Italy, Paris and London are among the most expensive travel destinations. So just how did I manage to plan to visit these places on a budget? You won’t have to steal to make it happen, but be prepared for some begging and borrowing.
The most obvious on the list, but arguably the most important as it will be your largest contributor. It’s always advisable to have some savings aside if you are able to afford it. Find ways to make extra cash by getting a part time job or selling some of your goods online (I did both.) Put your money away so that you don’t spend it and lay low before your trip. When its down to the wire and you’re broke, it’ll be difficult- cravings will suddenly take over, but you have to remain resilient and let the end goal motivate you.
Look at your budget and see where you can save on costs, no matter how small. For me, these were through blogging (reaching out to companies). Other options are to look for specials on accommodation and travel- making bookings on apps other than websites will normally be on special. Certain days of the week may cost more- research, be flexible and prioritise. Unexpected costs will arise (the fees of exchanging currencies, buying the wrong train ticket, needing to eat something extra…), so having some money aside for these! Finally, don’t forget your student card if you have one
If you’re able to, work abroad. I wouldn’t recommend the digital nomad route- it’s not what it once was. Instead, look for work in exchange for accommodation, part time jobs, freelancing or volunteering. It can be a rewarding way to remain in a country for longer and to immerse yourself in a foreign country. For me, this means au pairing for part of the trip- a few hours of daily work in exchange for accommodation, food and a small stipend.
It’s (still) about who you know
Any links to people in a foreign country are helpful. This could be in the form of accommodation, general assistance or prepaid transport. If you have someone who can cover all your costs- even better! Reach out to friends and network for this one. Even if you don’t know anyone for this trip, make friends while you’re there for future. For me, I have friends and family that I have reached out to, all of whom have been more than happy to help.
It really isn’t necessary to buy things before you leave. If you are able to, borrow from your friends and family. This could be clothing, luggage or a camera (I’m lucky to be borrowing one for my trip!). Trust me, you’ll want to save everything you can for the trip itself. If begging is necessary, then so be it.
I hope this helps you in your planning!