Five Great Tips for Budget Travel in Europe

Please note that the following post is written by guest author, Peter Smith.

29449863-2882-4c9a-bce0-79118d749c66_trekamericalogonew1Europe is a fantastic travel destination, boasting diverse and breathtaking scenery, vibrant, trendy cities and oozing with history and culture.

This article suggests some of the best tips for saving money whilst using European transport, allowing you to get the most out of your travel.

Be Smart with How You Travel

Europe has one of the largest and densest transport systems in the world, offering a wide variety of methods for getting around. The only way to understand how to use this transport system wisely and economically is by doing some prior research before going to work every day. Here are a few tips:

Taking the train

When using trains, it is important to remember that train services vary hugely in both price and quality across Europe. An Interail pass, allowing unlimited rail travel, is a bargain if you are doing a lot of big distances in a short space of time.

When travelling on single holidays or in countries where trains are expensive, such as France or Germany, these can be especially beneficial. Whereas places like Italy have relatively cheap train travel and using an Interail card may cost more. In France and Britain, make sure to book in advance for dramatically reduced rail fares.

Travelling by Air

Europe is a hub of activity, with hundreds of destinations connected by budget airlines. Often, a cheap flight, booked in advance, can be the same price as a bus or a train and is significantly faster.

4161Travel in off peak periods and use price comparison sights for the best deals. Also, if flights to your chosen destination are expensive, consider flying to a nearby city or town and taking public transport, as a way of avoiding heavy fares.

Travelling by Car

As Europe is so compact, it also makes the ideal destination for a road trip. Petrol is relatively expensive and consistently priced throughout Europe, but make sure to plan ahead to avoid toll roads in countries such as France. There are other benefits of having a car that can make travel significantly cheaper, such as enabling you to carry a tent and large amounts of food and cooking materials.

Lift sharing

Lift sharing is an easy, green, and economical way of car travel. If you have your own car, you can charge people a flat rate in return for a lift to a city or destination. Alternatively, if you are carless, lift sharing offers a great method of travel that is often cheaper than public transport.

Although it takes some organization and forward planning, lift sharing is becoming increasingly easy, with hundreds of websites and companies facilitating lift sharing services online. These are especially effective and safe in large countries such as Germany.

trek-america-40-news-headerWhen travelling in Europe, make sure to plan ahead and consider the benefits of Europe’s heavily integrated transport system. An intelligently planned trip can save as much as 90% on travel expenses, giving you more time and money to enjoy the continent and the vibrancy that comes with it.


Peter Smith has been a travel writer for over 25 years and has been writing about budget travel and single holidays for a host of online and printed media.

Worth Pondering…

Life is short and the world is wide.
—Simon Raven

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Organizing an Amazing Trip for Your Music Students

Taking any group of young people abroad can be daunting.

Youth Group Music & Concert Trips
Youth Group Music & Concert Trips

Incorporating musical performances can make it even more complicated, but with help you can arrange an unforgettable experience for your music students. This is how one group enjoyed their trip to Venice.

Planning and Problems
When the idea of a musical field trip to Italy was first suggested, it seemed like an unachievable dream. Mr. Martin knew that the opportunity to perform to people in another country would be a fitting reward for all their hard work and would motivate his choir to put even more into their rehearsals and performances. It was decided that Venice would be an excellent destination and planning started in earnest.

Enlisting the assistance of a modern language teacher to help with the arrangements seemed like an excellent idea, but language was not the only difficulty when it came to arranging an itinerary and booking suitable venues. It became apparent that professional help was needed, so Mr. Martin contacted a specialist travel firm who were able to smooth the way and help with all the practicalities.


Youth Group Music & Concert Trips
Youth Group Music & Concert Trips

The company arranged for the choir to perform in a various venues during their week in Venice. The choir stayed in the popular resort of Lido di Jesolo where there is a purpose built stage on the Piazza Aurora.

This was where their first performance took place. Although they were nervous, the choir enjoyed singing to the holidaymakers of many different nationalities and the experience helped to prepare them for the highlight of their trip, singing in the Basilica San Marco in St Mark’s Square. Here they were able to join in at Mass, an experience they will never forget.

They were also able to take part in an afternoon concert at the Church of San Giovanni in nearby Bragora. Antonio Vivladi was baptised here in 1641.

Other activities

Although the trip was primarily about music, the members of the choir were able to enjoy many different activities in and around Venice. As well as arranging performance venues and times, the travel company had suggested visits and experiences for their free time as well.

One of the highlights was the boat trip around the islands of the Venetian lagoon. They visited the colorful island of Burano, famous for lacemaking and Murano where they were able to see the famous glassmakers at work.

One day was spent exploring the city of Venice itself. They were able to walk around the narrow streets and visit some of the most famous buildings in the city such as the Bridge of Sighs and the Campanile di San Marco. They also took the vaporetto, or water bus, the length of the Grand Canal. This is a cheaper option than hiring a gondola and enables visitors to soak up the atmosphere of the city.

Youth Group Music & Concert Trips to Liguria
Youth Group Music & Concert Trips to Liguria

This was the first music trip the choir had been on, but it was so successful that they intend to repeat the experience next year and are considering either the Black Forest or the Rhine Valley in Germany.


Peter Smith writes regularly on travel with a special emphasis on educational and activity holidays. He has written for various educational blogs and websites and has worked as an adviser to specialist travel companies such as

Worth Pondering…

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.

—Maya Angelou

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