If you are planning your trip to Europe, there are many tips people can give you: the best cities to visit, the cheapest hostels to stay at, which night clubs are in and which ones are not and so on. Of course, these are important things to take into consideration, but there is still something more essential that might affect directly your finance during your trip: “transport”.
There are many different ways to travel from one place to another in Europe. You could fly, rent a car, jump onto a bus, take the train and even share a car. Each of these options has its pros and cons. Here are my thoughts on each from experience:
With advent of cheap airlines in Europe it is possible with advanced bookings to get an airline ticket within Europe for as little as Euro10 plus taxes. The advantage of cheap airlines is that you can get somewhere fast saving time and money. The downside is that these tickets are very rarely changeable so unless you are someone who plans well be prepared to either lose your money if changes plan or stick to your itinerary. There is no doubt that booking early can save you money - but be warned, booking late can cost you a fortune! Also another trick for young players is to check out thoroughly the rules and regulations. Most cheap airlines have very strict baggage rules particularly on weight and number of bags. Being overweight or having more than one bag can be as expensive as buying a full fare ticket on a “standard” airline carrier. Here are some cheap airlines that might be useful:
From my point of view, there is an advantage that only the train can give you: save money on accommodation. When you are doing long distance trips, the best way of saving money is taking the late train, so you can sleep in the train’s compartments. You can lock yourself and your friends in one of them, turning it into a really safe spot to get some sleep. At the same time, the train will lead you into the heart of the city, allowing you to grab a bus or walk to your hostel. If you flew, you would have to take a cab or a bus, and they are not cheap at all. Do some research before buying a train ticket because there are many different kinds of discount options. Here are some useful webpages:
Rent or buy a car / Get a ride:
It is a nice option to rent a car during your stay in Europe, to travel from one city to another. This allows you to discover unique and rock diamond places. The only inconvenience is that it is too expensive. Another alternative is to share a car, or organize with someone to get a ride. This is a very frequent option between Europeans to reduce oil costs and making some friends on the road. If you can work out the German a popular site in is Ride Share where you can find someone to travel with.
From my experience, I reckon the best choice a mix of these three alternatives. Use the plane for long distances so that you don’t spend many days traveling from one edge of Europe to the other. Use the train as main transportation, and if you can get someone to give you a ride to any little town, go for it!