Budgeting European City Breaks Macedonia Ohrid Wall "How do you afford to always travel" is something I get asked by certain friends/family members of mine on a regular basis. Yet said individuals have been known to spend 2 weeks every year in an all-inclusive resort that costs around £1,500+ per person just for those two weeks which just isn't my style! In 2016 I went on less European city breaks than I would have liked too - I had to spend too much annual leave on exams/study time unfortunately! I only managed 5 city breaks, but the total cost was £1,405.21 (average £281 per trip for flights, accommodation and spending money). When I've told people this, they've seemed shocked and confused - so I thought I'd set it all out in a blog post!

Krakow, Poland

Krakow Poland Auschwitz
  • Flights = £81
  • Hotel = £72.50
  • Spending Money = £110
  • Total = £263.50
  • Dates = Friday 18 March - Tuesday 22 March 2016
  • Total days = 5
  • Annual leave = 3

Ohrid, Macedonia

Ohrid Macedonia Church Budgeting City Break
  • Flights = £51
  • Hotel = £43.86
  • Spending Money = £64.94 (see full breakdown here)
  • Total = £159.80
  • Dates = Sunday 22nd May - Wednesday 25 May 2016
  • Total days = 4
  • Annual leave = 3

Salzburg, Austria

View Salzburg Austria Budgeting Europe City Break
  • Flights = £38 (after using £50 RyanAir gift card)
  • Hotel = £124
  • Spending Money = £152.15 (see full breakdown here)
  • Total = £314.12
  • Dates = Friday 3rd June - Monday 6 June 2016
  • Total days = 4
  • Annual leave = 2

Cologne, Germany

Burg Eltz Cologne Germany Budgeting
  • Flights = £60.98
  • Hotel = £73.69
  • Spending Money = £170
  • Total = £304.67
  • Dates = Friday 26 August - Monday 29 August 2016
  • Total days = 4
  • Annual leave = 1
  • Bank holidays = 1

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Scotland Budgeting City Break
  • Flights = £83.96
  • Hotel = £81
  • Spending Money = £198.16
  • Total = £363.12
  • Dates = Thursday 1 September - Sunday 4 September 2016
  • Total days = 4
  • Annual leave = 2

Summary

  • Total spending = £1,405.21
  • Number of days abroad = 21
  • Total annual leave days used = 11
  • Percentage  of fun had = 100%

Booking.com

So What Are my Top Tips?

Work out what your priorities are £1,400 is still a lot of money, but in 2016 travelling was a priority for me and was worth every penny. I don't spend money on clothes and accessories (although I definitely used to!) and that definitely helps to save. This £1,400 was spent over the course of a year, so if you want to experience the 5 city breaks listed above, you'd need to save £116 per month - given that my main blog audience are 18 - 25 year old females (much like myself), making the huge assumption that you are in a full time job without the responsibilities of kids or a mortgage, this could be entirely achievable depending on your priorities. In 2017, I haven't taken half as many trips as this but I'm currently saving every penny and thinking about getting on the housing ladder - priorities change and that's okay!

RELATED:  Find out what I've given up in order to save money for travel here

Travel at non-peak times where possible I could have been FAR stingier with my spending on travel during this year. A prime example is my trip to Cologne. I was limited on annual leave by this point and had to utilise the August bank holiday weekend meaning flight costs rocketed. Our £60 return flights from London Stansted with RyanAir can be snagged for £18 most of the year (these seats are also always included in RyanAir's sales). And generally speaking, flying mid-week will be cheaper than utilising a long weekend (something I am a big fan of given my lack of annual leave), so if you work unusual hours, you could be quids-in! Be flexible I have the Skyscanner widget on my Android phone homepage, so I am constantly able to see what the cheapest flights from London in the next month are. When Skysanner were advertising £25 flights to Ohrid (Macedonia), I knew that I HAD to have them. I hadn't even heard of this city, but I know it's not normally in the "cheap flight" category! After a quick google, I knew it was beautiful and I knew I had to go.

RELATED: Have you seen any cheap flights to Ohrid? If you manage to catch them, read all about my time there here! You won't be disappointed! 

Make sure you understand the budget airlines So above I mentioned that I saw £25 flights to Ohrid but I actually paid £50, what happened there?! Well, budget airlines have to make their money somehow and Wizz Air make you pay for normal sized cabin bags. Where possible, I fly with RyanAir who allow you to have one normal sized cabin bag and one small personal item (like a handbag, backpack or laptop bag) included in the price of your ticket!

RELATED: Do you know what's included in your ticket price? Read my guides for RyanAir and Wizz Air!

How Could You Save More Money Than I Did?

My biggest downfall when travelling in 2016 was having to make lots of little short breaks, this means that I was continually paying for return flights to the UK. I spent a total of 3 weeks in European cities during the year - so if you could get 3 continuous weeks off work and pick cities that are relatively close to one another, using public transport to get from one to the other will be much cheaper than continuously flying to and from the UK! Also, you'll notice that my spending money in a city is normally on par with the flights and accommodation. This is because I like to FULLY immerse myself in a city and do absolutely everything that's on offer. I rarely leave a city without having ticked off all of the "must see" tourist attractions. If you slow down and don't feel the need to spend money on every single entrance fee, you will definitely save money.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own. Danielle1

     
Travel-budgeting-slovenia Travel-budgeting-marrakech Travel-budgeting-krakow "You're so lucky, you're always travelling" is something that I am told regularly by friends, family, co-workers, strangers, basically anyone who has the misfortune of being stuck in a conversation in which I blabber on about my love for travel. But is "lucky" really the right word? In some ways, yes. I am very lucky to have been raised in a wealthy economy and by a family who were able to support my childhood to a comfortable standard amongst other things. There are millions of people who through simply being born in a different part of the world will never travel and for that, I am obviously very grateful. However, I do think that people I know using the word "lucky" is incorrect. Yes, I may appear to travel more than another person of the same economic standing, but that is because I make travel a priority. There are a number of things that I have given up in order to travel as much as I can (well... as much as my job's annual leave will allow in a year)! This is in no way a "moan" or a cry for sympathy. I'm actually really interested/proud to see how much I've changed in the past few years - materialistic goods are completely out of the window and instead I really value experiences over tangible objects. 1. Expensive Fashion Back in the day, I would have KILLED to have the most up to date clothing. In fact, I still have a very full wardrobe of things that were bought years ago and I need to completely get rid of as they just don't get worn anymore. Nowadays, I am much more specific in my clothing choices. Mixed with the fact that I seem to be fluctuating between sizes every other day at the moment, I just can't justify having expensive clothes/buying clothes regularly. By the end of this year, I want to have a complete capsule wardrobe of key pieces that will see me through any occasion! My inner minimalist animal is VERY excited at the prospect! 2. Beauty Procedures / Products In a similar vein, I've scaled back my beauty regime significantly! Don't fret, my basic hygiene is still in tact and I haven't yet succumbed to letting my body's natural oils do the job themselves ( although I do admire anybody who has done that with their hair - I have to wash mine daily or I feel gross, I am grease's arch nemesis). Forget the high-end expensive make-up brands, essentially there is always a high-street dupe that will do exactly the same job for half the price! Regular hair cuts and manicured nails are also a thing of the past - now I'm just playing a waiting game for my hair to reach it's old long and self-maintaining length again. As much as I loved my short hair, I don't have the time/energy/funds to keep having it cut into the perfect style. 3. Luxury Accomodation My family have recently become big fans of 2 week all-inclusive resort holidays and I now opt-out of those trips pretty quickly! A week or two trip costing £1,000 - £2,000 to essentially sit in a hotel just isn't for me. I'm all about the experiences and seeing the cultures, I would much much much rather spend my money on experiences than accommodation! I recently booked a trip to South Africa and the price of the flights scares the living daylights out of me given I have been exploring Europe using budget airlines recently, but sometimes you have to splurge on flights in order to get to dream destinations and have the coveted experiences (safari, whale watching, canyon kayaking and cave exploring here we come)! 4. My Own Space I still live with my mum and dad, despite being 22 years old and working in a well-paid industry since the age of 18. This is a conscious decision and I am often asked "so when are you moving to London Dan?!" but the answer is always "hmm, not right now". In a perfect world, I want to never rent accommodation if possible. Rents in the UK are extortionate and even though I do have to pay ridiculous train fares to commute to work, it is definitely the lesser of two evils at the moment! I am saving up to hopefully buy a house as I am well aware that I can't stay with mum and dad forever, but for now, I'm staying put and focussing on travelling! 5. University You're probably thinking "WOAH WOAH WOAH, are you telling me not to go to uni?" and the answer is absolutely not. There are some absolutely incredible benefits to travelling while at uni - let's face it, you're never going to get a few months off every summer plus a month or so at Christmas and Easter at any other time in your life! However, there's no denying that it is an expensive endeavour in the UK! I started working as an apprentice tax advisor at the age of 18. Now I am 22 and I am nearly a chartered tax advisor while others my age are just graduating university and starting out on the same career path - while it's not the right choice for everyone, it has obviously given me a decent starting point for saving money to travel! 6. Being Picky Don't get me wrong, sometimes I get completely fixated with a destination and I HAVE to visit it - South Africa and Slovenia I'm looking at you! But most of the time, I try to be super flexible about where I visit and that means that I tend to see a lot of places that other people may not consider - when £25 return flights to Ohrid (Macedonia) popped up, I couldn't resist! When I was also planning a trip to Vienna, I realised that the time of year and accommodation for 3 people were definitely going to blow our budget, instead of getting stroppy and giving up, I planned a trip to nearby Salzburg instead and we had the best time - being flexible can never go wrong! What are your current priorities? What are you saving up for?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Danielle1

6 things I've given up to travel

It appears that my "Budgeting For Ohrid, Macedonia" article was popular, so I've decided that I will be doing a quick "budgeting" post for all of my current and upcoming travels. Budgeting is something that I struggle with and when I told people that I was going on a city break to Salzburg, all I heard was "oh my god, it's so expensive there" but we were pleasantly surprised! My Trip
  • Destination: Salzburg, Austria
  • Total number of days: 3
  • Total number of nights: 3
  • Date: June 2016
  • People travelling: 3 (some costs such as taxi journeys are therefore divided by 3).
  • Travelling style: Mid-range. We chose to stay in a mid-range hotel, pay more for excursions (see more below) and have a really relaxing trip.
  • Exchange rate used: The exchange rate used for the entirety of this post (EUR to GBP) is 1.29 (accurate during the time of my trip)
So, How Much Did I Spend?! During my time in Salzburg, I spent 341.87 EUR (265.01 GBP). This total covers accommodation, food, drinks, sightseeing and transport. Pre-arrival costs such as flights are not included as these vary so much! To see a full breakdown of my costs in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format, click HERE! Accommodation - £112.87 - 145.60 EUR -43% We decided to stay at Cityhotel Trumer Stube and we would recommend it to everyone! The location is fantastic (a 5 min walk into the main city), the rooms are modern/clean and the staff working on reception are incredible. All of the girls that we spoke to were lovely, helpful and ridiculously friendly. So friendly that one of my travel buddies said, I think the job description to work here states "must be cute as hell". Accommodation is difficult when you're travelling as 3 adults. You don't want someone to be in a hotel room on their own and missing out on all the fun! Because of this, we probably ended up paying more per person than a couple or a solo traveller. The total accommodation cost was around £338 and the room could have slept 4 people (2 double beds), meaning the cost per person would have been £84.50 per person if there were 4 of us rather than £112.87 - a considerable saving (maybe not... but when a number goes from above £100 to below £100, it always seems like a good deal)! If you want to pay less on hotels, you could easily stay further away from the city centre. The bus connections are amazing and travel costs are covered by the Salzburg Card (which you can read my review on here). Food/Drink - £64.42 - 83.10 EUR - 24% I travelled with two girls from work, we were all extremely busy at work before our trip and wanted 3 days of relaxation, fun and sightseeing. So, despite the fact we are all 21 and society believes we spend all of our time drunk, not a single drop of alcohol was drunk this weekend, so I can't comment on alcohol prices! We opted for easy and quick breakfasts and lunches, then ventured out to a proper restaurant each night. Apart from one night where we were exhausted and bound to our hotel room due to torrential rain... ordering takeaway pizza was the only option. Food and drink costs were on par with most Western European tourist cities. Sightseeing and Activities - £79.46 - 102.50 EUR - 30% For exploring the city, I would wholly recommend the Salzburg Card. We saved around 38 EUR on sightseeing by purchasing this card, so money-wise, if you want to see lots of sights in a condensed timeframe, Salzburg isn't a bad city to visit! We did however hit a stumbling block whilst planning a trip to the beautiful town of Hallstatt. We planned to visit on a Sunday and there were public transport issues outside of Salzburg. We therefore booked a half-day tour with Panorama Tours which was fantastic as our guide had a real sense of pride in his country's history and landscapes. However, this wouldn't be the best option if you're looking to travel on a budget - the half-day tour cost 55 EUR after all!

RELATED POST: Is the Salzburg Card Worth It? 

Transport - £8.27 - 10.67 EUR - 3% The only item contained in this section is a taxi from the airport to the hotel and vice versa on departure. Each journey cost around 16 EUR which was split between the three of us. Public transport would definitely be much cheaper if you are a solo traveller, however 16 EUR split between a number of people isn't too bad at all. You are unlikely to need to pay for any other transport during your stay in Salzburg if you have the Salzburg Card. We used the fantastic bus system a few times and each trip was free due to the use of this card.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Danielle1

IMG_1743 - edited.JPG So, if you've stumbled across this webpage, you're probably travelling to Salzburg and you've probably heard about the Salzburg Card & wondering whether it's worth your money. Many cities have an"all access" card but I've never come across one that is worth your money, until I travelled to Salzburg! The Basics As expected, the city's many museums are covered by this card, however there are a few really great unexpected perks such as free travel within the city (their bus system is fantastic!), entrance to some of the the more expensive attractions in the city (such as Hellbrunn Palace & Trick Fountains, Salzburg Zoo and Hohensalzburg Fortress) and finally some incredible free experiences such as a cruise down the Salzach River. As well as the freebies within the city, price reductions are available for many attractions outside of the city. A complete list of the items covered by the Salzburg Card can be found here. The Price (Correct as of June 2016) There are two different price brackets for 2016. In summary, these are "winter season" being 01 January - 30 April and 01 November - 31 December and "summer season" being 1 May - 31 October. You then have the option of 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours depending on how long you are in the city. 2016 adult prices are as follows: Summer Period
  • 24 hours          27 EUR
  • 48 hours          36 EUR
  • 72 hours          42 EUR
Winter Period
  • 24 hours          24 EUR
  • 48 hours          32 EUR
  • 72 hours          37 EUR

RELATED: Want to know exactly how much I spent during my time in Salzburg? Find out here

Was It Helpful for Me? MOST DEFINITELY. We purchased the 48 hour pass in the Summer period for 36 EUR and managed to see attractions worth 74 EUR in our time - an amazing 38 EUR saving! The attractions we covered were as follows:
Catacombs 2.00
Hellbrunn Palace and Trick Fountains 12.50
Hohensalzburg Fortress 12.00
Mozart's Birthplace 10.00
Monchsberglift 3.60
Salzach Cruise 15.00
Salzburg Zoo 10.50
Bus from Fortress to Hellbrunn 3.60 Est. price from Rome2Rio.com (3GBP x 1.2)
Bus from Hellbrunn to Mirabell 4.80 Est. price from Rome2Rio.com (4GBP x 1.2)
 Total 74.00
Whilst we would have visited all of the attractions on this list (beside the below disclaimer), the card made things particularly easy to see what options we had for the day, choose where to visit and opened our eyes to attractions that we may not have otherwise known about which was great. We were disappointed that the Untersberg cable car was not open at the time of our visit (the cost would have been covered by the Salzburg Card ordinarily) - we really wanted to visit Untersberg but it gives us another reason to return! Disclaimer - A zoo wouldn't usually be on my list of things to do within a new city as animals in cages make me sad! However, my friend LOVES goats and a goat petting area was right at the beginning of the zoo. Our Salzburg Card allowed us to gain free entry for her to see the goats. We wandered further into the zoo and weren't happy with the small animal enclosures, so swiftly exited. So I'm not sure if that counts as money I would have otherwise spent!

RELATED: If you're struggling for ideas on what to do in the city, check out my long weekend itinerary

Should You Buy It For Your Trip? Whether the Salzburg Card is worth it completely depends on your travel preferences and what you want to gain from your visit. For example, if you want to spend time relaxing in the city centre, drinking good coffee and absorbing your time eating Austrian food, leisurely seeing the hours pass as opposed to trying to see as many sights as physically possible - this pass probably isn't for you. An older woman on one of our tours outside of the city centre also commented that she liked to spend hours inside each museum, meaning she didn't have enough time to see many museums in a 24 or 48 hour period, thus not getting her money's worth. I would say that if you want to see  3 or more of the more expensive attractions in Salzburg, the card will be worth it given the reasonable price and obvious value for money. However, if you're in Salzburg for 24 hours on a very strict budget and would prefer to wander around the city absorbing the charming culture, this option probably isn't for you. Unfortunately almost all of the attractions on the card close at around 5pm, so you might want to plan your time carefully. The free transportation is particularly helpful when it comes to the further away destinations such as Hellbrunn Palace (entrance is included on the Salzburg Card) and Untersberg Mountain (the cable car is included on the Salzburg Card).

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Danielle1

IMG_0614 v2IMG_0643 v2IMG_0726 v2IMG_0731 v2 If there's one question I had before visiting Macedonia, it was "how much money do I need?". The travel blogging world seems fairly void of any articles on Macedonia and the main consensus, from the few articles I found, was that "it's cheap" - but how cheap exactly?! So here I am, setting out exactly how much money I spent in Macedonia. Maybe I'll turn this into a "thing" with my future travels! Currency The currency is Macedonian Denar but Euros are commonly accepted for larger items such as long taxi drives and hotel costs. You are unable to exchange money to Denar outside of Macedonia. You will therefore need to use banks in the country to withdraw your cash. We used an ATM in the city centre of Ohrid and had absolutely no problems. Careful budgeting is therefore key to ensure you don't have tonnes of excess cash to spare at the end of your trip (unless you want an excuse to buy ALL the chocolate in the airport on the way home)! My Trip
  • Destination: Ohrid
  • Total number of days: 4
  • Total number of nights: 3
  • Date: May 2016 (off-season)
  • People travelling: 2 (some costs such as taxi journeys are therefore divided by 2).
  • Travelling style: Mid-range. We chose to stay in a nice hotel and have a really relaxing trip.
So, How Much Did I Spend?!  For my entire trip to Ohrid, I spent the equivalent of £108.80. This is including accommodation, food, drinks, sightseeing and transport. Pre-arrival costs such as flights are not included as these vary so much! To see a full breakdown of my costs in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format, click HERE! Accommodation - £43.86 - 40% Now accommodation is a tricky one, we could have picked somewhere cheaper to stay. We also could have picked somewhere more expensive to stay. We were also travelling in off-season. Most articles that I have read about Ohrid suggest visiting in June - September, as we were travelling in May, we could have experienced slightly lower prices than the average traveller. The prices for August 2016 on booking.com only seem marginally more expensive than what we paid for May - so you might be in luck if you're travelling in Summer! We chose to stay at Villa Kale and we couldn't be happier with our choice. The family that own the hotel were helpful beyond words and always made sure that we were happy and satisfied. There also appear to be some really great hostel choices on HostelWorld with some well-reviewed options having dorm rooms from as little as £4.24 per night in summer 2016 - perfect for backpackers! Food/Drink - £42.44 -39% We were in Ohrid for a relaxing time and to do a lot of exploring. As we visited in off-peak season, there wasn't too much night-life going on (although according to our hotel staff, this changes in summer), therefore not much of this total is for alcohol. We could have spent less on food but we decided to have a three course meal with wine and beer at one of Ohrid's more expensive restaurants (Gladiator) and it was definitely worth it! We ate on the balcony overlooking the lake at sunset - perfect! Sightseeing & Activities - £14.75 - 14% Considering we were in Ohrid with the primary focus of sightseeing, I am pleasantly surprised at how low this total is!  A lot of Ohrid's sights are monasteries, galleries and small things to see and do. The entry fee for each was usually around 100 denar (around £1.25). The most expensive activity was a 600 denar half-day boat trip to St Naum and back. Definitely worth doing if you're in the area! I was tempted to do a tandem paragliding flight over the lake which would have set me back 59 EUR. We ended up not doing the flight but I'm sure it would have been worth the cost! Transport - £7.75 - 7% The only item included in this section is the taxi ride from Ohrid airport to the hotel and the return journey at the end of our trip. Our hotel organised this taxi journey for us and it was 10 EUR each way (the above total is made up of 2 journeys divided by 2 people at the exchange rate for May 2016). Ohrid is well connected to other Macedonian cities and buses are available to various locations such as Skopje, Bitola, Prespa etc. The prices we saw for these journeys looked very reasonable - be sure to haggle any taxi prices, our hotel staff made us aware that taxi drivers might try to rip off tourists.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Danielle1