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Who hasn’t dreamt of going travelling and escaping off into the sunset for a while? Seeing parts of the world and experiencing different cultures can be costly, but costly doesn’t mean impossible.

Here’s some handy tips for those wanting to escape the 9 to 5 on a budget. Utilizing these budget travel tips, you might even be able to travel more often!

Sleeping on a Budget

Go Camping

Camping is a well-loved and low-cost way to explore different countries and also means you will awake amongst some of the most spectacular landscapes. There are many choices of camping sites scattered across Europe and beyond, and this option makes sleeping on a budget easy.

Camping is cheap, but be organised because the camps are usually away from the train and you’ll need to bring camping gear along on your journey.

Stay in a Shared Room in a Hostel

Hostels are one of the more common choices among backpackers because they are often affordable and offer a good chance to speak with other travellers. Usually the price includes breakfast, Wi-Fi and bedding. Many hostels organise tours and events with reduced costs.

Stay in a hotel or a B&B

There are B&B’s and hotels for every price and quality, depending on your budget. The advantage of hotels is the extra privacy, but they will be a fair bit pricier than a hostel. Plus, it’s tougher to meet fellow travellers should you choose to stay in hotels.

If you want are looking for something different or want a longer stay than a b&b or hotel would allow, apps like Owners Direct allow you to rent homes and apartments from locals. It’s a great way to fully immerse yourself in a city.

Battery Point Lighthouse, Crescent City.

Transportation on a Budget

Normally large cities have several train stations, so you can move around the city with an InterRail pass.

If you’re staying in the same city for a few days, you can save money with a transport card (for bus, tram, metro), instead of buying single tickets.

Rent a bike and know a town or city at your own pace. Some cities are better prepared for cyclists than others. For example, Amsterdam is a paradise for cyclists.

Excursions on a Budget

Pass City Tours

In most big cities you can buy passes for excursions with which you get free tickets or discounts for tourist attractions and sightseeing. These can make a destination one of the cheap places to travel. Some passes include free travel or reduced fares on public transport.

If you’re planning to see some of the highlights of a city, you will find that these passes are worth their money.

Ecbc Lance Daypack Review

Youth and Student Cards

There are several youth and student cards that offer discounts on various attractions and Europe. The best known cards are ISE and ISIC. All people under 26 who are not students can apply for the European Youth Card.

Free Stuff

In some cities you can visit a number of museums and free attractions. London for instance has an excellent selection of museums and attractions to visit, without any charge.

In other cities, such as Copenhagen, admission is free once a week. In addition, throughout Europe, many cities have an annual night when all the museums open their doors to the public with free admission.

Eat and Shop on a Budget

Fill Your Water Bottle

You’ll save a lot of money if you fill your water bottle with tap water instead of buying bottled water. Also you will be helping the environment!

In most European countries, tap water is drinkable, but be sure to check this with a local resident before.

Improvise a Picnic

Buy food in a supermarket or corner shop and be prepared to enjoy a picnic in the local park. That way you will not spend much on food and you can also try the local specialties.

Come Away From Tourist Areas

Try and side-step eating in restaurants situated in tourist areas of the cities, are nearly always more costly and regularly of lower quality than if you venture a little further afield. Also, you’ll be surrounded by other tourists, not locals.

We highly recommend Will Hatton’s “How to Travel the World on $10 a Day” – he arms you with the tips and tricks you need to travel the world with confidence, on the most basic of budgets. 

Click to Learn Will’s Secrets

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Drinking glacier water by supafly.

    12 Comments

  1. Nice post, Megan. Nice to meet a fellow blogger who is passionate about travel :)

    • Thanks Prunella :) Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. We took advantage of the fre museums in London when we visited a few years ago. Since we travel as a family, we often do not take advantage of the “ultra” cheap options but instead look for hotels that include breakfast etc as the kids generally eat and stay for free! If it is a long we stay, we tend to look for a flat or condo and cook in to save money!

    • I love London for the free museums – they’re actually very captivating exhibitions and displays!

      Paying a little extra for an apartment or flat is something we usually try to do too – the money we save by hitting up grocery stores and doing our own cooking far outweighs the jump in room cost. Happy travels Lindsay!

  3. I would also add check for trading work for accommodations. Several places allow you to volunteer and offer free food and a stay.

    • Great tip Liz – I know that workaway is a great website which lists a lot of those kind of opportunities :)

  4. Great ideas! I recently bought a life straw water bottle and it comes everywhere with me now! I also love an improvised picnic, one of our most memorable ones was in Champagne and we raided the local supermarche and watched the sun go down fro the vineyards on the hills. Thanks for the other tips, going to look into City Passes next time I am away!

    • Thanks Rachel! Your impromtu picnic in Champagne sounds like an amazing travel moment! It’s always the improvised moments which end up being the most memorable I find!

  5. Love to picnic to save money!! In Bordeaux in France we bought wine, baguette, cheese, meats, olives and salad and had quite an amazing feast in a beautiful park for around 25 euro!!
    Also download a walking tour app to save money!!

    • Picnics are the best!! Your picnic in Bordeaux sounds wonderful! And great tip on the walking tour apps – far better than trying to fight with a city map!

  6. Well enumerated.
    I search out city passes and also places and monuments which are free to visit.
    Thank you for linking mine to this. :)

    • You’re welcome Indrani – and I’m glad you enjoyed the post! City passes and free things to do like monuments and museums are our favorite ways to keep our budget in check :)

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