How to travel like a boss even when you aren’t a boss (money-wise)
A lot of people tell me about their Euro Trip plans, and how the plans always remain plans because of budget constraints. So, I tell them how not having a lot of money isn’t an issue here. If you can’t earn a lot of money, maybe you can just spend less. This blog post is about those cost-cutting methods that’ll get you more in less.
The Blog Post touches upon the following topics:
- Flying to Europe
- Traveling within Europe
- Daily Needs Shopping
1. Flying to Europe (For those needing an air ticket)
Plan in advance
This one goes without saying. If you’re flying next week and you haven’t booked your tickets yet, good luck! The tickets will be crazy expensive.
Choose the right time
The airfare is going to vary based on the dates you have chosen. It can vary as much as $150 within a month.
I suggest you to be a bit flexible with your dates to save more. Also, travel in off-peak season (not summer) to save up to 30% more.
Choose the right destination
The air fare to every country isn’t going to be the same. For example, I checked for the cheapest air tickets from India to different cities in Europe for the dates Oct 1 – Oct 15, and the results were impressive:
|Origin||Destination||Fare (INR)||Fare (USD)|
|City||City||Cheapest||2nd Cheapest||Cheapest||2nd Cheapest|
|New Delhi||London, UK||31,149||33,288||486||520|
|New Delhi||Rome, Italy||32,029||34,129||500||533|
|New Delhi||Frankfurt, Germany||32,102||38,402||501||600|
|New Delhi||Warsaw, Poland||35,600||37,437||556||585|
|New Delhi||Amsterdam, Netherlands||36,788||38,417||574||600|
|Mumbai||Prague, Czech Republic||39,269||39,357||613||614|
|New Delhi||Madrid, Spain||40,071||40,212||626||628|
|New Delhi||Milan, Italy||40,364||41,101||630||642|
|New Delhi||Oslo, Norway||41,158||41,481||643||648|
|New Delhi||Barcelona, Spain||41,555||41,892||649||654|
Time & Date of Search: 00:05 – 00:30, Aug 15 2017
As you can from the table above, the price differs based on the origin and destination cities. If done right, you can save up to INR 15,000 ($230). And that’s a lot of money for budget travelers!
Don’t worry about landing a little far from your final destination. You can take a train or a bus.
Cheapest Flight: $500 (Only Europe. No UK.) Add travel expenses if the airport is not in your city.
2. Traveling within Europe
After reading this, I’m sure you would agree that the invention of buses and trains is one of the best things ever happened to us.
It lets you travel on trains across Europe. You can customize your pass based on your travel plans.
One Country Pass – Travel as much as you want to in a single country (23 countries available – No Germany, No Switzerland :O)
Price starts at $75 and can go up to $217 for the cheapest ticket.
Select Pass – Pick 2 – 4 Bordering Countries (28 countries – With some restrictions. No biggie!)
Price starts at $162 for 2 countries, $196 for 3 countries, and $211 for 4 countries
Global Pass – For five or more countries (28 countries – No restriction)
Price starts at $379 for 5 days of traveling in a month. You can see as many countries as you can/want to. And, it’s free for kids up to 11 years old.
The cheapest option for 12-27 years old is $379. For 28+, it starts at $493 if traveling with someone, and $578 if traveling alone. An adult can only take two 4-11 years old on their pass.
What could be even cheaper than a train? A bus pass.
How cheap? Just €99 ($116) for 5 cities in Europe.
The website claims to cover 1,200 destinations in 24 countries. The return trip on the same route isn’t possible right now. But you can still manage if you plan accordingly.
Click here to book your tickets today.
Walk – Free of cost
Bus – $6 (One-Day Bus Pass)
Bikes – $10 – $25 (Slightly, expensive)
Cheapest Option (Intercity): $116 Cheapest Option (Local): $50 (8 days, 5 cities | 10-day trip)
I’ll share a few cheap options below. As you go down, the options will become costlier.
Friends and Relatives
The cheapest option for you is to live with your friends and/or relatives. Live on minimal expenses as everything is already pretty much sorted.
Your wonderful friend in Poland, or that amazing cousin in Germany… Now would be a good time to let them know how much you missed them. 😀
It’s not as easy as having a friend to host you. These guys don’t know you well enough to trust you. However, it’s not impossible.
Get on to Couchsurfing.com, create an interesting profile, start contacting hosts, and Voila! Live for free.
PS: Helps if you’re interesting. Helps even more if you’ve got reviews.
If you don’t like living with someone for free or if you can’t find anyone :'(, relax! Hostels.com has got you.
Here you can find accommodation as cheap as $10 a night. Because why pay $100 for a hotel room when you could use that money on fun activities in Europe. You can apply coupon codes to save even more.
Still scrolling down? I see you have trust issues and/or want a little more privacy.
Then Airbnb.com might come to your rescue. They have got rooms for as low as $10 if you’re lucky! Many good ones should be around $15-$30.
You can save some extra money with coupon codes and referrals.
Don’t worry! Not all hotels are expensive. Try your options at Booking.com.
I could find some cheap deals at $15. Of course, the decent ones will cost you about $20 or more.
Anyway, the idea is to sleep cheap. Spend your $$ on cool things outside.
Cheapest Accommodation: Free (Friends/Family/Couchsurfing)
Cheapest way ever! Unless someone has got you covered.
Find accommodation with a kitchen. Definitely, if you don’t eat meat. You’ll be surprised to know that you can have three meals a day for just $10. Make it about $15-$20 if you can’t live without meat.
Most grocery stores will have sandwiches, wraps, salads, fruits, and beverages at around $5-$9.
What’s the best way to know the local culture and to get cheap food! Should cost you about $10 – $15 for a meal.
You should be able to get McDonald’s meal at about $7. Then there are other budget restaurants for those who want to eat healthier. Should get you a good meal for $15 – $20.
Total Cost: $100 ($10/day for 10 days | Cook) And then #EatLessSaveMore 😉
5. Communication (Internet and Phone Calls)
Free! How, you ask?
Avoid phone calls. Use public internet wherever you find.
You’ll find free WiFi pretty much everywhere in major European cities. Alternatively, you can head to Starbucks. That’s how I wrote this blog post, folks. 😀
For more information, you can check this blog post.
Total Cost: Free
Carry cash. Avoid cards.
Withdrawing from an ATM or paying with your debit/credit card is gonna cost you a lot of money for obvious reasons – Exchange fee, Transaction fee etc. So, don’t do that unless absolutely required.
Also, it’s good to get in touch with your bank to inquire about the most compatible card when traveling abroad. Most compatible here would be the one which works at most places and doesn’t come with a high fee on withdrawal or payment.
Don’t worry about card payments in Europe. You can ask your host to pay, and you pay them in cash.
Pay in cash wherever you can. But make sure you get a good exchange rate. Avoid airports as they might be slightly expensive compared to your other options.
Total Cost: $15 (Say, 3% exchange fee on $500 conversion)
Just a sample itinerary I created on TripHobo.com
Plan your trip well. Be clear about:
- Where you’re going
- How you’re going
- What you’ll be doing/seeing
- Where you’re staying
- What the cheap options are
See, when you have these things sorted beforehand, you wouldn’t have to worry about anything after you land. And, you wouldn’t end up paying a lot more as the cheap options would either be gone by then or you wouldn’t have enough time to search for the cheap ones.
Total Cost: Free
8. Daily Needs Shopping
Carry important everyday items with you so that you don’t have to buy new ones at a higher price. For everything else, shop locally.
You can ask the locals around you for cheap stores and markets. Try the farmer’s market if there’s any. You can save a lot of money. Plus, it’s a great cultural experience, right?
Total Cost: $30 (Miscellaneous. Food already covered.)
1. Travel light
Avoid those extra set of clothes which you’ll never get to wear while traveling. It’s very convenient when you have to travel with your luggage.It helps as you don’t have to pay any company to store your luggage with them for the day.
2. Carry everything important
Make a checklist if you can. Don’t spend money buying the same item for a higher price.
Pack according to the climate. Don’t forget your first aid kit.
So, that’s pretty much about your basic expenses.
Let’s add €60 ($70) visa fee to that. Let’s stick to Europe for now as you need a separate visa for the UK.
So, our total expenses become:
Can add about $200 for activities and $50 for souvenirs. Then, the total becomes $1200.
Now, this is just a rough calculation. In reality, it might cost you a bit higher or lower. When staying with your friends or family, the food won’t cost that much. But then you might try local restaurants or street food, which can shoot the cost up.
So, that’s all folks! What do you think about the budget?
Been to Europe? How much did you spend on your trip?
Planning to go? How much do you plan to spend on your trip?
Let me know in the comments.
Have an amazing trip!