I wish I had the bills as proof, but my Excel sheet will have to do for now. As a student on a budget, it’s highly unlikely I’ll be willing to fork out a ton of money for trips. A girl gotta eat! As an avid travel planner, my travel buddies challenged me to come up with a travel plan for 6 countries with a max. budget of €250. and you know what?
Here’s how I did it.
Cities: Berlin, Krakow, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna
Disclaimer: This doesn’t include food & other personal expenses.
TRAVEL BY BUS
It’s one of the easiest and cheapest ways to trot through Europe. For this trip, we used Flixbus which is a bus service for intercity travel. Flixbus offers a heaven-sent pass known as the ‘Interflix Pass’ which allows you to travel to 5 cities for €99. Yes, you read that right, 5 cities for €99. This means you can travel to 5 cities for €19,80 each. It’s too good to be true. I know. Obviously, it comes with a catch. You can only travel direct routes and cannot use it for returns. On the bright side, it’s valid for 3 months and perfect for visiting cities near each other. We applied the five vouchers to the most expensive rides and paid for the rest. The biggest saving was Vienna to Paris which was initially €70. Most of the buses were overnight which meant that we’d save on accommodation, sleep through the night and get a full day at our next destination. The biggest drawback is the travel time as we chilled on a bus for around 63 hours total. 😱
Amount spent: €140
WALK, WALK, WALK
We just saved a ton of money by switching to legs. After 140k steps, my heart thanked me, but my body, not so much. Choosing to walk around cities rather than using public transport will not only save money but you actually see so much more. Of course, not everywhere is walkable and sometimes required us to book an Uber or two.
Amount spent: €0
USE UBER/METRO FOR FAR DISTANCES ONLY
……that brings me to my next point. We only used public transport and Uber for far distances and cities where it practically costs less than €2/person to travel. Afterall, it is Eastern Europe where the exchange rates are pretty low.
Amount spent: €14,27
BOOK DAY HOTELS
Believe it or not, apart from hostels, day hotels are one of the cheapest ways to stay. We booked a day hotel in Berlin as the prices for NYE night were way too high (as expected). The biggest advantage is the opportunity to book a slot from early morning and check out by late evening. You basically get all the amenities of a hotel stay, minus spending the night.
Amount spent: €16,67
MORE FRIENDS THE MERRIER
Solo travelling is amazing but travelling with friends is 1000x better. Besides being great company, friends actually save you money and the more you travel with, the less you have to put out. Travelling with two other friends meant accommodation costs get split in three. Now if only I can find 2 or 3 more friends for the next trip. 🤔
Amount spent: €59,75
STORE LUGGAGE AT BUS STATIONS
When backpacking, storing luggage is a major issue especially if you haven’t booked a hotel. There’s the option of booking luggage storage services for €5/day per person but that’s actually quite expensive. Instead, we chose storing our luggage at bus stations. It’s quick, easy and most lockers were able to hold all our luggage in one. Thus, saving on cost. We used this service in Krakow, Budapest, Prague and Bratislava actually offered free luggage storage. Other cities : 0, Bratislava : 1.
Amount spent: €4,24
……and this is how I travelled to Eastern Europe for €230 (approx.). Hope you guys took notes because these money saving tips can be used for backpacking throughout other cities in Europe. Just note that it may or may not be as cheap as the East.
CHALLENGE COMPLETED!!! 🎉
Have any other budget travel tips of your own? Let me know in the comments!