Backpacking Europe is almost a right of passage for Europeans and for others from other countries that embrace the idea of an ‘overseas experience’ while young. It’s no surprise that Europe’s so popular, with many countries offering reasonable costs for hostels and street food. Beyond that, there’s also an abundance of culture, cool museums, great art galleries and so many must-see places in each of the countries. Transport is also relatively cheap with trains functioning across boarders and flights within Europe reasonably priced due to the sheer competition from airlines. Here are some helpful backpacker tips for backpacking Europe.
1. Check Your Health Care Situation
I’ve seen too many fundraising pages for trips gone wrong, when someone has had an accident and didn’t have travel insurance or health coverage and wound up owing tens of thousands – or hundreds of thousands – of pounds. Their parents, friends and family are banding together to try to save the funds, which is sweet, but I personally find it very distressing that people would go overseas with no regard for their health. If you’re lucky enough to already be from a country that participates in the EHIC card system, then make sure you take your EHIC card with you and double check that it is valid. It will save you a bunch of money on health care costs in the EU, should you need them. Your EHIC Card is expired? No problem, here’s the EHIC Renewal Apply link.
2. Check Out Hostels
I love hostels, they are a great way to save money, meet friends and have a great base in a new city. Most hostels come with kitchens, so you can prepare meals and keep costs down. I usually try to make one or two meals in the hostel and then eat out once or twice a day. Eating out for every meal gets expensive and you also don’t have control about exactly what’s going into the food. If you’re not so keen on sharing a dorm, don’t worry, many of the hostels now have private rooms for about half the price of a hotel (or less) so they’re a great middle ground if you want the benefits of a hostel but to be assured a fantastic sleep.
3. Consider the City Passes
In various cities across Europe you can find discount cards or city passes. They vary depending on where you are – some are a card that you pay for and get free admission to a bunch of things you would otherwise have to pay for, and others operate in such a way you pay for them and then you receive discounts off attractions, but you still have to pay for the attractions. There are so many cities in Europe so it would be impossible to list them all, but have a Google to see what options are available to you, they can be a great way to visit all the attractions you want to see without breaking the bank.
Backpacking around Europe is such a great adventure and with these tips you’ll be able to do it smarter than ever.