Independent travel is the best way to go for those travelling on a tight budget, otherwise known as budget travelling. Budget travellers, typically make their own travel arrangements and aim to save money on those purchases. With a flexible travel itinerary away from an organized tour, they are free to embark on their own schedule. It pays to independently price the most important components of a trip separately. This includes the flight, hotel bookings and ground transportation. There are other areas, however where the budget traveller can save money ahead of any European travel. The most important of these is railway travel, which is the transport of choice for touring Europe.
Ordering a rail pass is an excellent way to save money on a European travel trip. If you are under twenty six years of age on the day of travel, you are entitled to discount. The same also holds true for senior adults. For seniors, different rail lines may have different requirements but it does make sense to look for age related discounts if you are either young or old. Rail passes are sold in increments of time and by carefully counting how many days you will be travelling by train is another trick to help to save money for the budget traveller.
Depending on how many countries you pass through can have a large bearing on your travel expenses when travelling by train. Organize your itinerary carefully beforehand. Questions that you should be asking are how many countries are you visiting? Can you buy a rail card for all of these countries together? How can you buy a ticket in the most efficient way to travel in these countries?
How many cities you intend to stay in also has a bearing on your travel expenses. In a city, you will not use a rail pass, instead you will need local travel passes. Questions you need to consider are how long you will be staying in a single city and will you need a local travel pass on consecutive days or are there days where you can sight see on foot?
Another point worth noting is whether a city you will be visiting is near the border of another country that you will be visiting. It might be worth buying a point to point ticket rather than adding the nearby country to your travel pass.
On another note, one of the areas that can catch out the unwitty traveller is luggage. When travelling to Europe, try and pack light. Most major airlines will charge an excess fee if you are carrying over the maximum weight threshold and is usually priced per kilogram over that threshold.
Hopefully, this short article has provided some useful tips when planning a budget travel trip. Other useful resources for planning any itinerary include respected travel websites, Lonely Planet and Travel Advisor. These can also provide useful, on the ground tips once you have started out on your travel.