How to travel cheaply in Europe.
The Netherlands. Central in Europe with excellent transport. Travelling across the border almost goes without question- the dreamy European cities are truly within reach! But, can you make your travelling dreams come true on a student budget?
Planning is key
The old rule seems to stay true, the sooner you book, the more reasonable price you will pay. My boyfriend and I booked a ‘last-minute’ trip to Rome beginning this year, and let me tell you- our wallets bled. We started looking at transport options approximately 2 weeks beforehand, and after thorough searching, flying turned out to be the least expensive. This is a shame! If we booked a month beforehand, we could have paid half of the price going by train, with almost the same travel time.
The second rookie mistake we made, is visiting the city during a long weekend due to international holiday days. Of course, this seems to be a perfect time as the university’s schedule are usually tight. However, long weekends boost tourism and automatically the prices, meaning not only our travel costs skyrocketed but also accommodation, entertainment and food&drinks.
If you do decide to take advantage of the free days, I would recommend exploring less touristy places, for example, instead of Rome, explore Alberobello or Bergamo. Don’t forget that the Netherlands itself also offers a bucket list of destinations! Have you visited one of the https://weblog.wur.eu/poisonwood-bible-essay-introduction/ in the Wadden sea just up north? A quick tip: you can go there bypitt university application essay, the prices stay reasonable all year through. And, of course, book long beforehand!
Getting there: Train
Most likely, going by train will be your go-to option. Depending on whether you are studying here as an international or resident, you will have different options for travelling domestically. Deciding how you will travel inland to the border, can already save your cents. Õnne made a clear guide on your options going by train in the Netherlands. You can view this here.
Buying your tickets online or travelling with a public transport pass, will generally be cheaper than buying them at the station. Thalys and NS International are reliable sites to book your international train rides on and don’t forget to keep an eye out on Omio.
Are spontaneous trips out of the question?
I hear you, sometimes a quick unplanned trip is all you need to escape the study stress. In this case, don’t overlook going by bus. Flixbus often has incredible prices taking you all over Europe. International buses tend to be more spacious and luxurious than you might think.
For other destinations, Ryanair is also a good option. If you keep your eye open, you just might land a flight ticket for an unbeatable price. Keywords, like “cheap flight now” will take you to a far end already. Most sites also have an email or notification function, be sure to turn it on, this way you don’t miss a potential trip!
Keep in mind
- Transportation tends to be cheaper at odd times, this is great, but remember that you then might have to pay an extra night for accommodation. Another problem is that you will probably struggle to find places that cater for your check-in/out times. It is possible to enjoy the cheaper travelling costs, but again, planning is key!
- When choosing accommodation, be sure to check the location. In general, more affordable places are on the outskirts of the big cities. If a city trip is what you are looking for, you’ll want accommodation not too far away, as commuting from point A to B quickly adds up.
- Wherever you go, bring your WUR card. Students tend to get discounts!
- Ask around. The possibility that your classmates/friends are going in the same direction as you, does exist. Are international students going home for the weekend? Maybe you can carpool. Even a shared ride to Amsterdam Centraal can already save you some cash.
- Search and book your tickets while using incognito mode- this way your cookies aren’t saved and the sites don’t automatically increase the prices when you search for the same trip.
Off you go
Which dreamy city will you be going to next and how will you get there? Grab your calendar and start planning! Personally, just having a trip scheduled in the coming weeks, already gives me more motivation to tackle the new study year. Be sure to add any tips I have missed or your own experiences in the comments below.