Europe has long been a backpackers paradise; the wealth of history, vibrant cultures and stunning cities and landscapes make travelling on a budget inspiring and easy. It’s a great destination for students, gap year backpackers and free spirits, no matter how limited the budget. We’ve collected our top three tips to help you plan your shoestring trip in Europe.
Always be prepared
Nobody likes to think about their holidays being ruined by an unscheduled hospital trip, but accidents and illnesses can happen anywhere. It is crucial for travellers to get a European Health Insurance Card, known as an EHIC card. This is not a replacement for travel insurance, but does allow you to access state-provided medical care for the majority of European countries. Give yourself the ease of mind and avoid unexpected bills by applying for a European health card well in advance of your trip.
Also make sure that you research the areas you’ll be visiting in depth before you go. This doesn’t just mean planning your day trips and hotels, but having an understanding of the city and public transport systems so that you don’t get lost or stranded. Knowledge like this can be a huge money saver in unexpected circumstances!
Think carefully about accommodation
The classic backpackers hostel seems like a cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason. Hostels are fantastic ways of cutting down one of the biggest costs of a holiday abroad, and are brilliant ways to meet other travellers. Great for friends travelling in groups or even for lone travellers looking to socialise, hostel dorms can be a fun experience for a fraction of the price of a hotel. They’re also great places for finding out local hidden secrets or exciting events from staff and other travellers.
If hostels aren’t your thing, search online for other hotel alternatives. Sites like Couchsurfing and Airbnb have made it easier than ever to meet up with locals and stay with them for a reduced rate, or even for free!
There are so many wonderful ways to get around Europe without having to board a plane. Save some money and reduce your carbon footprint by looking into budget alternatives. Whether it’s travelling by train with an interrailing ticket, roadtripping with friends or even hitch hiking (make sure you stay safe, never hitch hike alone!), travelling in a different way can be an enlightening experience.