Travelling on your Erasmus: cheap with a tad of chic

17 April 2020

"Travelling on a student budget isn’t easy, yet we all want to. I’d like to make it easier and share what I’ve learned about low-budget travelling during my Erasmus." In this blog, Sara shares her advice on travelling during your year abroad.


Travelling on a student budget isn’t easy, yet we all want to. I’d like to make it easier and share what I’ve learned about low-budget travelling during my Erasmus, mostly so no one else has to repeat my mistakes. In the past 9 months, I’ve had the chance to visit Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Kiel and Heidelberg. From transport, over-night stays and what to do, I hope this proves a helpful guide on travelling continental Europe during the weekend, with less than 250 Euros!


First things first: how do you get to your destination? There are a couple options: get the train if you’re planning the trip in advance, but if you’re like me and decide 2 weeks before, busses, car-sharing and budget trains are your friend. If you’re taking the bus, I have nothing but love for FlixBus and recommend it highly. Pro-tip: take the front seat on the first floor if it’s a double decker, you’ll have lots of space and barely any road-sickness. Car-sharing is also a great option that I discovered recently: reliable, safe and super cheap. I used Blablacar, and as the name suggests, be warned that you’ll be expected to make conversation- great opportunity to flex your language skills. Pro-tip: don’t play yourself like I did and rush to book your trip back. Once you book the ride, you’ll automatically get a bunch of emails with different options for your return. Also, take into account you have to negotiate with the car-owner where they’ll leave you. Finally, budget trains, aka trains running either during the early morning or late at night, are a great way to get around, and woah they’re cheap. Proest-tip you’ll ever get: compare prices and times in www.omio.com, you won’t regret it.

Over-night stay

You get to your destination, all is great, but: where to sleep? It’s hostel time! I would like to hereby apologize for all the times I rejected the very idea of a hostel in the past. My change of heart came from the realization that hostels will always have something over rental accommodations: Lo-ca-ti-on! If you’re travelling in a group, you can most likely get a private room, sharing the bathroom with other rooms. So, just pack your flip-flops and start searching at www.hostelworld.com. Also, you’ll find that you are forced to get to know other people, most of whom will be students that you’ll befriend, which leads me to my second point: post on your social media where you’re going, see if you can crash in someone’s couch. You never know what that random person from school is doing, they might be living where you want to go, and you won’t pay a penny to stay there. Remember to be courteous and make breakfast! As a last resort, you can always get a bus or train that rides during the night, that way you’ll be paying for both transport and sleep: two birds with one cheap stone.

Things to do

You’ve been to the city center, saw all top-10 things on Trip Advisor, now what? If you chose to travel there, there must be something you want to see, but let me share my wisdom: live music makes every trip better. Concerts don’t have to be at an arena and cost €100, look for a live-music bar or café, and also take into account that classical concerts in Europe are very cheap for students. Finally, don’t be afraid to get purposefully lost! Start walking without a destination, maybe you’ll find a café, a record store or a weird museum you wouldn’t have found on the internet.


By: Sara Cordovez Lopez