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Save Serious Money when Backpacking Europe (or anywhere else)

When you’re backpacking through Europe, you’re usually on a budget. You can’t spend too much money in one place because you know it means sacrificing something else at a later time. Well, I am here to give you the BEST way to save serious money when backpacking Europe (or anywhere else) on a budget. Implementing this trick will save you SO MUCH money and will allow you to do way more cool things.

It’s a really simple trick that I break down into two parts. Are you ready for it?

The BEST way to save serious money when backpacking Europe is….

Hostels with free breakfast.

Guys, if you’re not focusing your hostel search on the ones with breakfast included, you’re doing it wrong. As you know, I use Hostelworld for nearly all my hostel bookings. I love them because it’s super easy, gives me access to a ton of Hostels around the world, and I can specify criteria when I am searching for a hostel. I usually do a search for a hostel that has free wifi, free breakfast and a bar (but those are just my criteria).
Free breakfast means that you can avoid spending your hard earned cash on an extra meal. Most hostels that offer free breakfast have their prices set very similar to the ones that don’t so the difference is barely noticeable when you’re paying.However, the difference is very noticeable when you start having to pay for breakfast each morning.

Doing this alone will save serious money and ensure you can spend that saved money somewhere else. BUT, I have a way to make it even more worth while and I’m about to share it with you now.

Make yourself some lunch.

So you have free breakfast, and they have all these pieces of bread and cold cuts and spreads available in the morning… Why not make yourself a sandwich or two and save it for later? This is an awesome way to save on food spending. I would make some sandwiches in the morning, wrap them up in some napkins and bring them with me in my backpack for the day. Lunch can turn into an expensive ordeal if you’re not prepared so having some sandwiches on the go is a great way to save serious money. Plus, who doesn’t like a nice lunch on a park bench overlooking a fountain somewhere in Europe? I know I do!

Save serious money – go to a hostel with free breakfast!

It’s a super easy way to save money and put it into your travel experiences! Try it out (and I suggest you use Hostelworld since you can set your search criteria for included breakfast)… and as always let me know what you think in the comments below!

Want to save more money while traveling? Check out my blog post on things you should be doing to find cheap flights here.

 

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Cheap airfare Deals Tip Series Tips Travel

8 things you should be doing to find cheap flights

Eight things you should be doing to find cheap flights

Flights are expensive. Most of the time, your airfare is the most expensive part of your trip. It sucks when you realize your intended destination is $1500. But, there are several things you can do to find cheap flights and save some money. I touched on two of these things in previous posts: Part 1 and Part 2. There is actually a few more things you can do to find cheap flights and get the most out of your money, and I am about to share them with you.

8 things you should be doing to find cheap flightsClick To Tweet

1) Don’t fly direct

Flying direct can sometimes cost you way more money. For some added inconvenience (let’s be honest here layovers are never fun) you could be looking at hundreds of dollars in savings.

2) Be open minded about your destination

I covered this in my part 1 post about saving money when flying (which you can find here), but the takeaway is that if you keep an open mind about where you want to go instead of picking a particular location, you can select the cheapest option and save a lot of money.

3) Fly with a budget airline

More and more companies are going the budget route which gives you significant savings by removing some of the fancier comforts. When you’re looking for flights, don’t overlook these budget airlines as they can be serious money savers. If you can go without food on your flight and lose a bit of leg room but save $500 in the process – it’s worth it!

*For example, Ryanair and Easy Jet in Europe or WOW Air which has departures from US & Canada.

4) Don’t fall for the gimmicks of cheap flight searching

Don’t be fooled by the people who say that looking for flights on incognito mode will make it more affordable – there is zero proof of that. As a general rule, flights are not cheaper on Tuesdays so don’t bother waiting for that mythical cheap Tuesday to arrive. Airlines want to make money, so they will switch it up constantly.

5) Be open minded about your travel dates

I talked about this in a previous post, and it’s crucial. Before picking dates for your travels, look up different times to see where you can save a few dollars. If you’re not locked into specific vacation days, you should be looking at your options before deciding on when you’re going.

6) Use multiple tools to do your research

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT only look at one website to find your flights. Shop around, look at various websites, and find the best deals. My go to is Google Flights, but I also look at airline websites like Momondo, Flight Network, Sky Scanner, and sometimes more. You never know what you might find.

7) Use Ebates

This is a tool that I only starting using a few months ago, but it’s pretty impressive; I wish I had started earlier. Ebates is a website that gives you cashback on your online purchases! They are teamed up with so many companies who give them a percentage for sending them customers; Ebates splits that money with you as a thank you for using their service. I have the Google Chrome add-on so anytime I’m doing online shopping, and they have a deal with that retailer it lets me know! You can obviously use it for anything (not just travel-related), but the bigger purchases naturally yield a greater return. It’s not a TON of money so don’t go expecting $100 cheques every week, but it’s pretty much free money just for buying stuff, so it’s worth signing up. I put the money I get back from Ebates into my travel account, so it’s just a little extra help.

8) Get a credit card that offers travel points 

If you already have a credit card and you’re not getting travel points, you should change your card. If you’re making purchases with a debit card, you should think about switching to a credit card. Most cards worth getting have some kind of fee, but it’s totally worth it in the end. I got a last minute (like 3 or 4 days with no room for wiggle room) round trip ticket from Montreal to Honolulu in February, and it cost me a big fat $0. I had enough points (and then some) to not worry about the cost and just enjoy myself. I got these points simply by making my regular purchases on my credit card and reaping the benefits with no change in my habits.

Use these eight tips, and I guarantee you’ll find cheap flights!

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to download my FREE cheat sheet to remember all these eight tips when you want to find some cheap flights!

Don’t forget to leave a comment below!

PKat.

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Berlin Europe Travel

The best tours in Berlin for the young adult

Hello, travel peeps! I know I said I was going to post about Amsterdam for my next post but I got a message from one of my readers about Berlin and I decided to share with you the best tours in Berlin that I used when I was there. One is a free (donation based) day walking tour, and the other one is a night (bar hoping) tour. They’re both from the same company, and I couldn’t recommend them more.

The free walking tour

If you don’t know already, Berlin is an incredibly special city. It’s the perfect mix of a bustling capital and underground culture. There is a ton of history to learn about and witness, and you should definitely look into the regular free walking tours most hostels offer to learn about all the interesting parts of Berlin.
The tour that I want to recommend is slightly different and does not focus on the regular WW2 historical tour but more on the fringe aspect of Berlin. You get to see some amazing street art (Berlin is famous for it), learn about the different underground culture of Berlin, and even witness it first hand.
The guides are extremely knowledgeable, and you get to learn a lot about Berlin that you wouldn’t usually learn about in a regular walking tour. If you have any interest in learning about ‘the fringe side’ of Berlin I couldn’t recommend this tour more. Don’t forget that this is a FREE tour so if you liked, it tip the guide well!

Here is a pic of my favourite piece of street art which actually has a really cool story. I won’t spoil the story for you guys but I will just say ‘bring back the lampost’,  and you will know what I mean once you go on the tour!


You can find more information about the free tour here.

The bar hopping  tour

OK, let’s be honest. One of the cool things about travelling through Europe is going out to party with other travellers and having fun. Berlin has a TON of underground bars and clubs that you would never now about unless someone told you to go there.
The 666 Anti Pubcrawl is your chance to experience some pretty impressive establishments in Berlin. I got the chance to drink in a 60’s hippy bar, play ‘around the world ping pong’ (ping pong is HUGE in Berlin – it’s very surprising, and you learn about it during the free walking tour I mentioned above), be amazed in a Gothic style club (which actually had a big bronze penis at the top of the stairs – super random), dance in one of the biggest nightclubs in Berlin, and end my night in an underground club. This underground club was in some old factory in the basement (you had to take a freight elevator to get in), there were different rooms, the whole place smelled old, wet and musty, they had german rap battles going on in the back room, and had people doing face painting on random couches. I can’t even tell you how weird and epic it was at the same time.
You get a bunch of free shots, and the tour only costs 12 euros, so it’s definitely on the cheap side and perfect for the young backpacker looking for a good time. I went with a friend I met in my hostel in Prague (we were both on the same train to Berlin and decided to do a few tours together) but we met a few people on the tour, and there were lots of solo ‘partiers’ so don’t let that stop you if you’re travelling alone!

I can’t recommend this tour company enough. The guides were great for both the free tour and pub crawl, I always felt safe, I learned a lot, and I had a ton of fun. I linked the specific tours throughout the post but if you just want to check out the company itself click here.

 

Have you ever been to Berlin? Let me know in the comments!

 

If you haven’t already, check out my post about the most important thing to do when travelling here.

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Packing Tip Series Tips Travel

Tip Series: One packing essential for the clumsy traveller

Do you drop spaghetti sauce on your pants or shirt more often than you’d like to admit? Do you spill some red wine on your dress when you get a bit too animated?

I know I do! ALL. THE. TIME. It’s a curse, guys!

I have a great tip for you clumsy people that costs next to nothing and will save most of your clothes from finding their way to the curb. This trick is actually so good that you’ll probably use it at home too. Full disclosure, I have to give my mom a shout out for this tip because she’s the one who showed it to me on one of our trips together.

Are you ready for the simplest trick?

Sunlight bar soap.

You know that yellow bar that your grandma probably had in her soap holder in the laundry room? That’s the one!

(Click the picture to order some from Amazon)

You don’t even need to bring the entire bar; cut off a piece and stick it in a plastic bag. As soon as you realize you’ve stained your clothes, grab this magic eraser and rub it with some water. I spilled a glass of red wine all over a beige couch once, and we were able to remove all the evidence with the soap. This stuff is legit.

It takes up zero room in your bag, and it will save your ass. Especially when you’re backpacking, and you have little room to bring multiple outfits.

If you’re a clutz like me, give this trick a try and I promise you won’t regret it!

Don’t forget to leave a comment below!

If you haven’t already, go read my post about saving money when purchasing airline tickets – it could save you hundreds!

 

PKat

 

* This post may contain affiliate links which means that I could earn a small commission to help keep this blog up and running. Don’t worry, I only recommend products and service I personally use and trust!

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Blogging Cheap airfare Deals Tips Travel

A great way to save hundreds of dollars on your next flight

Would you like to save hundreds of dollars on your next travel adventure?

Here is a tip I use regularly that will do just that! However, this tip isn’t for everyone; you need to be willing to ‘go with the flow’ a little bit.

What if instead of deciding on a particular place you want to see you just left your options open? I’ve found that when I shop around for flights with no destination in mind, I can find the best deals. If you’re dead set on going to a specific place, you could be missing out on some incredible savings in another location. Especially when it comes to Europe, prices per city and/or country can vary significantly which means that it can be extremely beneficial to leave your options open.

Here is what I do:

1) I decide on a date range that I would like to take my trip in 

This enables me to find the cheapest deals within a date range to maximize my savings. I don’t specify exact dates but look at prices for an entire month or a few weeks at a time.
For example: If I want to go somewhere for approximately two weeks in the month of May, I will look at prices for the entire month, not only for a particular two-week period and find the most cost effective days to depart and return.

2) I don’t pick a specific destination (and this is the most important part!) 

I’ll look at different destinations around the world, or in a wide area like all of Europe.
This gives me the opportunity to see where the best deals are during my pre-decided time frame (the month of May in my above example).
Google Flights provides location searches like Europe or South East Asia and then shows you on a map different cities with their prices. It’s a great way to see the most affordable places quickly and pretty effortlessly.

I do #1 and #2 at the same time to ensure I’m seeing the most options and getting the best deals. 

3) Finally, I look at other websites to see if I can find even cheaper deals

Once I’ve established the most affordable places to go in my time frame I proceed to do some extra research on various websites to see if I can find a better deal.

 

 

Going about finding plane tickets this way has saved me an incredible amount of money. I’ve found tickets to Asia for $600 CAD. You can’t’ beat those prices!
Obviously, this method is not for everyone. Some people like to plan months in advance and have everything decided or have a specific place in mind they absolutely want to see.
But, if you’re like me and you want to see ALL OF THE PLACES this is an excellent way to save money. You’ll always end up finding a deal to a location present on your very long list of travel destinations, and you’ll never be disappointed when that one place you wanted to travel to costs $500 more than you budgeted for.

So, if you have an adventurous side, give this a try next time you’re thinking of going on a trip and see how it works out for you!

 

PKat

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