So many of us wish we could travel the world and see everything that this incredible planet has to offer. However, not all of us can afford to jet off to the Americas or Asia, however, much we’re dying to go. If you’re like us then the thought of Europe has probably crossed your mind once or twice; there’s the rather pretty Med, the cultured filled East side and then the chilly Northern bits. What’s not to love? If you’re planning on trekking round Europe anytime soon then here’s how to do it properly, on a shoestring budget.
Plan your route
Under no circumstances should you just book a flight to France and decide you’ll work your way from there until you run out of money. Know why? Because you’ll run out of money before you even make it out of France. If you don’t want the embarrassment of turning back up at home within a week, then you need to make sure you plan your route. By having a route through Europe, you will have a better idea of the time (and money) you can spend in each place. It’s fine to divert from your plan a little bit, if you meet some fellow travelers, for example, but try not to throw it away altogether.
Every traveler will tell you something different about booking hostels and hotels; some will say that you really need to book in advance, others say it’s cheaper when you get there. The latter may be true in some cases, but what if there’s nowhere available when you get there? Are you going to blow your budget on a hotel or sleep on the streets of Russia? Use a company like Venere Hotels to find cheap lodgings for each destination. A travelers tip is just to book one night at the cheapest place and then have a look around for something else when you get there.
Train or plane?
You’ll see a lot of debate online about whether getting a train round Europe is cost effective, especially when you consider the prices of InterRail. It all depends on when you’re going to be going, how much time you have to book in advance and your personal preference. A plane is probably the cheapest option for travelling into Europe, especially if you are going somewhere such as Eastern Europe. However, once your feet are firmly on the ground you may find it cheaper to buy train tickets. InterRail doesn’t actually work out very cheap, as they are a lot of restrictions as to when and how you can travel. Check out local transportation such as buses, coaches and trams for when you’re moving around each country.
Travel and work
Last up, one of the best ways to travel round certain parts of Europe on the cheap is by working. There are plenty of different places that allow travellers to work in return for bed and board, including hostels, farms and even schools. This can be risky business in some countries, so make sure you opt for a reputable service that can hook you up with these opportunities.
Now, you just need to invest in a big map of Europe, a rucksack, and away you go. We warn you though, you may find yourself bitten by the travel bug.