When some people study abroad, they have bottomless budgets and credit cards that they can swipe at the store or punch in when they are booking flights. My situation is a little different. My parents made sure I had enough money for the essentials (and a little bit of fun), but a large majority of my travel this semester has been funded by my own savings. While saving money can sometimes cause a little bit of an inconvenience or make you tired, I’ll take that over depleting my entire savings account. Here’s five things I’ve done this semester to save a little bit of money and make my travels possible!
1.Gotten up at 3:00am to catch a flight/ bus/ train.
The craziness started early in the semester: our first day trip. We thought getting up at 3:00am to catch our bus for the last minute to Venice for Carnevale was absolutely insane and worth it…little did we know that it was only the beginning of the abnormally early wake-up times.
2. Slept in the airport.
When your flight is the first one leaving the airport in the morning and the metro doesn’t start running until one hour before the flight, you have to get creative. Let’s just say that sleeping on the floor at the airport is far from ideal.
3. Or just not slept at all.
Flying out of Florence is unreasonable, especially when the Pisa airport is only an hour away and significantly cheaper. Flying out of Pisa, arriving early enough to make it to our gate, and flying early to maximize time in London means that as I type this post, I’m choosing not to sleep before I depart for London. When the alarm is set for 2:00am, is sleep even worth it? Not when you have the ability to sleep through eight alarms at a normal wake-up time. #sleepisfortheweak
4. Walked literally everywhere.
If spring break had lasted one or two more days, I’m fairly convinced that my feet would have literally fallen off. Towards the end of the trip (in Paris), we started using the metro system a little more, but we knew walking was the cheaper option–and it also helped us see more of the cities we visited.
5. Picked the absolute cheapest transportation option.
RyanAir and FlixBus aren’t luxury, but if they mean I can afford to travel on my student budget, sign me up. They really aren’t that bad, anyway. Rome2Rio and GoEuro have been lifesavers this semester when trying to figure out the best way to get somewhere, without paying a small fortune.