Chase Robbins, traveller and blogger shares the cheapest ways to travel around Europe. Check out her tips for budget transportation!
It’s a blessing that the continent of Europe is packed with tons of different languages, cultures, and cuisines that are not far from each other. Even though the countries are nearby, not all of us are old enough/have the money to rent a car. I’ve traveled around Europe to 13 countries during my last 11 months wandering around the continent, so I’ve figured out the best ways to get around efficiently without breaking the bank. If you’re a budget traveler who isn’t trying to blow 70 euros on a train ride, then check out these cheap ways to get around the continent.
This is the first website I check when I’m trying to brainstorm how I can get to a city. All you have to do is plug in your current location to your desired destination and it generates ideas of the prices and forms of transportation available to that specific location. It’s also available in an app!
I’ve hitchhiked a few different times in Denmark and Ireland, but to tell you the truth, it gives me a lot of anxiety. I still recommend it though, since I have tons of friends who love it and swear by it as the best way to get around. Once the risks are set aside, it is a great opportunity for free transportation and gives you a chance to make some new friends during the journey. Compared to other places in the world, hitchhiking is actually quite popular in Europe. Check out Hitchwiki to get more tips and plan out where you will stand to try to hitch a ride.
This method of transportation is sort of like organized hitchhiking combined with Uber. You’re still getting in the car with a stranger, but you are paying them. When someone is driving to a destination, they put it on the website BlaBlaCar and put in the time they’re leaving and from where they are departing. People who have ridden with them writes reviews so other passengers can have insight on their driving skills. If you find someone leaving from your current location to your preferred destination on a day that works for you, you shoot them a message and figure out a meeting place. Once the ride is finished, you simply pay them in cash. I’ve done this multiple times and it’s a great way to get around for cheap, plus you can make a friend!
Each time I’ve taken a bus in Europe it’s been through this company. I love Flixbus and highly recommend them to any budget traveler. I’ve had fares as cheap as 5 euros and a lot of the buses come with charging outlets and air conditioning (plus a bathroom). My longest trip was 14 hours on one of these buses, and it was surprisingly comfortable!
Unlike the German company Flixbus, Megabus is the same idea, but centered in the UK. They offer cheap prices to get you to and from destinations within the United Kingdom.
Budget airlines are great if you’re a lightweight backpacker who only carries a tiny backpack with them. These airlines are cheap but often charge for carry-on baggage and checking in a bag costs significantly more than on a more expensive airline. I’d only recommend an airline such as Ryanair, Wizz Air, Easyjet or Transavia if you travel with next to nothing. Their flights are so cheap if you book at the right time (at least a month early), I booked a flight from Munich to Vilnius for only $20! Beware: They get you on the small stuff. I was charged $50 to print my boarding pass at check-in in Ireland. Of course the service isn’t great, but you can’t beat the cheap prices to get around Europe. The best engine to search for cheap flights is Skyscanner.
The popularity of biking across continents is on the rise. If you’re a lover of cycling, maybe riding across the entire continent of Europe is something that interests you. Whether you ride solo or with friends, you’re sure to have some amazing experiences. Bring along a tiny tent to camp out in the woods or use Couchsurfing to save money on accommodation. It’s a great way to travel tons of kilometers for free.
The key to traveling around Europe cheaply is to plan. Flights on RyanAir can jump from 10 euros to 50 euros overnight. Figure out which method is the most comfortable for you and start making our way around the culture infused continent!