How To: Budget Travel

November 22, 2011  //  By:   //  GUIDE  //  4 Comments

One of the best things about Europe is its incredibly central location. For students studying abroad, there is a natural tendency to get the travel bug, but traveling can get expensive, really expensive and the question remains about what the best way to get around is.

Airplane

If you plan on flying, there a few websites your should bookmark to your favorites now. Afbudsrejser is perfect for last minute holiday deals and Momondo gives good general pricing on hotels and flights.

There are several well known cheap airlines, but not all of them are always convenient. For instance, Ryanair offers fantastic rates, but only flies out of Aarhus or Malmo in Sweden. Wizzair is similar in that it only flies out of Malmo. So, if you consider booking from either of those airlines, make sure you factor in the cost and travel time to either of the airports.

SAS also offers cheap youth deals that are not easily accessible on the Danish site. If you go on the left hand side and switch the language to Polish/English you will see an option that says “book youth” towards the top right of the booking box. Then fill in your travel information as you usually would and see what comes up.

Train

If you are a European citizen and want to travel by train, the best bargain is the Interrail. Non-Europeans have a similar deal they can receive, but that one is called Eurrail. Both come in a variety of packages depending on the extensiveness of your travels.

Bus

If you have more time on your hands, you should consider the Euroline pass. It’s essentially the same thing as the Interail or Eurail, but is done via bus and therefore takes a longer time to get from point A to point B. However, it is cheaper and therefore worth considering.

Accommodations

In terms of where to stay, that can depend on how adventurous you are. For a typical college bumming around Europe experience, a hostel might be your best bet. The easiest way to find good deals on that is Hostels World.

For something more authentic, both Couch Surfing and Hospitality Club are reliable websites that connect travelers with locals. Often, this can be the cheapest way to find accommodations. While it is more of a gamble, there are many positives to staying in a local’s home. They tend to know what’s good around the city and most of the time are used to hosting visitor’s from all over the world.

And then there’s always hotels. Google has recently come out with a Hotel Finder that lets you easily sort through entire cities by star rankings, user ratings, price, dates, and area. The best part is that every hotel has their price on that date compared with their normal rates. This lets you easily get the best price for a hotel because you can keep track of which ones are upping their prices based on demand or season and which ones are keeping costs low.

Other Cool Deals

For cheap travel around Denmark, check out GoMore. Sort of like modern hitchhiking, the website helps people get into car pools all over Denmark for a small fee. Looking at the website will tell you what time the driver leaves, how many places there are  in the car, and what kind of vehicle it is.

If you plan on doing a lot traveling in and around Germany, consider buying the student Bahnkarten and save 25% on train tickets.

Best Guides

For a younger perspective, LetsGo is a travel website written by students for students featuring many stories, tips, and deals for various locales. It’s entertaining and helpful.

For reliable recommendations, you can’t go wrong with any of the Lonely Planet or Rick Steves guides.

Otherwise, traditionally one of the best ways to find out about where to go and what to do while abroad has been by asking friends who have been there or locals. Now you can do so easily thanks to a new Facebook application offered by Uptake that helps you connect with friends who have been to your destination and solicit recommendations from them.

Hopefully, after exploring all these options you’ll find something that suits your itinerary. Happy traveling!


About the Author :

Analisa Winther is studying Cand.merc Management of Innovation and Business Development. She is a GLOBE Scholar and holds a Bsc in International Business. Fun fact: she also founded CBSLife. Half Danish and half America, Analisa loves entrepreneurship, food, traveling, and a great story. You can most likely find her sitting at DARE2mansion or searching for her next adventure. Follow her on Twitter @analisawin!

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