Yes! Europe can be cheap!

How we Eurotrip on 3 Euros / day.

There are different tricks budget travelers use to travel around Europe as cheap as possible. Here’s our list of cheap Eurotravel hacks, something we are 100% sure of. These tips may crucially ease your next Eurotrip and save you some (or a lot of) money.

Transport

1. Hitchhiking. It is not extremely convenient (since you can spend several days on one gas station waiting for a nice guy to pick you up), but is absolutely FREE.

Where to find kindhearted drivers: highways (on cities’ outskirts), parking, gas stations.

How to attract attention: you should have a cardboard with your destination (preferably, the nearest big city), good mood, tidy look, your national flag on the shoulders (optional, but works very well). Don’t forget to move your body – dancing hitchhikers are lucky hitchhikers!

Cost: free

Advice

When the temperature outside is lower than +10 C, do not hitchhike (unless you are super healthy / lucky).
Eurotrip cheap
Happy hitchhiking :)

2. Covoiturage. Our favorite one, it helped us travel around 3 countries for less than 100 EUR / person!

How it works: when someone goes from point A to point B and wants a company, they publish an offer online, then people like you search for a necessary destination, pay your share of gas expenses (either online with credit card or in cash) and join a nice company in a convenient car. Just like taxi, but cheaper then a bus.

Where to find offers:  Bla Bla Car (highly recommended, we always use this website); Easy CovoiturageCovoiturage.com; Carpooling; Covoiturage-libre. How to book a ride: just register online and look for offers!

Cost: approximately 25% cheaper than a bus. In our case it was: 1 km = 5 Eurocents.

Advice

Try to learn just a bit of the language of the country you are going to (at least “Hello” and “Thank you”).
Electric cars
Electric cars

3. Buses. Bus is the cheapest traditional transport option in Europe.

What companies: for all destinations we recommend Eurolines. They are the most affordable one and cover all countries.

How to book a trip: it’s always better to book online, in such a way you can avoid additional charges.

Cost: Eurolines’ tariffs are approximately the following: 1 km = 7 Eurocents.

Advice

Look for special offers and discounted prices for children (under 18 years old, in Norway – under 20 years old), youth (under 25 years old), and seniors (more than 60 years old).
A cool bus in Monaco
A cool bus in Monaco

4. Planes. If you are going to cover really long distances, planes are more convenient and sometimes cheaper than anything else.

What companies: Aer Lingus (Dublin, Shannon, Cork, Belfast), airBaltic (Riga (Latvia)), airberlin (German cities), Air One (Milan, Venice, Pisa), Blue Air (Bucharest, Bacău (Romania)),  Brussels Airlines (Brussels), CityJet (London), Condor (German cities), Darwin Airline (Geneva, Lugano), easyJet (all Europe), Estonian Air (Tallinn), Flybe (Manchester, Newquay, Exeter, Southampton, London (southern England); Jersey, Guernsey (Channel Islands)), Germanwings (German cities), Helvetic Airways (Zürich, Bern), Icelandair (Reykjavik), Jet2 (British cities),Jetairfly (Brussels, Liège, Ostend (Belgium)), Meridiana (Olbia, Cagliari (Sardinia); Rome and other Italian cities), Monarch Airlines (British cities), Niki (Vienna, Salzburg), Norwegian (Oslo, Bergen, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Alicante, and London), Pegasus Airlines (Istanbul, Antalya (Turkey)), Ryanair (almost all Europe), SmartWings (Prague, Ostrava (Czech Republic)), Transavia (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven), TUIfly (German cities), Vueling (Spanish cities, Amsterdam, Florence, Rome), Widerøe (Oslo), Wizz Air (Budapest and many other Eastern European cities). We prefer Ryanair, because they have extremely cheap prices and Norwegian, because they have free Internet onboard.

How to book a trip: We recommend using online search engines, such as momondo.com or skyscanner.com.

Cost: Prices differ, but we usually travel for 1km =16 Eurocents (you can find cheaper deals).

Advice

Sign up for airline’s newsletter and wait for good deals: sometimes Ryanair delivers FREE tickets!
Cheap flights in Europe

Accommodation

0. Friends. Are you going, let’s say, to Paris? Remember that nice girl you studied with at school? Good news! She’s a Parisian now! Why don’t you let her know you’re coming? You might be lucky to meet with her or even stay at her place.

Where to search: Memory -> Facebook

Cost: free

Eurotrip cheap
Good times with our friends in Paris

1. Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing, known mostly for this website, is the online service which allows you to find a couch in someone’s apartment absolutely for free.

Where to search: www.couchsurfing.org

How to search: send a couchsurfing request, accompanied with a nice letter, explaining why you travel and why you want to stay at this very host’s place.

Cost: free

Advice

Read host's profile carefully in order to avoid surprises (for example, some hosts are nudists) and bring some small present with you :)
Couchsurfing in Europe
Hanging out with a host in Lausanne, Switzerland

2. Hostel. We don’t like cheap hostels in Europe, because they are dirty, crowded and smell like weed factories. However, if you prefer them to any other option here are some tips.

Where to search: At first, check good offers at Booking.comHostelbookers.com or any other search engine. Btw, Google’s hostel recommendations are also great! Eurotrip cheap How to book: After looking through aggregator results and deciding where you want to stay, just google a chosen hostel in order to make booking on its official web-site, it’s cheaper and allows you to avoid extra booking fees.

Cost: from 8 Euro per night. We usually try to stay within a 10 Euro limit.

Advice

Check hostel reviews on Tripadvisor before booking, it can save your holiday!

3. Apartment. It is the most expensive option in our list, but if you travel with lots of friends, it might be a great idea to rent a big apartment for y’all.

Where to search: We prefer Airbnb to any other web-site.

How to book: Just choose an apartment, read reviews and pay online.

Cost: Depends on a country, but it should be around 40 Euro per night (again, you share the price with your friends)

Advice

There are lots of online rental scams, don’t pay in advance if you have any doubts.
key in Paris, France
A beautiful, vintage key from our friends’ Paris apartment

Food

1. Bring with you. We usually take food from home. It adds to our baggage weight, but helps save a lot of money. This works for us, because we are from an agricultural 3-world country (Ukraine), where food costs nothing. Then we cook it while traveling and enjoying extra money for museums and drugs. Just joking. We hate museums. :)

What to take: bread, noodles, cereal, tea, chocolates, canned food. Basically, all food that cannot get rotten. Mind the weight.

Cost: 3 Euro per day for 2 people (Ukrainian prices, ha-ha)

Advice

Don’t take smelly products, like smoked sausages or roasted coffee beans.
Bring food with you while you are in Europe

2. Buy in supermarkets. If you are from an expensive country and it doesn’t matter for you where to buy food, go to a local supermarket and then cook yourself.

Where to buy: Cheap European supermarket chains are Auchan, Billa, Carrefour (pizza for 2 Euro, om-nom-nom), Lidl, Migros (saved us in Switzerland) and others.

Cost: 5 Euro per day for 2 people.

Advice

Don’t forget to look for special offers and reduced prices!
Buy food on the streets in Europe
Minimarket on wheels in Milano

3. Street food.  The most expensive and the least healthy on the list. Throughout Europe you can find food stalls offering sausages, French fries, waffles, pancakes, sandwiches, kebabs and so on. It’s great if you don’t like to cook, but almost all street food is fried and fat.

Where to find food stalls: Central streets of cities, metro stations.

Cost: 5 Euro per meal.

Advice

McDonald’s does not belong to this group, but it offers hamburgers just for 1 Euro, so good option as well.
IMG_5511

Sightseeing

1. Free offers. Every major European city has an official website with the list of all free tourist attractions, which include museums, concerts, parks and so on.

Where to find: Just google it. Paris free attractions list looks like this.

Cost: free

Advice

Search in advance, some free event require pre-booking.
Free awesome music in the park in Milano
Free awesome music in the park in Milano

2. Open door days. Even if the museum is super expensive, it might have free-of-charge days.

Where to find: Official web-site of the museum.

Cost: free

Advice

Don’t forget about the museums night, held on the last Saturday of May every year, when all public museums all over the world are free!
IMG_5724
Free awesome chapel with human bones in Milano, Italy

3. Discounted prices. European museums, amusement parks and even concert halls offer discounted prices for youth (under 25 years old) and seniors (more than 60 years old). Student, journalist, and teacher cards are also very useful.

Where to find: Visit the official website of the attraction you are going to in order to find its offers.

Cost: 3-5 Euro

Advice

Even if you are not student anymore, take your student card with you. Sometimes it might help (It’s bad to lie though).
IMG_5780

These tips can help reduce your Eurotrip costs to just 3 Euro per day (Hitchhiking + Couchsurfing + Food from home + Free sightseeing).

Have you ever backpacked in Europe? How did you save money? Any other expenses / advice we missed? 

Start learning how to travel CHEAP!

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  1. Im always captivated by Europe. I leisurely walk around the city to ite adjacent vicinity then found myself in a cafe sipping a cup of coffee with a slice of blueberry cheese cake

  2. […] Illia and Nastia are passionate about each other, traveling around the world and sharing their experiences at crazzzytravel.com, a blog where you can find plenty of budget travel tips as well as practical information about numerous destinations. They have already been to 33 countries on 4 continents and ain’t no stopping. Visit their website to learn more about traveling around the world or check their latest story about how to travel around Europe for just 3 Euros a day. […]

  3. Amazing tips guys! When it comes to activities to do (especially in Europe where they might not be cheap) we also use social media to see what is on and what is for FREE or not too expensive. We join FB groups, twitter discussions, meetup.com, etc.. all things that have something to do with our interests :)

    1. Thanks for your comment Franca! We never took advantage of FB groups, although we’ve heard they have a lot of potential for budget / free travel admirers (groups for nomads). :)

  4. I’d just like to add that the cheapest bus company in Europe by far is called Megabus. Check out the website as they are super super cheap! Much cheaper than Eurolines. Also There is actually a way to travel completely free, on your own and not being reliant on other people and its called using a bicycle! It’s the greatest way ever to travel.

    1. Yeah, here in the US Megabus is also very cheap, but we use Chinese buses nevertheless, because they are apparently cheaper.

  5. Errr… I wouldn’t recommend eating too much canned food, or food that will last long. There are too much chemical additives, in some way they are worse than fatty street food.

    1. Agree, there are always better things to eat…and worse! So it’s always about balancing between being on budget and not killing your stomach. Thanks for your comment!

  6. Hi guys, very good article. I just discovered your page and it is very inspiring. You always find blogs of people from regions where it is quite easy to work few years and save enough money to travel round the world. You are a nice example that it is possible to enjoy such life regardless the country of origin
    I however doubt (based on my experience) that 5EUR/day is enough to feed a couple even if you buy the grocery in ALDI, BILLA or any other cheap supermarket ;)

    1. Thanks for your kind words! Totally agree that 5, or even 3 EUR is a feasible budget, but it’s certainly doable (if you bring food with you and cook at home).

  7. […] Illia and Nastia are passionate about each other, traveling around the world and sharing their experiences at crazzzytravel.com, a blog where you can find plenty of budget travel tips as well as practical information about numerous destinations. They have already been to 33 countries on 4 continents and ain’t no stopping. Visit their website to learn more about India or check their latest story about how they saw Europe on 3 EUR / day. […]

  8. You shouldn’t always trust google recommendations, since it’s a paid advert :(

  9. Great post, guys! I love the fact that you hitchhike! We never carry a board with the name of our destination but we dance and do other silly things, and generally try to look positively while hitchhiking. And while waiting we always play pine cone or stone football, great fun :)
    Fascinating blog, guys! Thanks a lot for connecting with us on Google+! Keep up the great work and travel safe!

  10. Hah, love it, as always <3
    I've never tried couchsurfing so far, but my budget is shrinking and… I think that the day is close ;)

  11. Excellent post guys! Some really useful advice and quite a few resources I haven’t heard of before. Really impressive to see on what budget one might be able to travel in Europe. However the budgets may quite vary depending in what part of the continent one hits the road…
    Oh, and nice puns as well, especially in the food part. I was downright shocked when I read you are spending money on museums, seriously! ;)
    Happy travels and take care!

  12. I didn’t realise Norwegian had free internet facilities this is definitely one we will be checking out – we normally book with Ryanair because they are hard to be beaten on price when travelling around Europe. Food wise, if we are driving around Europe we tend to pack food and take it with us as well – there are certain foods that you get at home that are just not the same anywhere else!!!! If not we tend to stick to supermarkets like Aldi’s – you cant get much cheaper- we can do a whole week’s worth of shopping (three meals a day for two people) for around £25. We always ask the locals where to go for wine and beer as there will be a stockist nearby that only they tend to know about that will be really cheap. On a recent trip to the South of France we were told to go to the local wine shop (known as the co-op) with two large water bottles (2litres each) and they were filled up – one rose, one red – for less that 6 euros for the pair – with local, quality wine – which I think just proves that if you are willing to look around Europe is still a cheap place to visit.

  13. I am in awe that you could travel for such a small amount of money per day, not sure I could use all your tips however I highly recommend couchsurfing but remember it is also about giving back. If you can’t host when you are not travelling try meeting travellers for coffee and show them around.

  14. Excellent page and very exciting to read it. Keep writing.
    I am big fan of this type of travel.
    Keep on guys

  15. Wow! I did my Eurotrip averaging just under 20ish Euros a day and I was so proud of myself. Yes I did hitchhike, carpool and couchsurf, but I did eat a lot :P
    And by the way, visiting Ukraine is a dream of mine (especially since I watched Dexter Season 7, Isaak Sirko was from Kiev). It’s a pity an Indian passport is not the most convenient to have

    1. Ukraine is quite dangerous now, but also quite easy to get a visa (although AFAIK, the visa is quite expensive). 20 EUR / day is still great achievement considering how many attractions and tasty stuff Europe has to offer :D

  16. I love this. Some really decent advice. I am yet to receive my free flight tickets from Ryanair ;)

    ps: Jet2 fly all over Europe, not just the UK, and sometimes beyond. In April I flew to New York with them (from UK)!

  17. hey guys! low budget travel rocks! I did France last year for $11 a day. super market food, hitch hiking, tent. way to go!
    here’s my formula:
    rawsafari.com/blog/how-do-i-travel-france-for-11-a-day/

  18. For buses I also like MegaBus (lowest tickets are normally 9£ and highest are normally 30£. Except travel from outside UK (Paris) to the UK (London) normally starts at 20£ and can get as high as 80£ the day before you travel). Its a UK bus company that services the UK and limited European areas. I’ve also taken it from Paris > Brussels > Amsterdam and Amsterdam > Paris.

    In Spain I used Alsa (through Movelia- It was 36€ for Barcelona to Madrid- 8hrs & 21€ for Madrid to Granada- 5hrs). When I looked at Eurolines their bus tickets were 50-80€.

      1. In continue of buses topic :)
        In Poland is PolskiBus, they offer tickets from 1 zl + 1 zl, obviously, it’s not very big amount of them, but usual prices are also quite attractive
        And today they are announced opening of sister-company in Finland – Onnibus (http://www.onnibus.fi/), prices from 1 euro + 1 euro

  19. Great tips, I’ve never thought to take food with me, although I made sure I was stocked up on alcohol when I went to Sweden last year! Their high taxes make it outrageously expensive.

    1. Haha, and it’s quite hard to find a nice liquor store in Sweden, especially if you are in some village (we used to live in Lund for 2 years, finding alcohol was real pain in the ass!).

  20. haha i love the first part “dancing hitchhikers are lucky hitchhikers” – glad i found your blog im off to europe in around 6 weeks (countdown) and cant wait !

  21. I think this is our favourite of your posts so far! Really funny, really interesting and really useful. :) We are currently travelling around Europe so this is so useful for us at the moment. Keep up the excellent work guys :)

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