The answer to the question “How much does it cost of backpack Europe” is tricky.
Everyone has their own way of traveling across Europe and prices vary on your style of traveling, the time of year your visiting, and what countries in Europe are in.
But, we can look at average daily cost for a trip to Europe and figure out a rough estimate of how much it cost to travel Europe.
Here are some tips for the cost of backpacking Europe.
And we will do out best to the infamous question
How much does it cost to backpack Europe?
Cost of Backpacking Europe: Things You Need Before Leaving Home
First let’s talk about the expenses that you will need before every leaving the house.
Travel Backpacks – Picking the wrong backpack can mean the difference between enjoying your trip and simply surviving it. A backpack holds all your gear and if it’s cutting into your torso in uncomfortable ways, you’ll be left with unwanted fleshy souvenirs and achy hips.
Nowadays, most backpacks are built with internal frames (versus external).
Externally framed backpacks have more pockets and places to put equipment that you may want to reach in a hurry, however, backpacks with internal frames provide an efficient way of getting from point A to B without pockets snagging on foreign objects, plus they fit snug, preventing friction rashes.
Having all your gear on the inside of your backpack also means your valuables are less likely to be the target of thievery.
To find out specific backpacks A Backpackers Tale recommends, scroll over to my Best Travel Backpacks post.
Travel Insurance – If you’re new to traveling, you may know about travel insurance. But once you’ve traveled without insurance, and everything doesn’t go exactly as planned, and you land in the hospital or the airline loses your luggage, you won’t travel without it again.
There are many reasons that this type of insurance may come in handy, and here are the top ten from Roam Right.
Just like all insurance, there are different rates for different coverage’s, and Roam Right can provide you with a free quote.
Plane Tickets – The first step to backpacking on a budget is finding the right plane ticket. One of the major expenses to consider when planning Europe on a budget is the plane ticket. In fact, it is possible that the plane ticket will backpacking Europe cost that you have before leaving home.
Nobody wants to spend more money when they could save substantially, and spend their savings elsewhere. Purchasing your ticket months in advance or flying out on specific days of the week are just two tricks to saving moola.
Not just that, but did you know that your browser saves cookies from previous ticket searches? This can make your search administer the same results from the same computer as the previous day’s search.
So clear those cookies!
Click out my 5 steps to purchase insanely cheap tickets for more tips on finding a cheap flight to Europe.
Cost to Travel Europe – Getting Around
How much does it cost to travel Europe?
Well, another major expense is the cost of getting around.
Let’s break it down.
This is a leading topic from anyone looking to travel Europe, which is a must for everyone at some point in their life. Europe is one of the more expensive places to travel, however, it should be top on your list of places to visit. And it can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be.
There a handful of ways to leave more money in your wallet such as traveling on buses and joining car rides with other travelers—I have outlined 8 of the Cheapest Ways to Travel Europe which will help you pick the right option for you. Otherwise you plane ticket this might be the 2nd highest backpacking Europe cost.
Buses – A bus ticket can be half the cost of a train’s, and you may sacrifice train accommodations and time, but most backpackers are completely okay with that trade if it means saving money.
Some travelers cycle across Europe! Now that’s a real way to save.
Busabout – Another route is Busabout, which is a company that was created with free-spirit travelers in mind. Their prices run somewhere between $600-$900 a package, but include dozens of countries on their stops, and they’re flexible in regards to choosing when and how long you stay in a certain place before hopping on the next bus in their system.
This is a great option for backpackers traveling across Europe solo.
Rail Europe – The other popular way to travel across Europe is by train. Rail Europe passes lets you explore Europe by riding it excellent train system. They have tons of passes to cater to your trip.
Tours Companies in Europe
How much does it cost to backpack Europe on a Tour?
Tours will always be more expensive than traveling on your own. (Unless you are going all out on your own)
However, tours come with some fantastic perks which is why they are so popular with people traveling Europe.
G Adventures – If you’re looking for a one-of-kind experience with a CEO (Chief Experience Officer), check out G Adventures; these tours dive deep into cultures and cater to your experience. One of the best things about G Adventures is that you Save up to 25% on Last Minute Adventure Travel Packages
Intrepid Travel – For those that have a passion for diversity, want to eat local food, and truly experience the way the locals live, Intrepid is a travel company that was started by two bearded backpackers in 1989. Intrepid also offers some great deals and you can find up to Up to 25% Off Intrepid Tours
How to travel Europe cheap? Utilize the dozens of free walking tours. The tours are tip-based, so the idea is that your guide will be entertaining and knowledgeable, and in the end, you tip them for their service.
Cost of Travel to Europe – Expenses in Europe
So since we are answering the question ” How much does it cost to travel Europe” it is important that we look at the details of every day expenses when traveling Europe.
When we are looking at how much it cost to travel Europe we first need to look at expenses. These are a the major expenses you will have will backpacking Europe on a budget.
Hostels – Hostels are a popular way to save money when you’re traveling Europe on a budget, and they provide a way to meet other travelers at the same time.
What is a hostel? Just in case you’ve a little unclear, according to Google, a hostel is an establishment that provides inexpensive food and lodging for a specific group of people, such as students, workers, or travelers.
Airbnb – Another great and cheap option. Get $25 off your first stay with Airbnb by signing up using this link
Eastern Europe will have cheaper hostels than the ones located in Western Europe. The best way to book hostels is directly or through Hostelworld. They will provide options and costs of safe hostels.
Food – Purchasing food at a sit-down restaurant is going to be more expensive than purchasing food from a grocery store.
However, if you don’t want to cook, then eat at places that provide to-go food such as outside vendors. And similar to accommodations, food in the middle of a big city like London is going to cost a lot more than food from smaller outside cities.
It’s best to budget yourself a little extra money for food, this way if you’ve had a long day and you’re just too tired to cook or travel to somewhere inexpensive, then you’ll be okay.
If you budget about 32 euro a day, it should cover 3 cheap meals. If that’s still too much money for you to spend, purchase your own food from the grocery store and you’ll save over half that amount. For links to a list of street vendor’s website, click on city: London, Paris, Berlin, or Madrid.
Sightseeing – There are thousands of locations to visit in Europe. You may be wondering which building or museum is in which city.
Below is a teensy tiny list of historical attractions to get you started (while some are free, others charge a fee to enter).
Paris, France Notre Dame de Paris, Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Louvre Museum (Mona Lisa)
Berlin, German Berlin Wall, Reichstag Building, Checkpoint Charlie, Fernsehturm de Berlin, Berlin Cathedral
London, England London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Theaters in London, Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge
Rome, Italy Colosseum, Vatican Museums (Sistine Chapel), Roman Forum ; Pisa, Italy – Leaning Tower of Pisa (3 hr drive from Rome).
You won’t be spending money on sightseeing every single day, but it is wise when planning out backpacking Europe cost to plan to spend $15 a day on sightseeing.
Transportation – Rail Europe is a favorable way to travel. This pass is specifically for non-European citizens, and it provides access to rails and ferries in 28 different countries.
If you’re going to travel consecutively for a certain amount of days, or travel sporadically within two months, the Eurail pass can be a preferred choice. On the downside, different passes cover different countries; if your pass price covers two countries, and the train travels through a country that yours doesn’t cover, you’ll have to pay that additional fee to cross the border of said country.
The price for the pass starts at $69 USD all the way up to $1,205 USD. Using this pass is only good if you have an idea of the number of countries you want to visit. If you’re more of a free spirit, then busses and ridesharing may be a better way to travel.
Passes are also great if you are going to multiple countries. If you are just sticking to one country then the better option is to just buy train tickets as you are on the move. This will reduce the cost of backpacking Europe.
Partying – There are so many cities to visit for a good party in Europe, but a few top the list such as Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city, or Amsterdam, a place where the energizing party never ends. Here are five, in no particular order, below. Click on each for a list of clubs to visit.
However we are trying to lower of cost to backpack Europe really limit the partying. Those nights adds up and can really break the bank. Go out, have fun, experience foreign night-life but those nights can add up make the cost of travel to Europe a lot more expensive.
How to Backpack Europe on Budget
When looking at how much does it cost to backpack Europe we need to practice some good travel tips to keep our spending down. Here are a few travel tips to help you reduce your cost of backpacking Europe.
Book Early – Booking a flight too early may cost you. And sometimes waiting until the last minute means the airline will be out of seats. The best time to purchase is during the “sweet spot”, not too soon and not too late. The best time to book domestic airline tickets is 54 days in advance, according to Cheapair.com, but since we’re talking Europe, they recommended 151 days in advance.
Many companies such as Busabout, G Adventures, and Intrepid also offer early bird deals, and other specials all throughout the year.
Budget Airline – Flying to a less popular city and then taking a bus, or a different plane, is one option. You can also hunt through free search engines for airline deals, then go directly to the airline’s site to see if they have a better rate. For a list of 9 low-fare trans-Atlantic options, click here.
Banks – Having the right bank will make your life much easier and knowing which banks have international fees attached will save you money.
While having a credit card that works abroad is important, generally backpackers need cash multiple times a week for a variety of reasons. Without the right bank account, you could be charged small fees for every ATM transaction. Small fees add up over time.
The Global ATM Alliance is a group of banks that allow their customers to use the debit and ATM cards at other banks within the system without international ATM access fees.
Always read the fine print; even if you’re using a bank within the Alliance, some only honor banks in one country, but not in another.
One bank that comes highly recommended is Charles Schwab; obtain their Visa platinum debit card and they’ll reimburse you for all ATM transaction fees at the end of the month.
I have saved thousands in ATM and foreign transaction fees over the years. What better way to reduce the cost of backpacking Europe than to make your money work for you!
Overnight Trains – Overnight trains are extremely popular among backpackers and other travelers. For one, it provides a place to sleep while traveling to your next destination.
If you’ve obtained a Eurail pass, you still may need to purchase reservations for an overnight train, so don’t forget that extra fee! Reservations can be purchased online for many railway companies (Germany, Sweden, Italy, Czech).
There are two types of seat & sleeping options for overnight trains: coach car and compartment car. Coach car is your normal seating with an isle in between, and a compartment car is a separate cabin with a place to sleep.
Staying in Hostels – Staying in hostels instead of a hotel is a sure way to lower the cost of backpacking through Europe.
And just like hotels, passing on hostels located in a big metropolitan city is the cheaper way to go; a hostel in the middle of London and Paris is going to cost more than one in Eastern Europe.
The most popular hostel search engine is Hostelworld it is where I book all my hostels.
How much does it cost to backpack Europe? The best way to plan your budget for Europe is to use this tips to save money.
Average Cost of Backpacking Europe
But let’s the information above to figure out the cost of backpacking through Europe on a budget for a month.
A “safe” estimate including accommodation, food, partying and sightseeing is $1,500 -$2000 a month.
However, it can be done for a lot cheaper if you mange your money cook your own food, and don’t go out drinking every single night.
Overall, the best way to travel Europe is to plan ahead and know your options. Travelling during the summer months will be more expensive; hostels and campsites can be a wallet saver.
Traveling overnight, instead of during the day, by plane is also a good choice. Follow the locals, ask around.
Being flexible with your itinerary will allow you room to choose cheaper transportation. Some trains may require overnight reservations in order to guarantee enough room. And above all, have a good waterproof backpack!
I hope you answers the question of how much does it cost to backpack Europe on a budget.
What do you think of this traveling Europe on a budget post?
Did you find these tips helpful, and do you think they will cut down the cost of backpacking Europe?
Let me know how I did answer how much does it cost to backpack Europe.