A Busabout guide’s tips for backpacking Europe on a budget at the TNT Travel Show
There’s a difference between being frugal and cheap, says Busabout guide Ben Hutchinson, because “frugal is all about value”. And that’s why he’s a pro on getting the best out of Europe on a budget.
Speaking at TNT’s Travel Show at Earl’s Court 2 this Saturday March 3, Hutchinson gave his tips for seeing Europe’s cosmopolitan cities and on a budget.
1. Avoid daily budgets – different places cost different amounts depending on what country you’re in. A hostel in Paris won’t be the same as one in Eastern Europe.
2. Get a bank card that lets you withdraw cash for cheap – Travelex, or check out partner banks that have links with banks in other countries that will charge you less.
3. Plan ahead – with a bit more planning and effort your money can go longer. If you don’t mind spending time figuring out public transport rather than getting a taxi from the airport, you’ll have more to get a nice meal, if that’s your priority.
4. The more the merrier – team up and take advantage of group discounts on entries or sharing taxies.
5. Look at how you’re getting around – hire a car or campervan and split the cost, get coaches where trains are expensive, use budget airlines like Easy Jet, Ryan Air or agents like Flight Centre can price match, visit where the budget airlines fly.
6. Tour operators often have specials and promo codes to let you travel on the cheap
7. Use social networking to your advantage – liking pages on Facebook can get you good money off deals and make sure you enter competitions – not many people do so you’ll have a good chance.
8. Get blogging and on YouTube – travel companies sometimes give free holidays in exchange for a blog post or a YouTube video.
9. Choose cheaper accommodation – campsites around Europe are surprisingly nice, and couch surfing can save you a ton of money too.
10. Food is a big area you can save on – go self catered (this is something you can do if you couch surf), kebabs are dirt cheap in Berlin, in Spain you can get free tapas with a drink in a lot of places. Making lunch your big meal is another way to save – every city has midday dining specials.