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Published On: Wed, Jun 8th, 2016

6 Smart Ways To Save Money When You Travel Through Europe

Hearing the phrase “traveling through Europe,” can conjure images of spending your lifetime savings, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are certainly ways to manage a trip through Europe that’s both relatively affordable, as well as enjoyable.

Below are six ways you can cut costs without taking away from the quality of your trip:

  1. Rethink Lodging

If you’re a person who’s somewhere in the middle of wanting a luxurious experience, but you don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars a night for a hotel, you have a couple of different lodging options. The first is to look at the newest version of the classic hostel, dubbed “Luxury Hostels.” You’ll get a higher-end experience, and many have amenities such as pools and gourmet meals prepared on-site, but it’s not as expensive as most hotels. You can also look at sites like Airbnb to find apartments and short-term rentals in the places you plan to visit.

  1. Plan Your Meals
photo/ screenshot YouTube

photo/ screenshot YouTube

Many of the larger cities in Europe can be pretty pricey when it comes to food, so rather than trying to enjoy every meal in a restaurant, rethink your meal planning. When you get a city, visit a local market and stock up on some basic staples such as bread, cheese and fruit. You can then make your own quick breakfasts and lunches, and save your money to enjoy more expensive dinners at local eateries. When you eat this way you can have picnics near beautiful scenery, so it’s a win-win.

  1. Look for Free Museum Days

Many of Europe’s most notable museums offer certain days each week or month where entrance is free. Try to plan accordingly and visit museums on these days so you can avoid hefty fees. As for other forms of entertainment, try to find free concerts, which often happen in countries throughout Europe, or you could even try to find sporting events that are free or low-cost, to get an authentic feel for how locals do things.  

  1. Pay with a Credit Card

When you’re making purchases in Europe, withdrawing money from an ATM can be incredibly expensive because of fees and exchange rates. You might want to use your credit card instead, and before leaving, look for a card option with good deals on purchases made in foreign currencies.

  1. Compare Transportation Prices

You may think train tickets will be the least of your expenses while you’re away, but many travelers are surprised to find out it’s quite the opposite. Trains, along with any planes you take while in Europe, and even busses can add up to be a significant part of your travel budget. To save money try to use something like the GoEuro website or app, which identifies the best transport options for your personal needs, as well as the lowest possible prices. It can help not only with keeping trip costs low, but also make travel logistics more manageable.

  1. Think Outside the Big Cities

Cities like Paris, Rome, London, and Zurich can be incredibly expensive, but you can still see amazing things and get an outstanding experience if you spend time outside of the main cities. Smaller towns and villages are also going to be less expensive, less crowded, and you’ll find yourself feeling more like a local.

Going to Europe doesn’t have to mean you spend excessively, but at the same time, with some planning and balance, you can also get a taste of luxury here and there, even on a budget.

Guest Author: Carmelo Hannity

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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