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Europe has been a hotspot for travel and tourism for centuries. Part of the reason why is how diverse the continent is, with everything from sandy beaches to snowy mountains, historic castles and more, often in the same country.

Traveling in Europe can be expensive, but only if you want it to be. If you’re a budget traveler or you’re wondering how much it costs to travel to Europe, the good news is that if you’re a savvy traveler and you plan far enough ahead, you can take the whole family on a holiday to Europe without paying through the nose. Here are a few ideas:

1.   Go backpacking

So much of Europe is accessible on foot and on public transport that backpacking is a perennially popular choice for younger generations in particular. Destinations that welcome backpackers warmly include cities like Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, and Barcelona. Just make sure that you pack light, since you’ll be carrying a backpack with you everywhere, and that you plan your overnight stays in advance to avoid ending up stranded.

2. Go on a cruise

One exciting way to explore Europe while doing something a little bit different is to head off on a cruise through Italy and travel around the Mediterranean on a luxury liner. It can allow you to see the country from a different point of view while traveling around from city to city in style. You can even plan an itinerary where you spend a few days on the water followed by a few days in Italian cities.

3.   Hit the rails

Europe is close enough together that instead of flying from country to country and racking up the air fares, you can often travel by train. Networks like RailEurope and TrenItalia are immensely popular. Train travel comes in as a lot cheaper, especially if you book in advance and take advantage of any railcards and group fares that are available. Families and solo travelers alike will enjoy the relaxed pace of seeing the countryside via train.

4.   Hire a car

Hiring a car is a decent alternative to riding the rails, and while you might spend a decent chunk of money on fuel, you can offset that by staying at campsites or looking for bargains on Airbnb. Again, booking in advance is key, as is planning your route before you leave and familiarizing yourself with local driving laws.

5.   Visit museums and art galleries

Visiting museums and art galleries can be a great way for you to take in a little of the culture and the history of the countries you’re visiting, and it also has the advantage that many of these facilities are free to visit, although donations are always welcome. Most of them go out of their way to cater to children, too.

If you haven’t been traveling in Europe yet then perhaps it’s about time for you to make it a part of your plans. That’s especially true if you’ve only been putting it off because you’re worried about the cost, because the truth is that Europe is more approachable than it has ever been before. And there’s never been a better time to visit the continent either. Happy travels!

This is a collaborative post.