I have been to many places and I have made every mistake you can think of when it comes to traveling. I have over packed, forgot to put on sunscreen, not broken in my shoes, got lost, and was late for museum tours. I can keep going but we would be here all day if I did. Through these mistakes I have made, I have learned so many tricks and tips on how to travel smarter and cheaper.
Tip 1: Plan ahead
For major tourist attractions, buy your tickets ahead of when you get to your destination. Places like the Vatican, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the and any other major attraction will have their tickets online. Most of these places have your admittance timed, meaning that you have to enter the museum or attraction during a certain window of time. If you know you want to get a specific time for a tour or visit it is so much easier to schedule these things in advanced instead of having to stand in a line for two to three hours just to get your tickets. Also, things like plane tickets and train tickets are cheaper the further out you buy them.
Tip 2: How to Travel Cheap
Like I said above it’s much cheaper to buy plane and train tickets in advanced. Other money saving trips I have are cheap student flight websites like studentuniverse.com where I found a roundtrip flight from Baltimore airport to Paris, France with only one stop for $490 round trip. I found the same flight with American Airlines that would cost $618 round trip. Another thing to save money is to look for cheaper living arrangements. I found an Airbnb apartment 10 minutes from the Eiffel Tower for on $41 a night. A hotel I found in the same district as the Airbnb is about $230 a night. Another cheap option I staying in Hostels. I found private rooms starting at $35 a night. Also, don’t forget you student Id. Many museums and other things give student discounts until you turn 25.
Tip 3: Only Carry-on Suitcases Allowed
I know you have heard this one a ton if you have read or researched any other tips and tricks to traveling but this is one rule I swear by. First of all, European Airlines have outrageously expensive baggage fees for checked bags. Second, you keep you back with you at all times so there is no chance you can turn up to your destination and your bag won’t. It also won’t be stolen or damaged during the flight. This is especially important if you plan on taking a train. Carry-ons can stay with you on a train but anything bigger must be checked and it is so easy for your bag to be stolen off a train.
Tip 4: Pack Smarter Not Larger
I know the biggest complaint about carry-ons is that it’s impossible to pack for an extended trip and have enough room for souvenirs. I know it possible because I went to Europe for two weeks and all I took was a eBag backpack and I still managed to over pack. My biggest tip is to use packing cubes. It keeps your stuff organized in your suitcase and your living accommodations, you can pack so much more and they are so cheap (I found a set of 4 on Amazon for $20). Also roll your clothes. You can fit so much more in the packing cubes/suitcase and it saves your clothes from so many wrinkles. I also suggest getting a document holder that can hole your passport, flight information, extra money, credit card, and any other important document you may need. It keeps all of your important stuff organized, in one place and it’s also easy to keep in your day bag because it’s not smart to leave that stuff behind in a hostel or hotel.
Hope this helps in your future travels!