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The Essential Guide to Travelling in Europe for Less

 

Travel has become as synonymous with student life as reading or revising. At no other time in your life will you be absorbing so much at such a rate. You’re like an inquisitive sponge, roaming from place to place, soaking up sights, sounds and in some cases smells!

However, while you’re busy having a good time as a sponge, others are seeing you as a fresh source of income. All sorts of demands will be made on your wallet as you move from place to place. That’s why it’s important to know the ins and outs of travelling for less. Our essential guide gives you all the tips you need for a cheap and safe European odyssey…

Before you go

Remember you can search for more online than the cheapest travel tickets. Investigate the places you’re planning to visit and map out the inexpensive options as much as possible. For example, common sense dictates that you wouldn’t go to a tourist hotspot at high season. If you did that you’d be asking for trouble, once the drink starts flowing and the activities pile up. It’s a big world out there but you can still give it the once over from the comfort of your home base.
Also make sure you know your exchange rates because these can fluctuate due to factors like the eurozone. This sort of thing may give you a migraine but you’ll have a financial headache if you don’t get at least a slight handle on it.

A to B

When it comes to having a good time abroad, travel costs are the factor most guaranteed to throw a spanner in the works. There’s more to it than booking a flight via a budget airline. You’ll know full well about the high price of things like fuel or train tickets once you reach your destination.
This can be a balancing act, but here are some cheap travel options to help make the most out of your journey.

Budget flights: These are a student’s best friend. With their no frills approach and discounted fares, companies such as Ryanair take many a wide-eyed adventurer across the continent. As long as you don’t mind the additional fees for “luxuries” like printing your ticket at the airport you’re flying high, so to speak. Fancy a £19.99 flight? Then check out a special offer here.                                      

Buses: Once you’ve touched down, staying grounded is the best way to be. Buses and coaches really do deliver all the value, provided you can do without things like comfort and don’t mind staring out of windows for hours at a stretch!
You can even go the whole road hog and go from country to country on four wheels, should time not be a major issue. FlixBus, Megabus and National Express are just a handful of options to consider.                                             

Car travel: You can get around by car without blowing your budget on petrol. The car share service BlaBlaCar matches your backside with someone’s spare seat, enabling you to tag along to a range of destinations. By chipping in you can check out the sights of Europe for a fraction of the cost.
The elephant in the room in terms of car travel is hitchhiking. You might have seen one too many horror movies to take this one seriously, but if you do decide to stick your thumb out it’s best to know what you’re doing.                           

Train travel: Should you not have the stomach for the open road, trains are always available. There’s a certain magic to watching the world through a train window, though naturally this comes at a price. The key is to book as far in advance as possible and finding the right provider to book with. For more information read here. Good luck!

Getting your head down

Of course you’ll need to rest between journeys and a good night’s sleep is crucial to a happy holiday. As with hitchhiking there is a riskier choice for those brave enough to take the plunge, care of couch surfing.
However, the main option for accommodation is usually a hostel. Far cheaper than a hotel and giving you a place to lay your head, a range of basic beds is to be found here