Cheap Travel to Europe
Airfare will be your biggest expense when traveling to Europe. If you have done a considerable amount of travel, you hopefully have a frequent flyer account with an affiliated credit card. However, there are other discount options for air travel to Europe.
For example, Europe By Air offers three types of cheap fares to Europe. Red Tag fares are cheap fares that are only available for a short period of time. Insider fares are discount fares available for specific travel dates, and clearance fares offer less of a discount but have more dates available. Your other option is to travel to London and then to European cities via three of London's discount airlines: Easy Jet, Ryan Air and Flybe.
European Train Travel
Train travel is the most popular mode of transportation for backpacking through Europe. While it is possible to book a Eurail pass through a variety of booking sites, reserving the pass on Eurail's own website will save you money on booking fees. Additionally, Eurail occasionally offers perks for using their site, such as Amazon gift certificates. A Global Pass is valid in 20 countries. A Select Pass is valid for three, four or five neighboring countries. A Regional Pass allows travel in 25 regions, and a One-Country gives you a choice of one of 17 countries. The price will vary, depending upon how many days you want to travel. To save money on lodging, consider taking some overnight trains and paying a separate fee for a sleeper compartment. Your Eurail Pass gives you a discount on the sleeping compartment fee. Depending on how much you want to pay, each type of compartment offers different types of amenities,
In general, you should budget between $50 and $75 a day for your trip. Be sure to use a money belt. Europe has an abundance of ATMs. Although your bank may charge a fee, the security of not having to carry an excessive amount of cash makes it worth it. If you are traveling to a number of countries, you will be pleased to know that as of September 2002, most European countries now use the euro currency.
For many, the words "backpacking" and "hostels" are synonymous. Hostel lodging is usually dormitory style, with a community room that has books and a TV. Some hostels will require you to bring your own sheet and towels, so be sure to check on this before you book. A padlock is suggested so that you can lock up your valuables. Some hostels are more party oriented. These venues usually attract a younger crowd and do not have a curfew. In contrast, Youth hostels have a number of very strict rules. While they are safer and quieter, they may not be as much fun. Some may offer pick-up from the train station.
Health and Safety
Safety in Europe is simply a matter of common sense. In the cheaper sleeper cars in the trains there have been reports of thefts, especially of cameras. Some people like to remove the memory card and keep it on their persons.
For health issues, consider purchasing travel medical insurance.