15 Travels Hacks That Will Save You Money in Europe
Traveling to Europe just got a lot more easier with these travel hacks!
Many of us dream to travel across Europe. But given how expensive a trip to Europe can be, we neglect our dream. But is traveling across Europe really as expensive as we think?
Perhaps not. If you follow the 15 travel hacks mentioned below, you are bound to save a considerable amount of money whilst living your dream.
1. Travel during the off season -
This is the most popular travel back for a reason. Traveling during the off season will save you loads of money. Visit during the fall season or during late winter. Not surprisingly, summer is the worst season to travel across Europe. It is the period when the entire continent blooms, but it is also the period when it gets flocked with tourists. As a result, prices for everything from food to accommodation will be hiked during this time of the year. Unless you already know, too many tourists at popular points of interest can spoil your European experience.
2. Carry a prepaid Forex card -
This one is a no-brainer. Do not use your credit card or debit card. You will lose money just in transactions. Instead, get yourself a prepaid Forex card loaded with Euros. There are plenty of outlets where you can use those cards without losing any money. The ATM withdrawal charges are also minimal. But most importantly, your money is safe. Even if it gets stolen or you lose it, you can get a duplicate one within 24-48 hours and no one can use the lost card. In addition to that, you can reload it online whenever you want.
3. Travel light -
This is, by far, the most popular travel hack to save money, yet extremely underrated. You can find budget airlines providing crazy deals for air tickets, but the only catch is limited luggage (often less than 10 kg). Anything more than the prescribed weight and you will have to pay for extra baggage fee. Not just that, moving around becomes a lot easier when you travel light. Also, it is easier to hitchhike when you have less baggage to carry.
4. Create a tentative plan -
For a long trip, it can be really difficult to stick to the set plan. But it is always advisable to create a tentative plan which is feasible. Take help from sites such as Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet. Do not assume that you will plan everything on the go. That will make your trip more costly. It will not be wise if you first visit France, followed by Germany, and then Spain, as that would involve a lot more time and money. Rather, visit Spain first, followed by France, and then Germany (or vice versa). It helps if you visit a Tourist Information Centre located in the city you are visiting. Also, know what the things that you find interesting are.
5. Avoid Museum Fees -
There are hundreds of museums in Europe that are worth a visit. But not all of them offer free entry. However, many of those museums offer free entrance on a/the particular day/s of a week. Do your research and find out which day. Also, you may want to buy an audio guidebook to know more about what you see inside. Hang on right there. Thanks to the advancement of technology, there are several apps that provide free audio guidebook of your favorite museums. Again, do your research.
Having said all that, do not visit that museum just because it is extremely popular. Know what it is about and whether you really are interested in knowing about it.
6. Ask for a discount -
This is one of the most underrated travel hacks. Wherever I travel, I ask for a discount or a free upgrade. In a worst-case scenario, you would get turned down, but since you are going to travel during the off season, there is a good chance that they may provide you with something as they would not want to lose out any customer. Having said that, the chances of succeeding in this travel back is to be nice and ask politely in private. Never ask for a discount in front of other customers.
7. Stay in the hostels -
If you are traveling alone, stay in the hostels. There are numerous hostels across Europe, so finding one should never be a problem. Search on sites like booking.com or hostelworld.com and you will find plenty of options. In addition to that, there are a lot of hostel chains located in different places across the continent. Some of them offer a pass at a specified rate which would help you save money if you stay with them. This travel hack is bound to save you a lot of money on your Euro trip. Another advantage of staying in hostels is that you can make a bunch of friends on the go and find travel companions.
8. Look for exotic home stays on AirBnB -
Airbnb deserves the credit for improving the quality and options available when it comes to accommodations. Extremely popular in Europe, Airbnb can be a much better option than staying in a hotel with your travel companion(s). The opportunity to connect with the local inmates and to experience the culture is something that hotels cannot promise. With prices starting from less than 10 Euros, Airbnb is a wonderful platform when it comes to accommodation. Also, it is extremely safe.
Sign up using the following link to earn yourself Rs. 2,200 Airbnb credit.
9. Use Free Wi-Fi -
It is insane that people think of buying a SIM card during their visit to Europe. There are so many Wi-Fi hotspots all across the continent which can be used for free. As for making calls, there are a variety of apps to make phone calls and video calls using the internet. Making phone calls using a SIM card is so old school. There are apps that can help you find free Wi-Fi. In this time and age, it is stupid to waste money on purchasing international SIM cards. If nothing else, go to the nearest McDonald's or Starbucks outlet.
10. Consider traveling to East European countries -
If your dream is just to travel to Europe and you are on a minimum budget, you should consider visiting Eastern Europe. People do not realize how inexpensive Eastern Europe is compared to Western Europe. Countries such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, et cetera do not fall in the Euro zone, which makes things and standard of living cheaper. Most importantly, these countries are insanely beautiful and less touristy.
Note: Not all European countries outside the Euro zone are comparatively inexpensive. For example United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, etc.
11. Look out for the free attractions and tours -
There is a bevy of free attractions and free tours that take place in every city of Europe (well, almost). Sign up for any of those free attractions and tours as per your likings. You can also witness roadside live performance for free, which are often really good. The free tours, on the other hand, will allow you to understand the place better. From free cycling tour to free city tour, these tours can show you a glimpse of the region without making a hole in your pocket. Also, it is a great way to make friends.
12. Sign up on Couchsurfing -
This travel hack alone can save you a lot of money while traveling in Europe. Request the locals on the platform who seem compatible with your profile to host you for a day or two (do not be too greedy and ask for several days at once). If they find you nice and interesting and the request is sincere, they may accept your request. As a result, you will not have to pay for your accommodation.
Tip - Make sure you carry a small gift for your host as a token of appreciation and help them with their household chores like cleaning your plates and keeping the bathroom clean and dry after you use it.
13. Know where to eat and drink -
Having food at popular tourist hotspots will surely leave a hole in your pocket. Having drinks in a club will do the same to your pocket. Instead, grab something on the go from any of the cafes and get your drink before hitting a club. Europe is filled with small food joints and alcohol shops. In any case, you do not have to go to a restaurant for lunch if you can have a heavy breakfast for free. How to have a breakfast for free? Whilst looking for accommodation, filter BnB - Bed and Breakfast.
14. Do not exchange currency at the airport -
Exchanging currency at the airport is a big no and is nothing less than a travel sin. It is nothing but a rip-off. The difference in the prices compared to the actual exchange rate is exorbitantly high, generally more than 3.5%. Either get the currency exchanged with a local Forex vendor in Europe or carry Euros with yourself in the form of cash. In fact, never buy anything from the Airport. For more information on how to carry money while traveling in Europe, read travel hack 2.
15. Get yourself a Euro Rail pass for maximum Travel days-
Traveling from one country to another is pretty easy in Europe. While you can get yourself crazy deals for air tickets, but do not forget that it will involve going to the airport every time you need to board a flight. It can be a waste of time and can be expensive as most airports are located far away from the city centre. Not only traveling on a train in Europe is relatively cheap, but is also pretty fast. If you are under 26, you can get yourself a student discount, too.
However there is a catch here, if you are taking the short duration pass, take the flexible one, which you can split for the days of maximum Travel, for shorter haul, individual tickets comes out to be cheaper.
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