How to Save Money Traveling Europe by Train

Guest blogger and financial expert Jackie Edwards shares tips on budget travel with Eurail.

More than 7 billion passengers have traveled around Europe annually since 2010. Trains cut across Europe’s unending beauty, from surprising mountain borders to the whitewashed alpine fields and densely populated coastlines. It can be a fascinating experience.

Europe’s extensive train network works perfectly for travelers looking to cover longer distances comfortably in less time. Many tourists also go for the economical option of traveling by train overnight, saving them hotel room costs as they travel across borders.

A good-value, flexible rail pass and adequate financial preparation is guaranteed to make the best use of your travel funds. A worldwide trip might seem pricey, but it doesn’t have to leave you with debts and other money struggles when you return home. Here are a few ways to make sure you’re financially prepared for your big European adventure.

Create a budget


Planning your budget - Save money traveling


After identifying the European places you intend to visit, research the associated costs online. To get the entire cost of your vacation, the first step should be breaking your trip down into its various components. By doing this, you can work out costs for your accommodation, food, and any other activities you plan on indulging in. It may look like a lot, but that shouldn’t scare you – instead, it should motivate you to work harder for the trip.

Once in Europe, your travel will mostly be covered by your Eurail Pass, so as long as you make any required seat reservations in advance, you’ll be able to budget effectively for this.

Save money in a sinking fund


Keep hold of your cash - Save money traveling


The best way to plan for a future trip is by regularly saving some money for it. This begins by understanding your cash flow and identifying where you can cut down your spending. You have to know how to minimize your expenses and put aside some money on a weekly or daily basis. Out of your monthly salary, which is probably paid by direct deposit, automatically direct some money into your sinking fund or savings account.

Saving might not always be an easy thing to do. You’ll need a lot of discipline to put money aside and not get tempted to spend it on other things. Set yourself an achievable target and you’ll soon find yourself rewarded with the trip of your dreams.

Get a travel credit card


Save on travel with a rail pass - Save money traveling


Travel credit cards often get you travel bonuses and category spending bonuses as well as low spending minimums. Credit cards are often the best way to pay on your travels, especially for large payments such as airline tickets, hotel bills and restaurant meals.

You’re also likely to get the best currency exchange rates using credit cards abroad. Purchases while traveling are usually exchanged at the Interbank exchange rate. Credit card companies will charge a fee for currency conversion for every purchase you make, but this fee is typically lower than the cost of changing your money at a change bureau. Do your research to find the best travel credit cards, but be sure to meet the monthly payment deadline when you’re abroad.

Remember, your journey across Europe doesn’t have to empty your bank account – you just have to do your research before you go. By planning your finances ahead of time, you can make your dream to travel Europe a realistic and fulfilling experience that’s worth every cent.


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