Europe Budget-Backpacking | How-To Guide


I’m going to make this intro short and sweet, because that’s exactly what I was looking for when I was doing research on Europe backpacking. I would say that my own personal travel style is 40% planner/60% ‘we’ll figure it out there’, so I wasn’t exactly looking for a play-by-play itinerary but I was interested in finding average prices and recommended routes. I wanted numbers and places laid out in an easy-to-read chart, which was surprisingly not very easy to find – so, here it is.


This is route above is exactly how I ended up backpacking Europe over the summer of 2015. The prices below are what you should expect to spend for hostel lodging and transportation to and from those cities.

I started by booking a round-trip ticket from my home in the United States to Reykjavik, Iceland. That was by far the most economical way for me to get to Europe, as direct flights from Florida to anywhere in Europe cost well over 1k. Plus, I got to spend a few days exploring Iceland!

Update March 2017: Norwegian Airlines also flies incredibly cheap from the US to Europe! Look under the 'destinations' tab on their website, input your preferred US airport and it'll show you everywhere that it travels to in Europe and the best times to go. There's a one way from Orlando to London right now for $258!


More tips for backpacking Europe on a tight budget!

  • I can’t stress enough the amount of money that hostels save you! Most of them are clean, private and secure, and a fraction of the price compared to hotels and resorts. I've stayed in over 30 hostels and have had a good experience 98% of the time. 

  • Buy groceries. Eating out every meal adds up, so buy enough to eat for a week and cook in the hostels’ kitchens. It’s cheaper, healthier and a great way to make friends with your roommates.

  • Pick and choose which attractions to spend money on. There’s a ton of free things to do in Europe. Most cities even have free (tip-based) walking tours by local, knowledgeable guides.

  • Bring your student ID! It gets you a discount at most museums and galleries.

  • Be flexible. Prices for lodging and transportation can often vary hugely from one day to another.

If you’re interested in knowing which hostels I stayed at in Europe and what I think about them, you can find the list here. I also put together my whole travel journal here, if you want to know what we did on an everyday basis. :)

To see pictures from my Europe trip follow me on Instagram at @globetrottingblonde!