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You can go to Europe too!

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.)

 It’s Europe… 

Carpe diem 

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Exploring Norway

Oslo, Norway

I flew Norwegian Airlines. (Either I do not know what a good quality airline is or I got a really good deal. Sure the coffee/tea costs extra, and there were no complimentary  peanuts, but I’m going to Europe; who needs those things? )
While I waited to board the plane, I asked random people nosey questions like where are you going and why. I scored a temporary traveling companion; her name is Helga. She lived in Oslo for twenty years, and she offered to help me navigate the train to my hostel. Helga is going to Spain to meet up with an old friend she dated back in 1977. So far, she topped my charts for coolest person I’ve met. She was one of the first female boxers, and was deemed “the blond Viking” whilst fighting in Las Vegas. Seriously badass.

If I die, let my tombstone read “No adventure too big or small; knew no stranger.”

Somehow I had lucked out in the random draw to have a window seat behind the wing of the aircraft. The clouds laid out across the atmosphere like miles of untouched snow. Which looked cool, until the descent it actually became miles of untouched snow. Brrr! The coolest site was when the clouds broke apart to reveal a huge island. It kind of looked uninhabited. You think you grasp the vastness of the ocean, but it doesn’t really settle in until you are flying over it.
Once I landed, I started to lose my vision; a migraine. Helga helped me navigate to my train stop, and her friend gave me directions on how to get to my hotel. I am horrible with directions. For awhile, with a migraine, I was walking up and down the same street lost. I asked one stranger where my street was, and I think she purposely told me the wrong way. Thank God I went with my gut feeling and didn’t follow through on her directions. I stared at a map by the train station for about twenty minutes, trying to guide through the unfamiliar street names. I remembered that I had grabbed a map in the train station, and I pulled that out. It wasn’t long after that, that I was struggling to open the door to my hostel. The headache was bad. Lucky for me, the room was available and she let me check in early. I slept for probably six hours. I lost my day in Norway.
I did some brief exploring while the sun was still up. Ate a fast food burger because the train ticket had wiped out my budget for the day. The exchange rate was not in my favor, and I was in the second richest country in the world. (Known for being expensive)
I’ve decided when I come back in a week, I will have taken the time to really study the map and decide what I’ll be doing, minus a headache. It will be a much more productive day.
Bucket List: Get lost in a foreign country
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