Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Europe on a budget

We were so blessed to be able to go to Europe
Weeks before we went I saw that Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds recently went and thought "what a life"
We didn't travel like them:)
However, we still had fun- here are a couple of tips 

1. Decide ahead of time what you want to spend money on
It's so easy to go crazy over in Europe
The Euro and the American Dollar are different
If food is important to you- then spend money on food. 
If a fancy hotel is important to you- then spend money on that.
To us, the attractions are what were important to us. 

2. Where to stay
We spent under $500 for 12 nights of lodging through airbnb.com
It is not a hostel and you can choose anything from sharing a room to having you own house.
This was our place in Vienna- way nice and right off a metro stop.

3. Transportation
We took the subways everywhere. If you are there for a few days buy a multi day pass. It was only scary when we used it late at night- every other time I felt very safe. Just pay attention to when the doors are closing (we watched a lady get her face smashed in the closing doors). It is a fun place to people watch. We only have to take a taxi once in an emergency. 

4. Food
In Paris to eat at a restaurant it is outrageous! From what I can tell the normal prices were 10 euros for breakfast (croissant, coffee and an egg), and up to 50 euros for dinner. Yikes! We hit up a lot of Pizza places and food courts in the malls. So we didn't eat typical French Cuisine (which I am ok with) but had our share of crepes and gelato. We were able to eat at a pastry shop daily and other than that hit up a grocery store for breakfast.
Vienna, the food is MUCH cheaper. We were able to eat three meals a day for under 20 euros for us both. We ate at a lot of street vendors (didn't get sick once) and ate at a restaurant once- for 15 euros. Plus, the food is MUCH better there.

5. Attractions
For museums, if you are under 25 in Paris and 26 in Vienna there is usually a student deal for you to take advantage of. Also, if you really like audio tours, many of the places let you upload the audio tour on your phone, which can save you up to 8 euros in some places. 

6.Other tips and tricks
 I wish I had hand sanitizer
I wish I had inserts for my shoes- you walk a ton
Bring snacks- we had nuts and beef jerky to keep up going inbetween meals. We were able to get it through the airports just fine.
Figure out ahead of time your cell phone situation- we didn't miss ours
To block out noise in apartments, youtube has a great white noise video for 10 hours
Tylenol PM was a great friend
Netflix and hulu do not work over there- so bring movies to help in the middle of the night with jetlag
Be patient- it is hard when you don't speak the language and French people won't help you
Starbucks and McDonalds always have Wi-Fi and a bathroom
Bring Kleenex- will be used as TP as well
Every airport is different- Paris is VERY strict on the weight of your baggage, even your carryon
International Flights are not as bad as I thought
BO is a real thing- bring gum to chew while on the subway (pregnancy nose)
take TOO many pictures- you won't regret it
take it slow if traveling while pregnant- I had my moments
Enjoy every second

For the next week I have posts coming with pictures- stay tuned if you want!


  1. Yay! Great suggestions. So funny (but sad) about that lady's face getting squished! So crazy.

  2. I agree with most of your suggestions (don't have personal experience with others) so I'll keep them in mind if I ever get to Europe! Can't wait to see pictures!

  3. I cannot believe I'd never heard of that airbnb site. That is going to CHANGE my life! THANK YOU!