Here are 19 hacks for Europe budget travel:
1. Use Skyscanner
Foremost, search for flights on Skyscanner and then wait for some bank offers to save money. Usually, cities like Rome, Paris and Barcelona have the cheapest flights.
2. Optimise on StayIf it is a smaller city, stay near the city centre so that everything is at a walkable distance and you can save commuting time. Stay in a hostel or an Airbnb. There are some family-friendly hostels as well these days. If it's a solo trip, try couch-surfing. However, if you are travelling to a bigger city, you can stay a little far away from the city centre to save money but make sure it is close to a metro station.
3. Buy A Daily Transport PassEnsure that you are aware of the inclusions of your city/public transport passes and leverage that information. Most big cities have several public transport pass options, with various inclusions. Choose options that best suit your purpose. For instance, the Budapest public transport pass lets you travel by ferries as well. In such cases, purchase a daily or a 2-3 day pass as per personal requirements.
4. Go On a Supermarket Shopping SpreeUpon reaching the first destination, shop from the bigger supermarket chain and buy some basic essentials that can help you sustain for the next few days in the city. For example, cold packaged sandwiches can help save some money. Choose the larger stores which have more offers and options as smaller general stores are usually expensive. Purchase eggs, bread, milk, fruit - “to fix yourself a quick breakfast”. Buy some pasta and vegetables as well to cook your own quick meal as well. Carrying ready-to-eats from India is always a good idea as they come cheap and are also give that much-needed “taste of home”. You could also pack some Theplas that are definitely filling and tasty, especially when you are sightseeing.
5. Cook Your Own MealsStay in hostels and Airbnbs as they provide a conducive cooking infrastructure for basic meals. Pick such stay homes close to the supermarkets and don't be shy to experiment with your cooking skills!
6. What to Eat While You Are Out?
7. Free Attractions in the City
8. Wear Comfortable Shoes
9. Stay Self-Caffeinated
10. Carry Your Water Bottle
11. Restroom Breaks
12. Shoulder Season Travel
13. Book in AdvanceBook everything in advance to get the best deals. You are likely to find better value for money accommodation if you book in advance.
14. Exchange Money at The Right Places
15. Eurail Pass
16. Free Walking Tours
Join free walking tours which are essentially tip-based. It will help you explore the city and save money. You can find out about them from your host or hostel desk.
17. Free Events and Festivals
18. Include Cheaper Countries in Your Itinerary
19. Explore Student NeighbourhoodsMost big cities will have student neighbourhoods, which are typically less expensive than other parts of the city. You can head there for a reasonably priced meal or a drink at a pub.
Some Dont's- Don’t try to save a few cents if you have to spend too much time on it. Your time here is limited, and wasting it means that you are not fulfilling the money spent on the tickets, visa and accomodation.
- Most places are not strict when it comes to checking public transport passes as they trust you to follow the laws. Be courteous and keep up the trust - don’t travel with invalid tickets.
If you have any more queries, please ask them in the comment section below. I would be happy to help!