For a lot of people, there is huge appeal in visiting Europe. Maybe you’ve watched some movies which have given you the travel bug? Whether you just want to get away from it all for a few weeks, or you fancy a good few months exploring what the continent has to offer during your gap year, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the European sights and sounds. Let’s have a look at how you can explore Europe on a shoestring.
How To Travel
One of the first things to figure out is how you’re going to travel. Some flights can be expensive but you can also get cheap deals which are often much cheaper than other alternatives. You might want to consider the ferry, the train or even the bus. Inter-railing is a past time which has seen many-a student find themselves and figure out their future. For someone under 28 you can get three months continuous access to the trains in second class for only £575! When you consider that a 4 day pass is £157, it’s a cracking deal. It’s just £.630 a day and you can travel from place to place across Europe, exploring and finding your way. Brexit hasn’t affected the inter-rail pass scheme either. Options to best avoid are taxis as they can quickly eat away the contents of your wallet.
Where To Stay
Hostels are the obvious choices because they are cheap and cheerful. You can also find bunk houses, camp sites, glamping pods, cheap motels and homestays. A homestay is where you live with a local person who has a spare room. This way you’ll get an authentic experience and really be able to immerse yourself in the culture. If you know anyone in any of the countries you’re going to travel to, try and make use of their sofa for a couple of days to save some cash. Similarly though, this is about an experience so don’t be afraid to treat yourself to a night in a swanky hotel. You might pay a few extra quid but if it’s somewhere on the list you’ve really been looking forward to or the room comes with unforgettable views (and a power shower!), it is probably worth the mini splurge!
What To Eat
Whilst you might fancy the occasional McDonalds to stay grounded, there’s quite like embracing the culture and diving head first into some of the local cuisines. The thing is, there are so many amazing street food type eateries which only cost a few pounds. Europe has some of the most diverse culinary delights to enjoy, you’ve be daft to not let you taste buds go for an adventure too!
Where To Visit
The idea of Europe on a shoestring is one thing but where do you actually want to visit? If you want to save money and experience a range of different countries we’ve got a list of the cheapest ones to visit. They include Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic and Poland. Even with those five countries, there is a lot to explore! Check out the thermal baths in Budapest, the cathedrals and medieval castles of Prague and lose yourself in the trendy streets of Kazimierz. Make your list of where you want to go and give yourself time to get sidetracked too!
Checking In With Home
When we adventure and explore in foreign lands, there are always those loved ones at home who we need to check in with. Make sure your Europe on a shoestring travels don’t cost an absolute bomb in roaming charges. Connect with your family and friends via Facebook and Whatsapp. Try video calling as well to avoid feeling homesick. Make use of free wifi which is often found in hostels. You could also create a mailing list to send weekly emails to, including a few photos you haven’t shared on social media and giving a little more information about what you’ve been up to.
Try one of those postcard sending apps. These let you upload a photo, add a message and send a physical postcard to a loved one. This is a nice thing to do for worrying parents! Don’t forget though, as much as those people matter at home, you’re on an adventure and part of that is meeting new people. Push yourself out your comfort zone and you’ll meet amazing new friends!
Get planning your Europe on a shoestring trip and you’ll look back on the memories you make forever.