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Backpacking is by far one of the least expensive ways to travel. And it’s an especially good way to travel when visiting places in Europe, as it can get very expensive there for a tourist. Just a one night’s stay at a hotel can run you $30, for example. So if you’ve got your backpack packed, and are ready to head to Europe, it’s best to also pack along some money saving tips as well. Here’s the best ways to cut some corners, and your budget.
Know Your Lunch Menus
You’re going to need to eat. And dining in a restaurant everyday is a definite budget-killer. So if you’re going to grab a sit-down meal, go at lunch. The prices are always cheaper then, leaving you more money for dinner.
Feast At Farmers Markets
Europe is full of great farmers markets. The selection there is always fresh and local. It’s also a very inexpensive meal option. So make sure to go there and load up.
Stay In Hostels
A hostel can be found in every European city. It’s the go-to place for all backpackers looking for a goodnight’s rest. The reason why … short of staying with a family member or friend, they’re the best-priced option around.
Correction, there’s actually a cheaper option than hostels: couchsurfing. There’s even a couchsurfing global hospitality exchange organization that sets up travelers with locals for the night. Just set up an online profile – and much like a dating site – get matched up with someone’s couch for much less than you’ll pay at a hotel or hostel.
Ride Overnight Trains
Little do many know, but taking the train at night is cheaper than during the day. Naturally, most want to travel while it’s still bright out, which make those the more desirable, expensive tickets. The other benefit though, is that by taking the train at night, you kill two birds with one stone as you get your traveling in and, have a place to sleep for the night.
Did we say couchsurfing was the cheapest way to sleep through the night? Oops, we meant camping. It’s free. Just make sure to pack a tent, and, maybe some bear repellent as well.
Avoid Cross-Border Transit
Trains that run direct from one European country to another can be rather expensive. It’s much cheaper to take public transport to the border and, believe it or not, walk across. Sure, it’s inconvenient – but the money you save while make it more than worth your while.
Travel During Winter
Traveling anywhere when it’s warm will be more expensive. Naturally, those are peak tourist times. So consider cooling it on the spending, and traveling when the temperature is a little cooler.
Taxi drivers are perhaps the world’s biggest rip-off artists. They prey on tourists that don’t know the area, so that they can extend the trip – and price. Walk, bike, whatever – find a cheaper way to get around.
When traveling in Europe, keep this in mind: west may be best, but east is where savers feast. Places like London, Paris, and Rome are by far the most expensive spots. Prague, Warsaw, and Budapest on the other hand, are just as great an adventure – but much cheaper.