Being in the Netherlands for a year doing a Masters has its perks, like getting to travel Europe. However, being student again means we no longer have a steady paycheque, soooo here are 7 tips on how to keep travel in Europe more affordable!
1. Packed lunches
This is an essential when traveling anywhere. Airports, train stations and restaurants near tourist attractions are notoriously expensive. When you are waiting for your flight, train, bus, lift or whatever it may be, it is best to have something ready made to snack on that will not cost three times its usual price. The local supermarkets are filled with delicious lunch alternatives to an expensive restaurant and we have loved eating our chocolate croissants, ham and cheese rolls and macaroons on a bench looking up at the Eiffel Tower, Charlottenburg Palace or overlooking the ocean.
2. Buy your beverages at the super market
While have drinks in fancy glasses at a restaurant overlooking the ocean makes for a Pinterest perfect picture it puts a serious dent your bank account. Your money is better spent on a €20 visit to the statue of David.
Getting public transport to every landmark or site is going to get expensive. Most of activities and sites are pretty close to one another and you can get to them on foot. It also gives you a chance to stop at the markets, admire the architecture and experience a bit of everyday life along the way.
4. Book your trip in advance
This is so important, the prices of flights, buses and trains change almost everyday of not every 10 hours or so. These variations in costs are even larger in the summer months so book ahead of time and save yourself an extra €100 for the trip. Accommodation also gets booked up and you are left with the most expensive places or affordable places that are located too far away from where you want to be.
5. Listen to the locals
We had looked up all the best things to do on trip advisor, Pinterest and all the places people usually look at before they go on holiday. Our taxi driver Luca revealed some of the special hidden treasures in Split to explore while we were there. Marjan Hill was one of them and it was breathtakingly beautiful.
6. Look at different airports and modes of transportation
Spend a little extra time in your trip planning — checking all the different modes of transport for your trip, you never know which one could end up being the cheapest, fastest, or the best value for money. We flew into Split, got the ferry to Dubrovnik for €20 and flew out of Dubrovnik which decreased the price of our trip by at least €150 each. Busing it to Germany saved us two nights of accommodation expenses by travelling the eight hours from Groningen to Berlin and back overnight. Flying often seems like a cheaper option but always remember to factor in the travel to and from the airport — it adds up!
7. Do your own research
A tour guide is great but it really is just another expense if you are trying to save money. If you want to know more about a church or landmark, the locals are more than happy to answer and if they can’t, google is your friend.
I am sure there are plenty more ways to save money when traveling but for now these are the ones we have found to be the most thrifty.