When a high school graduate is trying to figure out what’s next for them, when a newlywed couple that loves the great outdoors is looking to take a vacation, or when you simply happen to be someone who has always dreamed of going to Europe but your finances are limited, for all of these scenarios, there is a simple solution: go backpacking through Europe.
Now, before you stuff a pile of clothes in a backpack and book your flight, in order to save as much money as possible, we thought it would be a good idea to provide you with a few helpful tips. If you follow these, we’re confident that you’ll enjoy every moment—even with a limited amount of cash.
Pack only what you need. If there’s one good thing that has come out of airlines charging us those ridiculous baggage fees, it’s that it’s taught us to be smarter when it comes to how we pack. When you’re backpacking through Europe, it’s not a fashion show and so there’s no need to take along every pair of pants or shoes that you own, so only take what you absolutely need. Also, being that you’ll probably be going through some wild terrain and strange places from time to time, you should probably leave your valuables (such as expensive jewelry) at home. You don’t want to lose them on the trip. That will only result in an unexpected expense (when you have to replace it).
Get a train pass. Although you will definitely be doing a lot of walking, there are some places that you’re going to have to get to by some other mode of transportation. It’s going to cost more than you might want to spend to rent a car, which is why we recommend getting a train pass instead. For one fee, many of them will allow you to travel throughout certain parts of Europe within a set amount of time.
Take your own snacks. While waiting on a couple of trains to Doncaster, if you stop at every convenience store that you see along the way, the price of what it costs to purchase a few snacks is going to start to add up. That’s why we recommend that you purchase some snacks ahead of time at a local market. Oh, and if you want to get some alcohol, try bypassing the local pubs and bars and getting that at the store too (it will be much cheaper if you do).
Book a hostel that has a kitchen. In America, it would be advised to stay in an extended stay hotel because it has a kitchen that you can cook your own food in. For this same reason, while traveling through Europe, we recommend booking a hostel that has a kitchen in it. That way, you won’t have to rationalize going into a restaurant every single night.
Don’t take a cab (if you can help it). Have you ever seen someone right after a backpacking trip to Europe? Many individuals are in amazing shape and that’s because they got plenty of exercising walking to where they needed to go. Although there may be times when you’ll want to ride in a cab just so that you can get a bit of a break, for the most part, opt for walking instead. It’s better for your health and it’s a smart way to keep a few more dollars in your pocket. Happy backpacking!