Backpacking through Europe is the most popular way for broke people to turn their fantasies of a European adventure into a reality. There is simply no cheaper way to see all the sites Europe has to offer than with a fistful of Euros and a backpack slung around your shoulders. In this short article, we will give you a few tips to consider before hopping on that glorious plane headed for Heathrow.
One thing you want to square away before heading to Europe is where you will be staying. If you are traveling in summer, you may want to check if universities in the areas you are visiting have accommodation. Note, summer season is one of the busiest times for tourists, so it is especially important to book hostel accommodation well in advance. Also, if you don’t mind really roughing it, you could save a great deal of money by camping in designated areas for a few days.
Don’t Forget About Nature
Don’t you remember all those Dutch landscape paintings from art class? There’s a good reason why artists have been inspired for years by the nature in Europe, and now it’s your chance to see the real thing. Don’t just stay in the cities! Some famous nature stops to look into include the Matterhorn on the Swiss and Italian border, the mighty Fjords of Norway, New Forest National Park in the southeast of England, and the startling Chamonix in France. Also, be sure to pack a great deal of hiking gear, such as that found at Blackpine Sports, for outdoor excursions.
Keep Your Stuff Safe
Unfortunately, many European cities have seen an uptick in petty theft. The only way to protect yourself on your trip is to be extra careful. If you are taking trains, be sure to lock or padlock your bags overnight. Always lock up your important items in your hostel. And, before you leave, be sure to have a backup passport uploaded online.
There are plenty of things to do for free in European cities. You just have to do some homework beforehand to figure out what to take advantage of. For example, every first Sunday of the month Paris opens its museums for free. London, of course, opens most of its museums for free every single day. You can sign up for a free beer with a Dubliner through the City of a Thousand Welcomes website. You can also visit Germany’s parliamentary building for free with an advance registration. Be sure to scour the web to find even more freebies offered in European cities.
Splurge On Food
Sometimes backpackers are so worried about scrimping and saving that they forget to let loose. Ok, if you are still worried about saving money, why not just reserve your “splurge cash” for food. Everyone has to eat, right? And in Europe, people eat well. Very well. You may never get another chance to eat an authentic Lyonnaise dish, so be sure to have the extra cash to savor the flavors of European haute cuisine. And, if you still don’t want to spend extra cash on restaurants, you can always head to open air markets and buy cheaper European fare.
We were all taught world history in middle and high school, but the centuries of European history never truly come alive for us until we get to visit these amazing nations for ourselves. If you follow these tips with some common sense, you will stay safe, be able to indulge, and see as much of Europe as humanly possible. So, get your gear ready, start booking your hotels, and order your plane tickets. Now it’s your turn to take the Grand Tour.
About the Author:
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.