How to Fly from the U.S. to Europe for Under $200 [Budget Travel Secrets]

How to Fly from the U.S. to Europe for Under $200 dollars





This post was originally published in January 2015, but due to its popularity I update it regularly (last update November 2016).

I used to expect to pay over $1000 for round-trip tickets to Europe. Now I’d never pay over $500. And one-way tickets for $200 or less are more common than you’d think. When we started traveling full time, our frugal beginner’s travel budget forced us to find the cheapest method to fly to Europe. And now I’m sharing it with you.

Traveling on the cheap from the U.S. to Europe is quite simple, really. It involves just three things:

  • a flexible travel schedule
  • packing light
  • my new favorite airline

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Two Months, Twelve Countries, One Bag: How We Backpacked Light in Europe

Two Months, Twelve Countries, One Bag: How We Backpacked Light in Europe

Ian and I just returned from an amazing 2-month trip to Europe. We visited 12 countries in our “road less traveled” style, planning a flexible route on a reasonable schedule and budget, staying mostly at Airbnbs with some hotel stays mixed in between. And we packed only one medium-sized backpack each, weighing in at just 17 pounds (8 kg).

Whether you’re headed abroad for two weeks, months or years, if you want to pack light for an easy backpacking trip, steal our packing strategies and lists here! Continue reading

How to Stretch Your Euro Trip Budget: Booking Strategies to Save You Money

How to Stretch Your Euro Trip Budget: Booking Strategies to Save you Money

Planning a Europe trip can be expensive, but smart planning can save you loads! For starters, did you know it’s possible to:

  • fly from the U.S. to Europe for under $200?
  • find friendly locals renting out lovely homes at well less than half the price of a hotel?
  • book comfortable transportation between European cities for as low as $5?

Bottom line: an awesome Euro Trip doesn’t have to be so pricey — something I discovered while planning our two-month Europe trip to 12 countries in 2016. Want to know my secrets? Follow these easy trip-planning guidelines to travel farther, experience more, and save money on your upcoming Euro Trip.  Continue reading

Europe Trip Planning: How to Get Around Europe for Cheap

Europe Trip Planning: How to Book Affordable Transportation within Europe

Plane? Train? Automobile? A combination of all three? Planning a backpacking trip around Europe isn’t as easy as it used to be, because now there are more transportation options with a wider variety of prices. If you do your research, you’ll often be rewarded with some really great prices. But it’s a lot of work for a multi-destination trip, and it’s even trickier if you’ve never heard of the transit companies you’ll be booking with.

I recently planned out our spring Europe trip and discovered some helpful online tools that make booking transportation easier. We booked a combination of buses, trains, flights, and cars in advance, online, to get us around Europe on a budget. Now three weeks into our trip, our pre-booked transit tickets have kept us moving around Europe quickly and comfortably.

Want to get the most for your money but don’t know where to begin? Use my trusty transportation planning strategies to find your most cost-effective route around Europe! Continue reading

10 Free Things to Do in New York City

10 Free Things to Do in New York City

Want to experience New York City but don’t want to blow all your savings in the process?

It may surprise you, but it IS possible. In fact, Ian and I took a budget trip to the Big Apple earlier this month, and we proved there are plenty of interesting, fun, and cool things to do without spending a dime!

We occasionally splurged on some necessary evils (Shake Shack burgers, ice cream, gourmet pizza… to name a few), but overall we spent surprisingly little on tourist activities in New York.

Here are 10 of our favorites from the trip:  Continue reading

How to Make Money While You Travel

How to Make Money While You Travel on northtosouth.us

Do you want the freedom to quit your job and live and travel where you please?

Ian and I did, and after having a serious discussion about the possibility, we planned carefully, saved substantially, and lived frugally to get started. Now we pour our hearts and souls into several online projects, making sure they’re profitable, enjoyable, and diverse enough to keep a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and smiles on our faces.

We’ve already talked in detail about the other steps we took to prepare for our travel life, but the money-making part is what we’ll discuss in this post. If you want to realize a sustainable traveling life for yourself, you need to have a reliable source of income.

Here we’ll talk about three common approaches to making a living while traveling.  Continue reading

How to Find a Safe, Comfortable and AFFORDABLE Place to Stay on Airbnb [Budget Travel Secrets]

How to find safe, comfortable and affordable accommodations with Airbnb

As budget travelers, we search for budget accommodations (on average $600 or less per month). But that doesn’t mean we’re frequenting skeezy hostels or crappy motels. Even a year after quitting our jobs to travel, we’ve continued to avoid the summer camp housing scene. If you’re searching for a way to make travel more affordable without kickin’ it bunk-bed style, Airbnb could be your answer.

If you’re searching for a way to make travel more affordable without kickin’ it bunk-bed style, Airbnb could be your answer.

To sustain our traveling life, we book most of our accommodations through Airbnb, a website I HIGHLY recommend for finding unique and affordable places to stay. It’s especially great if you’re traveling to an unfamiliar place, as a helpful host can be priceless when you’re exploring someplace new. We typically book what I refer to as a “home away from home” — a private room in a local family’s house or apartment — but you can find everything from private vacation rentals to shared rooms to traditional bed and breakfast inns on Airbnb. They even have some crazy cool accommodations like tree houses and geodesic domes!  Continue reading

Volcán Poás National Park: An Affordable Costa Rica Tourist Activity (Alajuela, Costa Rica)

Poas Volcano (Volcán Poás) National Park: an affordable Costa Rica tourist activity

*Photo: “Poas Volcano 2” by Sergio Quesada (license: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Photo has been cropped and text added.)

A visit to Poás Volcano can be a gamble due to potential view-obstructing fog, but it’s a cheap enough risk to take. Despite thick fog during our visit last week (thus the borrowing of another photographer’s image for this post), Ian and I still had an enjoyable time in Poás Volcano National Park.

Here we share an overview of our rainy visit to Poás, including instructions for how to get there affordably bus, a list of what to take with you, plus photos from our foggy trip!  Continue reading

Intro to Hypermiling: How to Save Money & Increase Your Car’s MPG [Budget Travel Secrets]

How to Maximize Your MPG through Hypermiling

What if you could stretch the gas in your tank an extra 50 miles? Or, even better, 100? This past summer Ian and I did just that by hypermiling our 2008 Yaris across the western U.S. — increasing our gas mileage by up to 25 percent! Want to learn how you can save substantially on gas money and get better mileage than the EPA’s estimate for your car? Well, read on, because that’s what I’m going to share with you here.  Continue reading