One of the main reasons students study abroad is to travel. Europe in particular is quite easy to navigate without breaking the bank. You just need to know the ins and outs. If this is your first time in Europe and you’re looking to travel around, here are some pro tips to make sure you’re getting the best transportation deals.
Flights Are Cheap – If You Know Where to Look!
Europe has tons of budget airlines, some of which you may have heard of: Ryanair, Vueling, and WizzAir are some of the most widely used. You can use these airlines to get a cheap flight to just about any city in Europe. You can even find flights as low as 5 euro!
There are some things to know about budget airlines, though. They’ll make you pay for any add-ons, even basic stuff like choosing your seat, bringing a carry on bag, or checking in at the airport. For this reason, it is best to make sure you’re super prepared the day before your flight. Check in online and make sure you’ve packed everything into one normal-sized backpack or bag you can fit under the seat (they’ll make you pay for any suitcases you bring so don’t even try it!)
Fly Out of Neighboring Airports
When flying into major cities it’s sometimes cheaper to fly into a neighboring airport close to your destination city rather than flying directly into the city itself. For example, when flying into Paris, France instead of booking a flight to Charles de Gaulle Airport fly into Paris Beauvais instead. Or if you’re flying to Florence Italy, fly out of Bologna and train into Florence. This will save you some dough. Public transformation is very good in Europe and there are always shuttles to and from the airports that are easy to navigate.
Consider a Train Journey
Europe is known for having an extensive and well-maintained train system that runs both nationally and internationally. While trains can be a bit more expensive than flights, they are often more comfortable, and you’ll be able to journey through the beautiful European countryside.
Besides, every so often you might find a ticket for cheaper than a flight, particularly in the busy high-seasons (over major holidays and during the summer) when everyone and their grandmother is trying to book flights around Europe. For instance, many train journeys that run between major cities within a country will be cheaper than the international journeys – you can get a train ticket between Madrid and Barcelona for as low as 12 euros.
Don’t Be Scared To Use Public Transportation
One of the best ways to travel around European cities is by using public transportation. Everyone does! AND it’s a lot cheaper than taking taxis. It can be scary to throw yourself into the depth of metro systems but rest assured that most of the public transportation systems in Europe aren’t too difficult to navigate, and tend to be much cleaner and safer than the ones you expect in the States, as they are used by pretty much everyone.
If you get lost or confused, ask a local for help, or use a map app to navigate you through.
Walking is the Way to Go
The other thing many European cities have going for them is their walkability. Walking around European cities is not only an easy and free way to get around, but it is culturally enriching, as well – you can absorb so much about a place simply by wandering through the different neighborhoods. Plus, in most cities you’ll likely be walking by some of the most famous sights in the world – maybe Rome’s Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or Gaudi’s famous modernist buildings in Barcelona.
Use your newfound expert knowledge of traveling around Europe and meet us at one of our city weekenders! Some of our trips in the Fall 2022 semester include:
- Ibiza – do yoga on the beach & hike along the rocky coast during the day, hit the boat parties and nightclubs when the sun goes down.
- Oktoberfest – dress up and Munich’s most famous beer-halls for the world’s biggest beer fest, followed by legendary campsite after-parties.
- Amsterdam – experience boats bobbing along canals bordered by fiery autumn leaves, an abundance of art and history, and one of the most thrilling nightlife scenes in Europe.