Camping and Couchsurfing
As well as sleeping on night trains and staying at hotels and hostels, there are other ways to get a good night's sleep. How about pitching a tent at campsites across Europe? You could also use the Couchsurfing social network to connect with locals, and get a free bed for the night.
There are campgrounds scattered across the whole continent if you want to experience an adventurous "train and tent" Eurail trip. It's the perfect way to get up close to Europe's spectacular nature whilst keeping costs down. Visit Campingcompass.com to locate campgrounds across Europe.
Why camp in Europe:
Find out the benefits of camping in Europe on a Eurail holiday:
Save money, as camping is one of the cheapest ways to sleep.
Enjoy the great outdoors of some of Europe's most picturesque spots.
Meet other happy campers.
Keep in mind
Although camping is an exciting way to experience Europe, do keep in mind that campgrounds are often located far from train stations. It's a good idea to check in advance how to get from the train station to the site. You'll have to bring camping gear with you (such as a tent, sleeping bag, ground mat and pillow), so be prepared to carry it with you during your entire trip.
You can buy cheap tents and camping equipment in Europe, so there's no need to bring everything with you from home.
Want to avoid spending your hard earned money on accommodation? Fancy seeing the places you visit through the eyes of a local? Then have it all by signing up to Couchsurfing.com and join the global network of couchsurfers offering a free place to stay.
Why is couchsurfing so popular?
Here's why thousands of people are couchsurfing:
The obvious appeal is that you don't have to pay for accommodation, though it's always nice to thank your host with a small gift from your home country.
The biggest attraction is that you get to hang out with locals and gain a much deeper understanding of the cities you go to.
You maintain your freedom. If you and your host want to spend time together you can, but if you simply need a place to sleep and feel like wandering the city by yourself then that's also fine.
How does it work?
Become a member of Couchsurfing by creating a profile. Provide as much information as possible to help potential hosts know a bit about you. Then you'll just need to contact hosts across Europe, detailing your dates and travel plans and wait to see who is interested and available to host you.