It’s crazy to think that I only have one month left until I come back to the Dog Pound, (and real life). I have learned so many lessons within my last three and a half months on this journey, especially about traveling. Most people that study abroad in Europe, they have a few goals, and one of them probably is to travel as much as they can around Europe. For me that was a major goal of mine, and I have been able to do so. But on a certain budget! Here is what I have learned on how to save money while traveling throughout Europe.
The flight: there is a website called skyscanner.com and this website was my life saver. Basically this website has two options: you can either select your destination city you want to visit, with the dates you are looking to visit, OR (this option is better) you can type in “anywhere” and sky scanner literally puts in order the cheapest to most expensive flights in each city and country. This was how a lot of our flights were booked. If we knew we had three days in November to travel, I would put the dates in, and whatever was the cheapest that weekend, that’s where we were going! The cheapest flight I have booked was about $50 USD.
Housing: Although the new trend right now is Airbnb, depending on the city, sometimes these can be overpriced, or contain many additional fees that just aren’t worth it. My first recommendation for housing is, if you have a friend you can say with in the city, stay with them. It is most likely free, or minimal charged, plus you get to spend some time with a good friend. Second, I would recommend a hostel. (This has been my main place of housing while traveling) There are hundreds of hostels ranging in price from $10-$30 USD per night. Even though this may not be the most ideal way to sleep, it is only for more or less 2 or 3 days, and all hostels have Wi-Fi, a bed, and a showers. Plus you get to meet some really cool and interesting people! My third recommendation, and this one can be a hit or miss, is couch surfing. I haven’t done this yet but my friends on my trip have and they swore by it. Basically there is an app that lets you register to couch surf. It is 100% free, and you apply (similar to Airbnb) to sleep on these peoples couch. This option is best if you are only going to a city for a night or two. Just remember to be safe, and read the reviews about the client’s house you are staying in.
Food: This can be the killer, because you don’t even realize how much money we are actually spending on food. And most of the time, we are traveling to big major touristy cities, and tend to eat where a lot of tourist eat, therefore the food is small portioned and overpriced. Something I learned from a woman in a hostel, was take advantage of the grocery store. They have premade meals (similar to the US) for half the price of what you would pay at a nice sit down restaurant. Also another recommendation I have, is when traveling to big tourist cities, find where the locals eat and hang out, the prices of food and drinks in that area will also be a few dollars cheaper.
Educational/fun activities: Now there is a reason why you came on this trip in the first place, and that was to see the city! And sometimes it’s hard to see the city and actually understand the history about it, without a tour. And sometimes tours and museums can be pricey. BUT sometimes they can be totally free. If you are staying in a hostel, there is a huge chance that there is a free walking tour of the city. Almost all hostels offer it, and they do a pretty good job of showing you the highlights of the city. Another thing to look into, is student discounts, and getting in places free with your student visa. For certain museums and places, through certain hours, you can get in free as a student or by showing your student visa. This is very common and will save you tons of money in the end. So before booking anything, look into this!
If you do choose to come abroad, and plan to travel a lot, keep these things in mind. They will help you maintain a budget, and save more!