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Some Quick Budget Tips: Ballin’ on a Budget

So my motto when traveling is ballin’ on a budget.  In simple terms this means partying to the fullest, not having to worry about if you’re safe where you’re sleeping, and still experiencing all aspects of culture and sites that different cities have to offer.  This does not come easy while overseas, or locally even, and it does take a lot of planning and strategy.  My idea of traveling “cheap” is not nasty hostels, eating crappy food, and drinking horrible booze.  It’s about enjoying the experience as much as most people do, but just not blowing the bank on unnecessary things while traveling.

There are many different things that I have learned the hard way over the past few years while traveling alone…

Mistake #1: Purchasing a “pay as you go” cell phone when I was living in Barcelona and traveling Europe. These could be a good idea if you don’t have issues with drunk dialing your home country nonstop and keep your conversations to a minimum.  Unfortunately for me I’m quite the chatter and am the queen of drunk dials.  These mistakes ended up costing me a couple thousand dollars in the end, so please don’t do this.

Solution #1: Purchase a cheap cell phone abroad that is unlocked, I bought a basic unlocked phone for about 30€ in Spain.  You can also bring any unlocked phone from home.  A plus to buying one abroad is not having to worry about voltage issues when you charge the phone. For service, buy the prepaid sim cards as you bounce from country to country, in incriments of €10-€20.  These can be bought at cell phone stores, convenience stores, and even at some cafes.  This will save you tons of money and if you happen to have a rough night and end up dialing back to the homeland, the worst it would cost is the amount on the card already, which is usually about $20 max depending on the amount of credit on your card.

Mistake #2: Taking cabs EVERYWHERE! I won’t lie my first trip to Europe without the family I was very lazy about figuring out public transportation.

Solution #2: Please use the public transportation, it will literally save you hundreds of dollars.  Figure out the metro, bus, train, whatever it is that you can use instead of rip off taxis.  Yes we all know its nice when you’re tired, don’t want to deal with figuring out where the hotel is and a cab is the simple solution, but be strong and don’t do it.  Most airports and train stations have information booths that will give you maps, tips, and information regarding how to navigate your way around the city.  Use these resources to your advantage, save yourself some money, and use that to buy yourself a nice bottle of wine or entry into a great club.  Also check out Urban Rail, which highlights the public transportation that cities all over the world have to offer.

Mistake #3: Not planning ahead.  I have had numerous situations in which I didn’t know where I was going the next day or where I was staying when I got there.  This can cost you a lot of money to find a place last minute or you could just end up in some super shady last minute accommodation.  Also with air travel prices definitely go up, obviously, closer to the departure date.  If you’re taking trains, the price usually doesn’t vary as much and travel can be much more flexible.

Solution #3: Simply plan ahead.  I know that a lot of great adventures come from being spontaneous, but just do it within moderation.  Try to scope out a potential hotel before you head to a city.  Use websites like Trip Advisor to get reviews on places to stay.  Just a little planning can save you a lot of money and some unneeded drama.

I hope you found these basic tips helpful to saving money and be able to “ball on a budget.”  I will post more money saving tips in the future, but I feel these are the basics to get you started! How do you save money while traveling? Please reply and let me know!


  1. On November 4, 2009 @ 5:20 pm Tips for Staying in Touch While Abroad said

    […] Some Quick Budget Tips: Ballin’ on a Budget […]

  2. On November 9, 2016 @ 10:58 am said

    I have read so many posts regarding the blogger lovers but this paragraph is actually a good article, keep it

  3. On January 9, 2018 @ 12:02 am Lauren Smith said

    Omg it’s been forever but thank you so much! I put so much work into it! Are you Traveling these days?? xo Lauren

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