What Do I Need to Know Before Travelling Europe?

There are 50 countries in Europe, with 44 of these having their capital city on the European continent. This range of cultures, over a relatively small continent, can make Europe a great place to travel, especially when this is all right on our doorstep…


Europe is famous for its international rail system, where backpackers can buy rail passes to get from country to country.

These passes offer flexibility as well as being more budget friendly than relying on lots of flights.

With interrail, you can purchase a global pass if you want to visit multiple European countries, or a one country pass if you want to explore just one country in depth.

There are a range of options, depending on how many travel days you need. You can find out more about what passes you can get here.

Interrail is also currently offering 20% off selected passes if you purchase from 7th to 18th of July to travel from 1st September 2024. So, if you’re considering exploring Europe this year and aren’t constrained to travelling in the summer months, you might want to check this out.

Keeping Costs Down

Costs in Europe greatly vary from place to place. Western Europe is more pricey than Eastern Europe, and there are also big variations between countries, and each city or town.

Some key ways in which you can save money are:

  • Getting rail passes and avoiding flights
  • Taking advantage of any cheap flights… although flying from country to country would prove expensive, great deals on flights can crop up if you keep your eye out
  • Cooking meals or getting street food rather than frequenting restaurants
  • Getting tourist cards to get discounts on attractions when you know you will be doing a lot of sight-seeing
  • Sticking to hostels or camping rather than hotels
  • Getting a HostelPass to get discounts on hostel
  • Planning your route to avoid doubling back on yourself
  • Restricting your drinking and nights on the town!
  • Keeping your belongings safe and being wary of pickpockets

Consider the Time of Year

You should consider the time of year when planning your journey. June-September tend to be the summer months in Europe where the weather is more likely to be warm and dry (though as we Brits know, summer here can still bring lots of rain!)

However, if going in summer months, you should also expect higher prices and more crowds. Spring and Autumn tend to be cheaper and less busy, which can make it a good time to visit coastal hotspots like Spain and Greece where you can enjoy the emptier beaches.

Winter months tend to be colder and wetter, but the Christmas season can be a lovely time to enjoy the Christmas markets of different countries.

Consider A New Bank

Before travelling, you should also consider the fees that come with your bank. Certain banks will give you the mid-market exchange rate without charging a fee for withdrawals abroad.

You can find out more about the best debit cards to use abroad from Which?

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