Katie Zerkle is a student at Grand Valley State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is studying abroad with ISA in Málaga, Spain.
During my time studying abroad in Málaga I’ve been lucky enough to take weekend trips within Europe that have been very affordable. Here are 5 tips on how to stretch your dollar when it comes to weekend travel:
1. Plan ahead
Know beforehand all of the attractions/sights you want to see. Often you can buy group tickets that decrease the total cost and include multiple attractions in one ticket. For instance, when I went to Rome, we looked online and got a discount by purchasing a group deal, and our tickets to the Colosseum also got us into other nearby attractions.
2. Be aware of transportation costs
Be aware of bus/train/taxi/metro ticket prices to and from the airport, as well as traveling within the city. Try to group your attractions near each other to eliminate time and money spent on transportation. Also, it is worth paying extra for your lodging if it’s closer to attractions. GoEuro is a great app to show transportation costs.
3. Be open to different lodging options
Hotels are often the most expensive part of the trip, so be open to Airbnbs or hostels! My friends and I stayed in a hostel in London and met some of the most genuine people– we wouldn’t have met them if we stayed somewhere else! The extra money we saved by getting a hostel went towards our meals out. Just don’t forget your shower shoes like we did!
4. Cook a meal in at least once
Cooking a meal in is cost effective and fun if you’re with your friends. In Rome we went grocery shopping and cooked homemade pasta alfredo, as well as our breakfast every morning. It saved us money for our next trip, and we had fun jamming to Italian music while cooking.
5. Bring snacks and an empty water bottle to the airport
Often airports have refillable water stations and you’re allowed to bring food on the plane. Our host family made us sandwiches to avoid spending money on airport food.
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