Europe is one of my top travel destinations. When I travel Europe cheap, often at a fraction of the price, it only makes it better.
It is also one of the places that people ask me about the most. One question that I have been asked over and over is, “Just how expensive is it to travel across Europe?”.
Although it is one of my favorite destinations, I have to be honest.
There are much cheaper places in the world to visit, but the chance to travel Europe is absolutely wonderful and should be experienced at least once by everyone.
Basically, if you let the expense of Europe dampen your sense of adventure, you will be missing out on a spectacular part of the world.
Plus, there are many ways to cut costs and travel Europe at a fraction of the price.
Let’s dive into a few travel tips and give your wallet a much-needed rest.
This travel guide will equip you with two things.
1- The best ways to travel Europe
2- Cheapest way to travel Europe
Cheapest Ways to Travel Europe
If you get the right ticket, this is by far your cheapest option for getting around. At the moment, Mega Bus covers only the UK and a few surrounding countries in Western Europe, but you can’t argue with the price.
A trip can cost 1.50 Euro, however, it usual requires that you book at least a month in advance, especially when you travel popular tourist’s routes and major cities. This is by far one of the cheapest ways to travel Europe.
Some tickets from London to Paris only cost $10. That is borderline insanity! Hands-down, nothing is cheaper than the Megabus when you want to travel to Amsterdam, Paris, and Brussels. It is a good service to look at when backpacking Europe.
If you have limited time and want to move around quickly, Eurail is the best option. Eurail Passes offer a variety to fit almost any need.
You can choose between regional passes, global passes, (every country) or “build your own” passes. One of the top advantages about using Eurail to travel Europe is the amount of freedom you have.
Unlike Busabout which has set stops, Eurail allows you to choose your stops as you go. This great feature permits you to discover Europe at your own pace and style.
I love this aspect so much that Eurail is my favorite way to travel in Europe.
However, I strongly suggest using your Eurail pass only for traveling long distances so that you can make the most of it.
Of course, that doesn’t apply if you have unlimited travel days. Also, remember the passes give you a set number of days to travel the train networks.
The number of days depends on the pass, but range from the minimum of three to as long as unlimited travel for 3 months.
Act now and get EXTRA days on your Eurail Pass
This is a very popular mode of transportation among backpackers. Busabout have set routes throughout Europe, and most of their passes let you hop on and hop off whenever you want.
There are over 33 stops which cover many of the most popular places, as well as, a few cities off the beaten track. One of the best things about Busabout is that you see the same people over and over again. This allows you to really get to know other travelers and even develop long lasting travel friendships.
My first experience on Busabout was over 5 years ago, and I still am good friends with many of the people I met. Check out my full Busabout Review
Explore Europe cheap with Busabout!
Budget airlines may be the best way to travel Europe on a limited budget. Airline companies like Easy Jet, Ryan Air, as well as a few others, compete with each other in offering the cheapest fare deals throughout Europe. I usual look at the airlines directly or use websites like Skyscanner and Orbitz to find cheap deals. Check out my full list of budget airlines in Europe.
Some of them are almost unbelievable; for example fares can be as low as $25 for a trip from Rome to Barcelona. Just remember to read the fine print to avoid last minute hassles.
Not following their rules could cost you a stiff fee in terms of penalty payments. Also, while it might be the cheapest way to travel Europe, it is my least favorite option for a couple reasons.
1- You don’t get to see the stunning European landscape. One of the best parts about traveling around Europe is the vast and scenic beauty it has to offer.
2- Trains are a magnificent platform to meet other travelers and locals.
Personally, taking the trains has provided me many opportunities and unique experiences. I have some great memories of random dinners, epic nights out, great conversation, and unexpected hospitality from traveling buddies. While there it isn’t the cheapest ways to travel Europe on the list, it is the most fun!
Bike Around Europe
Rising in popularity is taking a few months and cycling around. This is one of the cheapest Europe Travel experiences you can have as the price of transportation is free, and the only limits of distance is how far and fast your legs can carry you.
I know some people that have cycled Europe and they loved it. The only downside they said is a lot of the time they where biking alone and at times this lead to them being lonely. However, if you have a partner then it shouldn’t be a problem.
Biking around Europe is also an amazing way to aviod gaining that travel weight.
This is Europe’s national bus service, Eurolines ,and falls under an umbrella organization for international travel. Countries in Europe have national buses meant to be used in their area, but for travelling across Europe, its not the best option.
As a rule, bus rides are always one of the cheapest way to travel Europe.
Buses cost less than taking the trains. A train from Berlin to Paris cost $248 while a bus ride on the same route will only cost $100.
The big difference between these fares might be enough for you to think about foregoing the luxury of having a roomy space on a train or a cramped one on the bus. It’s your choice and your money.
There are a number of websites like Bla Bla Car that offer hitchhiking rides throughout Europe for little payment plus the price of fuel. You basically find a ride on a website where people post where they are going. This mode of travel isn’t as consistent as Europe trains, cheap flights, or companies like Busabout; but it is cheap and entertaining.
This route is not totally free, but it is safer then hitch hiking as you can get references from previous travelers.
It is a cheap and easy way to see Europe, and you also a good way to meet locals, or other travelers.
The best things in life are free and hitchhiking is free travel. Hitchhiking is popular in Europe, but still, as the saying goes, better safe than sorry and always remember, there is no rule that says you have to get in a total stranger’s car just because he stops.
I’ve known a lot of travelers that have hitchhiked around Europe and been completely fine.
When Hitchhiking you should always listen to your gut. Its important when traveling around some of the best places to visit in Europe.
It you get an uneasy feeling about a ride then don’t take. Europe is very safe overall, but that doesn’t mean that hitch hiking doesn’t care certain risk.
Like anywhere, booking a month before is the best way to get the cheapest prices when traveling Europe. Budget airlines, Mega Bus, and National Buses top the list of cheap travel but have less charm than Busabout and Eurail.
Sometimes booking last minute means you get rock bottom prices, but it is never certain.
It pays to have a plan and an itinerary to follow, especially when you are on a tight budget.
If you understand your options, you can be thrifty and yet enjoy, explore, and be adventurous. After all, that is what traveling is all about. So there you have it.
Europe is accessible, affordable, and waiting for your arrival. and travel Europe is cheap and easy if you know what you are doing.
Other cheap ways to get around in Europe are tours. A couple tour companies in Europe I love are G-Adventures ( G Adventure Tours that are 25% Off ) and Intrepid Travel (Up to 25% Off Intrepid Tours)