How to Travel for Cheap in Europe

Many people love to travel to Europe, but from the exchange rate to the cost of airfare making things affordable while away can be a bit daunting. Fear not! After returning from her study abroad in Greece, Calli Jansen, our Michigan State University Student Ambassador, has compiled a list of a some quick tips on saving money and making the most of your European adventure.

View this post on Instagram

find yourself a friend who has a purple lokai #alzheimersawareness

A post shared by calli (@callijansen) on

1. Travel off season

Yes you’ve just finished finals and you have the whole summer off from school, so you might be thinking now is the perfect time to go to Europe. Let me remind you that everyone else has this idea too. Therefore it’ll be not only crowded, but expensive too! I know it’s not always possible, but flights and hotels give AMAZING discounts on off of peak times. These can vary based on location, but traveling most of Europe in September or October can be one of the most cost effective options.

View this post on Instagram

. BUONGIORNO ☀️ . . #PHOTO : @mariaphotography_italy #LOCATION : ROME ITALY🇮🇹 . #rome #igersitalia #igers #igersroma #vaticancity #museumvaticano #italy #likeforlikes #ig_italy #likeforfollow #mariaphotography_italy #pontevittorioemanuele #tourist_lover #nationalgeographic #nationalportraitgallery #sicily #castelsantangelo #fontanaditrevi

A post shared by @ mariaphotography_italy on

2. Do your research on attractions

Along with traveling in non-peak season, look into places you want to visit and see if they offer deals during certain days or times of the day. Also many places offer savings for booking ahead or offer coupons.

View this post on Instagram

Every castle needs its queen🏰

A post shared by @ sandrafrak on

3. Use your Student ID / ISIC Card

Throughout the world, many attractions give out discounts for train tickets, meals, museums and so much for students. Research the place before you go or ask while buying the tickets and you might be able to save a few euros.

View this post on Instagram

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others” – Pericles 🏛✨ My favorite class in both high school and college was philosophy. I loved it growing up, and the fact that I got to see The Acropolis with my own eyes is something I’ll always remember. #F21xMe

A post shared by Bree Leigh ☾ (@keepsakeaugust) on

4. Pack Snacks in Your Suitcase

One way to really rack up the bills is to eat out every meal which is sometimes unavoidable due to lack of kitchen equipment and constantly moving locations. But packing a few microwavable snacks, peanut butter and crackers or granola bars can give you some quick relief. Also you can hit up the local market for a couple pieces of fresh fruit for a healthier option.

View this post on Instagram

May is always my busiest month !! . . Birthdays, Mother’s Day, travel days !! . . I will be taking my 4yo to California to visit my bff dietitian who works for @katefarms . . We will have to plan accordingly and stock up on some easy healthy travel foods! . . What snacks do you guys pack for travel ?? . . Also what travel tips do you have for a first timer 🤣😍✈️🙋🏻‍♀️. . #healthytravelsnacks #toddlerfriendlyfood #traveltips

A post shared by L E S L I E (@lesliethedietitian) on

5. Do not be afraid of public transportation

Again, this will include some research before leaving and extra time in your daily plans but it can help you save lots of money because many taxis will have hefty fares and apps such as Uber if they are available may charge an international fee.

View this post on Instagram

Early morning commute headed to my last class of the year at @leithscooking #london #thetube #lovelondon #mycity

A post shared by Edd Kimber (@welltravelledd) on

6. Look into apps for communicating with friends back home

International phone plans can run quite steep but there are multiple apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage / FaceTime on iPhones which let you text and call your loved ones for free, time change permitting.

View this post on Instagram

London calling ☎️🎡

A post shared by Kelly Pinto Sánchez (@kelly_pinto) on

7. Ask locals about usual prices

In super touristy places, merchants tend to mark up their products. By asking a local it typically leads to one of two options- go a couple blocks away from the attraction for lower prices or barter. Depending where you are in Europe, it’s not always respectful to counter offer so local insight is key.

View this post on Instagram

¡Feliz jueves desde el mercadillo de la calle feria: "el jueves"! 😊 #calleferiasevilla #mercadoeljuevessevilla #mercadosevilla #mercadocalleferia #sevillaspain #sevillaautentica #visitasevilla #visitseville #mercadillosevilla #felizdía #felizjueves

A post shared by Spanish Olé (@spanish_ole_) on

8. Utilize an ATM instead of exchange booths

All airports, train stations or ports will have those exchange booths with what look like enticing offers but really many of them include fees for their services and international fees. Check with your bank before you go to look into travel card options which will allow you to withdraw money from ATMs to avoid excessive fees.