Tourists have been flocking to the Old Continent for years due to its fascinating historical sites, thriving cultural centres that have been there for thousands of years, and, of course, the magnificent Mediterranean beaches where one may relax and learn the art of doing nothing.
Unfortunately, there is a price to pay for this. Whether you’re looking for the best places to spend your summer vacation or the most luxurious ski resorts in the winter, Europe is not a cheap continent to visit. Our vast list of travel advice for Europe means you can tour the continent even on a small budget.
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Create a list
The first thing we do, in the grand tradition of travellers everywhere, is make a list.
First things first: prepare a list of all the places you wish to see on your vacation. This will allow you to better plan your itinerary and maximise the benefits of going from north to south and east to west. You may compare the costs and benefits of different transportation options like bus, plane, or train (in which case you may get a five- or ten-trip train ticket).
Make sure to add on the second list all the things you want to do at each site. While in Paris, you may visit the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, take a bike tour, and enjoy a French degustation, to name just a few of the city’s many attractions. If you have a plan, you are less likely to waste your trip doing nothing but touristy (and expensive) things. This gives you the option to keep up with travel information while away from home, without sacrificing your ability to fully experience the destination.
To save money, use a website that allows you to compare prices.
Customers benefit in a number of ways from price comparison websites. You may save yourself a lot of time by shopping around for your whole vacation, from airfare and hotel rooms to car rentals. However, it is advisable to double-check the rates each time before booking a reservation.
While many European budget airlines promise low fares, they often fail to mention that these low prices do not include services such as baggage insurance. Therefore, take use of price comparison websites; it would be silly not to. Keep an open mind before committing to a reservation.
The museum does not charge admission.
In Europe, many of the best museums provide free or cheap entry on specific days, so it’s important to plan ahead.
Admission to The Louver is on the house the first Saturday of every month, between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m. Visitors under the age of 26 get in free on Friday nights from 6 p.m. until close. At just €17 each ticket, that’s a savings of over $30 per person. In addition, the Prado Museum in Madrid is accessible for free admission from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 5 to 7 p.m., on Sundays.
Watch out for city passes
Yes, they are the majority of the time. They may, however, often be a waste of money. Your goals and the extent to which you want to utilize these city passes will determine how much you pay. Make sure you have a destination in mind before purchasing one. In this manner, you can confirm that the pass’s advantages outweigh its expenses.
City passes and discount cards might help you save a lot of money if you wish to travel around Europe on a tight budget. They may, however, often be a waste of money. Your goals and the extent to which you want to utilize these city passes will determine how much you pay. Make sure you have a destination in mind before purchasing one. In this manner, you can confirm that the pass’s advantages outweigh its expenses.
Ignore the hotel
Although very handy and suggestive of a luxurious vacation, hotels in a major European city may be expensive. You may save money using other options, such as campervans, Airbnb, and youth hostels, which may even provide a more genuine taste of European life.
The Airbnbs to watch out for are those with excellent evaluations near the essential facilities. Try to stay with locations that have “super host” status; this denotes that the host is not only knowledgeable about the game but has also received very high ratings from previous visitors. You will undoubtedly save money if you choose a modest but clean location.
Hostels that provide shared and individual rooms may be far less expensive than decent hotels. Try the Yellow Hostel in Rome, Coco Mama in Amsterdam, and Hostel One Camden in London.
Campervans are the most acceptable method to travel around the countryside, particularly in countries like the United Kingdom, France, and Switzerland, even if they are not perfect for city hopping. Spaceships’ small, simple-to-drive campervans are a great place to start since they include a bed, a refrigerator, and cooking supplies all in the rear. These are the most lavish lodging and travel options, costing just around $100 each day.
Avoid constantly taking out cash overseas.
You may avoid paying expensive ATM withdrawal fees on your travel money card by getting your cash while you’re still in Australia.
If you must withdraw cash, be careful to do so one week’s worth at a time since carrying large amounts of money overseas might be intimidating. Alternately, consider eating and shopping at establishments that accept just Eftpos purchases.
Also, look for cards that reimburse ATM costs, even when used abroad. If you satisfy the minimal conditions for the card ($1000 deposited and five transactions per month), ING will reimburse you for ATM costs worldwide.
Using a coach
I noted that most European nations had excellent rail networks but got much better. These trains are widely used, reasonably priced, and (nearly) always on time. The fact that you may view more while traveling to your destination is another fantastic feature of using the train. It’s a choice worth taking into account.
Whenever possible, drive toll-free
Even if the vignette system is gaining popularity in several European nations, most nations continue to employ the traditional pay tolls. Whether renting a vehicle or driving your own, this may add up, particularly if you travel a long distance. Knowing which highways have pay tolls and which don’t is crucial.
For instance, if you travel from Calais to Nice by car, the tolls would total almost $200. However, if you choose the slower D routes, you may go the same distance for free (albeit it could take a little longer).