Top 7 Tips for Cheap European Travel from Nomadic Matt

COPYRIGHT Nomadic Matt
Wish you could up from your cubicle, office or wherever you work and travel the world? *Nomadic Matt* did just that.

This vagabond in his mid-twenties “dropped out” for a life of adventure after a soul-affirming trip to Thailand. He now blogs about his journeys, plus shares travel tips, guides and videos to help you travel on the cheap.

We’re Teaming Up to Help you Save 10% on rail travel! Matt’s e-book, “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day” is a tome for the tightfisted. You’ll discover ways to save over $1000 on your next trip, plus find a coupon for 10% off any Rail Europe purchase! 

Europe is most popular in the summer as people from around the world take advantage of its nice weather to enjoy its world class beaches, eat amazing food, and take in its long history. Travelers take extended time off work so that they can criss cross the European continent on rail pass.
However, Europe is as beautiful as it is expensive and with the Euro still strong (despite the Greece meltdown), an extended amount of time traveling through Europe can still cost you a lot of money if you aren’t careful. And how exactly can you be careful? By following some of these tips.

  1. Couchsurf – Couchsurfing is a website that connects travelers with locals who are willing to offer free accommodation for a day or two. It’s great site that isn’t just for young solo travelers. There are many families, couples, and older people on the site who offer rooms to travelers and many couples and families who use the site.  Free accommodation is the best kind of accommodation.
  2. Get City or Museum Passes – One thing that always amazes about travelers is that they often over look city or museum cards. They visit lots of attractions when they go to each city but these cards never cross their mind. Whenever I visit a new place, if I plan on seeing a lot of museums and attractions, I always get a city tourist pass. They offer free transportation, admission into museums, and discounts off restaurants and attractions. They save me bundles of money and can do the same for you.
  3. Visit the East – Often overlooked for the more prestigious West, Central and Eastern Europe holds incredible charm, great history, fewer crowds, and cheaper prices. From hostels to food to beer, everything is cheaper. While Amsterdam, Paris, and Rome are wonderful places so are Prague, Budapest, Bucharest, Varna, and many more eastern countries. You’ll get off the beaten path a little and save lots of money in the process.
  4. Get lunch specials – Many restaurants, especially in Europe, offer lunch specials where items on the dinner menu are offered at a huge discount. You can get an amazing afternoon meal for a fraction of the cost you’d pay for the same meal in the evening. I usually tend to eat my “nice” meal during lunch because lunch specials and plates of the day are about 30-40% off what I might pay at dinner.
  5. Outdoor Vendors- Small stands that sell hot dogs, sausages, sandwiches, and the like are great places to get a cheap and quick meal. While in Sweden, I lived off these vendors.  I could get a sausage for about $4 USD. In Amsterdam, FEBO and their croquettes kept my stomach full. In Bulgaria and Italy, it was the pizza. In Greece, the gyro. Wherever, you guy you will find outdoor street vendors selling food who will give you delicious and filling meals cheap.
  6. Take night trainsNight trains are great for two reasons: First, they let you avoid spending wasting a whole day traveling. (Though you still take day trains once in a while to see the countryside.)  Second, by sleeping on the train you get to save money on accommodation. For most of the countries in Western Europe, that represents a savings of between 20 to 30 Euros. Not bad.
  7. Drink less – While this may seem obvious, it’s harder to do than you think. Most people tend to go to Europe to party and with it always being someone’s last or first day, it’s easy to get swept up in the spirit. However, alcohol is where budgets go to die and it’s important that you limit the days you go out and the amount your drink. A few drinks in Amsterdam can ruin the most meticulous planning.

While Europe can be an expensive place to travel, there are plenty of ways to spend less money while you are there. No place is ever too expensive if you budget and plan right.

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