This isn’t my most frugal breakdown, but I will walk you through planning a 7 day trip seeing two countries with flights, lodging, and tours that will cost you about $1,260 per person for two people.
***Trip Breakdown below was priced out for two people.***
Flights Total: $1400 ($700 each)
- British Airways $1000 ($500 each)
- (Orlando to Paris to Orlando)
- Air France $400 ($200 each)
- (Paris to Greece to Paris)
My recommendation for flights is Skyscanner.com. I usually am much more lenient on the dates I fly and where I fly to into Europe based on whatever is cheapest. Orlando is one of the closer international airports to me (only a 5-6 hour drive) so I usually search for flights out of there. Since we wanted to fly TO Paris, we ended up spending about $300 more (total, $150 more each) to be a bit more pickier about the city we flew to and when we flew. However, flights to Norway from Orlando are usually really cheap ($300-$350 each, roundtrip). Once you get to Europe, flights around Europe are so inexpensive. I flew from Norway to Ireland one way for $30 during St Patrick’s Day…
Lodging Total: $775
- Paris AirBnB $341
- # Nights: 2
- Greece AirBnB $334
- # Nights: 4
Airbnb.com is my favorite way to book lodging (thanks to a friend of mine for turning me onto it). The important thing to me is to book the rooms that have the lightning bolt ⚡️ next to them. That means Instant Booking, so you have less hassle to deal with. I also always read the reviews, and I don’t book rooms that don’t have reviews. The rooms we booked above are actually The Entire House 🏡! which means we get the entire flat/studio/home completely to ourselves. Talk about living like a local…
Plus that means fridge and stove, so you can save money on food if you cook at home.
Tours Total: $365
- Eiffel Tower Tour $128
- Louvre Tour $152
- Athens Bicycle Tour $85
Lastly, tours. I used Viator.com. I like to look at ones with reviews, and won’t book them if they don’t have at least 1 review. Personally, I really recommend doing some kind of tour the first day you are ever in a new city. You learn the places to go (and not go), the things to eat, what’s fun to do, and you have a local giving you all of this information. There are a couple free tours websites I go to when I’m trying to be incredibly frugal (those tours operate off tips only), but since I didn’t use those sites this round, I won’t cover them.
Trip Total: $2,540 ($1,260 each)
Like I said, not my cheapest breakdown. We still have food, souvenirs, and if anything else comes up that we want to do… but we should probably get away with adding all that on hitting maybe $3-3.5k trip Total, and that’s if we are just doing whatever we want. This is a very special trip – someone’s birthday and first bachelors degree ❤😘
The key to these trips is that I don’t buy everything at once. I started with the main flight (which for a single person, being frugal – you could probably get away with $300-$350 flight to Europe < all of that depends on your closest international airport, but that’s what both my round trip tickets cost me the last two trips).
I know $300 is a lot of money, but if you can manage to save up to get that, the moment you buy your ticket to Europe, everything else just seems to fall together. Then you start planning any flights you need to get into the country you want to go to (maybe another 50-250 dollars). Then you start buying lodging once place at a time. If you are feeling really adventurous you can try couchsurfers.com (free lodging). Then the tours are optional. Food. Souvenirs.
If you break everything down into much smaller more manageable pieces then it’s so easy to do.
So yes, $1.5k IS a lot of money. But in the grand scheme of things – less than $1.5k for an entire trip to Europe including flights, lodging, and tours is nothing. We had 4 months to get this together. (My last trip I gave myself 9 months to do.)
On Craigslist there is this whole page dedicated to missed connections (to people, really.) But what if I told you that sometimes missing a connection can be a good thing?
Like in this instance, where my boyfriend and I missed our flight from Paris to Greece, and we were stuck in Paris for the whole week. (Wah, wah.. right?)
At this point, you could ask “how is that a good thing?” But you could also ask “how is that even a bad thing at all?” At the end of the day, you’re stuck in a beautiful city with so many options; the city of love with the man you love. A city filled with so much history while your boyfriend is a history major. This just can’t be a bad thing.
But this is also how it’s a good thing – sometimes you don’t really know people until they are disappointed or upset. When someone is thrown into that situation, you quickly learn who they are deep down.
For me, I know that I need space (without distance – try figuring that one out. I’m a woman. Let me have it.) so that I can gather my thoughts and plan of action. I become withdrawn, and my initial reaction is typically that of the situation- disappointment or negativity. If you allow me that space, it will pass, as logic and reasoning sink in. “Woah is me, I am stuck in Paris for a week” becomes as sarcastic as it should be with the twist of first world problems. I’ll then joke about it. Laugh it off. And I’ll move on.
Scottie – he stayed so upbeat and loving the whole time. He believes everything happens for a reason (which I chimed in “and sometimes that reason is because you’re not paying attention and it’s your fault” lol) but this man always, for the last 7 years, has stayed positive, upbeat, and loving. He kissed my forehead and told me we will still make this a very romantic trip – and in that moment I realized all he cared about this whole time was me. I am over here wallowing in a lapse of momentary self pity because we didn’t make it to Greece and I wanted him to have the best Birthday, and he’s over here having an adventure with loving me on his mind.
So, an adventure it will be.
(Me sitting for that long became a real struggle – FYI)
And that pretty much sums up our trip in Italy!!
Venice was beautiful. We luckily chose a cooler time of the year, so there was none of the rumored smell.