I often get asked how I manage to travel so frequently. I am still a student and I don’t have much budget to begin with, but having traveled to quite a few places by now, I am now posting how to travel cheaply in Europe.
1. Use budget airlines.
Europe has a fantastic choice of cheap airlines, and by that I mean really cheap. WizzAir, RyanAir, Norwegian, easyJet and airBaltic are all low-fare airlines. They have really strict policy on baggage and extra facilities,so you have to comply with all their rules. I mostly use WizzAir, it offers routes throughout Europe and sometimes I manage to find great deals! Check the tickets frequently and book months ahead if possible. The deals are sometimes too good to let go (Warsaw-Budapest 20 euros two way, for example!). Also traveling during Tuesdays (or weekdays in general) is often the cheapest.
2. By road.
I have traveled to a few countries using buses and I’ve been quite satisfied with the journeys. Most popular bus services for traveling throughout Europe include PolskiBus (connects Poland to six other countries and expanding), OrangeWays (Hungarian), SimpleBus (great routes to the Baltics and Russia, and great service), Student Agency (used it from Prague to Vienna, great service), OnniBus (sister company of PolskiBus in Finland) and EuroLines etc. Book months ahead if possible and you’ll find great deals! I used SimpleBus to travel from Warsaw-Vilnius (14 euros- two way)! I have never used trains to travel across Europe, but I hear that sometimes you might be able to find great deals!
3. Rental services
BlaBlaCar, for example, is one good way of traveling cheaply. It’s available in most major European countries. The car driver puts up an ad offering ride for a fee and you just have to contact them. Make a profile in blablacar to get started! I have not been disappointed with the service and it’s a great way to save money.
4. Cheap lodging
The service I use the most is airbnb. People offer their apartments, rooms or the whole house for rent, which is often much cheaper than hotels or hostels. I have used the service at least in five countries and not been disappointed. Pick your host carefully with the help of reviews and feedbacks on the website. It can also be a great way to meet locals! Couchsurfing, although I have never used it, can also be a great option if you’re looking for friendship and local experience, all the while staying for free!
5. Other creative services
I have come across other affordable services, for example EatWith.com, where you can dine with locals for a fee. I am thinking of trying it the next time I travel. I think it’s a great way of meeting locals and having an authentic dinner experience with reasonable money. TourByLocals is also another great way to have tours given by locals for a charge. SpottedByLocals is a publisher of travel guides by locals, where you can find places of interest and descriptions other than typical tourist attractions.