There’s lots of tricks to saving lots on transportation while you’re in Europe. Our last trip should have cost us around 150 euros (at the least), but we mixed and matched some transport and got from Toulouse to Uzes for 65 euros total!
Here’s the 5 best tricks we’ve found:
1. Search on Rome2Rio
I generally always start with Rome2Rio to get a rough estimate on the cost. If it’s low enough, I just go with whatever they find because they search for low budget and speed.
If you’re looking for longer distances, it searches for flights as well. They also help you find which nearby towns are hubs for transportation, which is helpful when you’re trying to find better prices with regional buses.
2. Use Private Regional Buses
There are TONS of buses that charge ridiculously low for pretty long trips. We took a bus from Barcelona to Toulouse, France and instead of being 50 euros with the train and buses, it was only 12 Euros! They vary by country, but here are a few that apply to most of Europe:
Megabus *(they recently bought out a lot of bus companies so I usually start with them)
Bus Europe (their routes are in a lot of Eastern Europe)
Ouibus (in france and surrounding countries)
We usually use Megabus, but if they don’t have your route, just google the route you’re looking for and there’s typically a bus company further down in the search results!
Traveling on buses is a great way to meet people too! These were some friends we made on the bus from Florence to Rome. Also- if you get the chance to sit in the top front of the double decker ones, do it! You get a superb view of everything the whole time. We get in line right when the bus gets there so we have a better chance of getting those seats! (and they have the most space)
3. Use BlaBla Car
BlaBlaCar is a website to carpool. People who have room in their cars during their roadtrips post the number of open seats they have and how much they’d want you to pay them for the cost of gas. It’s an awesome system because it helps the driver and passengers save money, and go easy on the environment! You pay through the BlaBla Car website so the payment is secure and you won’t get charged if the driver doesn’t show up. The only con is that it can be tricky trying to meet up with them if you don’t speak the same language, so make sure you have a common language!
4. Rent a Car
If you’re over 25 (because they charge an extra fee if you’re under 25) and if you have more people with you, it could save money to split the cost of a car. Gas is pretty expensive in Europe, but rental cars are pretty fuel efficient. Most companies have an extra (pretty hefty) fee if you go over a certain mileage and another fee if you have a different drop of location than where you get the car from. Make sure you know their policy and ask about all the hidden fees. A good general website to use is RentalCars.com. You can also call a toll free number and talk to someone helpful from the UK, the number is on their website. If you buy the rental with a credit card, a lot of the time it’s already insured through them, so make sure you check that out!
As long as you look friendly and you’re not in the middle of a city, it’s not difficult to hitchhike. This is especially useful when you’re somewhere there isn’t a lot of public transportation options- like hiking in the Pyrenees. It can be awkward, but sometimes you meet really cool people and you might even make some new friends. We hitchhiked back from a hike to Lac D’Estom and made a really cool friend! We met up with him later and he gave us tons of suggestions on hikes in the area.
If you’re going to hitchhike-be careful, and say no if you don’t feel comfortable getting in the car with them. Also, I’d recommend only hitchhiking if you’re with another person. I’ve hitchhiked alone, which is pretty sketchy- especially for a girl. Luckily nothing happened, but I wouldn’t do it again because it’s too risky. 🙂 I’d suggest making a sign with big letters that say the towns along the way to where you want to go. This helps people know if they are going the direction you need or not.
If you have any other tips, let us know in the comments below! 🙂
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