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Travel Hacks: How to Save on Your European Adventure

Posted by Gina McSorley on

Traveling seems to be the one thing on everyone’s mind. Whether it’s a USA road trip or a backpacking adventure, we are all determined to see what else is out there in the world. I recently came back from a study abroad experience in Barcelona and I am already eager to leave again. There’s only one thing that limits most people from living the European dream: money. While traveling can get rather pricey, there are plenty of ways that allow affordable travel. Here are some of my best tips on how to travel on a budget!

The biggest expense of any trip is easily your flight to Europe. The best website I found for international flights is called StudentUniverse.com. You can use this website if you are a student or teacher and they give pretty good deals that allow you to save big on flights. Another huge helper is using points from airline cards! With the right credit card, you can get points on daily purchases that can majorly cut down on costs. My mom flew over to visit me for only $45 with her card, so I promise it can be done.

(View over the Mediterranean Sea)

Also, traveling within Europe, check out these websites! If you are going a far distance, use the website SkyScanner.com to help compare low budget airlines and help you get the absolute lowest price. While these flights offer minimal amenities, I’ve always had great experiences on them and hardly any flight delays. If you are traveling a shorter distance, look into taking a FlixBus! I took one from Munich, Germany to Salzburg, Austria for only 15 Euros and it was one of my favorite travel experiences. With comfortable seats and free wifi, what more do you need?

Once you get to Europe, you will need to figure out where to stay. Most people immediately jump to hostels. However, I would highly recommend using AirBnb.com because you can rent a shared room, individual room, or even a whole apartment! If you are with one friend or a group, Airbnb usually ends up being less costly than hostels and provides you with all the European charm you could imagine. If you want a safe and authentic experience during your travels, check out Airbnb for your home away from home.

(The window view from my Airbnb in Florence)

Food. The reason most people choose the European countries they go to. Money can easily be spent extravagantly on unique cuisines, but if you follow these pieces of advice, you can enjoy the best food without breaking the bank. Most countries in Europe don’t have breakfasts like the US (except the UK and Ireland), so I would say buy food to eat at your Airbnb before you start your day. There are plenty of cafes that offer one Euro coffee and pastries, so you can always stop mid morning to enjoy the sights of your city then. Also, I would say to eat lunch at your Airbnb (or grab a sandwich if you are out) and save your money for dinner. While lunch is cheaper, the ambiance of a dinner in Europe can’t be beat, so spend the extra Euros and eat with the locals at night.

(Paella in Barcelona)

Lastly, I would say to look at cities that offer the best discounts on attractions. Many cities in Europe offer reduced or free admission for college students and children, so be sure to carry your student ID with you (and watch out for pickpockets). One of the best experiences I had with student discounts was in Paris because I gained admission to the Louvre, D’Orsay, l’Orangerie, and the top of the Arc de Triomphe for FREE. That’s right, for free. If you do not qualify for these discounts, I would recommend always purchasing tickets online. First, because it may sell out if you wait until you get there. Second, they usually offer a slight discount if you buy before you go!

Traveling is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had and it is an attainable dream for anyone. I hope these travel hacks help you plan and experience your European adventure!