Studying abroad can be a huge financial undertaking, and European cities aren't always cheap. I definitely found myself worrying after realizing how much money I spent in just my first few weeks in France. So, when I started traveling to other cities and countries, I made a serious effort to be cost-conscious. After many trials-and-errors, here are my best tips for traveling on a budget!
1. Utilize Google Flights with their map feature
If you're trying to plan weekend trips and are looking for cheap places to visit, use the map feature to find the cheapest places to fly to based on your dates. I've found myself in cities that I didn't originally plan on visiting just because of the cheap flight, and they turned out to be amazing trips.
2. Research the best cheap-eats and street food prior to traveling
It's easy to fall into tourist traps while traveling abroad. If you're a foodie like myself, do your research on the local street food scene—I promise you won't be disappointed. My favorite street food so far was arancini in Rome...talk about incredible! Websites like Condé Nast, the Eater, and travel bloggers can give great insight to the best cheap restaurants that serve mouthwatering food.
3. Don't be afraid of staying in hostels
Hostels get a bad rep in the U.S., but they're a great option in Europe! They have many different room options, including all-female dorms and private rooms for couples or small groups. The best hostels have a bar and breakfast for cheap prices too! My favorite website to find them is HostelWorld, which has thousands of reviews for most hostels.
4. Pick one or two "splurge" activities
Europe has some of the best museums, archaeological sites, and general tourist attractions in the entire world. That being said, most aren't free. Pick one or two must-see items and plan your day around those. You won't regret ticking that activity off your bucket list. For example, when I visited Italy my "splurge" bucket-list items were the Colosseum and Pompeii. But remember, walking is free and an amazing way to see cities!
5. Travel to the small towns around your base city
It's tempting to hit as many countries as possible while studying abroad, but don't neglect the little towns around you! Odds are, they're incredibly charming and a great insight to real life in that country. My favorite towns and villages along the French/Italian Rivera are Èze, Menton, Cap d'Ail, and Sanremo. Not only were these little towns incredibly captivating, they gave me some of my best memories in France!
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Hey everyone! My name is Taylor Quinn and I'm an Economics major at UNC Charlotte. This semester I'm studying abroad in Nice, France with the Business, Sustainability, and Immigration Program. My hometown is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and I'm a huge football fan (American style). On the weekend, you'll probably find me discovering a nearby hike, scoping out a bookstore, or studying at a local coffee shop. I love to cook, although most would say I'm only an amateur, so I can't wait to explore the Niçoise cuisine and the rest that Nice has to offer.