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My 6 Step Guide to Trip Planning in 2023

Last Update: 5/25/23 | May 25, 2023

Backpacking Europe is still one of my favorite things to do as a traveler. There isn’t a year I don’t cross the continent (except 2020 when no one was crossing Europe).

During the summer, hostels explode with life, the Mediterranean glistening, the streets slowly filling with people drinking wine and enjoying the day, and the sun setting late at night leading to long wonderful days. Winter brings Christmas markets, skiing, fewer crowds and lower prices! And spring and fall bring the perfect mix of people, temperatures, and prices that make these two seasons my favorite seasons to travel to Europe.

Since starting this website in 2008, I have written Very of posts on Europe. I go to Europe several times a year, have been across the continent, been there on several occasions, and even run tours there.

With so much content on the blog, I wanted to create a resource page that will help you easily plan your backpacking trip to Europe. That way you don’t miss anything! In this post, you’ll find all of my best resources for planning a backpacking or budget trip to Europe, including destination guides, transportation tips, accommodation information, ways to meet people, and more!

So, without further ado, here is everything you ever wanted to know about backpacking Europe:

Step 1: Plan Your Backpacking Europe Trip

A man planning a backpacking trip to Europe with a map
Don’t feel overwhelmed when planning – Planning the perfect trip to Europe can be difficult and overwhelming. I’ve been there and I understand, but I can tell you from years of experience that the more you plan your trip, the more anxiety you’ll encounter.

How to save for your trip – Is money stopping you from going on the trip of your dreams? Here are 22 easy ways to cut your daily expenses so you can save money backpacking Europe.

How to Find Cheap Flights – Getting to Europe can be half the challenge. Luckily, there are now plenty of flight deals to the continent if you know when and how to look for them. This article will show you how to always get cheap flights to Europe.

How To Earn Points For Free Flights & Hotel Stays – Free travel is my favorite travel! This post shows you the eight strategies I use to get over a million flyer points. They’ll get you out of the house fast, cheap and comfortable!

How to (Legally) Stay in Europe for More than 90 Days – Every year, thousands of travelers wonder how they can stay in Europe for more than 90 days, which is the limit in the Schengen Area. The good news is that there are a few different ways to live. In this post, I share what you can do to stay legally and normally on the continent for more than 90 days.

How to Avoid Paying ATM Fees – Never Pay Bank Fees When You’re Accessing Your Money in Europe! Here’s my advice on how to avoid bank fees as your backpacking Europe.

Is Europe Safe to Travel? Here’s how to stay safe as you travel across the continent.

Step 2: Get Your Gear for Backpacking Europe

a bunch of hiking gear in an empty field
How to choose the best backpack – It is important to choose a quality backpack for your travels as it will take a toll during the journey! This guide to choosing the right travel backpack will help you determine the best pack for your travels.

What to pack for your trip – What should you pack on your trip? Well, there’s no one right answer, but this list will give you a good place to start. This is what I take with me on my trips (though you’ll need to make some seasonal changes, I’m sure!).

The Ultimate Packing List for Women Travelers – In this post, Kristin Addis shares her packing insights for women, so you can travel anywhere without spending a fortune on gear.

How to Buy Good Travel Insurance – Travel insurance is one of the most important things you need for your travels. You won’t have a car without car insurance or a home without home insurance, and you can’t have a trip without travel insurance!

Best Travel Cameras – Wondering what kind of camera you should get for your travels? This post will show you exactly what you need – whatever your budget!

Step 3: How to Find Amazing Accommodation in Europe

a set of bunk beds in a dorm dorm room
How to find cheap accommodation – If you want to stay somewhere other than a hotel or hostel, this article lists all kinds of places in Europe where you can rest your head – from couches to farms and even monasteries Too!

How to Find a Good Hostel – This article has my best tips on finding an affordable, clean and fun hostel where you can meet lots of amazing people.

Best Hostels in Europe – This is a list of European hostels that I would definitely use again if given the chance. Hope this helps on your next European backpacking adventure!

How to Become a House Sitter – This is a how-to guide to house-sitting, a wonderful opportunity that allows you to live in rented space in exchange for watching over someone’s home.

For more budget accommodation suggestions, check out my Hostel Hub page. All my favorite hostels in Europe!

And to find out where to stay in each city, visit my list of the best neighborhoods in Europe!

Step 4: Travel Europe Cheaply

a man in a gray shirt is hitchhiking
7 Cheap Ways to Travel Across Europe – Traveling around Europe can still be quite expensive. Here are seven ways to backpack Europe without breaking the bank.

The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money with Eurail Passes – Everyone traveling to Europe wonders whether they will save money by buying a rail pass or whether it will be cheaper to buy tickets. This detailed post tells you everything you need to know about buying rail passes!

Step 5: Save Money While Backpacking Europe

a bunch of colored euro bills
How to Save Money on Food – When traveling to Europe, food often becomes a big expense. Here are some tips for saving money on food so that you can eat well every now and then.

How to Use the Sharing Economy to Save Money – The rise of the sharing economy has made traveling Europe so much easier and cheaper. This post lists all my favorite ridesharing, house sharing local meeting websites so you can get off the tourist trail and experience day to day life with the locals!

61 Tips To Make You The Smartest Traveler Ever – These 61 travel tips will help you become an expert traveler traveling Europe cheaper, better, longer and smarter!

14 Major Travel Scams to Avoid – Losing money in a preventable travel scam is futile. Learn which scams to watch out for in Europe and save yourself a potential headache!

Step 6: Find Out What to See and Do in Europe

A travel map for planning a trip to Europe
What do you do when backpacking Europe? Many! Here’s my all-encompassing budget travel guide to destinations around Europe, with tips and advice on what to do and see, how to save money, and the specific costs for each of them. You’ll also find a host of cities listed, along with country-specific tips.

I have over 100 guides to places in Europe! Everything you need to know about where you are going can be found in these articles!

In addition to the country guides above, I’ve put together a number of great itineraries for cities across Europe. You can find my best Europe itinerary here!


This massive resource list will help you plan your trip to Europe in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step pattern so you don’t get lost, overspend, or worry about your upcoming dream trip Do it. Europe is one of my favorite regions of the world (which is why I spend so much time there). There is so much diversity in food, culture and language as well as history. I love the continent and hope you use these tips to plan your ultimate backpacking adventure in Europe!

Get Your In-depth Budget Guide to Europe!

My comprehensive 200+ page guidebook is made for budget travelers like you! It cuts out the fluff found in other guides and gets straight to the practical information you need for traveling in Europe. It has suggested itineraries, budgets, ways to save money, off the beaten path things to see and do, non-touristy restaurants, markets, bars, safety tips, and more! Click here to learn more and get your copy today.

Book Your Trip To Europe: Logical Tips And Tricks

book your flight
Use SkyScanner to find cheap flights. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines from all over the world so you will always know that no stone has been left unturned!

book your accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the largest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than hostels, use as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.

For tips on where to stay during your trip, here are my favorite hostels in Europe!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft and cancellation. This is comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I have had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that provide the best service and value:

Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
See my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I use them all to save money when I’m on the road. They will also save you money when you travel too.

Want more information on Europe?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide to Europe for even more planning tips!

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