In February I did a trip to Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Sweden on a student budget. For transportation costs of 140€ I travelled to four countries. If you struggle to find cheap travel deals this post may help you.
This was my itinerary:
|Day 1||Austria – Latvia||Plane: Wizzair||€30|
|Day 4||Latvia – Estonia||Bus: Lux Express||€14|
|Day 7||Estonia – Finland||Ferry: Viking Line||€17|
|Day 12||Finland – Sweden||Plane: Norwegian||€49|
|Day 15||Sweden – Austria||Plane: Ryanair & Wizzair||€30|
Check several airports near your desired destination
The reason for my trip to Northern Europe was to visit my Finnish friend in Helsinki. Flights from Vienna to Helsinki were quite pricey at that time so I was looking for airports nearby to get a cheaper deal. Since I had a lot of time (3 weeks semester break from Uni) and didn’t plan on staying in Helsinki for a long time I decided to make a bigger trip. I found a cheap ticket to Riga so I started planning the whole trip from there.
Use discount programs if you fly regularly
My flight to Riga was operated by Wizzair and I have to say I love this airline. For 30€ per year you can become a discount club member. The membership gives you a 10€ discount on every flight ticket that costs at least 20€. You can even take someone with you and get a second discounted ticket. It already pays off after the third flight. Unfortunately they don’t operate direct flights from Vienna to Riga so I had a stopover in Düsseldorf.
Bring your student ID
Students often benefit from reduced entrances or fares, no matter in which country.
Use the website “AZair”
This is one of my favourite search engines for budget flights within Europe. The design of the website is ugly AF but it does its job. You can set a range of dates and several departure and arrival airports. It will search for the cheapest option even if it’s extremely inconvenient.
For example for my flight to Riga I didn’t book one ticket with a stop in Düsseldorf. I bought two separate tickets. The flights were not supposed to be connection flights and the waiting time in Düsseldorf was 7 hours. No other search engine would have suggested that connection, only AZair. I brought my laptop along and used the waiting time to do some assignments for Uni. Like this I only paid 30€ for the ticket and for me it doesn’t make a difference if I work from my apartment or from the airport.
Look for discount codes online
The regular price of my flight from Helsinki to Stockholm was higher but I used the discount code “UNDER26” to get it cheaper. Everyone below the age of 26 could use that code for booking a ticket.
Locals often know the tricks to get a lower fare on tickets. It might be booking online or with a certain app, using a discount code or booking with a less known operator. If you don’t have a local friend use google.
Couchsurfing is on the one hand a great way to save money while travelling and on the other hand it’s always a unique experience that allows you to connect with locals.
Those hacks saved me some money and allowed me to visit more places. Also, I put a lot of time and effort into searching for the best connections. I always check all the possible ways, operators, times and days to get around.
How do you travel on a budget? Do you have any tricks? Let me know in the comments!