Travel

traveling on a budget

budget

Experience all the world has to offer without sacrificing your life savings.

Traveling is always deemed expensive, but ultimately you are the decision maker and have the power to determine HOW MUCH YOU ALLOW yourself to spend.  It doesn’t have to be expensive!  There are always short cuts you can take to enjoy everything there is to experience without pushing your financial constraints to the limit.

Take my recent trip to France, Italy, and Slovenia for example.  I spent under $4,000, FLIGHT INCLUDED, for almost 4 weeks abroad!  Additionally, seeing that a dollar is worth less than a euro currently (at an exchange rate of about $1 for every 1.34 euros) that puts me at only 3,000 euros!  That’s only 67 euros a day when you subtract out my plane ticket to and from Europe.  In other words, traveling on a budget can be done!

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There are multiple different ways you can travel and see all the attractions you want without breaking the bank; you just have to be willing to look.  Paris being one of the most expensive cities in the world is not budget friendly, so my friend and I did what we could to find as many deals as possible.  Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure you get the full experience of a trip without breaking the bank.

1) Only eat out once a day.  Traveling is all about experiencing authentic food, but to save some money try to buy groceries for a couple of your meals. You can always buy food from the grocery store and make your own flare of one of their nation’s dishes.

2) Take food to go.  It is more expensive to eat at restaurants in Paris than it is to take food to go.  If you absolutely need a break and want to sit, I recommend sitting inside because many establishments increase the price further if you sit outside vs. inside.

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3) A must see of course is the Luxembourg Gardens!  Not only is it free, but it’s also a gorgeous location to relax and read a book or listen to an adorable orchestra that just happens to be playing in the park 🙂

4) If you love animals, quite often I saw zoos that were free to the public.  Who doesn’t love seeing a few monkeys playing or a beautiful giraffe roaming?

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5) While in Lyon, my friend and I were able to locate a free concert by visiting none other than the TOURIST OFFICE!  Such a great find and totally free!  (The building was also gorgeous which you can see from the number of gorgeous chandeliers).

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6) Buy a museum pass.  When in Paris you HAVE to go to all of the museums.  Instead of paying 10-12 euros per museum you can buy a 2, 4, or 6 day pass.  (I bought a 2 day pass for 40 euro and visited 8 museums).  They are totally worth every euro.  On top of that, Paris offers free entry every Sunday for many of the cities museums.

7) Paris has an amazing metro system that can be used to get to any part of the city.  If you are too tired to walk home, grab a metro ticket for 1.70 euros and get home quicker!  Want to pay less than 1.70 euros per ride, you can use the same metro ticket within a couple of hours of the first use, or you can buy a pack of 10 passes for a bulk discount.

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8) Free walking tours are easy to find and are a great way to get educated about the city you are visiting for cheap.  (Tip of course is highly encouraged).  I suggest WeGo Walking Tours if you are visiting Paris.  Paul and his wife own the walking tour and are the cutest, most energetic tour guides that were more than willing to answer any questions we had on the tour or about the city.

9) Carry a water bottle.  Tap water is not always offered, so we often utilized bathroom sinks to fill our water bottles to make sure we stayed hydrated and didn’t have to purchase beverages.  Wine of course was consumed often!!

10) Paris does offer some free public bathrooms that you can easily locate, but if for some reason you are not close to one of the locations and don’t want to pay to use the toilets, jump into a fast food restaurant like Starbucks/McDonald’s or pop into a hotel.

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11) The Seine River was also a great location to do a bunch of free activities such as: comfy lawn chairs, ping pong, teepees with board games, chalk walls, sparkling water, tether ball, etc. all at your fingertips for free!

12) Pack some powder clothing detergent.  It is lightweight, shouldn’t take up too much room in your bag, and will be a life saver.  Hand washing clothes was a pain, but a life saver.  As it was very hot in Paris, I quite often came home from a long day of walking and wanted to disrobe immediately to hand wash my worn clothing.

This list should get you started.  See the rest of my posts and you will see more tips and tricks as I continue to share!  🙂

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