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Anyone got a spare one of these?

So, the question is: What is the most economical (i.e. cheapest) way to get around Europe and the UK for 6 or more months?

There are a few options, which basically boil down to a car/van, bus, train and plane (and possibly boat/ferry, too).

We’ve been thinking about the Pros and Cons of each, and this is what we’ve come up with so far…

Bus

There are a few great hop-on hop-off bus companies throughout Europe, like Busabout.

Pros: Reasonably flexible; inexpensive; meet new people.

Cons: Limited to bus routes and times; possibly boring/annoying; not the cheapest option; need to pay for accommodation.

Plane

These days, there are heaps of low-cost airlines throughout Europe that make a short plane trip economical.

Pros: Frequent flights to most places you could want to go; relatively inexpensive; fast.

Cons: Lots of plane journeys add up; need to pay for accommodation.

Car

You can either rent a car short-term, or, if you’re not an EU resident, participate in a buy-back scheme for longer trips.

Pros: Freedom to go where and when you want; comfort.

Cons: Slower than flying; need to drive yourself; paying for petrol; need to pay for accommodation.

Campervan

Again, the options are to rent or buy.

Pros: Freedom to go where and when you want; comfort; an on-board hotel room (and possibly bathroom); (if you buy, rather than rent, you can go for as long as you want).

Cons: Slow; need to pay for petrol; need to drive yourself.

Train

The classic Eurail pass is on the cards here.

Pros: Relatively fast; flexible and frequent; comfortable.

Cons: Expensive; limited to train lines; need to pay for accommodation.

After much discussion, we’ve decided to go for the Campervan/motorhome option for the European leg of our trip. We plan on staying a long while in the UK/Europe, and having a form of transportation that doubles as our accommodation will save us a lot of money in the long run. We also plan to buy our motor home rather than renting, as this means we can travel for as long as we want without having to worry about extra rent.

Of course, buying a camper brings in other costs such as insurance and road-side assistance that those travelling for a shorter period of time may not want to have to organise – but for us it will be worth the extra effort.

The Aussie leg of the trip will be a bit different – I’ll blog about that a little later.

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