As most of you know, I just returned from my first overseas trip after being away for two weeks - which means I had to budget for TWO WEEKS of travel. WOW. How was I going to make sure I didn't run out of money on my trip but also have enough money when I returned to pay my rent? I knew I still wanted to do things, but I also wanted to make sure I saved money in the process.
Here are a few ways I saved money:
* Look for FREE guided tours
This was the coolest thing I experienced in London. I Googled free tours of London and found an amazing company that had you "pay what you want" for the tour. At the end of the tour, you could tip your guide whatever you thought was fair. This was an excellent way to explore some of the city I would've never been able to see otherwise. (I learned about the tale of the Headless Horseman, Florence Nightingale and more!) And without the 30 or 40 euro price tag than most other tours I'd researched, had.
* Grocery shop & have a picnic
When I was in France, my sister and I avoided the tourist trap restaurants (which end up being extremely expensive anyway) and opted to grab a few items from the local store. We grabbed a blanket, some wine and had a picnic right under the Eiffel Tower. Talk about lunch with a view! And at much less of a cost then any of those fancy restaurants would've been.
* Opt for public transportation
Luckily in Greece, we'd already paid for all transportation ahead of time (through Go Ahead Tours), but we wanted to be smart about how to travel in London and Paris. A few days pass was roughly 30 euros in Paris vs spending upwards of $15-20 each Uber ride. And it was pretty cool to get to use the train system, which was pretty nice. And barely took more time than an Uber.
* Carry snacks and water while traveling
Before heading out for the day, we'd pack a small book bag with waters and any snacks we'd gotten from the store. This kept us full throughout the day without the temptation to stop at a restaurant for every meal.
* Carry a certain amount of money each day with you and leave the rest in your hotel
This helped me tremendously! Based on what we were doing for the day, I'd calculate how much I'd bring with me so I wouldn't be tempted to spend more than my budget. I avoided using cards at all too because we all know how much easier it is to forget how much we spend! The money I left behind, I simply locked in the hotel safe with my passport until I got back that night.
* City passes are your best friend
I knew that I wanted to be able to visit a few different landmarks in London in a short period of time, so purchasing a day city pass saved so much time and money. For 30 euros, I was able to hop on and off a bus all day and go to any of the landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and more!
I hope some of these tips were helpful - and I'd love to hear about some of the ways you save money when you travel! Let me know in the comments =)