Europe on a Budget
If you are planning to travel to Europe on a Budget, this is the right place to start.
I say so because I have personally been on this trip a short while back and it was a very learning experience.
Most websites are there just for earning through hotels and other deals package deals. I will give the small little hints that are the most important yet never revealed anywhere else. To travel to Europe on a Budget you got to do something different and away from the beaten track.
Why Should you Book Yourself?
There is no fun in giving away your hard-earned money to someone who puts you on a bus, plane or a train with 50 others. Or going on an itinerary that you have no control on, eating food that someone else orders and staying where someone else decides!
You can easily do much more and stay almost three times the number of days in less than that package trip!
Where is the fun of discovering things first hand when you know everything about what is coming next? Remember that the best way to do Europe on a Budget is also planning it yourself. This fact itself cut down almost 30% of the total price if you want to go to someone else.
Therefore, I hope what I am going to give now is going to be of help to someone who is trying to plan Europe at a budget.
Doing your homework
- Do your homework properly. Plan your visit well and all the transit flights of train Journeys well in advance. This way you can minimize the cost of travel for this entire visit.
- Stick to your plan so that there are no changes and move further increase in costs.
- Go as a couple because the cost of stay would be almost the same whether one person stays or two.
Baggage Policy – All airlines ask for extra money when you book any luggage other than your handbag.
Besides this, extra baggage also ties you down where movement is concerned. Therefore, it is best to travel with as less baggage as possible.
Stick to nothing more than one backpack.
You will be amazed at the flexibility and the level of comfort that this would give. It will also add to the savings while planning Europe on a Budget.
Don’t fall for “Deals” – Budget generally means adopting means like walking, traveling by public transport. Avoid places where there is a very high entrance fee. You must decide not to succumb to glib talk or so-called “deals”.
Remember for every “deal” there is someone trying to sell something which is otherwise unsalable. E.g. there are 20 museums in Paris. So there’s a “museum pass”.
Do you have to see them all? It’s not only impractical but also time-consuming. It makes more sense to see one or two in detail, others are just the same! Also, there are days when museums in Paris are free! Here is the list of FREE entry to all museums.
Preparation for the journey
Remember the sequence in which these should be done.
Passport – First of all get the paperwork done. Sometimes small things like expiry date of your passport can also get you in a last-minute problem while getting a visa.
Visa – Get a Shenzhen Visa – this would see you through most of the European countries except for UK, Scotland, and Ireland.
In case you want to go there, start off all these procedures at least three months before your departure.
Remember certain countries have easy visa procedures. Make them your first stop. France is one of the friendliest where Visa is concerned.
Local Journeys within Europe
I decided to cover Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Rome, and Athens. Therefore, I gave myself 4 days (three nights) at all these places. It eased out my Visa issues and also enabled getting the cheapest air tickets. For traveling from one country to another within Europe, I traveled by train local low-cost airlines (EasyJet and Vueling).
Booking all these tickets was the first step after the visa was granted, and since it was done 3 months in advance the costs were fairly (and surprisingly) low.
Booking of hotels and places to stay
This is very important while planning Europe on a Budget because it will determine how much you are going to spend on sightseeing and local travel. In order to do Europe on a Budget, you should try to minimize this.
If you are going to be out seeing places most of the day, it makes no sense spending too much to book up a hotel full of luxuries.
It is therefore very important to book a place which is in the center of things. On the advice of my son, I looked up AIRBNB which give me some amazing advantages in terms of location as well as budget prices.
Clothing – Check out the weather during the time when you are traveling and prepared your baggage accordingly. Carry only one set of warm clothing. Do include an extra pair of shoes and an umbrella because Europe is known for its frequent changes in weather.
Medicines – take 5 days dosage of antibiotics, paracetamol, aspirin, anti-diarrhea and vomiting, bandaid and a full supply of any medicines being used on a regular basis.
Small immersion rod – There will be one place in five where you would be stuck for a cup of coffee! Try and Carry a pen-sized immersion rod and a few sachets of coffee!
Get a good quality cell phone or a tablet along with a backup charger. This is going to be your most trusted companion to the entire visit. Do not get your phone bills inflated by subscribing to the overseas data or roaming services. You can get Wi-Fi almost everywhere and by using it intelligently, you would be able to manage everything.
Collection of Information
Download an offline map app on your phone. I used “Ulmon maps”, and it turned out to be the best maps free app you will get. It not only shows you all the places but also gives a clear description of everything.
You should download the maps of all the cities that you are going to visit. It might take up a lot of space in the hard drive but it would be worth it. Remember, you do not need data – you will find Wi-Fi everywhere if you plan well.