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1. Posted by eugapae (Budding Member 3 posts) 10y

I'm graduating from high school early (instead of taking a whole year off) and I'm hoping to travel in Europe. I really have my heart set on Iceland for at least awhile, but I would like to go as many places as I can on as cheap a budget as possible. Any ideas for someone young, strapped for cash and new to traveling? Any and all help will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

-drew
(eugapae)

2. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 10y

Unfortunately Iceland is not the kind of place to save money - so I've heard anyway :)

There are ways to get by cheaply in Europe. It's mainly about being as self-sufficient as you can be. And there are three major areas that you can save money on pretty much wherever you go.

1. Transport - rather than catch trains or planes, make your own way. Ride a bicycle, do some ride-sharing, etc.. And when you're in the cities, you would be surprised how much you can achieve by walking rather than catching public transport. Not bad exercise either.
2. Accommodation - Try something like www.couchsurfing.com which will let you stay at people's homes, providing you're willing to return the favour in the future. Otherwise, dorm beds are the best option.
3. Food - don't eat out. Buy food from supermarkets.

Spending more of your time in Eastern rather than Western Europe will also save a considerable amount of money. And that doesn't mean the sights are any less interesting!

3. Posted by SeeTheSky (Respected Member 558 posts) 10y

what i learned-
1. always stay at hostels if you can. if you have to rough it and sleep on a bench or what not, just do it.
2. yea like pete says buy food cheap and make your own, supermarkets etc.
3.walk alot, hitchhike, and public transportation. just give in to the possibilities
4. smile and realize how kick-ass life can be every moment with the right mindset.
5. dont let the fear of unknown keep ya from anything! the truth is, things always work out, one way or the other. you'll probably have all kinds of 'coincidences' that will work out all to well.
6. dont stick to a plan.realize that by just taking an idea, and jumpin on any oppurtunity that comes along, its a hundred times better, and much more adventurous!. a plan is destined to not work out as planned =) no one can see the future, you know.

it will be amazing man, you will be hooked, just as i am now (im like a year outta high school now) take care, and may the wind be ever at your back!
take care
Evan

4. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

Look for freebies....

Fill up your bottle at the water fountain, maps at the tourist office, chat-up the locals and get all kinds of nifty tidbits about the places you're seeing (helps if you're genuinely interested and learn a few broken words of the local language). Get creative.....

Travel light.....

I usually pack a bottle of water (and/or lunch), a map (free from the tourist office), and my camera gear. It all starts to get heavy after a few hours on your feet.

Have extra $$.....

Everyone I know who travels regularly always run into trouble or whatever. Comes with the territory. Keep the extra money safe, know when to use it and it usually gets you back on your feet.

Anyway, as you get more experience under your belt, all this advice will become second nature to you.

5. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 10y

hey there

1. Iceland is hell expensive - probably the most expensive place in europe. be warned. Iv been twice - worth it for the blue lagoon.

2.

Everyone I know who travels regularly always run into trouble or whatever. Comes with the territory. Keep the extra money safe, know when to use it and it usually gets you back on your feet.

Very goodpoint. even the most experienced travellers have problems. It actually makes u a more experienced traveller when u have to deal with problems. I just had A NIGHTMARE getting to Berlin from the UK. be ready for extra costs on airlines, hotels/hostels and food. Keep extra money in bank accounts - not all ATMs work with bank cards so keep cash hidden or travellers checks for emergencies.

3. Book in advance - backpacking is sooo busy now with everyone goin and the best hostels (location, atmosphere) book out early.

4. and my best advice - go to eastern europe before it changes to western europe.

6. Posted by eugapae (Budding Member 3 posts) 10y

Just want to thank everyone for all their advice; it is greatly appreciated and duly noted! :)

7. Posted by Desiree (Inactive 157 posts) 10y

and take a book with you, altough that is more a general advice

iceland is really expensive, I still want to go there, but so far I have to choose between one week iceland or 6 weeks europe...

norway is also quite expensive but worth while, it was my alternative for iceland, and I fell in love with the place

remember that the pound, makes your travel a lot more expensive, if you really want to live cheap, start in germany and go east.

and follow the advice of people who you meet at hostels, where the nice places are.. if you hear to many great stories about let say rome, go there..

8. Posted by IkeAramba (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y

Maybe you should try Iceland when you have more cash and go somewhere cheaper on your first trip. I've found the former communist block countries to both be cheap and good fun. Bulgaria & Romania are dirt cheap, the Baltic states, Czech Republic, Poland & Hungary are a little more expensive but are a little prettier.

9. Posted by Desiree (Inactive 157 posts) 10y

oww and what do you think about a interrail ticket? would that be wise for him?

altough of course it depend how many countries you want to visit for how long.

but it can save you a lot of money on traintickets... i believe there is already here a topic about it, or perhaps other people can give advise, I only know how to get it, from within the EU.

10. Posted by MelesMeles (Full Member 137 posts) 10y

Quoting Desiree

oww and what do you think about a interrail ticket? would that be wise for him?

altough of course it depend how many countries you want to visit for how long.

but it can save you a lot of money on traintickets... i believe there is already here a topic about it, or perhaps other people can give advise, I only know how to get it, from within the EU.

I dont think that interrail ticket is most cost-effective option. I'd plan my journey, and would take advantage of cheap plane tickets; easyjet, ryanair, ... . I'd fly larger distances between desired destinations. A week here and a week or two there and so on. On location, I'd choose public transportation. You can get maybe up to 8 plane tickets against one zone fare on interrail. Just gotta book 'em early ;)

One more thing, sometimes going around might be a lot cheaper than flying directly to the destination. For example, instead of flying from Berlin to Moscow directly, you might want to fly via Tallinn. Etc...