Your Ultimate Cheatsheet To Budget Travelling through Europe

The awesome thing about Europe is that it can be experienced on any budget. But the thrill of stealing the best deals makes our Indian hearts beam with pleasure – and our pockets thank us for it! Here are some practical tips that will make your economic Euro trip, the adventure of a lifetime.

  • Plan the big things early: Perhaps the biggest fluctuations in your travel budget will be on account of flight prices. Book the main flights as early as possible to lock in a good rate. Many airlines have useful “price promise” for early birds i.e if the price drops subsequently, they will pay the difference. Hotels are next. Thankfully, most places on online portals such as provide you with refundable bookings, making it easy for you to block rooms at a good rate.
  • Stay at hostels wherever you can: They’re inexpensive, they’re typically centrally located, present in almost every European city, and they’re full of other young travellers. The best part – competition between hostels has grown over the last few years, so the quality has risen considerably. Try or for the best bets.
  • Take an overnight train/bus where possible: This serves two purposes – it generally will be a cheaper ticket and it helps you save the accommodation charges that you’d otherwise end up paying for a room.
  • Carry some amount of food: The proverbial theplas on your Euro trip may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you consider how much money you’d be saving if you got the snacking urge covered through stuff from home, you’d quickly change your mind about it. Another smart option is to pick up snacky foods locally – many departmental stores in Europe have fancy deli’s with great gourmet food at prices no restaurant can match.
  • Avoid being a “tourist”: As with anywhere else in the world, Europe is as much about charm of its countryside villages as it is about the grandeur of its cities. We highly recommend staying away from tourist spots. Even in picking restaurants, avoiding those tourist traps with “We speak English” boards outside and finding restaurants that locals frequent can help you save a lot of money. Anyway, such choices always make for much better stories
  • Travel cheap: There are a lot of low cost bus services like Busabout that have really cheap fares all around Europe. You can also choose to hitchhike with services like Bla Bla Car. Alternatively, for longer distances, nothing beats the Eurail – it offers you the option of building your own pass according to your itinerary. Refer to websites like that can guide you through the whole process. For air travel, you can opt for budget airlines that fly in at smaller airports – not only is it more economical, it’s also much less crowded.

train-1542096_1920European train rides are playgrounds for amazing travel stories and can save you some money too

  • Be mindful of the seasons: The summer might be the busiest travel season, but Europe is a great place to visit year-round. We recommend going there in the shoulder seasons – from September to late November and then from April to June – which will help you escape the maddening summer crowds and peak tourist rates, and at the same time not expose you to the cold, grey winters. Check out our easy guide on travel seasons here.
  • Make the most of discounts: One of the wonders of visiting a developed country is the benefits – most places and even transportation provide you with student and senior citizen discounts. YMCA memberships also help skim a few bucks on hostels. Another great hack is checking for ‘free days’ at museums and historic places – even the Louvre has free entry on the first Sunday of every month. Museum passes can make a lot of sense as they save time and money, especially if you are a “wanna see it all” art and history buff.
  • Choose family-run businesses: Look for family-run hotels, restaurants and tour operators, they have a greater need to attract repeat business and referrals. They are often more interested in offering deals.
  • Rent, rent, rent: Even if you take as much care as possible with the weather, you’re going to need a lot of travel gear and accessories – backpacks (much easier and convenient way to travel), cameras and accessories (toping up for the right equipment and those cool accessories can really make a difference), travel gadgets and electronics. Renting gear can help you upgrade your experience in an otherwise budget trip and save you upto 90% of your pre-travel shopping!

We would love to hear about your hacks to do Europe on a budget in style!

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