15 Tips to Save Money Backpacking Europe
1) Travel in Eastern Europe
The prices of everyday backpacking necessities in Europe such as pasta, beer, buses and hostels will vary greatly depending on your area. Needless to say if your a broke bagpacker then head East (especially if you smoke) to save money backpacking Europe.
As a general rule Scandinavia and Iceland are the most expensive (around €25 for a bed in a hostel dorm). You will probably feel short here too.
Then comes Western Europe or the countries which use the Euro currency, the UK and Switzerland (around €15 for a bed in a hostel dorm).
Then there’s Central Europe, the EU countries without the Euro like Hungary, Poland and Croatia (around €10 for a bed in a hostel dorm).
Eastern Europe comes a big sickle and hammer Soviet first, cheapest but definitely not least interesting. All of the Eastern countries that are outside of the EU such as Ukraine, Albania and Serbia. (Around €5 for a bed in a hostel dorm).
Turkey doesn’t geographically apply to the rules because of it’s stupidly high alcohol taxes and the fact it’s more developed then Eastern Europe. So to avoid any confusion let’s just leave Istanbul in the Asia category.
Getting accommodation without paying for it will certainly help keep your travels prolonged. Couchsurfing isn’t always straight forward but it certainly can work wonders and isn’t just limited to writing requests on Couchsurfing.org.
You can try posting on back-packer FB pages to find hosts or meet people at Couchsurfing meetings. Be positive and outgoing and you should be able to find a host in every city that has over a million people.
Girls will have no problem finding a host.
Guys won’t be successful just sending requests to hot girls unfortunately.
Keep in mind that Couchsirfing isn’t just about free accommodation but rather getting to know locals. Your host will want you to be a good guest who shows an interest in the countries culture, if your just here to party then stick with the hostels.
3) Pasta Diet
Time to pack in the three course meals and drunken kebabs. Pasta cooked in the hostel kitchen will suffice to keep you alive, add tuna on a Sunday for extra nourishment.
4) Responsible Pre-Drinking
Budweiser or Guinness? No, how about two bottles of the cheapest yet strong wine to wash down that pasta with then head out.
5) Shop Around with your Cash
The exchange shops furthest from tourist attractions and train stations will offer better exchange rates.
6) Bring a Student Card
Student discounts creep up in cities with high student populations like Budapest regularly.
7) Forget Taxis
Just work out the cities local public transport, ask people at the metro or tram stations. Most young folk in Europe have enough English to help.
Better still just walk
8) Free Maps
Maps can usually be got free at your Hostel, or use screenshots from Google Maps.
9) Free Walking Tours
Every city has them, and a small tips is all that’s expected in return for a tour. Ask at your hostel.
9) Book Hostels Online in Advance
You will probably get a better deal if you book online using websites like Hostelworld.
At least use the search function to find the cheapest hostel’s location and rates.
10) Work Exchange
Websites such as Workaway, Woofing and HelpX offer backpackers the opportunity to find places to do a few hour’s work (usually five) a day in exchange for free food and a bed. Jobs can vary from farming and labouring to language help and cooking. Signing up costs around €30 though yearly.
Asking in hostels too (especially Central and Eastern Europe) might land you a free bed in exchange for some cleaning work.
11) Hitchhiking in Europe
Of course I would suggest that you hitchhike, but it’s by far to best way to reduce travel costs. I have went thousands of km without paying a penny. I don’t car to know what these journeys would of cost in train tickets.
Hitchhiking in Europe often lands you some free food too or drink with generous drivers.
12) Bring a Tent
Works best when hitchhiking since the chances of being out in the open countryside are higher. A tent and sleeping bag gives you the freedom to sleep anywhere for free.
13) Cheap Airlines
Don’t bother…. Unless the foods exceptional that is, or you fancy the waitress/waiter.
15) Don’t use your phone
Keep Mammy posted through Skype, Email, FB or with a drunken message in a bottle cast into the Danube (all free).
Don’t feel the need to text her all your terrible selfies.
Have your own secrets to save money backpacking Europe, then be sure to let us know by leaving a comment.