A major journey is at hand. One that promises to take you away from the drab metropolis – a skyscraper cage to which you’ve devoted so many precious years of your life, sitting like a robot on your workstation, following a strict nine-to-five routine.
Yes, a journey does await you. A much-deserved expedition through the most remarkable aspects of Europe. Why Europe? Because the whole continent is full of wonders. Wonders which are bound to blow your mind away and give a new meaning to your depressed spirit.
But the major question is: Can you afford Europe in its massive entirety with your modest pocket? If your answer is no, then, I bet I can convert it into a ‘yes’ by the end of this post.
Nothing is impossible if you know how to make your way around it, and that is precisely what I’m going to teach you, so you can head over to the nearest airport for sure! Check out some of the best tried-and-tested tips below, and let me know which ones work out for you.
Prefer Off-Seasons Instead of Peak Ones
How can you hit two targets in a single shot? By visiting the European countries during the shoulder season (September-November, Easter-Early June). Why? Because the crowd is minimal, the weather is pleasantly mild and nature’s beauty is at its peak. Spring and Fall convert the whole region into a bejeweled specter worth beholding. Like something out of a cinematic classic (Before Sunrise) available for ordering from this package. Most importantly, the fares go down and you can enjoy a low rate on every single thing you come across.
Keep an Eye Out for Flight Deals
Transatlantic flights can get pretty hefty, price wise. So, always look around for the best flight deals and discount cards which can sever the fare in half. I’d recommend subscribing to newsletters of popular travel agencies and joining wanderlust forums online. YVR Deals is a famous site, FYI. The time of booking matters too. Research shows that people who book their flights on Tuesday midnight, get to save 6% more.
Pack Light and Avoid Luggage Rates
It is a point worth mentioning again and again that the less baggage you carry with you, the more money you get to save on flights and whatnot. So, always pack light. Just the basics. A summer dress, a pair of jeans, a sweater, a pair of comfortable walking shoes, first aid and other toiletries etc. I’d recommend going for a backpacker’s approach to save a little extra.
Get an All-Inclusive Pass
Many cities offer a tourist-friendly card with special discounts for the first-time travelers. For instance, there is the ‘Berlin Welcome Card’ and ‘Oslo Welcome Card’ etc. With these cards, you get an all-inclusive green signal to wrap up many sightseeing spots in one day and partake in walking tours and cultural activities around the city, with free public transportation! Speaking of public transportation, I’d recommend getting a Visitor Oyster card for when you’re in London. It is a quick way of getting around without the money hassle, and it works for Tube, TfL Rail, Overground etc. Convenient, right?
Travel by Rail to Save Up
Ask any expert traveler and they’d tell you the same thing: Choose the train network as a primary means of getting around Europe. Why? Because one, railway stations are located right in the middle of the cities, so you don’t have to travel far. Two, you can book a train ticket any time you want to, even online, without having to wait in queues and worry about security checkups. Three, train travel saves you expenses on accommodation and food. If you get a sleeper bunk for $35-$65 extra on a night train, you won’t have to spend a $100 something for a night at a hotel. The views are great and it cuts your time in short.
Manage your Money Wisely
Nobody travels with a wad of cash on his or her person anymore. It’s just not safe what with pickpockets going around. Cards are the main means of transactions. But even these cards can empty your budget before you get a chance to say ‘what?’ I mean, across international waters, your usual credit/debit cards will charge you a 2-3% foreign transaction fee on every single purchase or withdrawal that you make. So, be very careful and choose the travel-friendly cards, like the Chase varieties, which don’t charge high-interest rate. Not only that, refrain from changing currency at the airport of the target destination because that will just rip you off. Convert it beforehand.
Choose your Accommodation Smartly
There are plenty of accommodation options in Europe which you can try depending on your budget. The best and the most inexpensive one would be CouchSurfing. It is a hospitality and social networking service which enables the traveling members to stay at locals’ houses without charges. It is a gift economy. Then, there are budget hotel chains like Travelodge and Ibis which you can try out. Airbnb is an eternal option, so when nothing else works, you can opt for this.
There are many more things which you would need to consider in order to make your Euro-journey smooth and bump-free, money-wise. But for now, these tips will suffice. One more thing that I’d like to point out again is that plan everything in advance and in detail. The better equipped you are with the travel know-how, the more you’ll get to save in the long run and fulfil your Euro-dream.
Rimsha Ather is a professional writer with an honors degree in English Literature and two years’ worth of practical experience in content creation, curation, and marketing. Her blogging interests range from lifestyle to travel, with the latter gaining special attention from the readers. On the side, she is a metal-enthusiast, an occasional painter and a culinary freak with flavorsome stories up her sleeve.
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