1. Don’t underestimate a good breakfast – While you are travelling you tend to do a lot of walking. So without a decent breakfast you have can easily get tired and mardy. We normally just ate a big breakfast, missed lunch then have a big dinner. Most hostels do a pretty decent all you can eat for under €5.
2. Buying big bottles of water in supermarkets to save money – Wherever you go, from Venice to Bratislava there are supermarkets everywhere. Don’t buy 500ml bottles from a shop for €2.50, go to the supermarket instead and spent 20 cents on a 2l bottle. It’ll save you money and keep you hydrated.
4. Try and stay in social hostels – the best hostels we stayed were loud, busy and full of travelers. We met so many different people from all over the world and it makes staying in a different place every night that bit more enjoyable.
5. Do at least 1 pub crawl! – You know the drill, get a group of travelers together, drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol in a few bars and don’t remember how you got home. Try to find a bar crawl which has an unlimited drinking hour, but don’t plan anything the next day.
6. Hostels which are central – Public transport can cost anything up to €5 euros for a single trip so staying within walking distance is a big advantage, not only to save cost, but also to see more of the city on foot.
7. Walk everywhere – using public transport may be quicker, but you don’t get a feel for the city and walking allows you to wander round aimlessly to take in the culture and the sights.
8. Try to plan a couple of scenic locations so you have a break from cities – Cities are great, lively, cheap to drink in and generally a lot more exciting than mountains. However, this can take it out of you, so try plan a couple of scenic locations into your travels such as Lake Lucern in Switzerland or Lake Bled in Slovenia.
9. Free walking Tours – Almost every city has them, these tours are done on a tip only basis, so you pay what you think it was worth. The main company we used was Sandermans who are the biggest company on Europe. You find out interesting facts, legends and general information about the city with guides who tend to be fun, engaged and knowledgeable.
10. If you are using an overnight train book it well in advance as most are fully booked up to 72 hours before – We got caught out here, arriving the day before at a train station to book an overnight train the following night, only to find it is fully booked with no other options other than staying in the current city you are in another night. European trains can be booked from any train station in Europe or by calling Dbahn.
11. Be flexible – Allow yourself to have the freedom to stay an extra night in a city if you enjoy it.
12. Try to eat the cuisine – It is normally a lot cheaper and lot tastier! If you go where the locals are eating, you can’t really go wrong. Stay out of the tourist areas so you are not paying tourist prices!
13. Try to have 1 memorable experience from each city – Travelling to so many places means they often blur together after a few days. You want something to distinguish between every place on your travels. Remember that time in Berlin…
14. Make sure you budget – Hostels will be your biggest expense, but you also want to make sure you have enough money per day to enjoy the cities you are in. Work out your daily budget and stick to it, otherwise you end up blowing all your money in a week and be scared to check your bank balance!