While I find learning and memories priceless, traveling abroad does come with a few expenditures. It’s an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience, and I know I did not want to miss out on much! In order to strike a balance, I found a few things that helped me save in order to experience more. With a few things in mind, you can have an enriching, educational, and affordable trip without losing out on the fun!
While traveling with Millennium Tours abroad, their coordination for city cards in every location on our five-city trip was a massive help. The Paris Museum Pass, iAmsterdam Card, Copenhagen Card, and London Pass all serve as tickets to multiple attractions and landmarks in major cities. With a city pass, you can access multiple sites for a collective price, meaning the more we visited, the more we saved! Additionally, the iAmsterdam and Copenhagen Cards work for public transit, meaning we could use their buses, trains, and metros to get to these locations price free! We access sites such as Saint-Chappelle, the Rijksmuseum, Tivoli Gardens, the Tower of London, and Westminster Abbey thanks to this hack!
Water, Water Everywhere
Staying hydrated abroad keeps for a happy traveler. If you buy water bottles everywhere you go, that can cost anywhere from $5 to $30 dollars per day, depending on how much you drink and where you stop. On our 28 day trip, that would have meant spending upwards of $200 to even $800 on water alone. My emotional support water bottle became a 100% off coupon abroad. In nearly every city we traveled, we could locate free water refilling stations using the Water-Map app. Museums, parks, and even simply city streets all are home to water fountains, and using an app helped us spot even the most hidden ones! While in a restaurant, you can order tap water in a glass rather than their bottled sparkling or mineral water offerings for another saver. Either way, you’ll be hydrated and have a bit more to spend on your yummy sandwich or a gift for mom.
Grocery Store Snacks
Sitting down to eat may not be your style, or it may be too expensive to do all of the time. A fun adventure and financial bargain waits in visiting local grocery stores! You can learn a lot about a culture from its foods, and Grocery stores offer decent prices and even meal deals; while in London, I paid a mere three pounds for a drink, pastry, and chips at their local Sainsbury grocery store. Peek around and see what people are gravitating toward; you may be surprised at what you find. You may find your new favorite snack that you wish you could take home in bundles (looking at you, Jammie Dodgers!!). If you’re going to be in a city for a while, it may even be worth it to do a grocery haul and hold some snacks in your room. Ask your guide or do a quick search about the local grocery stores and stumble upon some new snacks.
Thrift Your Souvenirs!
Something new I learned on this trip: the word souvenir is French for memory. Often while traveling, we look to bring back something to stir our minds of all we experienced. It can be for us, for mom, for our friend, for grandpa, for our boss, for the co-worker who seemed wistful when you mentioned going abroad… The list of who to shop for or what to bring can surely add up! This trip, see if you can thrift some of those gifts at a local market or antique shop. That way, your souvenir means both the memory of finding it AND the added depth of knowing the item has a history of memories before yours.
No matter what your financial situation looks like, your trip abroad can be fun, full, and fruitful!