Europe on a budget? You bet! Here are some ways to help you to enjoy your holiday without spending a lot of money.
1. Go for budget airlines
The good news is, there are plenty of budget airlines available in Europe to take you from one destination to another with Ryanair and easy Jet being the most popular ones. Believe it or not, your air ticket can go as low as £9.99 (without airport tax), that’s like approximately RM60! But of course, don’t expect the plane to be all high-class and luxurious, expect something like AirAsia and Firefly. The most important thing here is that they get you where you need to go for a much lower price, what more can you ask for?
2. Travel during the off season
Don’t make any trip to Europe in the summer if you can avoid it. Yes, it has the perfect weather for everything and you don’t have to bring that extra luggage of winter clothes with you. But the truth is, you’ll end up spending more than you should when travelling during peak season. Most hotels and restaurants are going to charge you a much higher price than during the off-peak season. Besides, all the major European cities are going to be crowded and that means you’ll have to wait for an extra hour to get into the Lourve or go up the Duomo.
3. Stay in Airbnb
Spending a night in a hotel is going to cost you a bomb. Especially when you’re travelling during peak season. Yes, a hotel is going to provide you with a more comfortable stay, but let’s face, when you’re travelling abroad, most of your time spent is outside the hotel room. So why invest so much in something you’re going to spend only 8 to 10 hours in? A great alternative is to B&B it or book a house. I’m sure many of you have tried or at least heard of airbnb.com or other sites like booking.com (where you can book apartments or rooms in houses), and there’s a reason for this. With these sites, you can search for any kind of room anywhere you desire. It’s cheap and this is the one chance you can live like a local by staying in one. But of course you should always check out the reviews before you make a booking.
4. Plan ahead
The best way to save money is to plan ahead. Look up on the Internet on where to go, what to eat and what the best deals available are before you arrive. Build an itinerary by noting down how many nights you plan to stay in each city and estimate the cost you’re going to spend for each day. Then it’ll be easier for you to budget your money . The schedule that you’ve set in your itinerary will help you to book your travel arrangement in advance, and we all know that booking in advance (especially for flights and accommodations) will save you money.
5. Handle your money with care
Keeping an estimate of how much you’ll be spending on your trip will give you a rough idea how much cash you should bring with you. It may not be the safest option (never keep all your money in the same place), but withdrawing money from the ATM and exchanging currency are equally risky and costly. Stay clear from credit card too if you must and only use it when you really need it to avoid paying unnecessary tax.
6. Eat like a local
Forget about those fancy restaurants that you’ve seen in movies. If you want to do a budget trip, save money by buying sandwiches and foods from roadside stalls. They’re just as delicious and probably won’t cost you more than what they offered in the restaurants. Those take outs also allow you to picnic across Europe and you’ll get to see so much more than if you do eating in a restaurant. But if you do go to a restaurant, go for those frequented by locals. The easiest way to spot them is by looking at the crowds and the menu. The cost will always be lower and you can guarantee that the food they serve is more authentic.