Traveling Europe on a College Gal's Budget

Ciao Bellas😛

I’ve been travelling Europe on a college student’s budget, and while I’ve definitely spent a whole lot more than I should, I’ve also learned some really good tips for budget traveling!

- prepare for unexpected costs
So you bought your plane ticket already, you bought your accommodations and you’re ready to go. You arrive at the airport and wait what? Your accommodation is a half hour drive from the airport & you need a taxi? Depending where you are that could cost a ton. In London, my friend had to shell out $100 for a cab from the airport. Plan ahead, maybe one accommodation is cheaper than another but you MUST research it. For example, if you’re going to be saving 20 dollars on a hotel or hostel but its far away from everything you wanna see, but you’ll be spending a lot more than the 20 you saved on transportation, is it really worth it? 

- don’t have expectations
I love to go somewhere without expectations. While you need to do some research and should know if there are major attractions you want to see, going into a new country and not knowing what to expect or having hopes up is amazing. The easiest way to do this is with a tour group. I went to Croatia with a study abroad tour company. I went into it knowing literally nothing about Croatia. Then, when we got there I fell in love with it. Without expectations, everything is amazing and nothing is disappointing. Everything that you see and experience is a surprise! And, without expectations there's nothing that you feel like you absolutely have to do, which means you can skip something if it's expensive.

- don’t stick to the beaten path
One of the best ways to actually immerse yourself in the culture and experience the truth of the country is to get away from all the tourist attractions. Sure it’s important to also see the touristy stuff, but going to the areas where the locals go is usually a lot cheaper, and gives you a way better perception of what life is actually like in that country. I like to walk into grocery stores to see what they have and how the people interact, eat at restaurants that don’t have touristy signs, and talk to locals. Walking down the streets that aren’t lined with souviner shops and people selling things on the street is the best way to find the cute little local neighborhoods. This way, you also have a memory of that place that others don’t have and a better understanding of the culture.

- travel in groups
My friends and I are all pretty broke right now, considering we’ve been in Europe for a semester traveling and buying a million things. However, we were able to get an amazing Air BnB in Ibiza because we travelled in such a large group. There were 10 of us and we got a place right on the beach. When we walked in I was amazed that we could actually afford it because it was so nice. We had each paid about 80 Euro, or a little over 100 USD and we had a balcony, a pool, two bathrooms, a nice kitchen and 3 bedrooms. I didn’t think I would actually be able to even go to Ibiza because I thought it would be too expensive, but we did it for cheaper than a lot of other trips.

- keep your free souvenirs 
What's the difference between the souvenir mini statue of the Eiffel Tower, and your boarding pass you got when you went? Nothing... except you pay extra for the statue, and the boarding pass has actual memories behind it. That's just an example, but I mean for me, I collect everything from my travels. I save my boarding passes, my museum entrance tickets, city maps, business cards from tour guides or tattoo artists or whoever I encounter, etc. I am going to make a scrapbook once I'm home in the states. This way, I can get away with not buying expensive souvenirs while still having something special. I do buy souvenirs, but only ones that I really really want, and only when I can afford it.

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