Traveled around Europe for a couple month and to my surprise, it was extremely easy to get around and country hop visited over 20 countries without breaking the bank or spending a lot of time planning. If you’re interested in country hopping Europe is a great place to start. Crossing borders are easier then most people think. And there is a number of ways to get around. Here are a few tip and tricks I have learned through my experience country hopping in Europe.
Flying feels like the obvious choice to travel and hit a lot of countries.
But you don’t have to always fly to get where you need to be in Europe. There is a time where flying can be cheaper than taking a bus or just as expensive as taking a train.
Europe was some amazing discount airline companies. A flight from Spain to Portugal can be as low as $35 us dollars. Fantastic right, what the catch? The check baggage fee and added service. What added services… some airlines will charge you if you don’t physically print the boarding pass. So, now a cheap flight just went from $35 to $50. Oh, you want to check your bag or have to because the American carry on size is a way to bigger size for these European airlines. Well, now we are at $120. Oh, you want to pick your seat no problem, no one ever wants to get stuck in the middle seat. Pick a great emergency exit seat now your ticket just went from 120 to $170. Want a snack or a drink no worries everything is for purchase on the flight. $5 and up is where they get you. So don’t enjoy the salted peanuts if you can’t afford the beverage to knock it back with.
So take all of this into consideration when you’re pricing out travel options. Also, think of the amount of time you are spending at the airport. If you’re spending multiple hours because it’s a cheap flight is it really worth it if it takes away from your actual time sightseeing?
I was never much of a train rider. It just isn’t as convenient in the united states as it is in Europe.
Trains are great inner country travel as well as traveling to neighboring countries. The train can take longer than flights but you get a great scenic view of the country and cheap deals with not added luggage fees.
Sleeper trains have not been my favorite. Actually, I have a horror story with a perverted Italian man on a 12-hour sleeper train in Italy. (save that story for another time) However, trains are a fast way to get to point A to B and sleeper trains cut out a night of hotel stays. When you budget travel anyway to save money is key.
Tickets have been pretty price competitive to buses. But the time saved on the train is much better.
Most backpackers have probably heard of Flixbus, it is one of the more popular bus lines in Europe. They are cheap for a reason. They lack amenities and customer service.
Unlike REGIO JET bus line where customer comfort comes first.
drink and snack are provided and some are for sale.
they both have bathrooms, thank the lord for that especially during a 6+ hour bus ride.
Regio JET offers onboard entertainment ( tv’s, movies ) streamed from the front headrest of your seat, along with unlimited wifi.
Flix bus doesn’t offer any entertainment. They have a cap on the amount of wifi you are allotted and the customer service is borderline horrific.
So if you’re planning a long journey I would pick region jet for the comfort alone.
Buses options are great for budget travel. Can’t beat a $19 bus ticket to take you from the Netherlands all the way to London.
*tip-Always double check the length of your travel time it might be cheap but is it worth digging into your sightseeing time?
Planning on doing a little travel along the coastal side of Europe? A Cruise might be exactly what you are looking for, hop on hop off. Explore for a day/ afternoon if you’re only into the key sights this is perfect, however, if you’re into the local hot spots and really diving into the nightlife and culture scene then I would not recommend a cruise. They tend to be really fast pace and overscheduled.
I know it sounds crazy, but there are routes in Europe that you can hike every day to see the country. Trails in Spain are popular for this type of travel. If you’re not trying to walk 30 miles a day, but need to get around a walk to see the sites. You’ll get the best experience
need to get around on foot or local metro
Google Maps will be your absolute best friend. google Maps give walking direction, local metro, taxi, bike and by car.
they also highlight local attractions in on the map in case you are like me and did little to no research on the new city you are visiting.
So there you have it. A list of transportation options to get you thought your backpacking country hopping adventure. Just remember however you get there just enjoy the journey.
key transportation apps I recommend during your travels.
check out my last post “7 must have travel apps you need to download today” on other travel apps you need to have during you next adventure.