How to afford Europe if you are broke
Norway for 20$, France for 10$, or Poland for 5$
Let’s suppose you are one of those crazy people who work hard, sleep less than 7 hours per day, saves every cent but still never bought a ticket to Europe, cause what all those bloggers, celebrities, fashion model say is “Man, this is freaking expensive!”. Bullshit!
I mean if from your very childhood you eat shrimps for lunch and lobsters with 20-year-old red wine for dinner, it might be disappointing what I am going to offer you, but at the end of a day, you will post photos on Instagram with that famous Eiffel Tower, see Mona Lisa and swim in freezing lakes of Norway. Just for you to understand – you have to go an extra mile for that and forget about cabs back home from your parties. Something for something, right?
1. Don’t be stupid
Okay, you woke up one day and realized that the life is passing by and you have no amazing memories like Irish pubs till the sunrise, sunset under the castle of Prague, wine tasting in Porto, or Octoberfest in Germany. Now time to save money for all of it. And no, you don’t need 5K or 10K to take a plane! You simply might need 250-400$ for the round-trip tickets. Now stop complaining about bills and a high cost of living in Manhattan – just don’t buy Starbucks coffee every day and use that crowded Subway, not cabs.
I don’t really care about your lungs, your pocket suffers. Btw, a pack of cigarets in Ukraine costs 1-1.5$. Just smoke there.
One litter of glüwein in Germany is 1.2$, so go and see the Christmas markets there.
So, darling, you can easily cut your expenses and save 200$ in less than a month.
2. Find that golden fish!
I hope you are familiar with Google. So use it! Google the well-known travel sites that will offer you the best deals. Here is the list!
www.skyscanner.net – BEST! Overseas flights are mostly purchased via this page! You can set the search tickets for the entire month. Set the price alarm. Look for the tickets every single day!
www.esky.eu – A competitor of Skyscanner!
www.momondo.com– I used it a lot for South America. Some say it is good for Europe.
If it happens you are lucky enough and don’t have a 9-5 job, go to
www.fly4free.com and select the USA and search for flights to Europe.
Man, if I were you, I would fly back and forth every week. Sadly, I need a visa, and Trump is kinda cruel towards us 🙁 Asshole
You see the screenshots? I took them just from the first page. Imagine then if you do a bit of research!
Once you get to the continents of “rich and fancy” Europeans, use these airlines to travel!
wizzair.com – all tickets starting from 12$ – even to non-EU countries. Last week a bought a ticket from Poland to Ukraine just for 10€. For you to understand – a trip out of the EU is way more expensive due to the high taxes, but. not always…
www.ryanair.com– if I die, please, donate all my money, organs and soul to this company! Tickets start from 1$ and go up up up!
ONE FUCKING DOLAR, DUDE! What can you buy in LA for one dollar? Can you buy a candy?
Ryanair is highly concerned about selling all the tickets, so ones there are not enough travelers that give you the seats for free – just pay the taxes. This way I traveled to Oslo, Norway from Wroclaw, Poland for 3€; to Paris, France for 5€, to Mallorca, Spain (during the summer) for 20€!
They have a ‘Fare Finder’ icon that is just a perfect option for you!
www.easyjet.com– British say it is cheap, hm after 3$ flight, 50$ flight sounds less attractive but they operate at the fanciest airports – so check it out when going to Switzerland, Germany or Monaco!
3. Tent? Hammock? Nah, king’s bed with the sea view!
I don’t know how many time should I mention Couchsurfing on my page, so people finally understand what it is all about! No! No! It is NOT a hotel/hostel/motel/all-inclusive resort/babysitter/clown/restaurant.
If you are boring, stupid and lazy, just skip this paragraph – it is definitely not for you!
www.couchsurfing.com – so you make your profile, complete all sections, post good nice photos ( remember, it is NOT Tinder!) and go and meet local so to get some references. You can ask your friends/relatives/boyfriends/girlfriends/lovers to write something nice about you (if they also have CS)
Thanks to CS hangouts you can easily go and meet locals/travelers in your city – extra references. Show them some nice instagramable streets, drink beer, go for a party. New friends. New memories. Once you have at least 10 references you can send the requests to stay with some people in Europe/Asia/Antarctica. Write it nicely “Hi, I am Sarah and coming to Amsterdam tomorrow. Please, host me!” Screw you! Do you even know what politeness means?!
Introduce yourself, present your travel plans, tell where you have lived, traveled to, language speak. Add that you are interested in experiencing new cultures and would love to be hosted by___!
Remember kindness opens the doors!
CS is free to use but be polite and easy-going!
www.workaway.info– work and stay for free! Volunteering, or helping the kids, or teaching seniors, or taking care of elephants. And trust me sometimes you can be provided with the high-class accommodations. Pure luck!
Airports are comfy! – c’mon nice view, fluffy chair, the sound of the turbines, you can easily sleep over at the airport before or after your flight. Check this page www.sleepinginairports.net for the airport comfort!
FB Groups! Use the biggest network wisely. There are millions of groups like “Couchsurfers in Berlin”, “Exchange students in Brussels”, “Drunkers in Moscow” (ok, kidding!) – post a nice message, add a photo and pray that someone will give you the roof! Sometimes really works!
4. 350 miles is not a long walk
So you like cabs, helicopters and private jets? Might be complicated now, but you will manage it! Europe is freaking small! So we really prefer to move a lot. Trains, buses, cars, Uber are so affordable here that we don’t even check the flights sometimes.
All Western Europe is all about trains!
www.bahn.com– the perfect site for all the train connections! Book in advance and save money!
Poland – you get 50% if you are a student. Honestly, it is only for Polish citizens, but sometimes they accept ISIC cards.
www.acprail.com/europass-train – EuroPass Train. Not cheap but covers all trains in 23 EU countries.
www.flixbus.com – #1 colonizer of Europe. These buses run through all Europe and offer you tickets from 1$ (if you book in advance). I bought Cracow-Warsaw ticket for 3$ and it is a 5-hour trip! They also offer 10$ trip Berlin-Hamburg, while train might cost around 100$
www.blablacar.com – I hope you know about this invention. Ride and share!
In addition, there are numerous local FB groups where people publish their upcoming trips and offer the seats. Ask locals for the names!
www.uber.com – Europe is fighting with this monster but epically loosing. Not every EU city allows it due to the disadvantages for the taxi businesses.
Germany has an alternative like MyTaxi and other countries their own local companies – again ask locals!
However, I believe are legs were created for walking so for short distances I would rather use them:)
Hitchhiking! Here we go! I will leave it to your mom to tell you how insane and dangerous this idea is. But I am here to inspire you. I have been doing it for more than 3 years and never ever had I a bad situation. On the contrary, I have had thousands of inspiring conversations, surprising BBQs by the lake with the drivers, spontaneous dinners in Albania, Georgia, Spain, and those drivers now are my close friends! I have lots of posts dedicated to it!
hitchwiki.org/en– I am skeptical about it but for the fresh hitchhikers is a good way to plan it!
Again! There are plenty of FB and CS groups dedicated to the art of Hitchhiking! Ask, connect, plan!
Europe is super safe for autostop, is super fast, and super fun!
5. Dude, am thirsty and hungry!
Drink water from the tap! Most parks have drinkable fountains. I have been doing it for the last years, surprisingly still alive 🙂
Foodsharing – amazing idea of reducing the number of leftovers! Scandinavia gives the unsold products out at the end of the day. Germany has food (also clothes) sharing points with an amazing variety of high-quality fruits, veggies, and dairy products. In my dorm back in Germany, we had food sharing 2-3 times per week! If you are fast enough, you could have croissants, mangos, pineapples, chocolate. Eastern Europe is making its baby steps in this project but keeping the fingers crossed more and more people will share the food. Just google Foodsharing + the name of the city.
Local markets (not fancy central markets!) – there is a big difference between a nice famous market located centrally and a chaotic one 10 km from there where most traders are seniors or Easterns.
In Germany, I loved Turkish markets where they sold all the fruits 2-3 cheaper than the supermarkets. Mangos for 0.7$, tomatoes for 1$/kg, apples for 1.5$/kg. The Eastern you go – the cheaper it is! Balkans offer seafood for funny money, while Poland spoils tourists with apples and other veggies.
Student Dining Areas – super affordable, super tasty. Europe takes care of students providing them with cheap lunches. Google local Unis, get the address to the food quarter or dining zone and enjoy it 🙂
Most of the times lunches are 2-4$/person
Milk Bars (Bar Mleczny) in Poland are a great way to try local cuisine, save money, and integrate with the culture. It is a public dining zone and prices vary from 0.1$ to 3-4$ per portion.
6. Let’s get drunk!
Firstly not to become an alcoholic you need a good company!
CS – feels like it is for everything! Use the hangouts option or local events. Most of the times locals organize pretty cool parties or activities.
FB Tandem events – every big city has it. Some foreigners get together, speak different languages, and then party. Educational purposes together with integrating ones.
Eastern Europe has numerous clubs with free entry policy (apart from capitals during the weekend). Perhaps, you will find a girl or a boy giving away some coupons for the welcome drinks/shots + free entry to the club. Everything to make you party.
Western Europe is more complicated, so they charge you 10-20$ for the entry. The solution might be disco bars – bars that become clubs after 10 pm.
Irish pubs host musicians and are open to everyone.
Open-air Fests – local bands, local food, local drinks – free entry.
Student Parties – search in FB for the parties organized by Unis, Erasmus, ESN, AISEC. Free entry and lots of internationals.
Beach parties – some bars and pubs make parties on the beaches – check out the FB events.
Charities – they also tend to organize the concerts where all earned money will be donated.
7. Now time to let the world know how awesome it was – Wi-Fi, please!
Yea, it might be difficult to get free Wi-Fi in some EU countries due to privacy regulations. But there are life hacks.
Banks! Sparkasse in Germany always has it! Some Polish banks (IdeaBank) also offers free coffee/tea.
Hotels – you are allowed to enter and to ask for the guest wi-fi. What if you are just meeting a friend here?
Railway Stations – big ones have it, but slow.
City Wi-Fi – modern cities have it in the most touristic places.
Transport Wi-Fi – the majority of buses in Central Europe provide you with 15-30min free wi-fi – should be enough to upload some photos.
Get 5$ SIM-card and use it all over EU!
We don’t have roaming here. So if you buy the cheapest SIM-card in Poland, Croatia or Lithuania, you can call and surf the Internet in all EU countries! Pay attention – Switzerland, Andorra, and some other small countries are not EU, so roaming on!
- One more life hack that I forgot to include – groupon.com It offers incredible deals for restaurants, hotels, aquaparks and so on. You are able to save up to 80% of money using their promo codes.
My friends and I once bought a Groupon offering 3 giant pizzas and billiard for 2 hours for less than 10$/pers.
To sum up! With less than 800$ you can have a 2-week trip across all of Europe with flights included! It all depends on your flexibility, openness, and creativity! Good luck, out-bubbles 🙂