How to travel through Europe for cheap

Flags representing European nations.
OLGA LEDNICHENKO/Creative Commons
Flags representing European nations.

The idea of traveling in Europe is great in theory, but expensive in practice. Everyone wants to see the Eiffel tower, but not everyone’s got ten grand to spare. Money’s tight, especially for students. The Clog, however, has you covered. If you want to know how to travel without the burden of exorbitant costs, the answers can be found below.

The first troublesome part of European travel is getting there. No matter how you slice it, flights are expensive. Flights to Paris hover around a thousand dollars, and flights to Croatia are even higher at around two grand. The solution? Use those airline points, book flights on unpopular days and travel on cheap airlines.

For students in particular, studying abroad can be a good way of exploring Europe whilst continuing your studies. Study abroad scholarships can be found using resources like this one. If studying abroad isn’t your thing, resources like Airbnb and couchsurfing.com are cheap ways to book rooms in Europe. Particular to Europe are hostels, shared and affordable rooms popular throughout Europe. Use any or multiple of these resources to save yourself some cash.    

If you’re super broke (nothing any other Berkeley student could relate to), you might want to think about sleeping on overnight trains or at airports. An alternative to this would be to find a campsite and pitch a tent, as long as the weather’s not too crazy. Probably not a good idea to do every night, but it’ll definitely save you some money here or there.

In terms of traveling from place to place, taxis and ubers are fairly expensive. Using public transport such as trains, subway systems, buses and even rented bikes could be preferable. Sacrificing comfort for frugality may be hard, but hey, at least you get to go to Europe.

Once you get there, be sure not to blow all your money on food. Money can be conserved by frequenting farmers markets and local grocery stores. Cooking your own meals saves a lot of money in comparison to what you’d spend on a restaurant.  

If you’re low on cash, it’s good to keep in mind that travel is an interaction with different environments and cultures that can shape who you are and what you want. It’s something that changes you as a person. So even if you have to sleep in an airport or ride a bike to get around town, the Swiss Alps and Prague Castle look the same no matter how much you spent to see them.

Contact Melany Dillon at [email protected].