I spent under $652 on 13 flights from New York City to many countries in Europe for 2 months.
Here is the list of places I’ve traveled to from December 15′ to January 16′:
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Basel, Switzerland
- Rome, Italy
- Athens, Greece
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Düsseldorf, Germany
- Dublin, Ireland
- Edinburgh, Scotland
- Gdansk, Poland
- Warsaw, Poland
- Wroclaw, Poland
- Oslo, Norway
- New York, New York
Flexibility is essential to traveling for the best budget possible- you’ll need flexibility in both location and time. Here is my Budget Traveling guide.
1. Find the cheapest way to and from your desired continent.
I found a one-way flight from New York to Copenhagen, Denmark, for $170, and another one-way ticket back to New York from Oslo, Norway, for $138. Altogether, round-trip to Europe for me was only $308. For domestic travelers, you can skip this and go straight to number 2.
2. Research on budget airlines that flies to desired locations. The cheapest flight I’ve ever purchased was $5.81USD from Warsaw to Wroclaw with Ryanair.
There are many low-priced airlines that offer bargains on flights. Ryanair is inexpensive within Western Europe, Tigerair and AirAsia are economical and fly around Asia, and Spirit Airlines is the budget airline for United States.
I’ll show you my Excel sheet for further details.
3. Research and explore destinations.
Let’s say you want to visit a specific country, but it is so out of budget. See if the neighboring locations are more economical to fly to. Once you’re closer to where you want to be, flights can be significantly cheaper. Here is an example:
Traveling from New York to Paris is $1000.
Traveling from New York to Denmark is $300, then there’s a flight from Denmark to Paris for another $50.
$1000 vs. $350 ($300+$50)… This simple example just saved you $650.
It is more work, yes, but the extra stop saves $650. This is similar to having a connecting flight- but you have power over how long your “layover” is. You can stay a day in Denmark, you can stay three nights, or you can just leave right away. A true traveler can make adventures in any foreign location- he or she would be happy just being in a unfamiliar environment, trying new local dishes and meeting new people.
4. Just do it.
My first Euro trip was spontaneous. I graduated and decided this is the best time to travel before I am committed to a full-time job. I have school loans that I won’t be able to pay back anytime soon. I saved up enough to cover my monthly rent/fees and just booked the tickets. Possibly the most reckless and best decision I’ve ever made.
Traveling in your twenties is different than when you’re traveling later on in life. You’re young, and you’re curious- there’s no better time to explore the undiscovered! Don’t let others discourage you. My friends had suggested that frequent travels would get in the way of finding a decent job, but traveling has boosted my confidence and communication skills (which comes in handy during interviews). I now have so many stories to share with my family, friends, and potential employers.