Spring in Europe on a Budget

Ten days, 3 European cities

I’ve organized a ten day trip to three European cities. I’m ecstatic since it will be my first time visiting Europe in Spring. I’ve managed a strict budget and secured travel and accommodations in the following cities in preparation:

  1. Barcelona, Spain
  2. Basel, Switzerland
  3. Paris, France

My travel and accommodations have totaled a little over a grand so far (yup, you’ve read that right) and I can share exactly how I’ve managed to do so. Note that this itinerary budget does not yet include food or activity expenses. The aforementioned budget encompasses my roundtrip flight tickets, flights/trains within Europe, and hotel/hostel accommodations.

Airline fees fluctuate and you can easily track fares using Google Flights. Google Flights allows you to search by calendar dates which is a useful tool when you haven’t committed to specific dates.

Now, let’s get started.

Booking international flights

If you’re looking to find the most economical flights to Europe, stick to Norwegian.com. Whether you’re planning your trip months in advance or days (like I am), I find that Norwegian’s airfares are consistently lower than any other.

Here’s the breakdown:

JFK to BCN (Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport)$160
CDG (Paris-Charles De Gaulle) to JFK$290

Securing accommodations

A quick Google search will offer a list of hotels or hostels. Booking.com is also a handy resource for accommodations and taxi arrangements. I am a huge proponent of the hostel experience. I’ve met adventurous and like-minded people during my time at hostels and when traveling solo, it’s one of the most organic ways to find such a community. The first two occasions that I’ve visited Europe, I’ve stayed at a few great (and perhaps a few not so great) hostels. Nonetheless they’ve all been informative experiences.

Hostelworld offers affordable hostel listings where you can filter your search by facilities, distance from the city center, ratings, and so on. You have the option to select a private ensuite or a dorm with shared bathrooms. Consider which features matter most to you.

Read reviews from other female travelers to gauge the level of security and safety experienced. The only time I’ve experienced uneasiness at a hostel, I addressed my concern with the staff and they immediately worked to remedy my concern.

Accommodations EXPENSES
CityAccommodationNightsTotal Costs
Barcelona, SpainMagatzem 1283$180
Basel, SwitzerlandEptingerstrasse Apartment3$160
Paris, FranceThe 3 Ducks Eiffel Tower3$135

Tips to Ensure Your Safety

I cannot stress enough how important it is to always consider your safety from the moment you board the airline. Remember, you’re traveling alone in a foreign country and you should always be on high alert.

It’s a shame that we women still need to consider our safety while traveling abroad but we have to be realists and prepare ourselves. I’ve provided some quick tips below:

  1. Avoid traveling during late hours. If you’re able to book an earlier flight, do so.
  2. Always be mindful of your surroundings. Move with a sense of confidence, walk into a space like you belong and avoid drawing unwanted attention to yourself.
  3. Trust your instincts.

Booking travel within Europe

I’m using two modes of travel within Europe. I’ll be flying from Barcelona to Basel via EasyJet and from Basel to Paris I will be traveling by train.

DestinationService ProviderCosts
Barcelona to BaselEasyJet$33
Basel to ParisRail Europe$73
Download my itinerary template.

Budgeting for food and activities

It is safe to assume that you can spend $40 per day on food. Magatzem 128 in Barcelona and The 3 Ducks hostel in Paris both offer complimentary breakfast which is always a great addition to include in your filter searches.

See my estimated budget below:

Cab fare$200
Playing it by the ear

My itinerary is always tentative. I haven’t left yet but I’m definitely considering extending my trip.

Let me know if you’ve got any suggestions on sites that I should explore during my travels 🙂

Header photo courtesy: Unsplash

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