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Traveling Europe Without a Credit Card—The Perfect Budget Tips for Backpackers

Europe is one of the most expensive continents in the world for traveling.

However, the gorgeous scenery, cultural sites, and experiences you can gain are truly worth more than money. You don’t have to be super rich to travel Europe. Backpacking in Europe remains as popular now as ever before. So, if you are a budget-conscious backpacker ready to discover the wonders of Europe, here are a number of thrifty tips:

Stay at Homestays

Accommodation in Europe can be notoriously expensive. Hotels aren’t cheap anywhere. The majority of your budget will be spent on accommodation if you choose conventional hotels. Instead, opt for local homestays. You will get a room for cheap along with meals. You will be able to experience a slice of authentic local culture and hospitality as well. There will be plenty of locals offering rooms near major tourist attractions and hiking trails. If you are in a city, a hostel will be the cheaper option than a hotel room.

Take the Public Transport

Cars and taxis are very expensive ways to travel across Europe. You can save yourself hundreds of Euros by taking the local public transport. Take the Eurorail between cities in different countries. Local buses are a cheap way to travel, and are quite comfortable, too. If you are an extrovert, you will love meeting new people on public transport. You may even be able to make a local friend who might guide you through your destination.

Eat Where the Locals Eat

Enjoying authentic cultural cuisine is a big part of travelling. Most tourists enjoy their meals at restaurant. However, the bills can be quite hefty for a budget traveler to bear. Therefore, try to choose the cheapest eateries and restaurants. Simply, the places where the locals eat offer the best prices for meals. Cheap food is not necessarily bad food. Most restaurants inflate prices to capitalize on tourists. Avoid that trap and enjoy equally delicious meals and drinks at local haunts. Generally speaking, if you are in a non-English speaking country and the menu is in English, you might be at a tourist trap.

Avoid the Peak Season

Peak season offers the best weather to travel to a destination. Other than the sunny skies, everything else will be a nightmare. You will find the beaches and the major attractions crowded during peak seasons. Worst of all, all the prices, from accommodation to taxi fare, are highly inflated. Peak season is the most expensive season to travel. So, you can enjoy normal rates and even lowered rates during the off-season periods. Usually, if the weather is too hot, too cold, or too rainy, not many people travel. You can still enjoy the good weather and cheap prices during the interim seasons.

Shop at Farmer’s Markets

If you want to buy souvenirs to take back home, but have limited funds, ditch the fancy malls. Shop at local farmers’ markets and outdoor flea markets for bargain prices on local goods you can show off back home.

Follow the above tips, and your European experience will be much less costly.

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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The content on is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.