How to Survive While Touring Europe (on a Student Budget)

Some tips and important things to remember on a first trip to Europe.


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    Find cheap international travel between countries. You can either search online for a good fare or you can pay someone to do it for you. Before you give up on your own,
    • International train travel. In Europe, consider buying Eurail (for non-EU citizens) or Interail (for EU citizens) international railpasses.

    • International coach travel. In Europe, Eurolines provide a pass to cover travel between more than 45 European cities. Megabus provide intercity bus travel in Europe.
    • International ship/ferry travel. Cruises can be cheap if you consider accommodation and meals are included. Cunard operate some cruises. TheCruisePeople compare cruise prices.

    • try a flight to London and then a Ryanair or Easyjet flight to wherever you really want to go. Remember to book your flight at least 21 days before the actual flight to save money. Air travel is generally the most expensive way to travel. Use flight comparison websites such as travelsupermarket, skyscanner and kayak. Use flight brokers such as travelocity, expedia and opodo.
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    Be sure to factor in national intercity travel. For example factor in train costs as well. It might be €100 cheaper to fly into Milan, but if you want to be in Rome, you'll still have to take the train.
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    Research lodgings. Check online or in guidebooks as to which hostel or hotel will best fit your needs. Consider location, expense, age group, Internet, laundry facilities, breakfast and more.
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    Consider local transportation while you are there. Think about your budget and how long you'll be somewhere. Week city passes are usually a good deal. Individual tickets stack up. Check with the information center to see what they suggest. Buy long distance tickets in advance when you can. Check different times. Lots of countries have deals when you purchase in advance.
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    Find food. Sometimes eating out is great. If you find a decent restaurant with authentic food, you get a window into the culture. Be sure to try the specials and native drinks. Don't just order a hamburger. Not only will you be disappointed, you won't be trying anything new. Going to grocery stores in other countries is very illuminating. Try to see what you find. It can be surprising and fun. Cooking on your own will also save money.


  • Take a change of clothing as well as deodorant on the plane.
  • Eat an early dinner if you eat out. You get cheaper meals if you avoid the evening dinner menu. However, remember that if you eat before 9 or 10pm you will miss out on eating at the same time as the locals (European eat late on in the evening and go to sleep late - midnight or 1am usually).
  • Keep color copies of your important documents and keep them separate from the originals.
  • Keep all of your important documents in a money belt and actually use it.
  • Bring small big things from your home country as gifts. You will (hopefully) meet some wonderful people and want to share something from your culture as reciprocation. Nice ideas can be: Maple candy, peanut butter cups, postcards from your hometown that you can write notes on or American magazines. (easy to read, fun pictures to look at. They're a novelty.)

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Categories: Europe | Reduce Travel Cost