Travelling in Europe On a Budget

Even if you’re on a restricted holiday budget, travelling in Europe can be a fantastic opportunity to visit some stunning locations at a very affordable cost. If you know what steps to follow, you can plan a thoroughly enjoyable and wallet-friendly trip.

As well as being far cheaper, when you stay away from expensive, overpriced tourist hotspots, you’ll be able to immerse among the locals and observe their daily lives—a unique travel experience that will make your journey all the more special.

Where Should You Go?

It is paramount to plan your European itinerary astutely. Airfares, airport transfers, and train tickets, among other transportation costs, make up a significant share of your travel budget. Travelling to a new destination takes time, effort, and financial resources. Not only can moving around a lot get expensive, but it will also take you away from the opportunity to spend afternoons meandering through cobbled streets and mornings taking in the sights after an early hike.

Keep abreast of the prices, schedules and lengths of your various connections and means of transport, as if you spent too many hours moving to each destination while you’re travelling in Europe, it can result in a huge waste of money and time. Be aware of which cities are poorly connected and which are transport hubs, and plan accordingly. Prague, for example, is extremely well connected, as is Geneva, while Venice is much harder to work into an itinerary.

With that said, don’t go somewhere just because you can. If a destination holds zero appeal for you, don’t go just because it’s on the way or because it’s cheap; save your money for another destination, or to spend at home.

What’s the Best Time of Year?

This is a question that depends on any number of factors. As a general rule, if budget is an issue, try to avoid travelling over the summer, especially to coastal areas. Flights surrounding Christmas and the New Year tend to be pricey as well, as do flights surrounding any popular local celebrations, such as festivals and parades. If you’re keen on seeing a certain event, remember that travelling in Europe can be quite flexible; instead of flying directly to an airport in peak travel times, perhaps fly to another, quieter location and take a train or bus to your destination.

Other school holidays and half term breaks are also best avoided if at all possible, and don’t assume that travelling in winter is always cheaper. Locations known for winter sports, for example, are likely to be expensive to fly to during winter and early spring, before the snow has melted, and this is something that should be taken into account when planning when you want to go travelling in Europe.

Whatever your budget, the opportunity to take a holiday travelling in Europe will always lead to a trove of memories and experiences. Plan accordingly and the world is your oyster.

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