Getting Around Europe
Getting around Europe is easy. Take it from someone who has lived in London and lived for the weekend trips to Europe.
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For someone who has lived in London for the past two years working a weekday job. The best travel options for Europe is flaying it not the cheapest. EasyJet had a fire sale a few months back where I was able to snap up flights for £2. The entire flight including return, cost me £26. This was flying out of London Stansted and back into London Luton. Keep in mind travel to and from these airports can take some time.
Using Sky Scanner and keeping an eye on EasyJet and other carrier websites, you can snap up super cheap flights. £50 return (from London). I generally try to snap returns no higher than £100 for weekend trips to European destinations.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to Europe
TL;DR: Hitchhiking is the cheapest way to travel.
All you pay for is fuel, be merry and have a conversation and maybe some food during some stop offs.
You are never truly alone when you hitchhike. We have all heard the horror stories about traditional hitchhiking but in today’s society it is not as dangerous as it once was. And with the good ol’ internet it’s easier than ever to organise a hitchhike in advance.
Websites that require uses to be authenticated first offer a level of safety that previously was unobtainable. Website’s like Trust Roots offer a forum for users to organise car travel in advance. This gives you the opportunity to talk to the person you are traveling with first and even check their details to see if they are authenticated with the website.
Social Media platforms are another great way to find like minded individuals looking to do the same.
Facebook Groups that can help:
Hitchhiking is a mixed kettle. Some countries such as Germany it is quite easy to hitch a ride and it can be quite quick given the unlimited speed limits in some sections. But on average you can find yourself waiting a little while before someone is kind enough to offer you a ride.
Buses to Europe
TL;DR: Buses and Trains will mostly likely be the best method if time is not a concerning factor.
Depending on which country you are in buses may be the main mode of transport or it could be second best to trains. There is no doubt that for paid transport buses are the cheapest way to travel around.
The biggest bus service provider in Europe is Euro Lines which covers most of Europe and has quite competitive pricing. I found that using buses can either be a lonely experience but it’s still the cheapest of the various travel options.
TL;DR: Trains are great for traveling some parts of Europe but it’s not all connected.
Trains have stops in the centre of cities, often have facilities for food and toilet and you have the ability to move around freely while in transit.
Most of the time it will be cheap to travel by train but be careful as it can sometimes be more costly than flying and can sometimes take up to three times longer to get from point A to B.
Trains are much faster than that other travel options for Europe and you get a front seat show to the beautiful scenery of Europe. It’s a bit hard not to pass up that opportunity and I would highly recommend it at least one during your travels in Europe!
I recently had a nightmare of a time trying to get from Venice to Vienna where the train operators did not have a single line between them and the cost and time was quiet high. I ended up taking a flight down to Rome to get across to Vienna and while it wasn’t the most cost effective or pleasant (5AM flights) of the available travel options I’m glad I did it as the whole ordeal was over quickly.
Floating Around Europe by Boat
This is a newly discovered option for me when my parents visited me in London for a six week period. For 2 weeks we took a cruise liner from Southampton UK that took to Gibraltar, Spain, Italy and France. At each port you could either make your own way or take one of the organised tours from the cruise ship to various destinations.
It is a fast growing option for baby boomers who still want to travel but other methods of travelling to destinations are not as accessible. That is not to say its all for an older generation. For a young group of friends this would be an excellent option for getting around Europe at a leisurely pace. The only draw back is the cost. You could complete a similar route for 1/5th of the cost if you wanted to forego the luxuries of the cruise ship.