Europe: the home of beautiful history, stunning landscapes, fascinating cultures, and iconic landmarks. It’s likely that when you think of traveling to Europe, you probably start to see your money disappearing before your eyes.
But, does travel in Europe always have to be expensive?
Absolutely not. In fact, my husband, Pep, and I have become experts on how to travel in Europe, even on a tight budget.
Today, I’m going to share three methods that we use regularly to save money while traveling in Europe.
Book an Open-Jaw Flight
Likely, if you want to travel to Europe, you have more than one destination in mind. For example, let’s say that you want to see Paris and Barcelona during your trip. Since these two destinations aren’t next door to each other, how can you do both on a budget?
Well, one way to save money is the type of flight that you buy. Interestingly enough, when you arrive in one city and leave in a different one, the end result can actually be cheaper than flying from the same airport you arrived in.
So, using our example above, you could fly to Paris, and buy your return ticket from Barcelona. You’d be able to see two incredible destinations, while actually saving money.
Recently, my husband and I tried this on a smaller scale during a trip to Germany. We flew from home to Frankfurt, and took our return flight out of Cologne. By doing this, we saved $60 on flights.
Hop on Public Transportation
Let’s continue with our above example. Say you’ve booked your open jaw flights, arriving in Paris and leaving from Barcelona. Now, how would you get in between these two major cities?
One of Europe’s greatest points for travelers is the abundance of public transportation. In fact, there is a high-speed train that will take you from Paris to Barcelona in just over six hours. And it only costs about $50 through the Spanish rail company Renfe.
However, that’s not the only destination the train can bring you to. You can reach almost any destination in Europe by train. Through Eurail, you can buy a pass that will grant you unlimited train travel in multiple countries. If you’re expecting to travel quite a bit by train, check out their pass for about $155 that will give you unlimited access to trains in up to four bordering countries of your choice.
For travel inside the city, public transport is also possible. Most European cities have a fantastic bus system that will get you anywhere you need to go in the city, and likely for less than $2.50 per ride. Bigger cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, and many others also have an underground metro system that makes travel simple and budget friendly.
Follow the Four-Block Rule
If you want to save money on food, this is my biggest tip. I like to call this the four-block rule, although you can adapt that number to where you are.
Basically, I try to avoid eating within four blocks of a major tourist destination. When you wander through the streets of a city to a place that is off the beaten path, you’ll likely be surprised to find much cheaper prices, and much better quality food.
How can you tell when you’ve found the right spot? Look where the locals are eating, and avoid places with flashy signs advertising that they speak English.
Using these three tips, you’ll be able to save an incredible amount of money on your European travels, allowing you to see more of this fascinating continent on a budget.
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