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How To Tour Europe Affordably

It is possible to travel Europe cheaply.

Woman photographer

Europe is not only one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world, but is also known as being one of the most expensive. But it doesn’t have to be this way, a there are plenty of ways to travel around Europe affordably for almost any budget. So come and learn how the Dutch make cheese, take gondola rides through Venetian canals, and ponder the Leaning Tower of Pisa, all without breaking the bank. Here’s how:

Take budget airlines

Ryanair Plane

Taking budget airlines around Europe is one of the most cost effective ways to jump around the continent. Airlines like Vueling, EasyJet, Eurowings, Flybe, and Norwegian Air often have extremely competitively priced tickets for flights to and from as well as within Europe. Think flying from the UK to Germany for under $100 or from Athens to Paris for $150. Using flight search sites, like Kiwi.com, is one of the best ways to book cheap flights to Europe on budget or full service airlines with their particular style of virtual interlining.

Take the bus

FlixBus

When many travelers think of traveling around Europe, they often envision themselves cruising across the continent on a long, romantic train journey. And while the train is a wonderful way to travel there, it is usually not the cheapest. The bus — as unglamorous as it may sound — is generally the cheapest way to travel in Europe. You can get tickets on Megabus for as low as 1 GBP if you book early enough. Or you can travel all day on a bus that you can book on GoEuro.com for as low as 20 Euro. These buses also usually include free WIFI, electrical outlets, big, comfortable seats, and free baggage. Really, if you want to travel in Europe affordably, take the bus.

Take a cheap tour

France

While you can certainly go it alone in Europe, booking your own transportation and accommodation to save money, this isn’t always the most time effective way. While saving money is a key concern of many travelers, saving time should also be a priority — taking a trip should ultimately be about enjoying time, not pinching pennies. There are tour agencies, such as Tourradarm that can help you discover every inch of a new country with their untrivial trips — such as European tours with up to a 60% discount. Tour operators are often able to get nice hotel rooms, transport, and entertainment cheaper than you can as an individual, and they also remove the headache of needing to plan everything yourself. If the goal of your travels is to enjoy yourself, then a tour could be what you’re really looking for.

Keep your stuff to a minimum

Traveler with backpack

The more travel gear you have, the more you are going to have to pay for it. You can call it the stuff tax. Airline baggage restrictions have gotten incredibly stingy, with all types of airlines seemingly trying to sucker their passengers into paying exorbitant gate check baggage fees after catching them trying to board the flight with bags that weigh too much. Europe has just about anything you can want, so rather than packing everything you can imagine needing into you suitcase, just take the bare essentials and provision everything else en route. Traveling light is no longer just a strategy to travel more comfortably but also to save money and, ultimately, to tour Europe as affordably as possible.

Stay outside the tourism district

Europe highway

When trying to decide on a place to stay in a city, be aware that certain types of areas have different pricing tiers. The farther outside of the city center, the cheaper the hotels and AirBnbs tend to be. But staying outside of the city center can also be a big inconvenience, and having to take public transport or taxis everywhere can offset whatever amount of money you’re actually saving anyway. So the trick is to try to stay in a convenient location inside of a city center — ideally within walking distance to the places you want to visit — but outside of the trendiest tourist areas, where the masses are trying to stay and driving up prices. So rather than just following the crowds, look for rooms in well-placed residential areas, where you can access everything a city has to offer at a good price — and perhaps even pick up a little local culture along the way.

Conclusion

While Europe is generally one of the more expensive regions in the world to travel, there are some things that you can do to make traveling there not only affordable but even relatively cheap. Follow these tips to save some cash and get the most out of your European tour.

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