We created this step-by-step guide to prove that planning your own budget travels doesn’t have to be daunting —whether you’re backpacking Europe or just an independent traveler.
This guide is broken down into different phases of the planning process — Initial Trip Planning, Packing Guides for clothes and gear, Finding Accommodation, Choosing Transportation, Travel Gear Reviews, and other helpful travel tips.
Under each phase, you will find links to individual articles — we suggest reading through each one. If you follow these steps you’ll be prepared to have an amazing trip to Europe.
Note: You can find even more information in the top menu.
These are the first steps to take when planning your trip to backpack Europe. Here you’ll start planning what cities and countries to visit, create a travel itinerary, estimate your travel costs, book your flight, and a range of other things.
You’ll probably spend a large amount of time on this phase — especially the itinerary planning.
How to create an itinerary that fits your travel style, travel goals, and budget.
We’ve also put together some sample itineraries:
What to look for when choosing your travel insurance.
Your plane ticket to Europe is one of your greatest expenses. This guide has strategies to help you find the best price possible.
From Lonely Planet and Rick Steves to WikiTravel and TripAdvisor, there is a wealth of information to help you choose what to do and see. We review our favorite resources.
The summer might be the busiest travel season, but Europe is a great place to visit year-round. We’ve listed the pros and cons of each season.
A collection of general travel tips that are easy to overlook but will make your trip much more successful.
We answer the most common travel questions that we receive.
How much does it cost to travel through Europe? Look no further! We break down the average cost of food, alcohol, accommodation, sightseeing, transportation, and other common expenses.
Daily price guides for more than 30 cities in Europe. Each city guide includes average prices for food, accommodation, sightseeing, and more.
Everything you need to know about exchange rates, using ATMs, using debit/credit cards, avoiding/minimizing foreign transactions fees, and more.
Simple things you can do to save money while traveling.
Packing for travel in Europe can be confusing and frustrating — especially if you’re backpacking across Europe or just trying to pack light. These guides will help you choose what clothes and travel accessories to pack and has advice on packing light.
Our packing list for women and men are our most popular articles. We discuss functional and fashionable clothes for traveling Europe, helpful travel accessories, toiletries, electronics, and what items you should leave behind.
We discuss the different types of backpacks available, what features you should pay attention to when picking a bag, and how to find a bag that properly fits your body.
Our favorite travel backpacks on the market.
Tips for living out of a backpack (or suitcase) while traveling.
Do you need a backpack to travel Europe? Of course not. Here are tips for determining your luggage style.
Hardcore travelers know the importance to traveling light — and now you can, too.
Traveling during the winter is great but you need to know how to dress properly. We discuss how to dress in layers so you can stay warm without wearing a lot of bulky clothes. Also, see our winter packing list.
After transportation, accommodation will probably be your biggest expense. In this section, we primarily focus on hostels, rental apartments, and Couchsurfing.
You’re probably going to stay in a hostel while traveling in Europe. This extensive guide will tell you what to look for when booking a hostel to ensure you find the perfect place.
Low on cash? No problem! Couchsurfing is a great way find free accommodation and meet locals.
Renting a vacation apartment is a great alternative to staying in a hostel or hotel — and it can often be very affordable. It is our preferred accommodation method when we travel because it gives us the chance to truly live like a local.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!
Europe has a great transportation network which makes zipping around the continent easy. The hardest part is choosing which method is right for your travel style and budget. We outline the pros and cons of each system and help you get the best deals.
If you plan on taking the train I suggest reading this guide as it will help you learn the ins and outs of European rail travel.
The best ways to buy train tickets and tips for getting the best price.
Many travelers choose to purchase a rail pass for exploring Europe. With so many different passes available it can be tough to decide which, if any, rail pass is worth the price. This guide will help you navigate the choices.
Europe is home to multiple budget airlines so air travel is often very reasonably priced. This guide will cover how to find the cheapest tickets and help you decide if air travel is right for your trip.
Ryanair is the king of cheap airfare in Europe. But this small price comes with a lot of stipulations so you need to know all the details to get the best deal. This Ryanair survival guide will help ensure you get the best deal possible.
Exploring Europe by car is a great way to discover smaller towns and villages, but it is a nightmare if you plan on only visiting large cities. This guide will go over what to look for when renting a car.
We take a look at a sample European travel itinerary and compare the cost of traveling by car, train, and plane.
One of the cheapest methods of travel is via the bus, so this can be a good choice for cash-strapped travelers.
This section features general travel tips for everything from spotting tourist scams and fashion advice to solo travel pointers and group travel tips.
How to use your data plan overseas without spending a fortune and tips for finding cheap data plans abroad.
Tips for outsmarting those pesky pickpockets.
Europe may be beautiful but there is an ugly side too. Don’t get fooled by these common scams.
Traveling alone doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, it is one of our favorite ways to travel. This guide will help you embrace traveling solo.
Traveling with friends or loved ones can be great, but the stress of travel often puts a big strain on relationships and friendships. This guide will help ensure that you stay friends after the trip.
We’ve found high-tech travel clothing that actually looks damn fashionable.
Most electronic gadgets will work fine abroad, but not all. Read this guide to make sure all of your expensive gadgets stay safe.
A few simple tips to follow as you plan your day-to-day sightseeing.
There are a lot of small things you can do while traveling to save a little money — and all those savings do add up.
This is a collection of random tips and tricks that we and our readers have come up with over years of traveling.
There are many amazing travel products that will make traveling more enjoyable and stress-free — but the choices can be overwhelming. We’ve reviewed everything from our favorite socks and underwear to backpacks and cameras. We’ve also reviewed many popular tours and travel booking sites.
Want to live like a local? Try Airbnb. See why Airbnb is my top choice for finding great places to stay.
The backpack you choose will greatly affect how you travel. We share our favorite backpacks and bags for multiple travel styles.
Most people overlook packing suitable underwear, but this guide will show you the importance of choosing the right underwear.
If your feet are happy, then you’re happy and that is why choosing the right socks will make all the difference.
Do you want to blog, edit photos, or simply stay connected with the world while you travel? Well, you’ll need a laptop or tablet. We tell you about what to look for and show you our top picks.
Not only do we recommend our favorite cameras for capturing those amazing memories, but we also help you pick out the perfect camera for your travel style.
Contiki tours are a very popular travel option that thousands of people take each year. Learn about the good and bad of Contiki tours to see if it is a good option for you.
See why Hostelworld is my top choice for finding and booking hostels in Europe.
Follow us as we blog about the places we visit.
Discover practical information about the most popular cities in Europe.
The websites we use to book and plan our travels.
The 100% free guide to making your own travel blog that also earns money to help fund your travels.
PIN THIS ARTICLE: