Every time I speak about trips, one of the questions that people ask me is how to travel with little money in your pocket. It is an important question, a key question for most people, which shows not only the desire to travel but also
the will to find practical solutions to satisfy this desire.
This article aims at speaking about a part of the low-cost trip, the one related to transfers. Obviously it depends on the places in which you are and that you want to visit, but, at least as far as Europe is concerned, there may be useful websites and common guidelines.
Starting from more general questions, I would say that the first thing to ask yourself is how much time you have because every kind of transfer takes different times: for example, if you have few days and you want to go far, you cannot choose but the plane; if, instead, you have plenty of time and you do not want to go too far, you may opt for bus, train, car, bike or even your feet!
Another thing to evaluate is what kind of experience we want to live. Do you want to plunge as much as possible into the visit of a certain European city? Catch the plane and take advantage of every minute you have in the city. Do you dream a trip that invites you to meditate on hanging questions? The train seems to reconcile thoughts with dreams. Do you need a slow and open-air trip? Bike or walk!
My third recommendation is to evaluate your abilities in order to avoid overdoing and undergoing useless stress. I always suggest to try also new experiences and to attempt to bring into question one’s own alleged limits, without, however, biting more than one can chew (even if for someone perhaps it would be the only really useful thing). If, for example, you are not used to riding a bike, you had better not to go on a trip of hundreds of km moving by bike as if it were the first time you travel alone and were windy. You had better to postpone the hitch-hiking experience to the next time!
Once you have evaluated all this, you are ready to put yourself in front of a computer (or smartphone) and to start exploring the web in search for the best price for your trip. There are really many websites available, I will tell you about those that I find more convenient and useful.
- There are really a lot of search engines to find air flights, from e-Dreams to Skyscanner or Kiwi.com and many more again. Search on the web, take a look at more than one, cross the prices and evaluate. To purchase the ticket, however, I suggest to go directly to the website of the airline found through these engines: in case of problems with the flight, you may address directly to this one, without too many intermediaries.
- To search for the lowest prices ever to move by train or bus (sometimes it also works well for cars and planes), I always use the search engine Goeuro.com.
- It is also possible to move by car spending little money, above all in very busy routes, by using the car sharing offered by communities, of which the most famous is undoubtedly BlaBlaCar. It is a good way to socialize and also to spread the culture of sharing, very useful as for polluting means of transport like the car and too often lived in a totally individualistic way. Go to the website and download the app, sign in, look for the lift, read the description of the driver and the feedbacks he received in the past by other passengers and send your request..
- If you are more adventurous and want to spend even less money, or rather absolutely zero, hitch-hike. There is a fantastic website that provides a lot of useful information about where and how to hitch-hike: HitchWiki. In many Countries it is very widespread, more than in Italy, and you can do it without running particular risks, so get information about the Country in which you are interested in doing it.
- If you feel like venturing into a trip by bike, which undoubtedly will minimize your transfer expenses, not to mention the fact that it is completely eco-friendly and will help you develop your muscles, you can read advices regarding the areas, the difficulties and much more again in various blogs, including Life in Travel or viagginbici.com.
- Another zero-cost and zero-impact option is walking. Finally, if you are interested in a walking tour, you may take a look at Pellegrinando – Cammini in Europa, where you may find descriptions of plenty of walking tours, their itineraries, journals of those who have already gone through them, the recommended guides to face them, etc.
Well, now you are ready to think about leaving. Only one recommendation is missing: