How To Backpack Europe on Less than $50 a Day

In This Article You Will Learn

  • How Can You Save Money While Traveling Through Europe?
  • How Can You Find Cheap Discounts All Across Europe?
  • Where Can You Find the Best Places to Spend a Night in Europe?
  • What Are the Best Ways to Travel Across Europe, or Small Cities?

Find Your Housing

Air BnB, Couch Surfing, Dorms and Hostels

There’s several ways you can save yourself a lot of money on traveling. Numerous websites offer great deals on where you book accomodation and even meet more travelers. AirBnb offers paid accomodation that is often cheaper than hotels, and with better services than a hostel. Online hostel listings are great for finding alternatives to hotels in any of the cities you may travel. You can save more by staying in a dormitory with friends, or shared facilities.

While planning a trip to Portugal, I found a 12 Euro / night stay in an authentic sail boat on the Lisbon water!

Save Cash and Make Friends Through Couch Surfing

You can book a room for a night  (or even longer) by contacting locals on sites like Couchsurfing. On Couchsurfing, participants offer rooms for travelers to stay, often in exchange for language, good company, and basic common interests. Your experiences may vary from a full queen size bed to literally – just a living room couch. Be wary of some of the people out there – some couch surfing experiences have been known to be quite strange. However, a living room couch does provide an alternative to even the lower-rate hotels and hostels.

Get Your Eurail Pass

You can save a lot of money by purchasing a Eurail pass online (you must purchase it before you leave). Save money on the fees of transportation, and get some discounted rates on travel. You can purchase passes based on the country you wish to visit – France, Italy, or what have you. You can build your own customized passes as well.

Take the Midnight Train

Hotel not an interesting option for you? Why not take the night train instead? Night trains can offer some various experiences, especially if you partake in cabin parties. I met an American expat named Alex this way while we were inbound for St. Petersburg, Russia. And our cabin party was legendary. We ended up continuing our travels through Russia by trains and are great friends to this day.

Utilize Your Hotel Services

Some hotels offer breakfasts with their fees, or you can even use their kitchens they provide. For a few simply made snacks or meals, this can save you in the long run.


Using, you can connect with other expats and vacationers. You can team up with others who are heading in similar directions, and maximize the most out of your trip.

Get Out There and Walk

Go By Foot, Go By Water, Go Out And Explore

Forget the train, walking everywhere is the perfect way to experience the culture of a city and take in all of its surroundings. Grab a nice comfortable pair of shoes and hit the road. By avoiding cars, public transportation, or even planes, you can have an abundance of opportunities to explore interesting areas and snap unforgettable photos. It’s not impossible to find unique cultural monuments and attractions within walking distance, so don’t rule out the good old fashioned stroll.

Ditch the Taxi

Taxis? What taxis? In some European cities, the idea of taking a taxi can be more of a hassle – waiting times, high fees, or even clusters of traffic. In Moscow and other cities, taxis can take an hour or longer to arrive, and gypsy cabs are the norm. Unofficial cab services present a bigger risk, despite their convenience. You can always explore the city instead and save your money. Unless if it’s Asia, where some taxi fees cost less than a bottle of water.

Rent a Bike

Search around for bike rentals and get out there and go! Packing up your gear and hitting the country sides can be unforgettable. Stopping along trails, towns, and provinces may make you’re trip that much more sweeter in the end. Check your city for bike rentals, which can often be provided by hostels and other tourism information centers. It never hurts to look and try something new.

Skip the Sit-Down Restaurants

Get Food on the Go

Forget the sit-down restaurants. Stock up on items like bread, cheese, meats and vegetables from street vendors, convenience stories, or markets. Eat healthier and save yourself more time exploring.

Tipping is Different

Some countries tip differently – some don’t even tip at all. In the US, 15-20% may be the standard, in Europe it may be even less. In some places in Asia, they don’t. All those border crossings and places you go across Europe may vary; try your best to stay informed.

Charles Schwabb

Dodge ATM Fees and Save!

Setting up a Charles Schwab Savings Account is one of the greatest ways I’ve saved myself money each day since I came to China. The high yield investor savings account helps you save on unnecessary bank fees – at no extra cost! While in some foreign countries using Bank of America last year, I lost $5 to the bank, 1% of my total transaction total, and another fee to the ATM. Add to all of this, and my card numbers were skimmed as well! Having this type of card can also help you protect your main debit card in your travels if – in case – something goes wrong.

Dodge the Tourist Traps

Tourst-heavy areas are bloated with expensive crap you don’t even need. That wind-up bell that plays a boring tune, the I <3 [country] shirt, or what have you. Dodge the overpriced goods and services associated with clustered areas mixed with high menu prices. Always ask locals and friends of better places to find the goods you need. This way you can be sure to find genuine areas that embrace the local culture and history.

Museums and Tourists Attractions for Cheap

Search online for nights where art institutions, concerts, Church services (see; Sistine Chapel) offer free admission for fun and exiting events. Not into the tourist attractions? No worries – Find the happy hours, salsa nights, Lady’s Nights with Free Flow Champagne or whatever you like. The opportunties are endless!

Discounted Tickets and Cards

City Cards & ISIC Cards

You can find tickets half the price for some events by going to – such as for tourist attractions and other events in England. Some cities have their own ‘city cards’ where you can get cheap deals and discounts on a various regional attractions. International Student Youth or Teacher cards can be purchased from STA Travel, which can offer up to 41,000 discounts in 120+ countries. Much of these deals feature museums, hostels, and restaurants.


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