How to save money travelling in Europe?

The million dollar question (definitely pun intended. Lolz)!!! Well, like most people who travel, I've also been posed with this question time & again. Money doesn't grow on trees, right? So, how to travel with minimal spending, esp., in Europe which is so damn expensive!!!
There are, of course, the most obvious things including, looking for 'things to do free of cost' wherever you go like 'seeing' Eiffel Tower or Atomium doesn't cost a thing and only climbing it needs a ticket; staying in hostels or CouchSurfing or budget hotels; taking the 'free walking tour', travelling by public transport, eating in cheap-eats etc! So I'm just gonna skip them and deal with the other ways on how to save money on a European trip!
I can't recommend this enough! Let me lend a para from my earlier post - "Several Indians, dream of a photograph near Eiffel Tower while several Europeans dream of the colours, festivity and sand of Rajasthan! Why not, we just put ourselves in the other person's shoes and try to explore what's close to us than the opposite side of the globe."
While going out & exploring new places as frequently as possible is our wish, it can't be on the opposite side of the planet! Many of my travels are weekend destinations from where I live. My doctor in Brussels once told me that I've seen more of Belgium than she has and she belongs to Belgium! Buy 1-2 multi-site annual passes (English Heritage pass, Museumpassmusees etc) and explore your own backyard! You'll see how the landscape and culture completely change every 50km!
It's a beautiful Spanish phrase which means 'my house is your house'! How to plan travel travelling Europe? My suggestion - list out the places where you have friends and relatives live. Head to those places and return the favour, by playing host to them when they visit your city/town/village! That ways, one of the major expenses - hotel - is completely averted & another major expense - food - is partially averted, plus you'll catch up with your friends and have a great time! 
With well-connected railways and cheap flights of Ryanair, Wizzair etc, it always works out cheaper to let them decide the destination. Early-bird tickets to Cologne in Thalys is as low as €19 and once I flew London <=> Copenhagen at £19! Did I have a wishlist in which I struck off Cologne & Copenhagen? No. I just went with the flow, and decided to head to Cologne or Copenhagen just because of cheap trains/flights! With fixed destinations, it works out much more difficult to make it cheap as well! Train travelling in Europe is not only economical but also ecological and a way to travel sustainably. 
Save money travelling - Cook food
I hate cooking. I really really hate cooking. When I met this probable boyfriend, years ago (who is now my husband!), one of the first things that I informed was, that I hate cooking! But, do I hate cooking so much as to sacrificing travel? Nope... What's the connection? Well, cooking is cheaper than ordering-in or eating-out! If we're in absolutely no mood to cook, we buy frozen food from super market and not a restaurant!
Nowadays, we even book Airbnbs with kitchen and carry a couple of basic stuff like our Indian masalas, MTR Puliogare mix, a few Haldiram's ready to eat gravies; and buy rice, chopped frozen vegetables and tortilla wraps at our destination. The above pic is in Malta, our packed lunch of Puliogare rice at the beach!
Finally, the point that everyone who travels, re-iterates, again & again - traveling is a lifestyle choice. How to save money travelling in Europe? How to save money for travel at all? That's a lifestyle choice. 
I buy new clothes at sale or from flea-markets and only very few; I own 4 pairs of shoes and 3 hand-bags (which is so unlike how I was a decade ago) and have no intention to buy more until any of these give-up. We don't have Netflix. We do some of our shopping, esp., for toys etc in Facebook Marketplace! We don't buy hoards of gold jewelry - which is a very common practice in India, for investment! We don't throw parties and said above, we don't eat out much! Sometimes people are even offended because my daughter is wearing 'simple' clothes, but we choose to turn a deaf-ear to them as well!!! We 'choose' to spend on travel.....
travelling in Europe by train travelling europe cheap


An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands


  1. It's smart to let your destination be decided by the deal you can get on a train or flight. I have often searched for a cheap flight with Ryanair and found it expensive to meet my parameters, so you're smart to be flexible on the destination. It's also great to cook when traveling -- I definitely find it cheaper to prepare food from local groceries than always eat out. Airbnbs and hostels are my favorite accommodations so I can have a kitchen!

  2. I really like the idea of letting the transportation guide you! If they are already going there, then why not explore? And I VERY much agree with you about exploring your own backyard - just getting out and taking a walk can lead to so much self-discovery.

  3. In Europe you can travel very cheap if you go in the low season and use camping grounds. Usually the campings have low prices until July and it is very convenient to use them. As a side tip,Eastern Europe (where I live) is cheaper than Western Europe. The Balkan countries are still struggling to develop after the communist period so this might be a great time to visit them.

  4. Absolutely agree with number 1. I love to explore the area around me, even in my hometown. I have also planned tons of trips based solely on a cheap flight or train ticket. Great tips!

  5. Always good to look at ways to save money. Even if we travel at the higher end many times, we still try to save when we can. I like my privacy and often do not want to impose on friends or relatives when we travel. But this could save a lot of money. We often picnic (even if we can’t cook) for at least one meal each day. Too much eating out is less healthy. But your last point is the big one for us. We chose travel as a priority. When we are at home, we live simply and don’t spend money frivolously. It lets us splurge on travel.

  6. Jane Dempster-SmithMarch 13, 2020 at 2:06 AM

    Some great tips hereto save money for travel. I like tip #3 let railways/airlines determine your destination. We are doing that right now as our flights and plans for our 6 months of travel this year have been cancelled. We will do staycations here in Australia and let trains and planes determine our destinations.

  7. Great tips to save money to travel. I'm with you, I hate cooking! Although I don't really cook I do like to save money when I travel by getting an AirBnB with a kitchen and buying food from the supermarket. I agree with your comments about it being a lifestyle too. People can have enough money for travel if they are careful with how they spend their money when they aren't traveling.

  8. Totally agree with your points, especially #4. My husband used to think saving a few dollars from cooking at an Airbnb wasn't worth all the hassle, but during my trip to Europe last year, we ended saving A LOT from cooking by ourselves. From then on, we would try our best to buy stuff and do the cooking by ourselves whenever travelling to an expensive destination.

  9. Wonderful tips! Backyard tourism is one of my favorite ways of travel! As you mentioned every time you go out exploring cant be on the other side of the world. I have discovered so many great locations and day trips from my hometown, it really is amazing when you slow down and look at what's around you!

  10. nice tips. Good to see you've lots of European readers commenting.

  11. I usually prefer Airbnb or hostels for accommodation to save money. Totally agree with all your points to save money on your travel. Thanks for sharing! Keep blogging!

  12. Love this perspective! Eastern Europe can be a lot cheaper alternative than western. I think that making day to day changes in what you spend your money is so crucial to create a lifestyle of travel!

  13. To travel to Europe, the money you need to preapre is quite a lot. So if the traveler can plan nicely, there might cheaper than you think. I support for cook by yourself in some meal to reduce cost and find a well-connected railways and cheap flights to travel around.

  14. I always thought that traveling around Europe is expensive and I agree with all your tips here. What I learned about travel is, it shouldn't be that expensive if we learn how and what to spend what is important. I stay away from Instagram travel coz mostly the time it is decieving, hahaha. We can always bring food or cook for ourselves instead of dining at fancy restaurant just for the Instagram.
    BTW, I also buy stuffs from Facebook Marketplace since I stayed here in Melbourne, and I am loving it!

  15. These are good tips while Planning Europe Trip.Europe is so much expensive and I think if we can care about proper planning, its doable on budget.I usually prefer homestays/Airbnb over hotels so I can cook own food which we can easily bought from superstore. Love your tips.


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