Tips On Traveling To Europe

By | January 9, 2024

Tips On Traveling To Europe – Is it expensive to visit Europe? Yes. At least, it’s a big part, especially by Southeast Asian standards. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any ways to cut travel costs.

When most people think of traveling to Europe, they picture full-service flights, expensive hotels, restaurant stops for every meal, and pre-arranged packaged tours. For a long time, I thought the same. But the truth is, the travel landscape has changed so much in the last few decades that normally expensive destinations like Europe can be enjoyed even by budget travelers.

Tips On Traveling To Europe

Backpacking has been around for years, but thanks to social media, more and more people are becoming familiar with it. A backpacker can easily book a hostel dorm bed, cook their own meals, join a free walking tour, and still have the full experience.

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As of this writing, we have visited 28 countries in Europe. And whenever we’re on retreats across the subcontinent, we always get countless questions from our friends and followers about how we maximize our stay while keeping our expenses low. We will try to answer all these questions. This is going to be a very long post, so without further ado, here we go.

Not all countries in Europe are equal. It is incredibly diverse in terms of culture, socio-politics, and especially, cost of living. Tourists moving from one country to another can feel it immediately. Some are more expensive than others.

Norwegian countries such as Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark are generally considered expensive. Switzerland, too. Many of the central and eastern regions, including Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic and Poland, are very affordable. Western and southern states like France and Italy are in the middle of the price spectrum.

To give you a better grasp of it, let’s use something that many consider a reliable tool for comparing prices – McDonald’s Big Mac. The world’s most expensive Big Mac can be found in Switzerland, where it costs around US$6.70. Compare that to Ukraine, where you only have to spend US$1.70 for the same burger. It is almost 4x cheaper.

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If you’re on a tight budget, limit your stay or try to avoid expensive countries and fill your itinerary with affordable destinations. What I usually do when planning a long multi-country trip is to combine them all. When I make my trip and I want to visit an expensive country, I try to balance things out by adding more pocket-friendly destinations.

But the weather is not the only thing you need to take into account. Is there an event you want to experience but can only enjoy at certain times of the year? If you want to experience Oktoberfest, head to Munich in mid-September (but expect skyrocketing hotel and tour prices)! If you want to see the Northern Lights in the Nordic countries, go from mid-September to mid-March.

The most popular countries in Europe are part of the Schengen agreement, which means that you will need a Schengen visa to get one.

A Schengen visa is a travel document that allows the holder to enter any of the 26 states that are part of the Schengen Agreement. Think of an almost all-access pass to many countries in Europe. Once you’re inside the zone, there are no hard borders between countries (except in a few places), eliminating the hassle of applying for visas for each individual country. These are the countries that are part of the Schengen zone:

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But hold your horses. You can’t just apply anywhere. You need to know which embassy to submit your application, and it will depend on the purpose of your trip or your overall European itinerary. As a rule, you should apply at the embassy of the country where you will live for the longest period of time.

But not all embassies are the same. The Spanish and Italian embassies are widely regarded as the strictest of them all, while the Dutch and Austrian embassies are the most considerate and forgiving.

If you are visiting countries outside the Schengen zone, make sure you have the relevant visa. Countries that require separate visas include (but are not limited to) Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

Some non-Schengen countries will accept your Schengen visa as long as it is still valid and allows you multiple entries. These include Croatia, Montenegro, Andorra, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Romania. Always check with that country’s embassy to be safe.

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Direct flights are often more expensive. Most airlines make stops at other locations. Qatar Airways usually has a stop in Doha, Emirates in Dubai, Turkish Airlines has a stop in Istanbul.

Some of the cheapest flights to Europe you’ll find are offered by Singapore’s budget airline Scoot. They have direct flights from Singapore to Athens and Berlin.

If you are coming from the Philippines or other parts of Southeast Asia, you can book with Value Alliance, an alliance of low-cost carriers in the region including Cebu Pacific Air, Jeju Air, Nok Air, NokScoot, and Scoot!

This section is brought to you by Value Alliance, but even if it wasn’t, they still offer cheap flights to Europe, so consider taking a look.

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When it comes to where to stay, most travelers think of full-service hotels. But there are many other types of accommodation available. There are no hotels, hostels, dorms, and Airbnb options!

We paid only 37 euros per night for this room. And it can deliver up to 4 packs.

At this point, you should already know if you are traveling alone or part of a group. This will significantly affect your expenses and accommodation choices.

The cost of a room or bed also varies greatly from city to city. For example, in Prague, we stayed in a central hotel for only €37 per night. It is only around €18 per person. But in Reykjavik, even dorm beds are very expensive.

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I personally prefer hostels because we enjoy the community spirit and meeting other travelers. But at the end of the day, our main considerations are price, cleanliness and location more than the type of accommodation. If we find a well-reviewed, budget-friendly, and centrally located property, we’ll book it, regardless of whether it’s a hostel, hotel, or apartment.

To illustrate this, on our recent trip to Europe, we stayed in a budget hotel in Nice, a hostel in Milan, an apartment in Bologna. On our last trip, we stayed at a budget hotel in Paris, a hostel in Brussels, and an AirBnB in Iceland. The best for us is which one is in a great location and what facilities they have that meet our specific needs at that time, which I will discuss in the next section.

We are also part of their affiliate network! By booking with them through the link below, you will help keep this website free for everyone.

We are the type of travelers who enjoy eating out at restaurants to try the local cuisine. You will be surprised to know that there are very cheap restaurants in Europe, even in expensive cities. You just need to try to find them.

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Stay away from restaurants in tourist areas. They are more expensive and cater to most tourists. Eat where the locals eat. Sometimes you need to walk for 2 minutes on inner streets and you will find a nice resto which is more pocket-friendly.

But we don’t eat out at restaurants for every single meal. We give ourselves a budget of 20 euros per day and we are very flexible with it. It’s all about balance. For example, if I spend €13 for lunch at a restaurant, I’m only left with €7. I’ll just cook my own meals or take the cheap way out for dinner. Likewise, if I decide to splurge and spend more than 20 euros on a dinner, I avoid the restaurant the next day.

In Athens, you can get a plate of souvlaki (at least 3 long skewers) with bread and fries for less than 5 euros. It’s cheap, delicious, and very filling.

There is no single answer because it varies from destination to destination. But there are many transport options in Europe.

Tips For Traveling To Europe

We use Skyscanner to search and compare. You’d be surprised how cheap some flights can be especially if you travel light and it’s off-peak.

For example, from Athens to Santorini, you can get a ROUNDTRIP RyanAir ticket for only €14 when it’s off-season. This is without bags, so you have to pay more for baggage allowance.

Yes, many attractions in Europe can be enjoyed for free especially if you are just doing a DIY style tour.

However, we still insist that you spend on some attractions. The free attractions are quite limited, so if you can afford it, go ahead and pay for that entrance fee. Yes, you can visit the Louvre museum from the outside for free, but it would be a shame to miss out on all the treasures inside.

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In many European cities, you will find free walking tours organized by various companies. In some cities, such as Athens and Bratislava, you can also find free tours organized or certified by the government’s tourism board.

The catch is, pretty much