Travel around Europe without breaking the budget with these money saving travel tips.
Speaking at the TNT Travel Show, Busabout’s Nic Cooper revealed his cheapskate city tips and low-cost travel options for backpacking around Europe.
1. Fly with budget airlines such as EasyJet or Ryanair, but be aware of the excess charges when booking with Ryanair.
2. Check out free festivals such as San Fermin Running with the Bulls (July 6) and and La Tomatina (last Wednesday in August every year), the biggest food fight in the world and Oktoberfest, in September.
3. Travel round Europe in a campervan for accommodation and travel in one. Hire with Wicked Campers or Spaceships. Alternatively, buy a campervan with a website like Gumtree.
4. Travel around on coaches with Eurolines or Busabout, who offer a hop-on hop-off service, so you’re not confined to a particular tour. Inter-railing is another option, but remember to pre-book to save money.
5. Tour a city by hiring bikes or walking. Most cities have cycling routes.
6. Stay in hostels, bookable via hostelbookers.com or hostelworld.com. Hostels in the centre of the city might be more expensive, but then you’ll save on travel costs. Many hostels have whirlpool baths and roof terraces so it’s worth checking reviews and doing your research.
7. Stay in campsites, many of which offer on-site supermarkets, restaurants and bars.
8. If you’re travelling in a big group, rent an apartment as it can work out cheaper. Lots have kitchens which means you can prepare your own food – saving money.
9. In terms of eating and drinking, avoid eating meals near famous sites as the prices can be astronomical. Try the local food and drink as this is normally cheaper. eg: try pinxos in San Sebastian or paella in Valencia. Drink the local drink. eg: sangria in Spain and buy bottles of wine for about 4 euros in supermarkets in France.
10. If you’re an EU citizen aged 18-25, take ID as there are plenty of attractions where you get free entry. eg: the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. People with student cards get discounts. Many attractions, such as museums, are free on Friday nights or on the last Thursday of every month.
11. Be careful of bank charges when withdrawing money abroad. Try to pay by card for hostels and meals.
12. Go off the beaten track as non-touristy places charge local prices.