Most people think that traveling to Europe from USA is expensive and it is but it does not have to be. There are ways to cut expenses while traveling. My resources-sensitive teenager told me what he deducted as he trotted 10 countries across Eastern Europe in 5 weeks. Norway to Latvia to Estonia to Finland to Lithuania to Poland to Hungary to Slovakia to Austria to Czech Republic and here are his 5 ways to do it on a budget. Pictures shown in this post were taken by him as he traveled. (featured image Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest, Hungary)
1. Be flexible. Airplane ticket is your greatest expense, therefore be flexible with your dates. Also, the further you travel, the longer you should stay to get the most of the money spent per ticket and to fit in the most experiences around the geographical area of your destination.
2. Stay in hostels. Alternative to hotels are hostels which cost 10 times less expensive than hotels. Hostel World is a great app. For a small fee it will help you navigate, reserve and guarantee a spot in the hostel. It also saves you money and an inconvenience of calling each individual place directly. Another great source of finding a place to stay is Airbnb. Create an account and you can search for a variety of staying options from shared or private rooms to the entire houses or estates. Strive to be a good guest as your hosts will post reviews of you 🙂
3. Eat from groceries stores. Restaurants are expensive, but small groceries stores will have all you need to sustain you. Besides, hostels have kitchens and basic kitchen ware. Fresh milk, kefir, bread, nut butter, cottage cheese and much more can be easily found in the local stores.
4. Use public transport. Most places in Eastern Europe have highly developed and convenient public transportation systems. Take trains and buses not taxis. Busses are less expensive than trains and are very comfortable. For about $15 you can travel from Latvia to Poland, for example. The ride on the above shown ferry was about $60 per person which was probably more expensive than average mode of public transport.
5. Talk to strangers. Make eye contact, be curious, ask questions and engage with other people. Most often or not people that you meet are really cool, friendly and interesting. They will go out of their way to help you out, even cook you a dinner, give you a ride or a personalized tour. (Caution though, one must be a good reader of people’s character to not be taken advantage of…).
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Now armed with above 5 ways for frugal travel, you can’t blame your budget for not traveling… The world awaits! See you on the road…