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Traveling to Europe on TIGHT budget PLEASE help

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Apr 16th, 2013, 09:05 PM
  #1
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Traveling to Europe on TIGHT budget PLEASE help

Hello! Im am really in need of some advice…Somebody PLEASE help

So in May I will be traveling to Europe (kind of last minute) for two weeks. My sister and I have always talked/dreamed about one day traveling together; and in February (by impulse) my sister bought a plane ticket. I had just left my job in order to “find myself”… and figure out what it is I wanted to do in life as a recent college grad… so obviously the timing for me was a little off. Since the end of March I’ve been trying to find the most cost effective way for me to go along with her during her travels without spending all of my savings...

She will be staying for a month traveling from Ireland to London to Paris and lastly Venice and Rome. I will only tag along for the latter half (2 weeks) spending time only in Paris, Venice and Rome. I have managed to find two inexpensive one way plane tickets, one from California to London and one from Dublin to California. My plan is to meet my sister in London, then from there take a bus to Paris where we will stay 7 days. From there we will spend a day and a half in Venice and five or for me 4 days in Rome then I will take a plane to Dublin so that I can fly back home…

leaving from Dublin was $63 cheaper then leaving from Rome so I opted for that option..

However in order to make my flight in Dublin I would have to leave Rome half a day earlier at 4:00 pm using Ryanair then I will have to spend the night in the airport in order to make my 10am flight. My sister thinks I am doing too much to save $63 but with my budget I feel like that $63 can help out a lot towards other things. The other alternative would be for me to purchase a one way ticket from Rome back to California which would leave out at 11:15am the day she is leaving for (you may have guessed) $63 more

I’ve set a budget of $1700 even though as expenses continue to come up it seems almost undoable.

My projected total so far for travel between all destinations including leaving and coming back home is $1054. Then for hotel and hostel accommodations I will be spending $445.78.(grand total about $1500) I have not yet factored in transportation once I am in my destinations and the cost of food and attractions…

I don’t completely mind going over my budget but I would love to be as close to it as possible. SOOO my question is, what do you all think? If you were me would that half a day more in Rome for $63 (with my budget) really be that important after already spending 4 days in Rome? It doesn’t bother me much, but I may be being unrealistic. I don’t want to short change myself or my experience but because of my current lack of a job I do have to keep in mind that I don’t have all the money in the world… Someone PLEASE help.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 09:11 PM
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Welcome to fodor's. I think you can answer your own question about the flight.

The destinations you have chosen are all quite expensive cities. Why don't you think about visiting smaller places, especially in Italy where the smaller towns can be gorgeous, great food etc. London is great, but it's not cheap,

Why are you taking a bus from London to Paris? Is it cheaper? Most people take the train.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 09:24 PM
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Hey Cathies! Thank so much for your reply and welcome. The bus ride was using the company Megabus.. the original cost of the ticket was 4 euros... however I waited too late and ended up paying 22 euro (which is still the cheapest fare I could find for transport between those two cities.)

I have realized during this process that the destinations are quite expensive.. (Paris and Venice being the most expensive so far) what small towns in Italy would you suggest?

I really am stumped about the ticket... my sister thinks Im being ridiculous to sleep in an airport and leave half a day earlier on account of 63 dollars... I just wonder if im being unreasonable... I don't think its that big of a deal.. but maybe im too stuck in my budget...
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Apr 16th, 2013, 09:31 PM
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You mentioned finding one way airline tickets. Have you tried using the multi-city option on most airline websites? It allows you to book like a round trip, except into one city and out of another. Might work out cheaper for you.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 09:37 PM
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I would cough up the $63 and stay in Rome. Can you try and find some sort of temp job between now and May to give you a bit more spending money?
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Apr 16th, 2013, 09:51 PM
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Your sister is right. Cut corners somewhere else, but 63 dollars is not enough of a savings especially when you figure you'll probably spend some of the "savings" on overpriced airport food.

Have a great time!
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Apr 16th, 2013, 09:53 PM
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First, you said you priced "one way" tickets. You should be pricing "multi-city" tickets where you fly into one city and out of another.

Don't fly into London, then have the expense of getting from London to Paris if you are not visiting London - makes no sense - just eats up time and money. Most people would take a train from London to Paris anyway - saves lots of time.

You are spending time and money flying from Rome back through Dublin. No matter how tight your budget, it is absolutely not worth all that for $63. Your sister is right, and if $63.00 makes that much difference, it may not be the right time for your trip.

Keep it simple and you can figure your costs.
Fly into Paris - rent cheap apartment with your sister for a week.
Fly to Venice - 3 nts (get cheap flight or do overnight train)
Train to Rome - 4 nts (cheap, point to point tickets)
Fly home.

I love staying right in Venice, but if cost is prohibitive, you could stay in Vicenza. I would not stay in Maestre. Vicenza, at least, is a charming Italian town with beautiful architecture, and is a short train trip to Venice.

With all your transportation and hotels/hostels coming together at $1500, that is $200 left for two weeks of food, attractions and local transportation. I am sorry I don't think that will work even with only sandwiches and pizza. Going on the cheap is one thing, but going around hungry or wishing you had the money for a gelato, and not having enough money for some museum you really want to see, is quite another.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 09:59 PM
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@msteacher Yes the first options I explored was going straight from paris and leaving directly from rome round trip as an open jaw flight but I believe the price was some where around 1200. I have also explored maybe roundtrip from cali to London and rome to cali and the price for that came out to about 1060 at the time... however with my two one way flights (if I travel to Dublin and including ryanair flight to DUB) would cost me 930 in total. so I save 130.



@KTtravel I can try to find a temp job or find something to do to make additional money until that time im certainly not opposed to that idea
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Apr 16th, 2013, 10:16 PM
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If your budget is that tight I would be inclined to save the $63 - sleeping (or even not sleeping) in the airport won't kill you (check this site for info on where to sleep in Dublin's airport: http://www.sleepinginairports.net/ )

I would also recommend going over to lonelyplanet.com (which sees a lot more budget travelers than Fodors) and checking their info on costs for the countries you will visit e.g. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/france/p...on/money-costs You could also look for a Let's Go guidebook.

But trying to come up with some money will certainly improve your experience.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 10:54 PM
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If it is still possible, fly directly out of Rome. You'll end up blowing through that perceived $63 savings trying to get in and out of Dublin.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 11:23 PM
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welcome. everyone on here is wonderful and will help you in any way they can!

For me . . I would spend the $63 . . Rome is amazing and you will love having that extra day.

It will also allow a day for travel etc.
Good luck!
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Apr 16th, 2013, 11:49 PM
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I left an answer on the "travel tips" forum where you had the same question. I will repeat it here.

Have you actually bought any of the tickets, yet?

Ryanair may not have any cheap tickets left for that date. They are also extremely fussy about luggage restrictions. One carry-on really means ONE carry-on, not one plus a personal item. Any additional bags will cost extra. According to the receipt from my latest booked flight it cost 25 Euro for one bag. It's even more expensive if you have to add that bag at the last minute because it was too heavy or too large to qualify as a carry-on.

I am also unsure about what airport Ryanair uses in Rome. It may be outside Rome, which means an additional cost to get there. I think they use the ordinary airport in Dublin, at least they did when I went there in 2009.
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Apr 17th, 2013, 12:49 AM
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Thank all of you guys soo much for your many replies! I really do appreciate it! With all of your responses in consideration I have decided to just go ahead and spend the extra $63.. I can and will make the money back one day... I guess I was just making too big of a deal in my mind about the whole thing...
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Apr 17th, 2013, 02:59 AM
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TravelJazz,

You made the right decision!

Have a great trip.
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Apr 17th, 2013, 03:13 AM
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Yep. Def a good decision! You will not regret having that time in Rome! It's an amazing city! Enjoy!!!
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Apr 17th, 2013, 06:32 AM
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Totally agree about the $63, NO WAY is it worth it.

If you are still flying into London (22$ bus is pretty cheap, but how long will it take?) then I would shave a day or two from Paris and see a little of London since you will already be there. Or else fly into Paris.

In Paris look at Hotel Marignan (www.hotel-marignan.com). It is 68 euro a night for a double in May (which is high season). Shower and toilet in the hall but are shared with only one other room. It is an excellent location just five minutes walk from Notre Dame and Luxembourg Gardens. I have stayed there and would stay there again. It includes breakfast which most Paris hotels do not.

You can never have enough time in Paris, but 4-5 days is really fine so I would take the extra days and use them either in London if you fly into there, or add them to Italy.

Venice is very expensive. Consider staying in Padua (closer and less expensive than Vicenza). From Padua the train is less than a half hour and they run very frequently. Plus it's a lovely little city, worth seeing itself. Venice is wonderful, and staying IN it is the best idea, but since your budget is so tight you can have a really good experience staying in Padua. Just make sure you go into Venice early and/or late. It's very crowded with cruise ship day trippers between 10 and 5 every day but outside that time it's great. You can even find solitude during those hours but you need to walk away from the central corridor between Rialto and San Marco.

To save money on food you can get some great 'street food' - crepes and paninis in Paris, pizza, etc in Italy plus go to markets (street markets or small shops) and get food for 'picnics' to eat in parks, etc. You can get great breads, fruits, meats, salads, etc. In Italy the water at almost all the fountains is drinkable so you can refill your water bottle. There's even a website stating where all the fountains in Rome are. We have done that all over Italy. If it's not drinkable there will be a sign saying 'non-potable' but this is rare. In Paris at restaurants ask for a 'carafe d'eau' which is tap water, otherwise they will bring bottled water which can be expensive. Soft drinks cost more than wine. Anywhere, if you are at a sit down restaurant and the drink prices are not listed on the menu make sure you ask. It is a common ploy in very touristy areas to have reasonable food prices listed but no drink prices and then when the bill comes the drinks are more than the food, and much more than you expected.

Walk as much as you can. You'll see more and save money. But public transportation is also excellent. No need for taxis.
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Apr 17th, 2013, 07:59 AM
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Vicenza or Padua, you still have to pay for train fare to/from Venice daily. And you cannot just go back to the room if you are tired/want to pick up a sweater/are not feeling well.

I say stay in Venice. Apartments can be found in the far reaches of the island that might be more affordable, ie. Guidecca. If you rent an apartment, you can save big on food bill. You buy your own groceries and fix your own meals. Maybe splurge one day for lunch. But making pasta and salad every night in your own apartment can really save on your food expenses.

Do you already have accommodations in Venice? Rome?
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Apr 17th, 2013, 10:55 AM
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I am very concerned about your budget. If you have only $450 for 14 days that is only about $30 per day. This MIGHT get you a bed in a hostel - or it might not. It gives you nothing for food, local transit, sightseeing or even having an ice cream. I VERY strongly suggest that you rethink this - and either wait until you have the funds to go on even a basic level - or significantly increase your budget. You must have access to additional funds - even if you don;t want to spend them - or you may end up simply broke and living off your sister.

Summer of 2011 my 19 year old D and 2 friends went to europe for almost 6 weeks. They lived modestly and it cost her almost $8000 - including intercity transit. In Barcelona they encountered two young american women who had miscalculated their expenditures - and had no money/credit left and 3 days until their plane left. My D and her friends lent them enough for the day/night and helped them contact parents who had to deposit a significant amount in one of their bank accounts so they could have a place to sleep and money for food and transport - besides repaying what they had borrowed.

You really want to think this through before putting yourself in a very difficult position.
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Apr 17th, 2013, 11:03 AM
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Yes,you have gone all the way around your thumb to have saved the $63.
Paris can be very budget friendly. NOt so much for Italy.
I find it hard to believe that you can purchase those one way tickets. Are you sure?
Have you even looked at open jaw tickets.
I guess for May this may be "done" one way or the other.
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Apr 17th, 2013, 11:30 AM
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I'm confused about the $63 "savings". Because don't you have to somehow get to Dublin? Doesn't that cost money?

I look at transportation costs as more a set item you just need to have the money to take care of. Where you can save is on lodging and food and keeping your daily "pocket money" expenses to a bare minimum.
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