This is something that is a little out of leftfield for my blog but, it still relates and it also helps that I’m a fresh out of Uni student and planning to go on my very own budget travel trip around Europe. I’ve saved since I started this blog and I’m getting a good way toward hitting my savings goal but I’ll only hit my target come January (if my calculations and predictions are correct) so I’ll be booking and hoping to get on the plane come February.
However, I can’t keep this trip quiet anymore, obviously, all my friends and family know but I wanted to share it with all you guys too. I’ll still be updating the blog as and when I can when I’m away but that may be a little less frequent, it just depends on my schedule and where I am and obviously, if I have any Wi-Fi too. So, I figured, seeing as I’m going to be travelling Europe on a budget and that this site is all about saving money and I’d put together a little guide for travelling Europe on a budget. First off though, here’s a couple of little pointers, don’t withdraw your money from an ATM when you’re abroad as you’ll get charged a rubbish exchange rate. Try and take a pre-paid card of credit cards. Anyway, here goes!
Don’t Travel in Summer
Obviously, if you can’t avoid travelling in summer then this is a redundant tip but if you’re planning on a trip to Europe and have time and plenty of choices, look to go in the off-season. Travelling during off-season can result in a more authentic, local experience for you and you also won’t get hammered with over inflated prices.
During the summer, prices are at their highest, most things are booked up and if you’re travelling to any major cities in Europe such as Rome or Paris, you’ll find that they will be uncomfortably crowded with tourists. Also, if you go in the winter, you’ll find that some hotels can be heavily discounted, sometimes up to 40%.
Change Your Phone Plan
One thing you don’t want to come back to after your trip is a huge phone bill, that is if your trip is before June 2017. The European Commission will scrap roaming charges in its 28 member countries entirely by the time June 2017 rolls around. One thing in the short term that this has led to is the reduction in roaming fees. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s all good.
Before we hit the complete abolishment of roaming charges, here’s the charges that the networks must meet:
- Outgoing voice calls: domestic charge plus 3p per minute. This cannot exceed 15p per minute in total.
- Outgoing texts, per message: domestic charge plus 1p per text message. This cannot exceed 5p per text.
- Data access, per MB: domestic charge plus 3p per MB. This cannot exceed 16p per MB.
If you’re looking for a new plan for your phone, check out this great guide from uSwitch and select the best one for you.
Don’t Go Overboard on Travel Costs
This is something that to many of you may seem like a bit of a stupid inclusion but, there’s plenty of people out there who will try to budget for luxury travel when it’s not necessary. Things like hiring a car can bring with them extra costs, such as filling up with petrol, get a puncture, you’ll have to pay for tyre fitting and/or repair, or just a new tyre, have a crash, you’ll have to deal with insurance. It’s just unnecessary cost plus, driving in a lot of places around Europe is a pain anyway and traffic dominates the roads.
Look to things like bikes or trains which can be very cheap depending on where you’re visiting. Bike is my ideal scenario though. It’ll keep me fit and active, it’s a minimal cost to upkeep and I’ll likely be able to travel around places a lot quicker than getting in a car or taxi and if I do get desperate, there’s always an Uber to fall back on.