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Your best money saving tips for Europe

Travel Forums Europe Your best money saving tips for Europe

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1. Posted by kimmykak (Budding Member, 9 posts) 8 Jul '09 20:59

I thought this might be a helpful thread for many people, but in my case we are budgeting on 120euro between the two of us per day (not including accommodation and transport). I would like to save money wherever we can so that we can still afford the occasional 'big night out', especially during Oktoberfest I would also like to come home with money in the bank (even if it's just a dollar!) and not have to use the 'back up' credit card!

So, what were the best ways you found to save a penny or two while travelling?

2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru, 2398 posts) 8 Jul '09 23:15

The - rather obvious - big savers:

  • Never eat out; stay in places where you can cook
  • Never go out; stay in a park or another public place, and (discretely) drink what you brought from the supermarket
  • Claim to be a student, even if you're not. You'd be surprised how many discounts you get, even if you show a student ID that is 8 years overdue :)
  • Don't buy organised tours unless they're the only way to visit a place

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Jul-2009, at 23:15 by bentivogli ]

3. Posted by jennwtb (Budding Member, 35 posts) 8 Jul '09 23:52

Quoting bentivogli

The - rather obvious - big savers:

  • Claim to be a student, even if you're not. You'd be surprised how many discounts you get, even if you show a student ID that is 8 years overdue :)

Really?? I can't believe..:(

4. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 9 Jul '09 00:06

Things to bring:

- small air- and watertight plastic container (to store food items like tomatoes)
- silverware (to make sandwiches)
- plastic plate
- large metal cup that double functions as a bowl
- small plastic bags for packing sandwiches

If you end up in a place where there is no kitchen this will help you make a cold meal on your bed

5. Posted by OHannemari (Budding Member, 44 posts) 9 Jul '09 00:07

Hi kimmykak,

Very good that you have started this post because I think it´s very helpful for a lot of people.
I think €120 is not so worse, you can of course do a lot of nice stuff but try to find the cheapest things.
Here are a few tips:
- Do only the things/activities/sightseeing's that you really want to do
- Stay in a hostel
- Plan your trip very good so that you know how much money you have to spend
- Of course you can go out for diner sometimes, but try to find cheap restaurants. So don´t go to the touristic places
- If you want to go party, drink something at home and go to a club which has free entrance
- Don´t act like a tourist but just as a local, so do groceries and maybe you can work for a couple of hours if you want

Hope this helps!

OHannemarie

6. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member, 415 posts) 9 Jul '09 01:48

try and use things in the hostels that ppl leave behind etc for meals - theres always a few things about which are communal, or you can ask the ppl at the front desk if you can have a look at stuff before they throw it out (if they have a day where they clear out anything in the fridge thats not labelled etc), theres very often perfectly good food in there that ppl just cant take with them. youll feel like a bit of a scab, but hey, youre saving some money!

you can also share food with the others in your room, if a few of you need some food, then its cheaper to buy bulk and split the costs.

if you can, make a few rolls/sandwiches at breakfast to take with you for lunch. some breakfasts are better than others, so if you get a good one, take advantage of it! fill up, have a massive breakfast and take ita way with you!

ill second t he student scam! i used my old student card which is years old... youll be suprised how often it gets accepted. sometimes i just said that i was studying in holland (where i was working) and hadnt recieved my european card yet, but this one still proves im a student :P

take a drink bottle and fill it at your hostel, saves you buying bottles all day - in places like Rome you can just refill it from the fountains that are all over the city.

7. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 9 Jul '09 02:24

Note that even if you buy things from snackstalls and do not eat out in restaurants, eating from snackstalls is relatively expensive.

For example: In Germany you can get breadbuns ready-made with meatcuts or cheese for 1-2 EUR at many bakeries. But it is usually much cheaper to buy just plain breadbuns at the bakery and then pop into a supermarket for cheese or meatcuts. Spent 2 EUR on breadbuns and cheese seperately and you'll be able to eat 3-5 breadbuns instead of just 1-2 for the same money.

This might not seem much, but will add up over the course of time.

8. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member, 560 posts) 9 Jul '09 04:59

Cheap food can be very good but is often 'bread-like' so I like to mix in a lot of fresh fruit and veg into a basic diet. A bag of apples keep well in the bag - same thing with a dried 'fruit and nut' mix for snacking along the way. Couple that with plenty of water and you can afford to look around for better prices without getting too hungry.

I use water bottles to top up from places like cafes in expensive tourist areas (drinking fountains have also been suggested) Nobody should deny you water. And 120 euros is really quite generous if you don't mind me saying. Enough for plenty of flexibility without it becoming the main issue.

Good luck! ;)

9. Posted by kimmykak (Budding Member, 9 posts) 9 Jul '09 05:27

Some great tips so far everyone, thanks! I'm loving them and will definitely be putting them into practice!

Just want to point out that the 120euro is between the two of us and we do have a tendancy when holidaying to go well over budget. Given the size of of this trip (11 weeks) I am trying to avoid that.

Keep the tips coming!! Thanks!

10. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 9 Jul '09 05:42

if you have a tendency to go over your budget it is a good idea to have a little journal. first and foremost it will be to record your trip, but you can also use it to keep track of what you spent where.

I also recommend paying mostly in cash and having some letter envelopes or more than one wallet. Each day you go out you put exactly the money you can afford to spent this day (120 EUR in your case) in your wallet, if this money is gone have the self-discipline not to use the funds earmarked for the next day or to flash your credit card.