Are you planning a trip to Europe? It’s important to make sure you know what to expect when getting around the continent, so you don’t end up spending unnecessary money on the most expensive deals while traveling around. We’ve put together some tips for getting around Europe so you can decide what the most suitable and affordable options are for you when heading from city to city.
Before even starting to look at methods of transport, it’s crucial to understand the different variables involved to estimate what might be the cheapest way to travel in Europe. In terms of yourself you need to consider:
- How much luggage have you got?
- When are you traveling? (peak season or off-peak)
- Are you traveling alone or with others?
- Are you under a time constraint?
Then you can begin to ask the following questions to assess the best methods of transport:
- How far are you traveling?
- Can you calculate timings for check-in, security and baggage collection at airports?
- How many stops would you have to make enroute?
- Will you have to wait around for others?
By considering these variables, you can then work out what will be the most affordable and practical transport options for you – for example, if you’re traveling with a group with lots of baggage and have a relaxed timescale, it makes the most sense to travel by coach as this will be much cheaper than having to pay for additional baggage at the airport, while allowing you all to stay together, but it would take longer to reach the end destination than flying or by train.
What are the best methods of transport to get around Europe?
Europe offers more than a dozen affordable airlines to fly around the continent for low prices. Fly from city to city quickly and easily and find some great deals in off-peak seasons, often cheaper than train tickets. However, be vigilant when booking airline tickets as you can be caught out by additional fees like baggage and seat requests than will often bump the prices straight back up. Research what the standard baggage allowances are for your chosen airline and pack light so you can walk through check-in & security like a breeze. If you’re thinking of flying, apps like Skyscanner will be your new best friend, finding you the most affordable flights for your exact dates. If you’re flexible with your dates by a few days, it could find you deals allowing you to save around $100 difference in some instances! Using budget airlines to get around Europe is ideal for single travelers who manage their time and luggage themselves, it can become more expensive when traveling in a group due to different people’s needs and circumstances. Example airlines to look into are:
- Wizz Air
You can get around the majority of Europe by train and is often the most efficient way found by travelers. It’s quicker than car or bus, but slower than by plane, although it’s normally much simpler than air travel, depending on your location. Train tickets can be expensive if not booked early enough in advance and the price is often location specific, some options may not always be available in travel kiosks so it’s helpful to look online using services such as Trainline or simply asking a member of staff in the station. Trainline offers tickets for over 40 countries in Europe and will aid you in weighing up the most practical and affordable ticket options.
For those wanting to visit many European destinations, getting the night train is a great transport solution. It’s a practical way to save time and money when visiting major cities while also being comfortable and convenient. Additionally, getting a eurail.com pass can provide unlimited travel, depending on the option you choose, which is perfect for multi-destination trips and often proves to be much more cost-effective than purchasing singular train tickets.
Busses & Coaches
The cheapest way to get around Europe is usually by bus or coach whether you’re jumping between cities or hopping across the border. Traveling by coach is best for no longer than 10-hour distances otherwise you become too restless and uncomfortable on the journey, and it takes the fun out of exploring Europe. There are various bus companies throughout the continent that offer competitive and affordable tickets to hundreds of destinations, allowing you to explore within your budget. Like night trains, there are also overnight bus services helping you travel long distances much easier, while also saving on paying for a night’s accommodation! Flixbus and RegioJet offer very cheap fairs and are known to provide a good service for travelers. Traveling by bus may be a more suitable choice for larger groups, no hidden fees for extra baggage or for seat requests and you’ll all be able to pass the time together, making the journey more enjoyable.
Cars & Camper Vans
Renting a car or camper van gives you the freedom to explore Europe as you please, including some of the more rural spots you may not have been able to see via public transport, however it is usually the most expensive option. A car or camper allows you to pack as much luggage as you like without having to worry about carrying it yourself, move from location to location at a time that suits you, whether that be daytime or even in the middle of the night, and it’s ideal for families or small groups to all squeeze in. However, if you are the driver you need to ensure your driver’s license is valid in the countries you’ll be visiting, as well as researching and understanding the different road laws and highway codes. It’s vital that you check your insurance covers you for incidents abroad, should there be an accident, or you may need to pay a little extra for this sort of cover as it’s just not worth the risk. When researching rental cars and camper vans, remember to look into fuel prices in the destinations you’ll be visiting, as they may vary and it’s key to include this in your budget as it can be fairly pricey.
What else can make getting around Europe easier?
When you’re traveling within a city, consider using the metro or tram service if available. There are great deals for different time frames, i.e., 7 days, 1 day, 3 days etc. that will save you money rather than purchasing several single tickets every time you need to use the service.
Bring a suitcase or travel backpack that you can carry! When you’re navigating new places, as well as tricky terrains it’s important that you can carry your luggage with ease, rather than it being a disturbance to your journey. Light luggage makes the biggest difference when you’re traveling, as well as saving you from having body aches for the entire trip!
Research prior to your destinations to see if the city offers some kind of all-inclusive pass to access certain public places and transportation. This will save you a lot of money if you’re planning on visiting several attractions while traveling throughout the city.
If you’re planning on using transportation apps and services throughout your journey, it’s key that you stay connected on your trip. A Dataroam SIM will connect to European networks at fast 4G speeds for low costs, allowing you to maintain a secure connection throughout your travels. Don’t risk your security by connecting to free WiFi and don’t get caught out by expensive roaming charges, grab your Dataroam SIM today.
Visit www.dataroam.com to find out more.