Summer 2016 : Learning to travel on a budget

Flashback to Summer 2015, when a close friend of mine told me she had gotten in to her universities exchange program for her 3rd semester. While I was so proud and happy for her , there was a tiny seed of jealousy simply from the idea that she was going to spend the next year in Europe as I remained in Toronto.  After she left, we continued  to talk, skype and one mid-afternoon /late night ( time change and all) an idea was proposed, first as a joke but later took hold of its roots that once we both ended school, I would come to Europe and we would spend a month travelling to our hearts content.

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The first money saving tip I can give is: BUY ON TIME. It’s best to buy you tickets 2 to 6 months prior to your trip, anything too advanced and you could miss deals being offered and too close to the date and all the prices skyrocket. I bought my ticket for 400$ in March for our trip in July to Barcelona, Spain.

Another money saving tip: Travel with only a carry-on. Now this is exponentially harder for women than men due to our need to look fabulous and have great instragram pictures of the trip but many airlines now charge for luggage that goes in the undercarriage  while carry-on luggage is still free. I traveled with one carry-on and a backpack for two months.

Choose your destinations: As any young 20-something year old, you want to see everything in Europe but in reality you can’t. To stay on budget choose few destinations as you don’t have to pay for transportation between multiple location and for multiple places to sleep. Just because I’m telling you this advice does not mean I followed it. We traveled to 6 counties and 8 cities within those counties.

Last advice I can give you is: lodgement is at times more expensive then the travel expense to get there so choose hostels. Hostels are like hotels if in a hotel you share your room with 12 other people and there’s only one bathroom for 20 people. Not the greatest or cleanliest but you only go there to sleep after a days’ worth of adventuring. It can save a ton of money as you could spend $60 a night in a hotel or find a hostel which charges you $20.

Our hostel in Budapest, one apartment was converted in a hostel which we shared it with 4 other people.

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Travelling is amazing, it teaches and shows you many new aspects to yourself that you haven’t known were there. Everyone should travel in their twenty and I hope my tips have made it a little easier.

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