DA Travelography

Grab your dream of Europe in 2018!

The economy may be bad, but my travel dreams are still strong. And Europe is such a magical place, that one should experience it at least once. However, I am being greedier. My last visit in 2012 to Paris and Bruges are still fresh in my mind. Walking on the rain washed lanes of Paris, relishing a cup of coffee while watching Eiffel in the morning light or sailing in the canals of Bruges. Europe is indeed a dream destination for all of us; however, there is no doubt that each visit leaves a big hole in the pocket.
But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t dream! It all means we need to chalk a plan to grab our dreams! So I am working on a plan to make a Europe trip in 2018 in a very budget friendly way and here are my tips if you are going to join me too-

 

That's me in 2011 on my very first trip to Europe
That’s me in 2011 on my very first trip to Europe, please ignore the date stamp :D

1. Go Offbeat: Eastern Europe is a hidden paradise- Bulgaria, Georgia, Poland and Hungary are much less explore than the western countries and promises more pristine natural beauty and lesser tourists. So consider going for more adventurous offbeat experience!

 

Romania, photo credits : Mitchell Kannashkevich
Romania, photo credits : Mitchell Kannashkevich

2. Book your flights in advance: Transportation costs are the largest part of your travel budget in Europe. Airfares to Europe during the summer are never cheap. So better plan the trip in advance, and don’t forget to use your flight miles.

3. Opt for hostel/Air BnB/Couch-surfing- There are always cheaper options of accommodation rather than a hotel; you can opt for hostels, couch-surfing and also can take care of someone’s garden or pet while they are away on vacation. Avoid traveling alone if you can in terms of budget as single rooms are always more expensive per person than a double room.

 

4. Travel slow- Plan your itinerary wisely. Airfares and train tickets make up a significant part of your travel expenses. By choosing a few select destinations, as opposed to traveling all over Europe in order to see and do everything; you will save money and time.

5. Travel off season – If you travel in the mid or low season, you not only save a lot of money, but you will also have a more authentic experience of the local culture and way of life, since there will be few other foreign tourists. July through mid-September is high season in Europe, no matter where you go.

6. Use public transit- Traveling in Europe by bus is a low-cost alternative to taking the train. Several bus companies connect major European cities. Ride shares are another affordable way to travel long distances for the price of sharing fuel.

Boating in canals of Bruges
Boating in canals of Bruges

7. Eat as locals eat- That’s the basic rule of traveling, eat as locals do! Else, you would end up being frustrated looking for your regional food in an expensive restaurant. It’s difficult at-times not to find your comfort food for a long time, but after all travel is about experiencing new things. So let your pallet be surprised by the new flavor of Europe.

8. Save money- It sounds fancy to make a piggy bank and save money for the trip. But seriously how many of us do this? So it is better to make a proper saving plan. While we all are equally confused about saving plans; Birla Sun life provides a very easy option: Sabse Important Plan (SIP) to save money strategically and make your Europe dreams come true!

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