From the lush landscape of Warsaw to the quaint history of Istanbul, European vacations offer an adventure for everyone. Historians will marvel at the ancient history collated into Moscow’s Red Square, while the city-opportunist will awe at the lurid lights that make up Spain’s largest cities. Many young people ask us “How much money do I need to travel Europe-on a Budget”. So let’s take a look.
Whether its city landscapes, history or European beaches, traveling to these locations can come at a steep, often unaffordable price. For those hoping to enjoy an international vacation, without the international costs, discount codes, the ubiquitous traveler packages, and most importantly, budget-friendly tips can help stymie the rising costs.
So how much money do you need to travel to Europe? Usually, with a budget of a few thousand dollars, you will be able to travel to and around Europe for 2 weeks.
These Boots Were Made for Walking…
…And that’s just what they should do! Europe, unlike the States, is not a driver-friendly continent. Narrow roads, tight parking spaces, scare parking spots and high costs of gas prices make public transportation ideal. Rent vehicles only when necessary. In all other instances walk, take the bus, or ride the train. Taking public transportation is much cheaper than renting a gas-guzzling vehicle, paying for insurance, and combating the cumbersome task of finding parking.
Value Menu, Anyone?
If you want a burger and soda, eat one in the States. Europe has a gamut of Americanized restaurant, but be warned, these places are nothing like their good ole’ USA counterparts. Nope, these fast food chains serve mostly the same items-but the costs are much higher. Remember, Europeans must import those savory treats across the pond. Even those “value menu” items in Europe go up in price. Skip the “value menu;” try the local food from an open-air market instead.
Scavenge for Discounts
Metropolitan cities that teem with tourists know how to keep travelers coming back year after year: discount cards. Think of these discount codes as all-access passes to museums, historic monuments, and landscapes. Most major cities have tourist information centers. These locations are prime places to look for these discount cards to help save some cash while abroad.
Extra Amenities Come with Extra Costs
Perhaps the most expensive traveling cost aside from airfare: hotel fees. Some hotels can cost as high as a few hundred Euros a night and an upwards to a few thousand Euros a week. When booking a hotel room, try lower-end rooms with shared bathrooms and the basics, i.e., beds, closets, and security. Internet, flat screen television, in-room bathroom, indoor pool, and a day-spa all cost extra-even if you don’t use these features, your bill still includes a percentage of the cost.
Cycling through the French Countryside
Cycling holidays through Europe have become a great way to really get out there and explore the landscape and hidden treasures that so many will miss on conventional holidays that involve planes, trains, and automobiles.
Whether you choose to plan your own adventure or join one of the many tour groups available, Cycling Holidays in France have been made very accessible through France’s La Loire a Velo, a relatively new cycling route that spans 800 kilometers across the countryside from Saint-Nazaire to Orleans.
With a total of 86 different trails to choose from, La Loire a Velo is ideal for all ages and fitness levels, taking you through the towns of Blois, Tours, Saumur, Angers, and Nantes.
The breathtaking region of the UNESCO listed Loire Valley, which is often referred to as France’s own, Valley of the Kings, is home to some 300 Chateau’s that each tells a tale of France’s rich history.
The Loire Valley also has some of the oldest and most spectacular vineyards that France has to offer. Not to forget the large range of culinary specialties from fine cheeses and mushrooms, to a plentiful range of fruits and vegetables to delight your tastebuds. Here are a couple of great sites to visit on the trail.
A site hard to miss is the Chateau d’Amboise located on the banks of the river Loire in the small market town of Amboise. The Chateau d’Amboise was once home to the Royal French Court and has a rich history with many notable figures having once visited the Chateau. A must see for the dedicated history buff.
A smaller Chateau, which connects to the Chateau d’Amboise by an underground passageway, is also not to be missed. The Chateau was once where the legendary Leonardo Da Vinci called home and has a museum devoted to his life and works.
Plou et Fils
Whilst in Amboise also be sure to visit the Plou et Fils winery which has been passed on from generation to generation from 1508. Sitting on some 70 hectares it offers free strolls through the vineyard, as well as free daily wine tastings.
Medieval Chateaux of Oudon
Just 25 kilometers from Nantes, this medieval tower whilst today considered quite run down, once served to be a very important tool in surveying and keeping a watchful eye over the Loire river traffic. Visitors are able to climb the tower and enjoy an intriguing audiovisual presentation in both French and English. There is also a magnificent view to be observed from the tower.
Mushroom Museum of Saumur
With the abundance of mushroom caves in the surrounding areas of Saumur and Tours, the Mushroom Museum of Saumur offers a detailed insight into how mushrooms were cultivated in the past to how they are cultivated today. Another highlight is being able to sample the mushrooms at the Café outside and even take home a few recipes.