If you’re planning to travel around Europe, you might be in for a nasty surprise when it comes to ticket prices. But there are a few ways to travel Europe more cheaply. We’ll show you how.
Try a budget airline
If you’re traveling long distances in Europe, the cheapest way to do it is via budget airline. There are lots of them in Europe, and the competition’s stiff. This has led to low and sometimes even free airfares, excluding taxes. If you don’t want to spend hours on a train or bus and just want to get somewhere quickly, investigate what the budget airlines are offering.
Take a look at Skyscanner and Momondo to find the lowest prices. They search all the airlines and make finding budget airline tickets easy. But beware: The way these airlines make their money is through fees. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up paying more than you would for a major airline ticket.
Watch out for fees related to paying by credit card, baggage check-in and more. Some budget airlines you might like to consider are:
- Norwegian Airlines
- Wizz Air
- Aigle Azur
This hop-on/hop-off service that’s similar to those found in New Zealand and Australia is particularly popular with backpackers. The service has set routes that allow you to get on and off wherever you like along the way. There are a number of different ticket options.
For example, you could purchase a nine-day flex pass that allows you nine stops from your starting place. It also includes a guide and often group activities, and it’s a great way to meet fellow travelers. Another option is their two-week pass that costs $299 USD. If you manage to visit five or six cities during the two-week period, each trip will cost just $50 to $60 a pop. Of course, the fact that the service runs along certain routes means that anywhere not covered by them will cost you extra to travel to.
Try a Eurail pass
Europe has one of the world’s most extensive rail systems, allowing you to travel to just about anywhere on the continent in comfort. Rail travel allows you to relax and watch the landscape go by. It’s a lot less cramped than traveling by bus, and it’s got an old-school quality that makes it quite soothing. Traveling by train from one city to another is pretty cheap, but it’s expensive to go on longer journeys. If you don’t want to fly and want to travel extensively through Europe, a rail pass is the cheapest per-trip travel option.
Try a FlixBus or Eurolines
With tickets costing as little as 5 euros, FlixBus can be a cheap way of traveling to thousands of cities in over 20 European countries. Each bus is well equipped for your convenience, including comfortable seats, Wi-Fi and electrical outlets for recharging your devices. Alternatively, Eurolines is a bus service that links countries and cities across Europe via each country’s national bus service. The cost of a five- or six-hour trip starts from about 20 euros, but it’s less comfortable.
Try a Megabus
If you’re traveling to the UK or Western Europe, Megabus is a cheap option. The company covers England, Scotland and Wales as well as Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris. Tickets can be as cheap as 1 British pound, but only if you book a month or more in advance. Even if you don’t score one of their super-cheap deals, it’s still cheaper to travel by Megabus than on the British national bus system or by train. Megabus also offers train service to certain destinations in the UK.
Try a BlaBlaCar
In line with the sharing economy trend, BlaBlaCar and other similar services allow you to get a ride with a local going your way. Rides cost as little as 5 euros, so you get to save money and meet local people to boot. It’s the cheapest way of traveling around Europe, and if you’re game for an adventure, this might be the way to go. Gumtree’s a good start for finding lifts going your way.
Try the fee-free route
There is, of course, a way to travel absolutely free — and that’s by hitchhiking. You could meet interesting locals and strike up some great conversations, but hitching a lift with a stranger might be risky. Although hitchhiking is quite common in Europe, it’s not danger-free. If you do decide to thumb a lift, be careful and listen to your gut. If the situation seems unsafe, get out of there as soon as possible.