BEFORE YOU GO:
When it comes to saving money for that big trip (or short lavish trip), there’s a lot you can do before booking that ticket and catching that flight to help save some extra cash. The biggest expense I’ve found is eating and drinking out!
Why not eat in? Invite a bunch of friends over (or take it in turns at each others houses) for a potluck. Everyone brings a dish and you get to share food, try a bunch of tasty different dishes and hang out with your buds at the same time! Drinks wise, having pre-drinks will save you money if you’re planning a night on the town. Drink responsibly, obviously!
ON THE ROAD:
Pitching a tent in the city - the website hitchwiki.org has location based information for a multitude of cities on possible tent-pitching locations! Be smart of course and trust your gut.
Couchsurfing is free, but above all is a fantastic way to stay with locals in the city you’re visiting!
- Hostels are cheap and a wonderful way to meet fellow travelers - who knows, you might meet a future travel buddy there!
- Hitchhiking is free - hitchwiki.org has excellent beginners tips, safety advice and excellent hitching spot recommendations. Again, please be cautious and use your best judgement.
- Ride sharing is fairly common in Europe - websites like bla bla car
- Buses are generally cheaper than trains, especially when booked in advance
- RyanAir and Easyjet are cheap, budget airlines in Europe
- Eurorail passes can be worthwhile if you’re visiting a lot of European cities in a small period of time
- Depending on how long you’re in a city for, look into a weekly pass for public transport +
- Walking is free, good exercise and a slower pace in which to see the city
- A few cities do bike share systems - Paris, Vienna, London amongst various other European ones
Do some research before you go for which phone companies offer the best deals for you! There are some packages designed specifically for short-term stays, pay as you go, etc
- Whatsapp is huge in Europe and only needs an internet connection!
- Look out for McDonalds and Starbucks for sneaky free internet! ;)
- Libraries are your friend - wifi, water fountains, toilets, refuge from the hot/cold/wind/rain & books!
- Tourist information centers offer advice on what to do/see/experience in a city and are there to offer advice, directions and maps!
- A lunchbox with leftovers is great for a lunch on the go!
- Familiarize yourself with the local supermarket to know which is cheapest - Waitrose will be more expensive than Tesco or Sainsbury
Not falling for tourist traps:
Always eat a few blocks away from the main tourist attractions. Restaurants and cafes near the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben will be overpriced and the service/food will generally not be as good due to the high customer turnover.