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6 effortless money saving tips for traveling to Europe on a budget

December 3, 2022
Tourist bus driving through London

Our post are auto-translated for your convenience, but please note that the quality of these translations may not be perfect. We are working on ways to improve the translations for a better reading experience.

Europe is home to some of the most glamorous cities and regions worldwide. London, Paris, and Milan, to name a few.

Therefore, it's no surprise it welcomes around 713 million international visitors annually.

Although these cities should be on every traveller's bucket list, there are a few drawbacks. The biggest problem is that you could suffer from open wallet surgery if you're not careful.

The good news is that there are ways to save your hard-earned cash no matter where you travel in Europe. So you can put that cash towards other dining and cultural experiences.

Sound promising? Keep reading to discover how to turn your venture into a cheap Europe trip!

1. Choosing Your Destination

Choosing your destination is the most significant impact on your travel expenses. It's tempting to follow the crowd and visit typical tourist cities. But be sure to explore an area that suits your preferences, not just somewhere you want to say you've been.

Eastern Europe is a fantastic place to start your adventure. World Population says six eastern nations are in the top seven cheapest countries. Not only are cities affordable, they're also some of the most fascinating.

For travel inspiration, you can find the most visited cities in the region below.

  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Krakow, Poland
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Tallinn, Estonia
  • Bucharest, Romania
  • Bratislava, Slovakia

In these cities, you'll spend less on food, drinks, hotels, transport, and entertainment.

2. Choosing Accommodation

You're spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation in Europe. You'll find it here whether it's upscale resorts, bargain dorms, or anything in between.

You may be inclined to book the most inexpensive accommodation option online. Yet, if you want a cheap European vacation, you need to put in a little more effort in searching.

First, consider what you want to do in the area. If you wish to explore the main sights, you'll want to stay within the city center. Otherwise, you'll spend more cash travelling on public transport to town daily.

Also, consider your accommodation options. Apartments and hostels usually come with a kitchen. Thus, you can save a handful of cash every day by eating and cooking meals at home.

3. Money Saving Tips for Food and Drinks

Europe is a food lovers' paradise. And it's blessed with traditional restaurants that date back hundreds of years.

Of course, everyone wants to sample a pizza in Rome or fine wine in Bordeaux. Unfortunately, it's hard to test the local flavors when you're on a cheap vacation in a tourist city.

But with a few tips and tricks, you can learn how to taste some delicious authentic cuisine, on a budget, in any city.

The first step is to avoid eating at dining outlets inside or near tourist attractions. They're only targeting tourists. No locals eat there. That means the prices are higher than usual, and the food lacks the secret ingredients of the area.

Arguably, the best way to eat in a city is at the local markets. You can pick up some fresh ingredients and head to a park or beach for a picnic or BBQ. If the weather is not on your side, you can cook a meal in your apartment's kitchen.

4. Decide When to Travel

There are 52 weeks in the year, and each one affects the price of your cheap European vacation.

Flexibility is the key to getting a good deal. If you can travel during the week, the price of the flights and rooms will be significantly lower. A bonus is that sites will have fewer visitors and the streets aren't crowded with tourists.

The best way to budget travel in Europe is by visiting in the off-season.

The peak tourist season is from early June to early September. The off-season is from November to March, apart from ski destinations.

Off-season is the best time to visit. It's April-May and September-October. In that period, flight and room prices can drop by 40%, and you can still enjoy pleasant weather.

A top tip is to search for special events during your desired timeframe. Visiting Ireland during St. Patrick's Day won't do your bank account any favors.

5. Choose the Right Method of Payment

19 EU members use Euros, but there are 29 currencies throughout the entire continent.

You'll need three currencies to travel from the Czech Republic to Austria and Hungary. Therefore exchanging money can be exhausting on an extended trip.

Since the global pandemic, most establishments are switching to digital currency. You can now pay by card in most locations while traveling here.

There are endless pre-paid, visa, or credit card suppliers. But to save money effortlessly, check out the bunq banking plans. With the Easy Money or Easy Green plan, you’ll pay no fees when you spend overseas. What’s more? You can keep money in up to 16 different currencies and avoid currencies fluctuations altogether.

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6. Consider Your Transport Options

The extensive transport options make Europe the backpacking capital of the world. You can easily reach almost any nation by train, plane, or bus from wherever you are.

The Interrail Pass is popular with Europeans and those from outside the continent. It's an all-in-one ticket that allows you to travel on as many trains as you select. That's a convenient option, but you could save money if you consider all your options first. 

There are plenty of bus companies that operate across Europe. Flixbus is the most popular. You can find routes between popular cities like Vienna and Prague for only 9.99 EUR.

Once you pick your route around Europe, be sure to consider every option from getting to A to B.

Experience Budget Friendly Travel in Europe

You can travel in Europe on a budget but still in style and comfort. Just because you spend less, it doesn't mean you will struggle through or miss out. You're just cleverly spending your well-earned cash.

Using our six money-saving tips, you can save enough money to experience more activities in the regions you visit. Or put that cash towards your next getaway.

So why not join our bank for free, and start effortlessly saving money today? And you can start planning your once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

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