Here’s How To Road Trip Through Europe On The Cheap
By Leah Freeman-Haskin
If an extended European vacation seems out of reach, you may want to consider a road trip. Done right, you can spend a few months driving through various European countries for as little as $20 a day for transportation and lodging. Here are a few tips to make it happen on any budget.
Grab A Few Travel Buddies
Find a friend or two that you can stand spending weeks with at a time and embark on this journey together. Being able to split the cost of lodging and car rentals will make a huge difference to your budget. The more friends you can wrangle, the lower the costs.
Skip The Eurail
It is often recommended that the Eurail is the cheapest way to explore various countries throughout Europe, and this might be true if you are traveling solo or with family. But, splitting the cost of a rental car with one to two other friends will actually be much cheaper than the individual costs of train tickets. If you’re at least 18, have a valid driver’s license, and live outside the European Union, you can pay for what’s called a buy-back lease through the Peugeot Open Europe program. This gets you a factory-fresh car that you can take anywhere within 42 countries, without mileage restrictions.
Ride The Megabus
If you plan on traveling between the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales), Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam, then the Megabus is the absolute cheapest way to travel. Tickets can cost as little as 1 GBP (about $1.30), with fares rarely topping 20 GBP ($26).
Find local markets to purchase your food instead of eating out. Europe is known for its fresh, local ingredients, so take advantage and try some new foods across farmer’s markets, local grocery stores, and even visiting a few farms directly.
Get Creative With Lodging
Hostels are always the cheapest lodging option. If you are traveling with a few friends and can split the cost, then a traditional hotel room would also be a fairly cheap option. If you plan on staying in any given city for a few days, some hostels will let you stay for free in exchange for you chipping in with a few chores around the building. It never hurts to ask!