Traveling around Europe can be a costly affair. Unlike in Asia, for example, it is not always possible to find cheap domestic and regional airline tickets. High-speed trains, ferries, planes and the like can eat up one’s travel budget in no time. And that’s a shame! But as an alternative, our own “backyard” in Europe is perfect for fast as well as longer backpacking trips!
Therefore, here are 6 concrete ways in which you can travel cheaply in Europe. We have used these companies and travel methods ourselves, and if you have other ways or ideas for how to travel cheaply, please write in the comments field.
Travel in Europe with the “hop on / hop off” bus network Busabout
Just as hop on / hop off buses are especially popular in Australia and New Zealand, so there is a similar concept with buses in Europe – namely Busabout . The concept is that you have the independence and flexibility of being able to choose your own routes, but you also have the social part of traveling in on a guided tour. The advantage of Busabout is that you meet a lot of like-minded, travel-loving people – and that’s half of what the trip is about!
A big plus with Busabout is that you can change your itinerary as often as you want during your trip – at no extra cost. You can choose from 47 destinations in 15 different countries.
Travel in Europe with Flixbus and Eurolines
After Flixbus came to Denmark, they settled on a large part of the Danish market for cheap bus travel. The German bus giant also sits in large parts of the market in the rest of Europe – in fact, they have bus connections in more than 20 European countries. The buses often have WiFi, sockets and often quite decent seating comfort considering the price.
An alternative to Flixbus is Eurolines , which is the same concept. Eurolines is also high value-for-money, and has routes to over 500 destinations in more than 25 European countries. We often combine the two companies, to get as cheap a total trip as possible.
Travel in Europe with Interrail ticket
Traveling by train is one of our favorite ways to get around. There are large seats, no turbulence, and you typically get a lot of landscape to see, which you can only see from a window on the train tracks. Europe’s train network is among the world’s most developed, which is also one of the reasons why Interrail has been a favorite backpacking form of travel since the 1970s.
In general, it is somewhat more expensive to take a train in Europe than a bus. Overnight trains can save you an overnight stay at a hotel, but will typically still be much more expensive than a bus.
Interrail is a good form of travel, and a potentially cheap form of travel, but it requires that you do your preparatory work to investigate whether you actually save money on your total price for the train journey by buying an interrail ticket. Typically, you will be able to compare the route you intend by putting the train prices together if you buy them individually, and then the price by buying an interrail ticket. If you only travel between a few cities, it will not pay to buy an interrail ticket. If it is a trip lasting several weeks with many stops, it will typically pay well to buy a total interrail ticket.
Travel in Europe with BlablaCar
At home, most people know GoMore, which is a service where you can set up a trip in your car, and then you can take extra passengers on the trip for a small fee. It’s good for the environment and for one’s wallet. The same is true of BlaBlaCar , which is among Europe’s leaders in the car sharing segment. BlablaCar exists in a choice of countries – from Belgium, Germany to Mexico and Turkey.
Travel long distance in Europe with these cheap airlines
There are few things that beat the time saving and convience part of flying with budget airlines. The increasing competition over the last 10 years has hailed the prices of airline tickets down, so that today it is possible to find relatively cheap airline tickets in Europe. Remember to keep an eye on how much the price of the ticket increases if you include luggage in the price. Often the full price of the airline tickets incl. luggage first arrives just before you have to pay by credit card.
We often use Momondo , Skyscanner and Kayak to compare air fares across airlines. It can save you a lot of money! Many budget airlines can be mentioned in passing, but the following are our favorites:
- Norwegian Air
- Wizz Air
A good tip we use ourselves is that if you travel by plane and are delayed, then you can use the Danish startup Airhelp, where you can get compensation for delays of up to 600 EUR. It has helped a lot of our customers, and Airhelp’s strong Trustpilot testifies to many getting help.
Travel in Europe as a hitchhiker / hitchhiker
Hitchhiking is still widespread in Europe. It is often free, but if you hitchhike for a longer trip, you will typically have to pay for some of the petrol. Some swear to hitchhike alone due to the price and the fact that one meets many strange and exciting people. It really is a way of living in the now. However, it is worth mentioning that hitchhiking involves some risks that one must keep in mind. Especially these two are important:
- It may be uncertain in some parts of Europe. Especially in the easternmost part of Europe in the border countries with Russia.
- Getting a lift can be time consuming
Hiking is generally more common in, for example, the southern part of Europe than we are used to in Denmark. It also means that you will have more luck with hitchhiking in the part compared to, for example, Scandinavia, where it is not so normal to hitchhike.