Updated: Jul 19, 2020
As for Filipina like me, when you say EUROPE, people would think EUROPE is always gonna be expensive especially for traveling. It's funny because some people would ask a lot of questions or even comment about what I do in life how do I afford to travel.
Questions are like?
Anong work mo, ganda siguro work mo? (What do you do for a living, maybe you a decent high paying job?)
Bakit lagi kang nagttravel? Kasama ba yan sa work? (Why do you travel often, is it part of your job?)
Laki siguro sahod mo no? (Maybe you earning so much)
Siguro sponsored ka ng jowa mo? (Maybe your boyfriend is sponsoring you!)
We can't control what people think about us. People will always judge no matter what we do. However, I take these comments or judgments constructively and productively. Yes, I travel to Europe and to anywhere often but inexpensively. I guess, I'm just wise and know a lot of travel hacks that work for me and I can share them with you. But first, let me answer all the questions above just to give you a Lil bit of background to what I do in life.
Anong work mo, ganda siguro work mo? (What do you do for a living, maybe you a decent high paying job?) - A typical 9 hr corporate job in the IT field.
Bakit lagi kang nagttravel? Kasama ba yan sa work? (Why do you travel often, is it part of your job?) - I don't travel for work, I don't work as a digital nomad. I only have 14 days of leaves per year. I travel because this is my therapy, passion, and happiness.
Laki siguro sahod mo no? (Maybe you earning so much) - You have no idea how minimum my wage is. haha, it's funny. I am getting the lowest salary amongst my friends here. seriously!
Siguro sponsored ka ng jowa mo? (Maybe your boyfriend is sponsoring you!) - Never! I'm always self-funded.
These are the few things I Do so can I afford my travels without spending too much for Europe my trips.
1. I watch for flights promo via Skyscanner or Cheap flights
Average flight rates to the EU would cost you 2800 RM to 4000 RM depending on which season.
Tips, as for me I always travel during cold seasons like autumn or winter in the EU because it's freaking cheap. So if you're not a fan of cold weather and cheap, this isn't for you.
Winter/Autumn Season: 1832 RM/ 22709.11 PHP (Cheapest you can get - Roundtrip via Qatar, British Airways, Saudia, Emirates - these are the airlines who always offer sale during Winter/Autumn Season)
Summer Season: 3500 RM/ 43385.32 PHP (Cheapest you can get)
TIP: Paris, France is always the cheapest destination for sale flights compared to any other European country. That's according to my personal experience for always booking cheap flights for visiting EUROPE 3x.
The cheapest I booked for EU roundtrip was 2100 RM/24,364.00 PHP
2. I spend less during my travel
Meaning I don't do shopping, we all know luxury brands are cheap in the EU especially in Paris, France. And I'm not a fan of shopping besides I'm only backpacking and the backpack I always bring is enough for my stuff.
I tend to go to free entrance sightseeing places like churches, overlooking places, hiking, tower, and hills. It's even less touristy.
I join free walking tours. Every city has it so take advantage besides its free, you just give a Lil bit of donation like 2 -5 euros.
3. I choose my transport wisely
So I try to research which is cheaper, to fly or to take a bus or train.
Instead of uber or taxi, buses, or trains to roam around the area, I WALK. Europe is walkable if you wanna see more of a place you can walk as much as you want especially in the center. Trains are more expensive than the bus.
But if you are traveling from one country to another Flixbus is the cheapest. Also, there are low-cost airlines that you can take, at a very cheap rate these are Easyjet, Wizzair and Ryanair. But be mindful of baggage policy as these airlines already update their policy. They are already charging the second bag however before it was free.
for Ryanair - Only priority boarding passengers will be permitted to take one small bag (40cm x 20cm x 25cm), plus a larger cabin bag (55 x 40 x 20cm) with a maximum weight allowance of 10kg into the cabin free of charge.
Non-priority customers can only bring one small bag (40cm x 20cm x 25cm), that must fit into the sizer.
for Easyjet - One carry on luggage size is 56 x 45 x 25 cm including the wheels and any handles. There is no weight limit on cabin baggage.
for Wizzair - One carry-on bag (max. size 40 x 30 x 20 cm, 10 kg), which should be placed under the seat. Up to six pieces of checked-in baggage, a maximum of three can be purchased online on Wizzair.com or via call center, while the rest can be purchased at the airport.
4. I check-in to hostels instead of hotel/Airbnb
However if your traveling with a friend, you can share expenses with her/him its much cheaper rather than staying at the hostel. Western/Southern Europe (France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, etc) is much expensive compare to Eastern (Romania, Bulgaria, Czech, Poland, Hungary, etc) the cost of hostel per night in western would be equivalent of 2 nights in eastern.
Amsterdam has the most expensive hostel or hotel or Airbnb I have been too. Unless you booked near the airport because when I traveled with a friend last winter, we booked near the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
We booked in Best western, only cost us 70 euro per night
Whilst in a hostel is 50 euro per night - this is near the center
If your hardcore enough with your backpacking journey, you can try Couchsurfing - you can register to Couchsurfing - its a site where you can meet fellow backpackers that will offer to host you or you can host someone yourself as well. Please check the profile very carefully of the one who wants to stay with you. Just to be safe. As for me, I haven't tried it as I don't wanna risk my safety besides the hostel is cheap so it's okay.
5. I eat inexpensively
In the Eastern EU, it's cheaper however I still don't eat in fancy restaurants. I'm not a foodie but of course, I eat. But I tend to try local food as much as I can.
There's a lot of ways for you to eat inexpensively. You can buy a sandwich in food-trucks for 3 euro, pizza at the train stalls for 4 euro, EU's tap water is drinkable.
Once in a while, you can eat in fine dining to experience the local food but actually you don't have to because street food is better as for me, if you wanted to try the authentic local food. However, for fine dining, Eastern EU not much compare to Western EU,
Western would be 12 euro/ meal while 6 euro/ meal in Eastern so its not painful, besides its just once in a while.
Italian food is the bestest food ever - you can just buy pizza in any pizza store for like 3 euro. Gosh, its heaven! different flavors, I miss it.
Czech sausage is my fave sausage so far in Eastern
6. I book my flight early
Book your flight as soon as you found a very cheap price and itinerary will follow.
I don't know about you, but this works for me, as soon as I found a promo sale from Skyscanner I booked right away and I plan my travel after.
As the prices will tend to go higher or lower every day or even every minute, you won't be able to catch the cheapest price anymore.
One tip, I always book my flight on Tuesdays or Wednesdays! These days are the cheapest days to book a flight. Read this blog as it will explain to you why its recommended booking flights on Tuesdays/Wednesdays.
7. I travel during Winter or Autumn/Fall
This is specifically for Europe trips as the flights as very cheap when its winter. why? because not a lot of travelers are traveling during cold weather as its very difficult to travel, so flight rates will go down this applies for international and EU domestic flights. Also, it's not touristy during winter or autumn/fall only backpackers or heavy travelers are keen to travel during these seasons.
8. I do Backpacking
Backpacking form of low-cost, independent travel. It includes the use of public transport; inexpensive lodging such as youth hostels; often a longer duration of the trip when compared with conventional vacations; and typically an interest in meeting locals as well as seeing sights.
Which is a very cheap way to travel. Because EU check-in luggage is way expensive than you ever thought so when you backpack you save a lot of money especially when you take a flight. Instead of checking you can do priority
Priority customers can bring an additional 10kg bag on board which must fit into the baggage sizer (not exceeding 10kg and dimensions 55cm x 40cm x 20cm) and will be stored in the overhead locker/cabin.
Because take note, the luggage is even more expensive than the actual fare as you can get as low as 8 euro for domestic flights if you book early. again, book early.
From my backpacking journey, I spent 4757 RM/ 58924.16 PHP all in my 2 weeks of backpacking in Eastern Europe (Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Czech, and Poland) and 5000 RM/61934.16 PHP for 9 days in France, Italy, The Netherlands, and Romania.
9. I walk as much as I can
So embrace the place, walk as much as you can. As for me, traveling is about exploring and getting tired at the end of the day. So if you are not tired, you are not traveling. if you don't get lost, you're not traveling. Again you can't expect everything will be perfect when you travel.
There's always gonna be chaos, problems, difficulties, confusion, madness, hassle, troubles, complications, etc. But you will always learn from it.
Try to be a local and not a tourist.
10. I SAVE, SAVE and SAVE
We all know this is the best and easiest way, for you to afford your travel. If you think you cant do all from numbers 1 to 9 then, you should save money for your travel.
Don't shop for unnecessary things, if you don't need it don't buy it. if you don't need a high-end phone and your phone is still working, then don't buy it.
If you can make coffee on your own, don't buy from Starbucks.
If you can walk from home to work work, don't take a cab.
If you can save a Lil money per month for your travel, then do it.
Separate your daily expense from your travel money, that way you can avoid spending your travel money from your daily expense.
Again if you want this, there are millions of ways to get it and if you have a lot of excuses to save then you don't want it so bad.
For any questions please comment below or Add me in Instagram