A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
One of the major reasons I choose Netherlands instead of USA, Australia, Korea, Japan and UK (not within Schengen Countries) is that I can travel within 26 European countries with one visa. Yes, that is the fun part of studying in Europe that you can explore its reach culture and diversity while you are studying. Student life is the best time for travel as many things are offered to the students in reduced rates across the Europe. Today, I will provide you with some useful tips which will help you to travel across Europe with very low cost-
1. Money is not the problem:
Believe me, money is not an issue to travel within Europe, especially in Schengen countries. I have figured out that if I have around 100-150 Euro, I can travel to most of the European cities in the weekend (two nights stay)! So, if you can save one pizza (usually costs 5-10 Euro) in a week, you can easily save money within three to four months; or if you do not buy a fancy shirt/ skirt, you will be saving 30-40 Euro at a time! Still not compromised, here I gave you one example of mine- I went to Athens, Greece. It cost me 63 Euro for round flight on Ryanair, 28 Euro for two night stay at a Youth Hostel, 22 Euro for three days unlimited transportation card within Athens, 30 Euro for six times meal (5 Euro each meal)! It depends on how you do your daily expenditure and whether travel gets preference to you or not.
2. Travel by air is cheaper than bus or train:
Although it sounds crazy, but it is true! There are some airlines which offer super cheap airfare and these are called ‘budget airlines’. The most popular to fly from the Netherlands are Ryanair, EasyJet, Vueling, Transavia etc. But here is one trick- you have to buy your tickets at least two months before your travel date. Because, it drastically varies on how early you are buying your tickets. For an example if you buy Amsterdam to Paris round trip ticket four to five months early, you might get it within 30-40 Euro; the same can become 150-250 Euro if you buy one week early! Also, try to fly within weekdays as the rates are cheaper that time. You should search for air tickets usually on Tuesday morning, as most of the budget airlines give their offers on Monday night and then adjust with their rivals by Tuesday morning.
Moreover, once you are searching for a certain destination, make sure that you end up buying the ticket. Otherwise, if you leave and then come back again to search for the same route, the website knows through Artificial Intelligence that you have come back and they will show you higher price than that which you saw in early (because now they know for sure that you are highly interested in the route!)
Lastly, if you cannot find suitable budget airlines, go to www.skyscanner.net . This website will show you all the possible options starting from lowest fare.
3. You still can find bus route in cheap:
FLiXBUS and Eurolines are the two most famous bus services that goes many European cities. Just look at their websites and their offers; then find your own route with suitable time and reasonable price. For your kind information, FLiXBUS is offering travel to any five destinations just within 99 Euro which is valid for three months. Go, travel ASAP!
And, if you still want to travel by train, go for the Eurail Global Pass.
4. You can have customized travel by your own!
If you do not want to be bound by bus, train or airplane schedule, still you have options. Go to BlaBlaCar website, find a ride share to your destinations. It is an amazing ride sharing website where a car owner gives lifts others in exchange of money if the car owners destination is also their destinations. Often students or employees give lifts to other people while going back or coming from their home countries or cities.
5. Stay at Youth Hostel:
Perhaps it is one of the most amazing part of the backpacker life that you stay at the mixed of a youth hostel. Any youth hostel is at least two to three times cheaper than any regular hotel or motel. I usually www.hostelworld.com for finding youth hostels in different European cities. And I must say that I made many friends across the Europe while staying at youth Hostels, is a same room. Why not you?
Have you ever heard if it? I think it is one of the greatest and enlightened ideas that European youths have given. The idea is so simple but full of love and affection to friendship. There is a website called www.couchsurfing.com. There people either offer couch for free so that backpackers or globe trotters can find a night stay for free, or people place their requests for a couch before arriving any European cities. And the whole process is completely voluntary and based on inherent trust of human being. For an example- a Spanish girls wants to travel Paris for three days, so she placed a request for a couch for two nights; then a French male or female responded to her request from the concerned portal of the website and hosted her for two nights. In this process, the exchange of love, affection culture, believes and good faith happens, and people become friends to each others! Is not an amazing idea?!
So, above are some tips for travelling Europe in cheap and more efficiently. Try these out and enrich yourself with the tastes of the Europe!