Welcome back to another week of #TravelTuesday! This week we’re going to assume that you’ve decided you’re going to Europe on vacation! Congratulations! You are in for a whirlwind trip of beauty, history and culture. Oh, and great food & booze.
One of the best things about Europe, in my mind, is that visiting one country is almost seldom the answer. Intercity travel in Europe is outrageously easy. The borders are minimal to non-existent, making the stress of it all a breeze. This year, we’ve decided to combine the Netherlands and France, but who knows what will be the selection next year!
Coming from Canada where travelling within our fair nation breaks the bank, it’s almost impossible to say “no” in other countries where that sort of travel is encouraged. and almost expected.
Here are my ways to save a buck or two travelling throughout Europe on a budget.
There are tons of budget airlines in Europe. Essentially there is one for each country in the continent. Vueling, EasyJet, Ryanair, AirBerlin… the list is endless. And while you may be stooping on class and integrity, a tad, the flights are short and inevitably get you from point A to point B with minimal fuss and coinage.
Just be careful to click all the boxes – ie. if you don’t acknowledge that you will be checking baggage, and wait till the airport to let them know, you’ll be paying double. And also be sure to check in early… I know our EasyJet flight allows you to check-in a month in advance. I’ll be sure to do this in order to select our seats as early as possible – you can also pay an arm and a leg to get those upon booking. And finally, don’t expect there to be a first class or business class section… even if you pay for it you’ll likely be among the cattle car, and it’s not like you’re sleeping. These flights tend to be a bit more on the rowdy side. 🙂 Click here to find your ideal intercity cheap flight in Europe.
Another way to travel… trains. Most tracks in Europe have been around since way before anyone of our time. There is a mass array of train systems on the continent, and some people still absolutely prefer this mode of transportation.
While you’re grounded, you likely won’t be seeing the paysage that you’re expecting though. These trains are fast. Like so fast, you might get vertigo if you sit there staring out the window hoping to catch a glimpse of some monument that you won’t have time to visit.
Trains take a little longer than planes but not much. Sit back, grab a good book, sleep, and by the time you wake up you’ll be slightly less dehydrated (in comparison to flying) and ready to start your next journey! Click here to find your ideal train itinerary.
This is likely to be the best way to see the country-side. You’re not driving, so you actually do get to sit and stare out the window without the inevitable car accident on an unknown road in the middle of nowhere.
It will take some time to get to your destination by way of bus, and you do have to be careful that you don’t get the “milk-run”, these can take forever! (But they are likely the cheapest). That said, there’s something completely relaxing to me about snuggling up under a coat with a good book, music, or a podcast, and every so often glancing out over the plains and rolling hills, and vineyards, only to be reminded of how absolutely astonishingly beautiful Europe is. Click here for you ideal journey in comfort.
My first time in Europe with my family was ventured by car. I have always wanted to recreate that trip. And while we borrowed a car from family last year and traveled down to the seaside of the Camargue, it wasn’t exactly the same risk-taking as travelling intercity in a rented car all over the continent! Click here to book.
Quite a few car rental companies in Europe have a pick-up/drop-off in different cities deal. So there is no requirement to come back to your starting place.
Just a few tips in order to stay safe, and be careful along the way.
a. Europe driving is completely different to North American driving. Locals view the speed limit as “just a suggestion” (think of that spoken in broken English with a French accent). Don’t be surprised if you’re passed over and over again on the one-lane motorways. But keep your speed in check. You also don’t want to be pulled over in a foreign country! 🙂
b. Plan a few stops along the way – make them good ones. Do the obvious things, ie. gas up, pit stop, use the facilities, but also perhaps see a site or two, or grab a bite to eat in a famous roadside bistro. These things are peppered in and around Europe, and are likely better than their big city cousins.
c. Try not to drive overnight. You just don’t know where you are. If it’s a long haul, grab a hotel along the way, and start fresh in the morning.
All in all the name of the game with intercity European travel is to choose the best mode of transportation for you. There are so many options, at great prices, that you really have all options at your disposal. Have fun and enjoy!
Do you have any preferred ways to get around Europe? I would love to hear them!
Photo credit for post body images: my talented sister, Lindsey (@linzed4)