to ask yourself and answer honestly.
If you don’t already know, you’re probably going to be spending more than you think.
Traveling is an amazing experience, but it can be expensive if you don’t know how to do it right.
That’s why it’s important to set a budget, preferably one that’s realistic and one that you can stick to.
No, you don’t have to be a millionaire to travel to Europe, but you do need to be willing to do some saving up — and you’re going to have to be selective with how you spend your money.
Timing is everything
We’ve talked about this briefly in the introduction, but it’s worth mentioning again because it’s such an important topic when you’re traveling on a budget.
Timing is everything when it comes to traveling, and when it comes to traveling on a budget, you want to avoid the crowds.
If you want to save money while traveling, avoid traveling to Europe during the peak seasons.
Some of the most popular travel times include the summer months (June – August) and the winter months (December – February).
Predicting peak travel seasons is always a bit tricky, but some of the most popular destinations have predictable crowds.
The best way to find out when these times are is by doing research and paying attention to when the weather is nice.
If you’re able to travel during the less popular times, you’ll save yourself a lot of money.
Book your accommodation early
There’s no doubt that Europe is a popular travel destination, but there’s also not a lot of information out there on where the best place to stay is in a certain city.
With that said, you can expect there to be a ton of people visiting Europe during the same time as you.
You can avoid this by booking your accommodation as soon as possible. There are a few websites that let you book your accommodation early.
These include Booking.com, Hostelworld, and Airbnb. If you book early enough, you can even get a discount on your stay.
It’s a great way to save money, but it can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Make sure you check the reviews of the place you’re staying at and make sure they’re verified. Trust me, you don’t want to stay in a sketchy place.
Travel in off-peak seasons
As we previously discussed, you don’t want to travel during the peak seasons, but you also don’t want to travel during the off-peak seasons, either.
You want to try to find somewhere in the middle; a time when there aren’t a lot of people visiting Europe, but the weather is nice.
Some of the best times to travel to Europe are in the spring and fall. The weather is nice, the crowds are small, and you’re able to get great deals.
If you’re not sure where to start, the best thing you can do is research.
Look at the different countries and the different places you want to visit, and see what time of year they’re at their peak. You can also look up the average temperatures for each part of the year, and that way you can make sure you’re not traveling when it’s too hot or too cold.
Be an extreme skimmer
This is a trick that many travelers use to save money on meals and drinks. It takes a little bit of skill, but you’ll be surprised at how much money you can save if you’re good at it.
When you’re eating out or buying drinks, pay attention to the prices. If you see something that is cheap, order it! For example, water is often super cheap, so you can easily order several glasses of water without having to buy a $15 drink. If you see someone else’s drink that looks good, ask if you can try it.
This can be a little risky sometimes, but if you’re friendly, most people will be okay with it.
Ask for deals and use loyalty programs
Traveling Europe is expensive enough as it is, but if you’re not careful, it can cost you even more.
That’s why it’s a good idea to look for deals and use loyalty programs where you can.
If you’re staying in a hostel, ask if they have a loyalty program. If you’re renting a car, ask if they have a deal for a certain period of time.
This is something you should do no matter what time of year you’re traveling.
The best thing you can do is ask around, and whenever you can, try to barter and negotiate. This is something you should bring with you to Europe.
If you’re spending a lot of money on your trip, there’s no better time to start saving money.
Bring your own food and drink
Not only is it cheaper to bring your own food and drink when traveling, it’s healthier, too.
There are tons of options when it comes to traveling and eating, but it’s not always the most economical choice.
If you’re trying to save money while traveling, you should bring your own food and drink.
You can bring bread and peanut butter, cereal, or anything else that you can eat for breakfast.
For lunch and dinner, you can bring sandwiches, fruits, and veggies. Bringing your own food can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Don’t be afraid to haggle
You’re visiting Europe, and you’re on a budget, so that means you need to be willing to haggle.
Buses and trains are great, but if you can save more money by renting a car or taking a taxi, then that’s what you should do.
Hotels, souvenirs, and pretty much everything else can be haggled.
When you’re visiting the different cities, you want to make sure you get the most out of your visit.
That means you need to know where to go and what to do.
You can get a tour guide or you can use an app such as City Mapper that has maps and information on all of the popular landmarks in every city.