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10 Ways To Save Money While Backpacking Europe


by Coralyn Whitener


Are you dreaming of backpacking through the enchanting destinations of Europe but worried about the strain it may put on your wallet? Fret not! In this article, we will share with you 10 tried and tested ways to save money while exploring the wonders of Europe. From budget-friendly accommodations to insider tips on dining and transportation, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or embarking on your first European adventure, these money-saving strategies will help you stretch your budget and make the most of your trip. So pack your bags, tighten your shoelaces, and get ready to embark on an incredible journey without breaking the bank. Let’s dive right in!

Stay in budget accommodations

Choosing budget accommodations such as hostels, guesthouses, or camping sites can save you a significant amount of money while backpacking through Europe. Look for budget-friendly options that offer clean, safe, and comfortable lodging at a fraction of the cost of traditional hotels.

Cook your own meals

Eating out can quickly deplete your travel budget, so opt for cooking your own meals whenever possible. Take advantage of local markets and grocery stores to purchase fresh ingredients and cook simple and delicious meals in the communal kitchens provided by hostels or guesthouses.

Take advantage of free attractions

Europe is filled with incredible free attractions, from stunning parks and gardens to historical landmarks and museums with free admission. Research and plan your itinerary to explore these attractions without spending a dime.

Use public transportation

Public transportation, such as buses, trams, and metro systems, is often the most cost-effective way to get around in Europe. Invest in a transportation pass or card that offers unlimited travel for a certain period, allowing you to explore multiple cities or countries without breaking the bank.

Travel during off-peak seasons

Visiting Europe during off-peak seasons, such as spring or fall, can help you save money on accommodation, flights, and attractions. Additionally, you’ll also experience fewer crowds, allowing you to enjoy popular destinations without the hassle.

Stay flexible with your travel dates

Being flexible with your travel dates can help you find the best deals on flights and accommodations. Use flight comparison websites and subscribe to airline newsletters to stay updated on promotions and discounts. Avoid traveling during peak holidays or weekends when prices tend to be higher.

Pack light and avoid checked baggage fees

Most budget airlines in Europe charge additional fees for checked baggage. To save money, pack light and opt for a carry-on bag that meets the size requirements of the airline. This way, you can avoid paying hefty baggage fees and travel more conveniently.

Use budget-friendly transportation options

Consider alternative transportation options like bus or train travel, which can be more affordable compared to flying. Look for discounted bus passes or rail cards that offer savings for multiple journeys or long-distance travel.

Utilize travel apps and discount websites

Take advantage of travel apps and discount websites that offer exclusive deals and discounts on accommodation, attractions, and transportation. Apps like Skyscanner, Airbnb, and Booking.com can help you find the best prices and save money while backpacking Europe.

Embrace the local culture

Immerse yourself in the local culture and participate in free or low-cost activities like street festivals, local markets, and community events. Engaging with locals and experiencing authentic local culture not only enriches your travel experience but also helps you save money.

By following these 10 ways to save money while backpacking Europe, you can make your travel funds stretch further and fully enjoy the incredible destinations the continent has to offer.

Remember, traveling on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing experiences or fun; it simply requires a bit of planning, flexibility, and a willingness to embrace the adventures that await you!


In conclusion, backpacking through Europe can be an exhilarating adventure, but it can also be expensive. However, with these 10 money-saving tips, you can stretch your budget and make the most out of your trip. From finding affordable accommodations to exploring local cuisine, there are plenty of ways to save money without compromising on the experience. By being savvy with your spending, planning ahead, and embracing a frugal mindset, you can have an unforgettable European adventure while staying within your budget. So go ahead, pack your bags, and get ready to explore the beautiful continents of Europe without breaking the bank!


1. Is backpacking through Europe expensive?

Backpacking through Europe can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. By employing money-saving strategies, such as staying in budget accommodations and opting for local transportation, you can make your trip more affordable.

2. How can I find affordable accommodations while backpacking in Europe?

Look for budget hostels or guesthouses that offer shared accommodations. You can also consider platforms like Airbnb or Couchsurfing for more affordable options.

3. What are some ways to save money on transportation in Europe?

Take advantage of budget airlines, utilize public transportation like buses and trains, and consider buying a Eurail pass for discounted travel across multiple countries.

4. Are there any cheap food options in Europe?

Absolutely! Look for local markets and street food stalls where you can find delicious and affordable meals. Opt for local cuisine instead of expensive tourist restaurants.

5. How can I save money on attractions and sightseeing?

Research free or discounted days for museums, monuments, and attractions. Take advantage of walking tours or explore the city on your own to save on expensive guided tours.

6. Is it worth investing in a travel insurance while backpacking in Europe?

Yes, it is highly recommended to have travel insurance. It provides protection against unforeseen circumstances such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or lost belongings.

7. Should I exchange money before my trip or use ATMs?

Using ATMs is generally a better option as they offer competitive exchange rates. However, be aware of any fees associated with international withdrawals.

8. How can I avoid unnecessary expenses while backpacking in Europe?

Set a budget and track your expenses. Avoid luxury shopping and dining, and opt for affordable alternatives. Limit unnecessary expenses like souvenirs and prioritize experiences instead.

9. Can I get by with just English while backpacking in Europe?

English is widely spoken in most popular tourist areas. However, learning a few basic phrases in the local language can go a long way in showing respect and making connections with locals.

10. What should I consider when packing for a backpacking trip in Europe?

Pack light, versatile clothing and essentials. Consider the weather conditions of the countries you will be visiting and pack accordingly. Don’t forget to bring a lock for your backpack and a travel adapter.