What have you done in your own visits to Europe to make it more budget-friendly or to get away from the crowds? If you were going to spend several weeks – or several months – in Europe, where would you go (and why)?
Ok, so I’ve been to Croatia, and I absolutely love Split. (If you’ve read my blog, you’ve probably figured this out by now.) There are beaches, access to many buses and ferries, and its pretty central to the rest of Europe, Asia, and Africa. I would move to Split in a second. Its amazing there.
What did I do to make Europe more budget friendly when I went?
- I avoided going during tourist season (leaving Sept 2 vs. Aug 31 saved me a few hundred dollars).
- I stayed in hostels with kitchens so I could cook my own food (in Croatia you can eat 3 meals for $10 a day…in Bulgaria its only $3) .
- I didn’t go anywhere on the Euro. (sorry euro, but I can’t afford you).
- I avoided tourist groups and larger crowds by shopping in the markets in the morning, (like 6am or earlier if I wanted fish) , climbing along the rocks to pick out my own part of the ocean to relax in versus staying on the tourist sections (its not hard to scramble the rocks on the coastline to get away from 90% of the tourists). I also just walked around aimlessly sometimes.
Because I only had a few weeks in the Balkans (5 weeks) and wanted to visit more than just Croatia, I did end up more in the touristy areas, with much less exploration than I would have liked to. But I also was able through cooking food, traveling by bus, staying in hostels or hooking up with other backpackers to share private rooms and train sleepers stay in the Balkans for 5 weeks, on $2,300 (including round-trip airfare).
Travel hint…often sharing sleeper cars and private room can be cheaper than individual dorm beds or train tickets (with 4 people, it can often be cheaper to pool resources and roommate than buy separate beds in a dorm or separate seats on a train seats.)
If I were to go back to Europe to spend some time (and since this is my fantasy I am going to pretend I am also independently wealthy), I would love to visit more of the Croatian islands, like Mljet. I also want to visit…you know….id visit every single country in Europe, for at least a month each.
I could list them all here, but it would be easier to say where I don’t want go.
So the places in Europe I DON’T want to visit are:
This is part of Boots n All 2012 Indie Travel Challenge, and yes, that ending was on purpose. I’m doing this in hopes of becoming a more consistent and better travel-blogger. And visiting every country in Europe!