A holiday to Europe is most people’s idea of heaven – but in a continent as economically powerful as the Eurozone, prices are sure to test your bank. Here are five useful tips for making your money last longer in Europe.
There are plenty of useful tools out there which will help to give you a better understanding of average prices in any region of Europe you’re intending to travel to. These will generally provide you with the average cost of living in most places – which will help you to discover what sort of prices you might expect to be paying on your travels. Doing background research means when you get to your destination, you’ll know roughly how much you’re going to need to fork out on the basic necessities.
There are places within Europe that are cheap – like Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland (mostly the Eastern European countries) versus what you would pay for in the Western European countries (think Germany, France, and Switzerland). If you feel you are overspending, just pop over to a cheaper European country or a smaller town and off you go!
Be Smart with Spending
Sure, cooking your own meals sounds like a cheaper alternative on paper – but if you can find cheap (and hygienic) places to chow down for less than the cost of a self-prepared dinner, lunch or breakfast, take it. If you’re staying in a hostel you might find your meals are included with the stay, as well as other group activities which might have otherwise cost you money if you booked them on your own.
While we don’t really stay in hostels anymore (Ruby did so a until a few years ago when we became a couple’s traveler), you can find that some of these hostels offer free breakfast (toast, jam, maybe, and a bit of fruit), and activities (guided pub crawls or game nights, anyone?)
If you also find an accommodation that’s fairly close to most tourist spots, you shouldn’t bother to take a taxi everywhere or even the hop on hop off buses, just use your two feet and start walking (which is free!)
Stick to A Budget
If you set yourself a strict budget you’re not going to breach, it makes it far simpler to guarantee you’re keeping on top of your spending while you’re away. Siphon off set amounts of cash you’re willing to spend across different categories (eating, shopping, sightseeing, nights out etc.) and then make sure you don’t exceed these limits. Setting an overall holiday budget for everything combined is also a good idea, as it puts a cap on the amount of overall money you can blow on your time away.
If you don’t like sticking to a budget (like Ruby, which is the opposite of Peter, who does like to stick to a budget), just set aside a whole amount of money or a maximum you’re willing to spend on certain things. Like, say you’ll only want to spend a maximum of 5 EUR for souvenirs, a maximum of 20 EUR per meal, which should then be more or less equal to what you’d want to spend the whole day anyway. You don’t have to be a strict budget freak, you just need to find a method that will make your money work more easily for you.
Download a Budget App
These are nifty little tools which will help you keep a firm grip over exactly what you’re doing with your finances both before and after your holiday. Your best bet to be smarter with your spending will be tracking every penny that goes in and out of your wallet – be it swiped through a credit card or cash itself. Always cross-check how much you’ve spent versus how much you’ve budgeted for. You don’t want to go traveling for a long period of time only to find out you’ve spent too much and get into credit card debt, do you? There are plenty of free apps out there for you to download at your leisure, with their primary goal being to track how much money you’ve saved for your trip, as well as how much you’re spending when you’re there.
Something as simplistic as this can serve as a godsend, as it will guarantee you’re not spending too much when overseas – as well as letting you know when you have a little extra cash to splash and treat yourself.
Get A City or a Tourist Pass
These aren’t always available, but if you can find a pass which lets you travel around the city and a number of attractions all encompassed into one, it might be worth your time to purchase. European cities are a hive for sightseeing spots, so it’s likely you’ll be getting amazing value for your buck if you fork out a little extra all at once and opt for a pass. This one-off sum is likely vary dependent on the city or nation, but you’re unlikely to ever find one which is really going to break your bank. Some city passes cover transportation and also allow you to skip the queues and go into a priority line. You can also avoid queueing up to buy tickets in the first place, especially for very popular tourist sites like Rome’s Colosseum or Paris’s Louvre.
The above are just five of the smarter ways of ensuring your money will last longer when on a trip of Europe. Follow these handy tips when you’re out there and you’re sure to find the cash will never run out.Then again you’ll always have to go back to the daily grind and earn more to get more money for your next trip (like what we’re currently doing now). Maybe one day we’ll both be financially independent enough to have our small businesses working for us, but until then, it’s both of us working to earn more cash to use on trips from America, Europe, and beyond!