10 steps for a cheap trip to Europe

There is a possibility that you have searched for airline tickets at least once and thought that I think it will still be there when I am 65 years old and retired. Do not be discouraged! I will explain to you how you can travel to your European dreamland for less than you imagined.

Step 1. Forget about your exact travel plans

The quickest way to make your trip as expensive as possible is to limit your search to something incredibly specific.

Just because you have a four-day weekend at Easter, this is not necessarily a good travel time. Be flexible in terms of travel dates, the places you travel to and the types of places you stay. The more flexible you are, the cheaper the journey becomes.

Step 2. Determine where you really want to go.

I know, I just said that I'm flexible, but that does not mean that you can not choose where you want to travel, but that you have to be open to getting there as you did not expect. If you prefer to visit Dublin, you should not look for flights from the USA to Dublin. Probably you can find a plane ticket from the US to another European city for much less. Then you can book another Dublin flight for less than $ 80 round trip. It's also a great way to see a bonus country!

Step 3. Determine which city you will fly from

The prices for flights to Europe vary considerably, depending on which airport you fly to, from which you depart and on what date you travel. A good first step may therefore be to determine from which airport you will be flying. If you live in a big city like New York, Boston or Los Angeles, you're in luck! From these cities you can find the cheapest flights to Europe. If you do not live in these cities, you will probably fly through these cities to get to Europe. So if you can drive to one of these cities, this may be a cheap option. Otherwise, you can book a flight from your hometown to one of these cities. Although it seems strange, you can get cheaper flights by booking each route separately instead of booking a ticket from home to your destination.

Step 4. Identify the cheapest European city to fly to

The easiest way to do that is to check websites that have the cheapest ones grouped together the quickest, so you do not have to search hundreds of flights yourself. On some websites, you can enter the USA or the city you are deriving from in the From field. Select "Everywhere" in the "To" field. Then, scroll through the list to find the first / cheapest country in Europe to fly to. For example, if Norway costs $ 340, and France $ 380, it's probably worth choosing only France if that's what you want it to be. However, if the difference is more than $ 100, I would choose the cheapest one first. The annoying thing about Skyscanner is that offers are often no longer active and sometimes you also have to search through a lot of data to find the cheapest for your trip. But patience is the key, and so you can find the cheapest flights. Another piece of advice is that the flights are sometimes handled through travel agents and it is probably worth looking for agency ratings before booking your ticket as satisfied customers rarely write reviews. However, if the agency has one in five stars, it may be an indication of its success.

Step 5. Find an Intereuropean flight to reach your European dream destination

One thing that most people do not realize is that it's dirt cheap to fly from one country to another.

I flew in a direction across Europe for $ 14. No joke. I have never paid more than $ 60 for a flight within Europe. Use Kayak.com to find a flight to your actual destination from any country where you have booked the cheapest flight to Europe.

Step 6. After you arrive, look for a cheap or free accommodation

Everyone has their own idea of ​​a dream vacation. If you live in the Ritz, I am surprised that you have read this article so far. For most of us, we just want to stay in a decent place and enjoy all that Europe has to offer. I've never been to a dump in Europe. I do not want to and I'm not that desperate. The accommodation consists of four options: hotel, rental, hostel or couchsurf.

  • hotel , Staying at a hotel is a sure bet, and if you are in Europe for the first time or if you are not taking much risk, this is probably the way to go. Depending on where you are traveling, prices range from $ 20 to $ 200 per night. If you choose a destination, you should take this into account. I would not recommend staying in Monaco unless your oil company records record profits in the first quarter, but a stay near Nice might be an option. In other words, leave your options open.
  • Rental , Booking a rental room, apartment, villa or house is also a safe bet, but can be more complicated than checking in to a hotel. Websites like Homeaway and Airbnb offer some really unique places, and I have to say that some of my favorite places I've stayed in in Europe were lettings. From a villa in a Tuscan winery to a secluded mother-in-law in a quiet neighborhood outside of London, I've really enjoyed staying in a vacation rental, and the price is often much lower than staying in a hotel when a group of you doing that can share the cost.
  • hostel , The word hostel gives rise to scary movies, but the reality is that sometimes the difference between a hostel and a hotel in Europe is not obvious. Of course there are hostels where you get a bunk bed with five other travelers and for some it is exciting and interesting! But just because bunk beds are not your thing does not mean that you should exclude everything that contains the word "hostel" in the title. I stayed in some "hostels" that were as nice as a hotel.
  • Surf the couch , If you really have a tight budget, or if you really care about meeting locals, there is no better way than Couchsurf. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, visit the Couchsurfing website. Essentially, you can submit a request on the website for a stay with a person who wants to take travelers for free at home, and vice versa. People leave ratings with travelers and hosts so you can be sure that they are serious. Of course this involves risks and safety precautions should be taken. In addition, you should always have a backup plan if the situation does not apply.

Step 7. Cheap food.

I focus on the need to visit Europe: travel, accommodation and food. Of course, there are many other ways to spend money, but you have to spend money on these things because food is one of them.

The food is amazing. I love food and the first time in Europe I was disappointed because I happened to go to restaurants and most were below average. This all changed when I searched TripAdvisor for restaurant ratings. That was all I needed to make each meal a fantastic experience. This was less of a savings tip than a general piece of advice. However, with TripAdvisor you can search for the general price of the restaurants so $ is cheap $$ average $$$ gets expensive etc.

Here is a money-saving tip: Buying food in Europe is usually very cost effective. So if you have booked an apartment with kitchen, use it! Go shopping at a local market and buy some new weird food for cooking! When you're out and about, grab some sandwiches to save a few bucks.

Step 8. Notice that more expenses are incurred

Even if travel costs, accommodation and food are your main costs, there will be others, of course. Things to consider include transportation on arrival, fees for attractions and souvenirs.

Transportation options include public transport. In most European cities, there are fantastic and inexpensive public transport that can be purchased in local currency or with a debit card at a kiosk. Keep in mind that American credit cards often do not work with these because they require a chip and PIN number.

Renting a car is a great option if you want to travel outside the cities. It is usually quite affordable and gives you ultimate freedom in mobility. While trains are charming, they are not usually a cheap way to travel around Europe. Flights are much cheaper and faster. But if you're in love with the idea of ​​exploring the countryside by train, it's worth trying. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the Eurorail website for a fee. Or, if you are more flexible and willing to take the risk, you can usually buy them much less at the train station.

Step 9. Travel light

Although you may not believe that traveling with light saves you money, believe me, it will. First of all, each airline will charge baggage charges. Each leg of your flight costs you $ 25 to $ 100 per piece of luggage. That adds up quickly. Second, if you have two suitcases, fill two suitcases with things you probably do not need. Thirdly, it will be frustrating and impractical to take cheap transportation such as the subway if you are carrying two bulky bags. Fourth, your luggage must always be with you or in a hotel. So, if you plan to check out in the morning and drive to another city, you will not be able to do anything until you are able to check into your hotel and check in your luggage. All in all, having a few things all over Europe is just a big problem. My advice, and I can not stress that enough, is to pack everything in a backpack. I have a 50 liter backpack and it had everything I needed for a month and a half in Europe. Yes, there are places in Europe where you can do laundry. When you say, you do not understand that because you're a guy. I traveled with two young women and they both put everything in a backpack. If you say that you do not understand it because you're young, I traveled to Europe with my mother and she has everything in a school backpack in standard size! You can do it too!

Step 10. Always plan the worst and hope for the best

Whenever I travel to Europe, I plan my expected expenses and round it all up. I also plan to spend at least $ 200 on unexpected expenses. After all, my spending is always well below this figure, but I never want to get into a situation where I'm overwhelmed by the cost.


In 2,000 words, I gave you the compact Europe for the budget guide. Of course, there are many other things to think about when booking a trip to Europe, but the important thing is that you just do it! Find these cheap airline tickets to Europe and book them. You can fill in all the gaps later. Do not try to plan everything before you get your tickets, and do not plan every single second of everyday life. Take the time to be spontaneous and immerse yourself in European life.