Being able to travel during your college years is one of the best experiences that someone can have. Traveling can be really expensive, especially when you have a small budget and full itinerary. Here are some tips to make the most out of your trip without breaking your wallet.
Research the area you’re staying in: Most European countries have specialty dishes that they are widely known for. Foods that are popular in your area will not be as expensive because they are more accessible. For example, seafood in a coastal city is cheaper and fresher than seafood from a town in the middle of the countryside. Also, some cultures have certain schedules that can affect restaurant and supermarket hours, like siestas in Spain and the observation of Sunday Mass in France. Although tipping is expected in America, cultures vary from place to place, so it is wise to research the norms of your destination. This is important because tipping or not tipping can be a sign of respect.
TripAdvisor: Although Yelp is widely used in America, it is not as common outside of the country. Most countries use TripAdvisor for their food, attractions, and museums. TripAdvisor can provide the operation hours, photos, menus and telephone numbers of restaurants. By using TripAdvisor, you can compare restaurant prices to each other and budget each meal accordingly.
Eat locally: Utilize the smaller bakeries (especially in France!) and supermarkets that are around you. Many small businesses rely on tourism as the main source of income and are often cheaper than the larger grocery chains. Buying a fresh baguette will last you a few days and can be used in a multitude of ways. Some places also have small farmers markets or seasonal markets that are affordable and ideal for trying new cultural dishes.
Bring your own: Tourist attractions overcharge on water, snacks and other necessities you need for a day out. By bringing your own water and snacks, you’re able to save money and ensure the quality of the food. Also, food on the airplane is not the most ideal, so I highly recommend bringing your own food on the airplane, especially if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies. I have some food allergies myself, and my favorite snacks to bring on planes are instant oatmeal packets and dried fruit.