Hello to my frugal and creative readers!
Today, I would like to report about my preparations for our next trip, which will take place in July this year. My financial report about our trip to Venice was my most popular post ever and got viewed many, many times, to my own delight (naturally).
So I thought it would be a great idea to share some more frugal travel tips, because travelling really doesn’t have to be expensive.
For our next vacation, we are planning on taking a two-week roadtrip through Europe, visiting castles in Germany, crossing through Austria and travelling all the way down to the Slovenian coast. The part I’m probably most excited about is our stay in Slovenia’s only National Park, Triglavski Narodni Park.
So, without further ado, here are a few tips:
N°1: Knowing when it’s most financially reasonable to take your vacation.
Okay, so here’s the deal: my partner can take a paid vacation twice a year: in July and in December. I’ve adapted my schedule around his, because I don’t have such restrictions and if we take our vacation in July, we still both get paid.
N°2: Calculating how much gas will cost ya
Yes, I do plan a lot 😉 But planning ahead also means: saving a bunch of money!
I entered our destination on Google maps, and as you can see, a one-way drive amounts to 13 hours or 1.250 km. This would be 2.500 km in total. It is probably going to be more than that, because we are going to stop on the way for sightseeing in different parts of Europe. So let’s say, we will be driving a total of 3.000 km.
Next, I did some research online for the average km/liter of gas and the price of gas and I came to this conclusion: 1 liter of gas = 15 km = 1.40€. Which means: 3000/15 * 1.40 = 280€.
So now I’ve figured out how much gas will cost us during our trip. I like to be on the safe side so I’ll round that up to 300€. That’s a pretty big stack of money, but figuring out the cost of transportation beforehand means you can substitute and look for cheaper options for the other components of your trip (for example, accommodation and food).
N°3: Comparing prices – Hotel, motel, hostel or camping?
Let’s say, we are going to stay in Koper, Slovenia, which is the final destination of our trip. I used a really useful website, called Trivago, which compares prices of different hotels in the area you’ve selected. Basically, it’s a search engine that shows you all of the different options. I kinda feel like it’s unnecessary to talk about this website, because a frugal reader will already have figured out how to find the cheapest hotels, but I like to be thorough!
I selected the destination, the date of arrival and departure, and a price maximum and launched Trivago into a search.
My conclusion is that a hotel stay would cost us between 40€ and 50€ per night, for two people. If you’re not familiar with euros: an average hotel in Antwerp (which is the city I live in) can cost between 70€ and 120€ per night. So it’s safe to say this is on the cheap side for us. I could launch another search to find campings and compare prices, but I realised campings aren’t necessarily the cheaper option..
N°4 : Stuff the car with snacks, drinks and cutlery.
My final advice is to bring enough snacks and drinks on your trip, so you don’t have to resort to expensive grocery stores during your trip. A good way to avoid expensive restaurant meals, is to bring your own cutlery and maybe even camping gear so you can cook your own food. This is, of course, a huge plus when you travel by car.
However, if you can’t afford to travel, just as I couldn’t last year, here’s a fun blog post about the things you could do at home instead of travelling.
How about you? How do you plan your trips?