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I've Galavanted Around Europe on a College Budget Using These 8 Cost Saving Tips

February 28th, 2017 at 2:00am

Traveling can be detrimental to your bank account. It usually costs a lot (like a lot, a lot) to travel, especially abroad. However, not everyone takes advantage of all the tools that can help shave off a few zeros from your overall trip expenses. Who knew traveling Europe could actually be affordable?

From apps to creative housing solutions, use these eight tips to help cut your travel budget and allow you to make memories instead of debt!

1—Pack Light

Packing light is not only more convenient, but it’s also cheaper. You won’t be paying an extra fee to check your baggage plus won’t have a fear of it getting lost. Pick a sturdy bag and fill it up with your necessities. I promise you won’t need three pairs of shoes for your weekend trip.

Photo by @kristendudding

2—Plan ahead

Plan ahead. Make an itinerary of places you’d like to visit, restaurants you’d like to try, and things you want to do. (You can look for deals online as well as specials that are being offered.) That way when you’re searching for a restaurant, you’ll have a list of places you can try and know are within your budget. This not only saves you money but time.

Photo by @kalynnelizabeth_

3—Cut out the coffee

This is the hardest one for me. Before your trip cut out your frivolous expenses. Obviously, pay your bills; but that iced coffee you are getting every morning can add up. As hard as it sounds, make a cup at home for a month and you’ll ultimately enjoy having the extra money towards your trip.

Photo by @beedurst

4—Say goodbye to Taxis

Taxis are overpriced. Europe actually has incredible public transportation (and many offer day passes or student discounts for reduced fares). There are plenty of apps, such as Hop Stop, that will help you easily navigate the foreign transportation system.

Photo by @sarahgargano29

5—Try another form of transportation

If you are more interested in an adventure than cutting your travel time, try biking. Most popular cities will offer bikes that you pay by the hour. That way you can explore the city on your own terms. Try the app Citymapper to get yourself around the city. This app was a lifesaver when I studied abroad. (It has a no WiFi option which is a blessing if you are traveling in a foreign country.)

Photo by @fracturedaesthetic

5—Try Airbnb or Hostels

Airbnb is the coolest way to travel. It also can be very inexpensive. You chose your dates, city, and price range then boom, you’ll have a list of places available. If you are looking for a no-frills option, try hostels. Hostels are very popular in Europe and where I actually will be staying during spring break. I can’t promise you hotel room service, but at least you will have a bed to plop down on after a long day of sightseeing.

Photo by @appalachianapparelassociation

6—Book flights in advance during off-peak periods

It takes a science to find the perfect flight, but I think in a second life I was a travel agent. I’m obsessed with Kayak. You can always find me on there, even if I don’t have a trip planned anytime soon. Looking during off-peak times is important. This is the least popular time to travel but also the least expensive. Look at round trips, but also one ways. You might find it’s cheaper to book two separate flights. Also, budget airlines are the way to go. Although these companies may offer no frills, you’ll be saving money that you can use during your actual trip.

Photo by @hellogabrielle

7—Be Flexible

This may seem hard, but being flexible can save you so much money. Leaving on weekdays instead of weekends can drastically impact the price of your flight. Often prices are lower during the weekdays, so keep your options open. It might be worth staying a few extra nights.

Photo by @sarahgargano29

8—Buy Tourism Cards

If you plan on seeing main attractions, buy a tourism card. That way you aren’t paying individual prices for each attraction. Often cities will offer hop on/off buses as well. This is a good way to get around the city especially if you are a new comer.

Photo by @lovelyykelly

Well what are you waiting for? Have you booked your trip yet? Use these eight tips to guide the way.

Let me know some of your favorite places to travel in the comments below.