How to travel Europe Cheap
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Ever thought Europe was out of your reach or too expensive for you? I traveled to Europe last year and it only cost us about $450 US from Ft. Lauderdale to Gatwick, then to Barcelona, to Rome, Paris then Amsterdam before we headed back to the US.
Traveling to Europe is not exactly unattainable and I discovered that there were even cheaper ways. Rather than taking airplanes for most of the journey, I could have taken a bus because Inter-European travel is really cheap. This post will examine the cheapest ways to travel Europe.
Using a Flight Checker
Check out our detail post on how to get cheap flights
First I advise that you use Google Flights and SkyScanner, to check for the best dates to travel and the best cities to travel to. On the calendar, you can see the best days for the cheapest prices and you can even choose flexible travel dates. I recommend that you do this before you take time off from work. Usually, there are off-peak seasons but do not travel between May and August because they are peak times. Also, Germany is more expensive than usual end of September and early October because of their Oktoberfest so these are periods to avoid if you want to travel Europe on a Budget. Remember that if you are flexible with your travel dates, this will give you the best option to find good deals.
If you are traveling from the US to Europe, do it from the East Coast as low-cost airlines fly from JFK and Boston. By low cost, I mean that you are only allowed a carry-on and you have to take your own meals with you. Even if you pay for checked luggage and a meal, the flight is still cheaper than traveling with established airlines. If you book on
Expedia then baggage fees are usually included in the price. If you book on Google Flights, they usually redirect you to the Airline’s website to book your flight.
Cheapest way to travel Europe
Finding a good airline deal is the main cost effective way to know how to travel europe cheap.
WOW Air, takes you to Europe from Boston but you may have to stop off in Reykjavík Iceland. Non-Stop flights may be a problem for some but I like the idea of exploring new countries even if it’s just for a few hours and well in Iceland you may be lucky enough to see a Viking but who knows right? Norwegian Airlines also offers low fares to Europe; in fact, they have direct flights from JFK to Gatwick. These flights actually depart late in the night, usually after ten. I traveled with Norwegian and they were possibly one of the best airlines I traveled with.
Their stewards were friendly and they were on time. They have a large aircraft so you may want to sit up front if you
want to disembark quickly.
If you are traveling from the Caribbean, Condor offers flights to Frankfurt, Germany from Barbados and Tobago and Thomas Cook Airlines recently started to offer trips to Manchester, London from Tobago.
Once you get to your European Destination, there are several low-cost airlines available; Ryanair, EasyJet, Vueling, City Jet and even Transavia to name a few. I traveled with City Jet from Paris to London and the flight cost me about $40US and I had a huge suitcase and carry on.
It also seemed as though I was the last person to board and the air host gave me a row all to myself. I also traveled
with Easy Jet but I will never make that mistake again. My flight to Barcelona cost me more than what British Airways would have charged me. I had to pay for my bag and then I paid £40 in overweight fees. These overweight fees
were not charged with Norwegian or City Jet. On top of all that the flight was delayed for over 3 hours and the staff at the airport was very unaccommodating and had no information to give us. I was upset because I was on my way to Camp Nou and I got to the match a few minutes before halftime and long after Lionel Messi had revealed his Ballon D’or to the spectators. Maybe your experience with them would be different.
Rail or Bus
If you want to know how to travel Europe cheap, transportation is a big part of keeping your budget low.
If you want to site see or want to save on paying one night’s accommodation, consider taking a bus at night. I am planning a Eurotrip for early next year and when I was costing the entire thing, in some instances it is more feasible to travel by plane than by train. Travel by rail can be a little more expensive than travel by plane. The only annoying thing is that airplane travel means airport waits and delays.
To determine the best mode of transport to take, you can use the application or website called Go Euro. It does
not give you the best dates to travel but it gives you the cheapest; buses, trains and flights. Some travelers may recommend that you get a Eurail card or even an Oyster Card when in London. These have their advantages and disadvantages. I would not particularly get a Eurail card because travel by train is expensive, although it is a good option to travel through cities; again it’s all about preference. However, if you are on a budget and not time
conscious be flexible and take the bus. I traveled from Barcelona to Toulouse on the Mega Bus and it cost me
about €6. The Oyster is good for London’s underground but only if you are staying a bit. If you are on a budget though, buses can take you all over Europe.
The cheapest way to travel Europe is to actually stay in a hostel rather than a hotel. If you have no objections to sharing a room with strangers then I recommend this. Some beds go as low as €5 a night. Better still, you can actually find odd jobs around the hostel and benefit from free accommodation or get yourself some spare change
whilst on your trip. You can check either Hostel World or Hostels for the cheapest prices. Another low-cost option
is checking Airbnb; however the accommodation they offer is not going to be cheaper than a hostel but you will have your own space.
We Put a list of the best travel backpacks for Europe
Deals and Discounts
So, I recommend that you sign up with Expedia and Orbitz; I use them because they send notifications about specials. Also, Google Flights allows you to keep track of flights and their prices so it’s good to sign up for. You can also search the internet for coupon codes to certain attractions; sometimes even Expedia has deals and the website of main attractions also have deals for off-peak times to encourage tourists. It’s basically up to you to do the search but all the resources you need were mentioned above.
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