Backpacking around Europe on a budget

It's been almost a year to the day that I backpacked around Europe with my two best friends, for two whole weeks.
We visited seven countries, boarded nine flights, ate unbelievable food and lived to tell the tale of our adventure. With £3000 between us we booked flights, accommodation, tours, transport and ate and drank like queens.

The first rule is to plan your trip in advance. Even if you're only planning on travelling for a short amount of time it can save you so much money.
I don't mean grab a map and highlight every country and city down to the smallest detail, but make a list of things that you want to achieve and which countries you want to experience.
If there is more than one of you travelling then create a list of ten countries each and then you can veto the ones that you can't agree on.

Once you've created your plan of action, book your flights early. You probably know by now that it's so much cheaper booking flights well in advance. I mean if I managed to book nine flights for under £350 then I'm pretty sure you can do anything. It's all about doing the research and sourcing out the best companies to fly with. There are so many to choose from but you've still got to make sure that all these flights fit around your schedule, so don't be afraid to lose yourself in flight information. Skyscanner is an absolute lifesaver so make sure you keep it bookmarked and you check it for flight price changes frequently. Also remember that you're going to be lugging a backpack from place to place, so stick with hand luggage and you'll be a winner.

Next you'll want start to book your accommodation and Airbnb will be your best friend. Whether you're wanting to experience full glam or get down and dirty they offer so many choices.
For the two weeks my accommodation came to just under £300, but I was bunking with my two best friends, so the more you bring on your trip the cheaper the experience.
So if you've got the choice of hostels or kipping in someone else's home for a few nights, go for the latter.

So now you've arrived, what on earth is there to do? Viator, viator, viator. The site that makes dreams come true, well in my case they did. So you've got your list of locations and a couple of hundred left in the fund, now don't go crazy but explore the site and see what each place has to offer.
Through Viator we got to experience; segways in Prague,  The Sound of Music tour in Austria, Auschwitz in Poland, the Colosseum in Rome and a sneaky sex show in Amsterdam. 
Whatever tasks your fancy there are hundreds to choose from, so stick to your budget and just remember you can always go back in the future if you miss something out.

Look you've got your three main things organised down to a tee and you've still got some cash in that fund. Now it's all about setting a budget for each country you're visiting. 
I set a budget of £10-£15 per day which would include foods, drinks, transport and every now and then a souvenir. Don't go crazy of tacky gifts because you've got to stuff them in your bag for your entire trip, so buy wisely. 
Also, if you're not a walker then prepare to become one. Honestly walking is going to be the best mode of transportation when you're in Europe so get those legs prepared for all the action.

Remember this is your trip, so just have fun.

Here are some of the places I stumbled through for free during my trip:

Poland: Crack on your walking boots and head on over to Old Town. It's one of the first places that was completely destroyed in WW2 and somehow it has been restored to full working order. Such a beautiful and historical town to get your head around.

Berlin: If you're into history then Berlin has so much to offer. On nearly every corner there was some sort of reference to WW2 and to top it off Berlin holds such beautiful buildings that you can't help but stare is awe at the enormity of it all.

Prague: Old Town is Prague is where a lot of the action is held, the beautiful architecture and the amazing smelling food - you'll be hooked in an instant.

Salzburg: Go on a beautiful hike and bring a picnic. The views in Salzburg are to die for and it's an experience you can't quite capture anywhere else.

Rome: Perhaps one of the most beautiful cities in the world, it has so much to offer, it's a photographers dream location! Through the day and night Rome provides you with some of the best ruins, religious architecture and people (obviously!)

Amsterdam: Walk along the canals, they're all over and you can't miss them. It gives you a great opportunity to really explore this enchanting city and even eye up some dream homes.

Travelling is what you make it, so get saving and start your adventure.

1 comment:

Phil said...

Wishing I could pack up and explore Europe now. I would love to visit some of these places.