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How To Save Money in Europe

Looking to get the most out of your Europe trip? Use these simple tips to help save lots of money! These small costs that you might not think of in advance will add up, and can be better be spent on experiences or shopping.

No foreign transaction fee credit card

These cards waive the typical 3% fee charged on transactions made outside of your home country, saving you money on every purchase. Whether you're enjoying a meal at a quaint Parisian café or shopping for souvenirs in bustling London markets, those fees can quickly add up. With no foreign transaction fees, you can confidently swipe or tap knowing you won't incur extra charges. Plus, it offers the convenience of not having to carry large amounts of cash and accruing points or cash back while spending. If you are not sure about your card, you can call your bank.

Get cash from your bank before you leave

Obtaining euros from your bank before departing for your European adventure can save you money and hassle. Banks often offer more competitive exchange rates compared to currency exchange booths at airports or tourist hotspots. Additionally, you won't need to pay high ATM fees in Europe. I call my bank about a week before my trip, and they will have euros ordered for me for free! By planning ahead and exchanging currency before you leave, you can avoid inflated fees and unfavorable conversion rates. Plus, having euros on hand from the start allows you to hit the ground running upon arrival.

Pay in euros when using credit cards

Paying in euros when transacting in Europe can save you money by avoiding dynamic currency conversion fees. Opting to pay in euros rather than your home currency often ensures you receive a more favorable exchange rate from your bank.

Be aware of tipping customs

Tipping customs in Europe differ with those in the US. While tipping is customary in the US, in Europe it's more modest, with service charges sometimes included in the bill. It's common to round up or leave a small tip as a gesture of appreciation, but it's not as prevalent or obligatory as in the US.

Use public transportation

Unlike many places in the U.S., Europe has amazing, clean and affordable public transportation. I like to use google maps to see what the bus, metro and train options are. Compared to taxis or rental cars, tickets are often much cheaper, leaving more in your pocket for experiences. Plus, many cities offer discounted tourist passes for unlimited travel. Embrace public transit to save money and immerse yourself in local culture.

Carry a reusable water bottle

Bringing a reusable water bottle on your European adventure is a smart way to save money, reduce waste, and stay eco-friendly. While many restaurants charge for bottled water (2-3 euros each!!), opting for tap water and refilling your bottle at public fountains or establishments offering complimentary water helps cut costs and minimizes plastic usage. By making this simple switch, you not only save euros but also contribute to a more sustainable travel experience, all while staying hydrated and refreshed throughout your journey across Europe.

This is my fav water bottle because the handle is great to carry while walking - Yeti

Travel in shoulder season

Traveling during the shoulder season, spring (March to May) or fall (September to November), offers quieter streets and shorter lines, along with opportunities to save money. With fewer tourists, prices for hotels, flights, and activities often dip, allowing for more experiences without breaking the bank. Consider planning your next adventure during these off-peak times to unlock both savings and less tourists.

Get an accommodation with a kitchen

Having accommodation with a kitchen while traveling in Europe can be a game-changer for your budget. By not eating out for every meal, you can significantly cut down on dining expenses, especially in pricey tourist areas. Shopping at local markets and grocery stores allows you to indulge in fresh, authentic ingredients at a fraction of the cost of dining out. Plus, cooking your own meals provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the culinary culture of your destination while saving euros for other memorable experiences.

Use an international phone plan or Wi-fi only

Using your phone internationally can add up very quickly! Opting for an international phone plan or purchasing a local SIM card can provide affordable access to data, calls, and texts. Alternatively, relying on Wi-Fi only for internet connectivity can help you avoid roaming charges altogether, as many cafes, accommodations, and public spaces offer free Wi-Fi. By choosing the option that best suits your needs, you can stay connected without overspending, leaving more euros in your pocket for unforgettable experiences on your European adventure.

Traveling in Europe doesn't have to break the bank, especially when armed with these savvy money-saving strategies. There are ample opportunities to trim expenses without sacrificing the quality of your experience. Pack your bags, embrace these money-saving techniques, and embark on a journey filled unforgettable moments across the vibrant landscapes of Europe!


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