Today’s FundMyTravel blog post has some tips and tricks about saving money while traveling Eastern Europe.
If you’re looking to go traveling but don’t want to spend a fortune, then Eastern Europe is the place for you. It’s possible to pass through multiple countries, be swept up in local culture and explore a whole host of landscapes all for much cheaper than you might spend in a hotel for one week anywhere else. But just how should you get the most out of your money?
Hostels, Not Hotels
The first thing to do is to get rid of the idea of staying in a hotel. It may well be worth booking a hotel for your first and last night – especially if you have a flight or train to catch – but otherwise, stick with hostels. They are substantially cheaper, but this isn’t the only advantage. Part of the reason that hostels are so much cheaper than hotels are the shared rooms/dorms and this is a blessing in disguise. You’ll often find other people making similar trips around Eastern Europe on similar budgets, so it’s a great way of getting recommendations for local gems you might not have heard of. Plus, you’ll probably run into some of them in a later city – meaning you might even make some permanent friends.
Take the Cheap Route
Look into different kinds of transportation to get from place to place and take which ever is the cheapest option. There are reasonable limits to set – for instance, if you get car sick, you might want to avoid coaches even if they’re the cheapest choice – but generally, if you can find a cheaper alternative, look into it. Instead of taking planes take boats, trains take coaches, and pleasant of going on afternoon trips go in the early mornings. Cutting down the actual cost of your travel will give you more money to spend on the trip itself, and might lead to you discovering interesting towns that you otherwise might never pass through.
Do Your Research
Research the average cost of different cities. This way, you can avoid the places likely to charge you high rates for food and beverage, and find the places where you can get a drink for as little as possible. Look up things like average food costs, and accommodation costs to get a vague idea. For example, in Tallinn, Estonia, you can get a two day travel card for just £3.74, whilst wine in Budapest costs an average 92p for 175ml. Doing research into facts like these will help you work out which major cities to plan to see, and to budget accordingly.
Check Recent Prices
You’ll hear lots of people talking about how cheap Prague, or Krakow might be – but this is often somewhat outdated. Both of these locations, as well as Budapest, have grown in popularity, and their prices have risen to match. This can make planning easier – now there’s more accommodation available, more information out there and more of a tourism ‘scene’. But, it is more expensive. Try to find out the more recent up-and-coming locations – places like Romania, Belarus or Lithuania. They’ll generally be quieter, and the prices will be more like the Eastern Europe you might expect.
Go Out Of Season
If it’s possible, avoid peak holiday periods. This doesn’t mean going in the freezing nights of January, or in weird weekends where nothing is happening, but rather, avoid key events. The big ones are school holidays. If you can, make sure you avoid those, and any major festivals or events that you don’t have an interest in attending, you’ll cut your costs substantially. Plus, the places will be quieter, which is great if you’re interested in experiencing architecture or nature in your own space and time.
Check Local Currencies
You might expect all the countries to use to Euro, but not everywhere will! Check in advance whether some of the places you intend to visit have their own local currency, and plan accordingly. This can work in your favour sometimes – they may have favourable exchange rates, but it can be a disadvantage as it’s more money to exchange over, keep track of, and potentially struggle to exchange back. Being organized in advance can limit these problems and make sure you don’t lose money whilst still getting to visit all the places you want.
Finally – talk to people! Visit forums, chat to friends, or those you meet on your travels. People who have already visited your locations will often have great tips for newbies, perhaps a restaurant recommendation or the name of somewhere to avoid. No matter how shy you are, being chatty will make your journey both more affordable, and more interesting – so what are you waiting for.
About the Author
Edward Francis is a traveling freak who has traveled many destinations around the world. He also loves writing about his travelling experiences and the places he has explored. He also writes for a site http://www.baltictravelcompany.com/ which is Specialist in Baltic holidays, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the Nordics. Other than travelling he also has a passion for cooking new dishes from all over the world. Apart he loves to spend his free time playing with his pet.