The old continent is a great place to visit. So much history and so many diverse cultures packed into a comparatively small space. Since Europe is divided between quite a few countries, renting a single vehicle and driving right across it is not exactly an option – at least not for the budget-conscious. I know my wallet wouldn’t allow it. Unless you want to be stuck in one place for two weeks straight, you will need to consider alternative options.
Compare transportation methods so that you don’t get ripped off
Getting from A to B can be a costly affair, no matter where you are. Some parts of Europe are particularly pricey and comparing car vs train costs should give you a clue about the numbers involved.
After a thorough comparison between car and train travel (or perhaps even a bus, if that is what you prefer), take note of the times of day you are likely to travel. Prices can vary widely during rush hour, especially in Scandinavia. I learned this one the hard way.
An unrestricted Eurail pass could be the answer to your prayers but be sure to check other options as well. Longer distances can easily be crossed by low-cost flights.
Choose your accommodation wisely and never risk being robbed
Not all cities are created equal and neither are all forms of accommodation. A fancy 5-star hotel in Milan should make you feel nice and cosy, while a dodgy hostel in Amsterdam could see your laptop missing. Even if I was travelling without a car, my overall experience was a positive one.
If you’re a female travelling in Europe alone, you need not take any additional measures of precaution that you wouldn’t take in your own country. Common sense should suffice. The same applies to a male travelling across Europe alone.
Get informed, read the reviews and book accommodation that is the most likely to be free from thieves. It will help you stay relaxed and enjoy your holiday as much as possible.
Manage your budget effectively and avoid running into debt
No one said that travelling was cheap. My adventure through Italy, France, the Netherlands and a good part of Scandinavia set me back a couple of thousand. It was well worth it, of course, but it taught me that you need good money management skills in order to travel through Europe alone.
Consider how much per day you are likely to spend and what is the absolute maximum you are willing to pay for a hotel. If you are travelling without a car, like I did, consider train and plane tickets. Museum tickets or entry to the hottest clubs are more likely to be your priority anyway.
I found some great smartphone apps that should help you travel through Europe on a budget without a car. These could save you quite a bit of cash.
No matter how tricky it may seem at first, travelling Europe on a budget is a realistic option. Always be detail-oriented and know your priorities.
Hopping from Milan to Amsterdam to Stockholm to Paris (and beyond) could be the greatest trip of your life. It definitely made me hungry for more.
If you are not willing to spend a fortune on renting a car, trains and planes are an excellent option for getting around. Be sure to use the most reliable apps, compare prices, and always read reviews for any place you may stay at. It should make your life a whole lot easier and your adventure across Europe one for the books.