How to Travel [in Europe] on the Cheap [Part One]

Hey guys! 
[insert cool picture here to get your attention]
Mike took this picture in Ibiza, and I love it. 
Before I get to the main subject of this post, I have another little huge favor to ask of you all. I may end up bribing you with a gift card that would be awarded if I win. Obviously if I don't win, I can't afford to shell out the dough for that. But I digress. If you have a minute, could you please go here and vote for my video?


It's a bit complicated, so here are the instructions:
1. Click the link (so easy a caveman could do it!)
2. Click "log in and vote." (to the right of the picture)
3. Click the "log in with facebook" button, and then "allow." (You can delete it after you've voted)
4. Once it takes you back to the video, move the slider to the right from the number 0 to the number 5, and click "vote." 


That's it! Easy, peezy. If I can get into 1st place, I would win $5000, and that would help me out a lot with my student loans and this master's program. And... it might just allow me to treat one of you voters to a little something special (worth at least $50 if I get first overall, $30 if I get first voter, $40 for second $20 for second voter, and $30 for third $15 for 3rd voter... keep in mind that's an at least, so it could be more). So... just in case I'm lucky enough to win, if you did vote, tell me you did in a comment.

Anyway. 


So. I thought it would be fun to share some tips for cheap travel here on the blog, for all of you who want to get the most out of your money while on vacation. These tips will be pretty specific to Europe, since that's what I know.
By the piers in Ibiza, Spain
1. Take all forms of transportation to your destination into consideration. You may find that a flight is cheaper than a train ticket, or maybe bus is the way to go. A favorite of ours is Ryanair - they have flights for as little as 10 EUR each way. Is it glamorous? No, but if you're looking for glamour, you're probably not too concerned with price.
2. Look into youth hostels, even if you're married. Many times, youth hostels offer private rooms for as little as 30 EUR. If you're single? You can travel for even cheaper. I've seen hostels for as little as 5 EUR a night if you stay in a dorm-style room. In Scotland, they have castles that have been converted into youth hostels - how cool is that? Bonus: You might meet people from the same place as you, or from countries you've never heard of.
A youth hostel that I lived in for 3 months in 2009 while I was here for an internship
3. Don't eat at restaurants. This may be a little easier said than done, but it is possible. When we were in Scotland, we ate out (on our dollar) twice. Two times in seven days. In Ibiza it was the same - twice. That's four times in 15 days. How did we manage that? We bought pre-made sandwiches at the store in Scotland, and in Ibiza we had a room with a kitchen. We bought food and cooked it ourselves. Sure, it requires more effort, but you will spend at least 50% less than you would eating out for every meal. Bonus: You can have picnics!!
Us and our sandwiches on a beach in Ibiza
4. Research the transportation options in your destination. Are you going to be using public transport? Renting a car? Going by bike? Using your own two feet? Do your research. In Scotland, it was cheaper for us to rent a car because we wanted to see the whole country, and that's not cheap by rail. If you're planning on taking the bus, look at the routes. Are they walkable? For most of Europe, the answer to that question is probably, "YES!" You just have to quit being a lazy American. Many cities offer bike rental, so if walking isn't for you, check that out. You may be surprised by what you find.
We rented a scooter because it was discounted if you paid online, and it gave us access to the whole island.
5. Don't pay entrance fees to things like ruins. This is a huge one, guys, and it's one that I've learned the hard way. Basically, a ton of castles are ruins, and what you see on the outside is pretty much what you will see on the inside. This is the one time that it's okay to judge a book by its cover. If you're traveling alone, this can save you (on average) 5EUR per castle. If you're with someone else, it'll save you 10. If you've been to Europe, you know how many castle ruins there are, and you know that it all adds up. 
Dunnottar Castle, Scotland
I have so much more to add, but this is getting long! Stay tuned for more (whenever I get around to it).

24 comments:

Katrin said...

I love Ryanair! I traveled to Venice for 7,50 Euro. :)
I voted for you and I am crossing my fingers!!!!

NaNa said...

wow looks like you had a lot of fun =D thanks for sharing the photos !


love from the NANA girls xoxo

Megan said...

voted :)

i agree with you so much on the castles and sights that you just shouldnt pay the entrance fee. sometimes im lazy and do (only when im bored in a location and cant figure out much more to do), but normally i dont because they are all the same.

we are quite thrifty when we travel but we dont really go frugal on food. we dont go expensive either...we just tend to find the restaurants that locals would go to...not the tourists. this is a HUGE $$ saver.

also, there are so many discount airlines worth flying. i also like wizzair, germanwings, easyjet, etc. norwegian air is great too, if you're flexible on dates.

as for accommodation, we are not exactly hostel people. i sometimes do them but my boyfriend's not a fan. so we do apartment rentals (airbnb.com) or boutique/design hotels. when im traveling alone i have a tendency to couchsurf too :)

such great tips! cant wait for round #2!

Laura said...

Great tips! Going to go vote.

Lauren said...

Great tips lady! I'll keep these in mind for next year :)

eef said...

You can also camp in a lot of places which is normally cheap (we camped a lot in Italy) and there's couch surfing, but be careful! http://www.couchsurfing.org/ I only couch-surfed once with two other girls and would never do it alone, but a lot of my friends have done it and never had any problems.

One thing, while I definitely recommend only hitting castles that you really want to see, DON'T skip out on things you do want to see just because they are expensive.
I went to Greece and we got to the Acropolis right before closing and I didn't want to pay 12 euro to get in and have to turn around and walk back down... But we never had time the next morning to see it and I feel like I really missed out. I don't know when I'll be able to go back, so DON'T skip things you want to see, pay for it and cut a cost somewhere else (food, trinkets, etc.).

Breenah said...

I voted and you are currently in first place :D

Sarah Kate said...

Wow...those are cheap plane tickets! I love traveling on a budget. Most people don't realize how many free things there are to do in cities. When we plan trips, that's always what we look for first and then maybe have one paid thing we do!

Brianna said...

Just found your blog today and I am entranced. Love the way you write and I love the topics! Can't wait to come back and read more! Ps. I used to live in Munich, and it was one of the best places I've ever lived!

kimberrleigh said...

1- I voted for you! :)

2- Great tips! When I went to Switzreland, Germany and France (almost a year ago now! So sad, I miss it!) for my one college class trip, only about 4 meals were included in the price for 10 days! We had to figure out how to eat on our own with the limited money we had, which was an adventure in itself!
I hope to make it back to any of those countries one day! :)


<3
http://kimberrleigh.com

E :-) said...

Good tips! I ope to use them someday!

Alana Christine said...

Thanks for the tips!! Now I just need to get my butt to Europe...

Lauren Anslee said...

Love this thank you for sharing!! Haven't been to Europe and i'm dying to go!

kaity said...

voted for you! :)
I love reading these travel tips. I consider myself a pretty "smart" traveler, but still it's always fun to read what other people have to say in case I'm missing out on some ingenuity.

Kym ((bitty)) said...

great tips! they're some of the very same that my cheap ass has been using for years!
:)
xo
kym
bitty.and.bunny

Emily Hope said...

These are great! We are planning a trip to Europe next April and will need to make it as cheap as possible. I've done the backpacker thing in South East Asia - but there has got to be a more glamorous inexpensive way to travel Europe. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Courtney B said...

I will definitely be voting for you!
When we go to Hawaii we are totally hitting up costco (there's a costco in Maui) and buying most of our food there. We are going to die when we find out how much it costs to eat out so that will be saved for special meals :) Other than that we are totally making our own meals!

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

Wow looks like such an amazing time!

Tygre Caley said...

"[insert cool picture here to get your attention]" Haha, love that. Voted for your video! Found you on the Tico & Tina Mashup! These are great tips!

Kell said...

These are great tips..definitely keeping them in mind!

Maria said...

I love this so much. Also, you now have me wanting to come to Europe and live there.

Sara Louise said...

One of the great things about Europe is you can usually always find a delicious type of baguette and good quality meats and cheeses... perfect for cheap meals on the go :)
I'm off to vote for you!

Jennie said...

It wouldn't let me log in and vote. :(

Okay can I just live in Europe now????!?!?!?

Alex Butts said...

More like "insert bling here to get your attention" ;) Great tips for sure! Esp on the not eating at restaurants, killer