Budget Travel: 10-Day Euro Trip in $300 (Flight/Visa Excluded)

How to travel like a boss even when you aren’t a boss (money-wise)

A lot of people tell me about their Euro Trip plans, and how the plans always remain plans because of budget constraints. So, I tell them how not having a lot of money isn’t an issue here. If you can’t earn a lot of money, maybe you can just spend less. This blog post is about those cost-cutting methods that’ll get you more in less.

The Blog Post touches upon the following topics:

  1. Flying to Europe
  2. Traveling within Europe
  3. Accommodation
  4. Food
  5. Communication
  6. Money
  7. Itinerary
  8. Daily Needs Shopping
  9. Luggage

 

1. Flying to Europe (For those needing an air ticket)

1. Flying to Europe


Plan in advance

This one goes without saying. If you’re flying next week and you haven’t booked your tickets yet, good luck! The tickets will be crazy expensive.

Choose the right time
The airfare is going to vary based on the dates you have chosen. It can vary as much as $150 within a month.

I suggest you to be a bit flexible with your dates to save more. Also, travel in off-peak season (not summer) to save up to 30% more.

Choose the right destination
The air fare to every country isn’t going to be the same. For example, I checked for the cheapest air tickets from India to different cities in Europe for the dates Oct 1 – Oct 15, and the results were impressive:

Origin Destination Fare (INR) Fare (USD)
City City Cheapest 2nd Cheapest Cheapest 2nd Cheapest
New Delhi London, UK 31,149 33,288 486 520
New Delhi Rome, Italy 32,029 34,129 500 533
New Delhi Frankfurt, Germany 32,102 38,402 501 600
New Delhi Warsaw, Poland 35,600 37,437 556 585
Mumbai Brussels, Belgium 35,698 38,205 557 596
New Delhi Amsterdam, Netherlands 36,788 38,417 574 600
Mumbai Stockholm, Sweden 37,979 38,935 593 608
Mumbai Vienna, Austria 38,172 39,128 596 611
Mumbai Berlin, Germany 38,913 48,546 608 758
Mumbai Prague, Czech Republic 39,269 39,357 613 614
Mumbai Paris, France 39,366 40,328 615 613
Mumbai Athens, Greece 39,672 41,772 619 652
New Delhi Madrid, Spain 40,071 40,212 626 628
New Delhi Milan, Italy 40,364 41,101 630 642
Mumbai Zurich, Switzerland 41,006 43,306 640 676
New Delhi Oslo, Norway 41,158 41,481 643 648
New Delhi Barcelona, Spain 41,555 41,892 649 654
Mumbai Dublin, Ireland 45,952 46,900 717 732

Time & Date of Search: 00:05 – 00:30, Aug 15 2017
Platform: MakeMyTrip

As you can from the table above, the price differs based on the origin and destination cities. If done right, you can save up to INR 15,000 ($230). And that’s a lot of money for budget travelers!

Don’t worry about landing a little far from your final destination. You can take a train or a bus.

Cheapest Flight: $500 (Only Europe. No UK.)
Add travel expenses if the airport is not in your city.

 

2. Traveling within Europe

After reading this, I’m sure you would agree that the invention of buses and trains is one of the best things ever happened to us.

Eurail Pass

2.1. Traveling Within Europe - Eurail

It lets you travel on trains across Europe. You can customize your pass based on your travel plans.

One Country Pass – Travel as much as you want to in a single country (23 countries available – No Germany, No Switzerland :O)
Price starts at $75 and can go up to $217 for the cheapest ticket.

Select Pass – Pick 2 – 4 Bordering Countries (28 countries – With some restrictions. No biggie!)
Price starts at $162 for 2 countries, $196 for 3 countries, and $211 for 4 countries

Global Pass – For five or more countries (28 countries – No restriction)
Price starts at $379 for 5 days of traveling in a month. You can see as many countries as you can/want to. And, it’s free for kids up to 11 years old.

The cheapest option for 12-27 years old is $379. For 28+, it starts at $493 if traveling with someone, and $578 if traveling alone. An adult can only take two 4-11 years old on their pass.


FlixBus

2.2. Traveling Within Europe - Flixbus

What could be even cheaper than a train? A bus pass.
How cheap? Just €99 ($116) for 5 cities in Europe.

The website claims to cover 1,200 destinations in 24 countries. The return trip on the same route isn’t possible right now. But you can still manage if you plan accordingly.

Click here to book your tickets today.


Local Transportation

Walk – Free of cost
Bus – $6 (One-Day Bus Pass)
Bikes – $10 – $25 (Slightly, expensive)

Cheapest Option (Intercity): $116
Cheapest Option (Local): $50 (8 days, 5 cities | 10-day trip)

 

3. Accommodation

I’ll share a few cheap options below. As you go down, the options will become costlier.

Friends and Relatives

3.1. Accommodation - Friends-Family

The cheapest option for you is to live with your friends and/or relatives. Live on minimal expenses as everything is already pretty much sorted.

Your wonderful friend in Poland, or that amazing cousin in Germany… Now would be a good time to let them know how much you missed them. 😀


Couchsurfing

3.2. Accommodation - Couchsurfing

It’s not as easy as having a friend to host you. These guys don’t know you well enough to trust you. However, it’s not impossible.

Get on to Couchsurfing.com, create an interesting profile, start contacting hosts, and Voila! Live for free.

PS: Helps if you’re interesting. Helps even more if you’ve got reviews.


Youth Hostel

3.3. Accommodation - Youth Hostel

If you don’t like living with someone for free or if you can’t find anyone :'(, relax! Hostels.com has got you.

Here you can find accommodation as cheap as $10 a night. Because why pay $100 for a hotel room when you could use that money on fun activities in Europe. You can apply coupon codes to save even more.


Airbnb

Still scrolling down? I see you have trust issues and/or want a little more privacy.

Then Airbnb.com might come to your rescue. They have got rooms for as low as $10 if you’re lucky! Many good ones should be around $15-$30.

You can save some extra money with coupon codes and referrals.


Hotel

3.5. Accommodation - Hotel

Don’t worry! Not all hotels are expensive. Try your options at Booking.com.

I could find some cheap deals at $15. Of course, the decent ones will cost you about $20 or more.

Anyway, the idea is to sleep cheap. Spend your $$ on cool things outside.

Cheapest Accommodation: Free (Friends/Family/Couchsurfing)

 

4. Food

Cook!

4.1. Food - Cook

Cheapest way ever! Unless someone has got you covered.

Find accommodation with a kitchen. Definitely, if you don’t eat meat. You’ll be surprised to know that you can have three meals a day for just $10. Make it about $15-$20 if you can’t live without meat.

Grocery Stores

4.2. Food - Grocery Stores

Most grocery stores will have sandwiches, wraps, salads, fruits, and beverages at around $5-$9.

Street Food

4.3. Food - Street Food

What’s the best way to know the local culture and to get cheap food! Should cost you about $10 – $15 for a meal.


Budget Restaurants

4.4 Food - Budget Restaurants.jpg

You should be able to get McDonald’s meal at about $7. Then there are other budget restaurants for those who want to eat healthier. Should get you a good meal for $15 – $20.

Total Cost: $100 ($10/day for 10 days | Cook)
And then #EatLessSaveMore 😉

 

5. Communication (Internet and Phone Calls)

Free! How, you ask?

These.

5. Communication

Avoid phone calls. Use public internet wherever you find.

You’ll find free WiFi pretty much everywhere in major European cities. Alternatively, you can head to Starbucks. That’s how I wrote this blog post, folks. 😀

For more information, you can check this blog post.

Total Cost: Free

 

6. Money

Carry cash. Avoid cards.

6. Money

Avoid Cards

Withdrawing from an ATM or paying with your debit/credit card is gonna cost you a lot of money for obvious reasons – Exchange fee, Transaction fee etc. So, don’t do that unless absolutely required.

Also, it’s good to get in touch with your bank to inquire about the most compatible card when traveling abroad. Most compatible here would be the one which works at most places and doesn’t come with a high fee on withdrawal or payment.

Don’t worry about card payments in Europe. You can ask your host to pay, and you pay them in cash.

Currency Exchange

Pay in cash wherever you can. But make sure you get a good exchange rate. Avoid airports as they might be slightly expensive compared to your other options.

Total Cost: $15 (Say, 3% exchange fee on $500 conversion)

 

7. Itinerary

7. Itinerary

Just a sample itinerary I created on TripHobo.com

Plan your trip well. Be clear about:

  1. Where you’re going
  2. How you’re going
  3. What you’ll be doing/seeing
  4. Where you’re staying
  5. What the cheap options are

See, when you have these things sorted beforehand, you wouldn’t have to worry about anything after you land. And, you wouldn’t end up paying a lot more as the cheap options would either be gone by then or you wouldn’t have enough time to search for the cheap ones.

Total Cost: Free

 

8. Daily Needs Shopping

8. Shopping

Carry important everyday items with you so that you don’t have to buy new ones at a higher price. For everything else, shop locally.

You can ask the locals around you for cheap stores and markets. Try the farmer’s market if there’s any. You can save a lot of money. Plus, it’s a great cultural experience, right?

Total Cost: $30 (Miscellaneous. Food already covered.)

 

9. Luggage

9. Luggage

1. Travel light 
Avoid those extra set of clothes which you’ll never get to wear while traveling. It’s very convenient when you have to travel with your luggage.It helps as you don’t have to pay any company to store your luggage with them for the day.

2. Carry everything important
Make a checklist if you can. Don’t spend money buying the same item for a higher price.

Pack according to the climate. Don’t forget your first aid kit.

 

So, that’s pretty much about your basic expenses.

Let’s add €60 ($70) visa fee to that. Let’s stick to Europe for now as you need a separate visa for the UK.

So, our total expenses become:

Flight $500
Intercity Bus $116
Intracity Bus $50
Accommodation $0
Food $100
Internet $0
Buying Euros $15
Daily Needs $30
Visa $70
Buffer $100
Total $981

Can add about $200 for activities and $50 for souvenirs. Then, the total becomes $1200.

Now, this is just a rough calculation. In reality, it might cost you a bit higher or lower. When staying with your friends or family, the food won’t cost that much. But then you might try local restaurants or street food, which can shoot the cost up.

So, that’s all folks! What do you think about the budget?

Been to Europe? How much did you spend on your trip?
Planning to go? How much do you plan to spend on your trip?

Let me know in the comments.

Have an amazing trip!

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53 thoughts on “Budget Travel: 10-Day Euro Trip in $300 (Flight/Visa Excluded)

  1. As a student, I would always travel by coach and stay in B&Bs or youth hostels. It meant I could travel a lot on a shoestring. 20 years later and I have 4 children. It’s now out of the question to do that, but we still go on road trip and manage to travel cheaply.

    Like

    1. That’s great, Mel! I think every student should experience budget traveling. There’s a lot to learn.
      Of course, once you have a family, it can’t work like that as everybody’s comfort is involved. Especially, kids. 🙂

      Like

  2. When my daughter graduated from college, she took a month and traveled around Europe with a friend. I thought for sure it would be unaffordable, but she proved me wrong! My husband and I bought her a global pass, they couch surfed and ate eggs and oatmeal most time. The memories she made are some of her favorites. x

    Like

    1. Wow! Must have been an amazing trip for your daughter and a proud moment for you. Think every student/fresh grad should experience budget traveling once. They don’t just learn about different cultures but also the value of money. 🙂

      Like

  3. This is a really great post for anyone planning to travel anywhere, and almost on any budget. This is a really detailed informative post. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Like

  4. Amazing tips, i always wanted to travel outside India and its amazing i can do it under $1500, ill bookmark this post, might help me in future.

    Like

  5. I’ve been to many country in Europe but when I was a seamen . I wasn’t have time to explore more time the places . I will love to come there again at least one place to show it to my lovely wife . Great advise and tips for low budget traveler like me

    Like

    1. That’d be great. There are many beautiful cities you should explore. Now that you can plan a trip when you’re free, it’d be a completely different experience. Let me know how it goes or if I can help in any way. 🙂

      Like

  6. To be honest, living in Europe, this budget seems so unrealistic (especially that you calculated dollars and not euros), unless you travel to Eastern European countries which are cheaper. Sure, you can Couchsurf for free accommodation (which is the highest expense) but you have to be aware that it is really hard to find a host in the European capitals. I would plan at least 100 euros a day, just to be on the safe side. I mean you want to experience Europe as well, not just to travel here and not try the local food or not go to the local attractions because they cost.

    Like

    1. Hi Joanna! Thanks for your comment. I believe it can be hard finding a host. However, it has worked for many of my friends. And even I could easily find hosts in Philadelphia and New York City. Have you tried Couchsurfing.com? You’ll find many hosts there.

      About the overall budget, I agree that it’s very low. However, the idea was to minimize the expenses as much as possible. At times, your hosts will help you with the local food. Otherwise, it’ll be cheap even if you eat outside as it’s local food. For paid activities, you can keep a separate budget for sure.

      Like

  7. That or you can take a tent, sleeping bag, and something that will help you earn money along the way ( I used my guitar). It was a hell of a journey, filled with obstacles, anger, hunger, but still… one of the best ones I ever had.
    Now I’m a bit too old for that so I’ll take more “comfortable” approach and take some of your advice with me.

    Like

    1. It sure sounds like a hell of a journey. I would love to try the music gig in a strange place. Just for the experience even if there’s no money. Even better if you can earn money along the way. That might restrict your travel plans a bit. But definitely worth it if staying in the city for longer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In my experience it both restricts you and it doesn’t restrict you. In the end it all comes down to the same thing; your mindset about the trip. When I went for that trip I absolutely had no plans and the trip took me all over the place. One day I was sleeping in a 4 star villa, the other day I was sleeping in a bush near a road. So yeah, fun times 😀

        Like

  8. Great post 👍🏻 I always travel on a budget so to say because I do not feel comfortable spending a lot of money- so some of the things you mentioned are so normal to me. For train in Germany there are also special offers, but maybe you will find them directly at Deutsche Bahn 🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks, Sabrina! That is so cool. Where did you go?
      PS: Would surely check out special offers in different countries. I did come across some discount for bus/train passes in Germany and the UK, I think. Didn’t mention as it worked only for those particular cases.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I live in Germany – and traveled a lot through Europe, mainly Great Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland because parts of my family come from former Silesia and Pomerania.
        Most of the travels worked as car sharing to get there. And most of the times we were self-catering travelers. Now with the kids we often do weekend trips within Germany – we use last minute deals most of the time.

        Like

      2. That’s great, Sabrina! Any country/city you like the most?
        I think last minute deals and car sharing can be very useful when budget traveling. Will look into that as well when planning my next trip.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My favorite country is Scotland- especially Oban and Edinburgh. I also enjoyed Lagos in Portugal, Utrecht in Netherlands and Florence in Italy. And I have spent time in Ramesgate, Torquay and Angoulême as an exchange student.

        Like

  9. This is a wonderfully detailed list. My husband and I have traveled a bit and you are so right – with careful planning before hand, it is possible to enjoy your visit without overspending.

    Like

  10. Hey Tushar! Great post!

    Loved the budget breakdown on this. And I’d never seen that itinerary builder website before. I can’t wait to try it out!

    One thing I don’t see mentioned often when planning a Euro Trip is how insanely cheap ‘domestic’ flights are within Europe. It’s definitely the option I’m going with. Out of my 19 days in Europe, the most expensive of the three flights I’ll be taking will be $52. Booking those tickets well in advance saves money and time- especially if you’re traveling light and won’t need to spend extra cash on checking.

    Thanks a load for your post! Can’t wait to see more in the future.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Erica! I’m glad you found it useful.

      About the flights within Europe, the last time I checked, it was quite expensive compared to the bus option. But you’ve got yourself a really good deal. Plus, you’ll have a lot more time to travel around.

      Hope you have an amazing time in Europe. Which cities/countries are you traveling to?

      Like

      1. Starting in Paris, then to Rome, Amsterdam, and Dublin for a five day road trip round Ireland. I’ve been finding my tickets on studentuniverse.com

        The bus would be a better option for my trip if we weren’t planning on traveling quite so broadly, I think. I’ll definitely use that for future, more focused trips.

        Like

      2. Sounds good. You can try the matchmaking festival in Lisdoonvarna (Ireland). It has already started and will go on till Oct 8. The town is about 250 km from Dublin. Might be an interesting cultural experience.

        Yeah, can try the bus next time. There will be a lot more to see on the roads. Would love to read more about your travel experience on your blog.

        Like

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