How I Saved Money Travelling Around Europe for Three Months.

Everyone’s first objection or complaint is that traveling is expensive. And they are right. But if you are willing to make some sacrifices there are very simple things you can do to save loads of money.

  1. Stay away from Hotels. Use Hostels and AirBnB
    1. This should be obvious. Don’t be an old person and assume the old ways of using hotels for 300 dollars a night. Sacrifice a little and stay in a hostel with a shared room with 10 strangers for 10 bucks a night. You will have way more fun and meet all sorts of people, you will sacrifice some comfort but in a couple years you won’t look back on that hotel bed you had and remember it. I stayed in a hostel 20 min outside of the center of Rome for 25 bucks a night. I had a bed in a room of 9 other beds. They were filled with 9 Chinese ladies that barely spoke English. It was hilarious and uncomfortable. But I would do it again every time. Always check AirBnB, sometimes it is even cheaper than the hostels. A good tip is if you are willing to stay a 10 min or 45 min walk away from the center of a big city there is a good chance there are available AirBnb’s for extremely cheap. I went stayed a few nights in Belfast, Ireland and I got an AirBnB for 15 bucks a night because it was about an hour and half walk to anything interesting. But it saved me over 100 dollars from not staying in the city!
    1. If you can walk to where you’re going without being late, always do it. Stay away from taxis unless in emergency. They can be really tempting on a hot and humid day. Use google maps to see if their free trains or busses, but walking will allow you to see more of the cities that the average traveler does not. AND you will save tons of money. Taxi spending adds up REAL quick.
  3. Sometimes a plane ride is cheaper than a train ride
    1. This can seem crazy and is not always true. But there are airlines within Europe that are extremely cheap, such as RyanAir. I got a plane ticket from Stockholm, Sweden to Barcelona, Spain for 50 bucks. 50 BUCKS! Instead of taking several trains, maybe a day and a couple hundred bucks I got to Barcelona in a few hours for extremely cheap. The trick with these airlines is they charge you for EVERY little thing. You want to check a bag? Extra cost. You want a drink? Extra cost. Some even charge you to go to the bathroom. So, I was able to take a backpack and not pay any extra costs. The EuroRail pass can be a good deal if you are traveling between countries over a long period of time. I found it to be cheaper to just buy your train tickets in advance online and have all the tickets on your phone and have a printed copy.
  4. If you are feeling really brave, sleep on trains.
    1. This one is if you are really extreme on saving money. I was traveling from Hamburg, Germany to Copenhagen, Denmark and I spent a day in Hamburg and took an overnight train to Copenhagen and that is where I slept! Then I had a whole day in Copenhagen before I had to pay for a hostel. I’m sort of insane, so this isn’t for everyone, but it was an adventure.

I want to know what you think. Do you think these are good ways to save money? Do you think I am a fool? What are some other ways to do it? Let me know in the comments! Be sure to subscribe to my Email Newsletter to get other tips and stories!

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Sagrada Familia

Imagine having an idea for the craziest cathedral ever built and its gonna take decades to finish. You start construction and then 130 years later it is barely finished. That is essentially what happened to Antoni Gaudi and his masterpiece: La Basilica de la Sagrada Familia.

Let’s do a quick history run, to show you how amazing this place actually is. It began construction in 1882 and it is still under construction today! Gaudi is famous for his gothic style architecture and unique artistic style.  He is basically a god now in Barcelona. His work is some of the best things to see in the city. George Lucas said that some of his architecture is what inspired the Stormtrooper’s helmets in Star Wars.  Gaudi took over the Sagrada Familia project from another designer and applied his own ideas into what is being constructed today. When Gaudi died at age 73 in the year 1926 the project was less than a quarter complete. A huge reason it has taken so long is that it was stalled by the Spanish Civil War for a couple decades but was able to resume construction with help from private donations and funding from visitors.

The entire building is covered in symbolism. Its spires represent the apostles and other bible figures. The entire story of Jesus Christ is carved into elaborate sculptures all over the front of the entrance. One side is the nativity scene, the other is the calcification and other stories of his life. It is absolutely insane to look at in person and try to imagine the work and effort put into creating it. Besides the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome it is one of the most fascinating structures I have ever seen. Art Critic Rainer Zerbst said: “It is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art”

The enormous number of visitors it receives each year is its primary source of funding as they strive to complete the building by 2026 with all the decorative aspects completed by 2030.

The video shows some incredible views as it towers over city of Barcelona. The inside has gigantic pillars extending into the sky that are carved to resemble giant trees and you feel like you are inside a forest. All the windows are perfectly designed to let the light in in just the right way to resemble a forest with sunlight beaming through the branches. It becomes very clear that there is not a single aspect of the cathedral that was not specifically designed to symbolize a religious concept or to give a certain feeling and awe to visitors.  Antoni Gaudi was buried in the tomb of his biggest masterpiece ever.

You can go in and take a tour of the whole cathedral for about 15 bucks and you can have an audio guide with headphones that will explain things to you as you go through the building. It is absolutely amazing and a must see for anyone visiting Barcelona, Spain.

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How I Traveled to More than 10 Countries While Studying Abroad in Barcelona.

Why am I even making this blog? Why should you read? What gives me the right to event talk about this stuff? Should you listen to me? Honestly, probably not. But let me tell you a quick summary of what I did and what you might be able to get out this.

I had just finished my Junior year of college and was heading to Barcelona, Spain for study abroad. The program began in the middle of May and went until the first week of August. So, I would be abroad for about 3 months. This is a relatively short option for study abroad, but it was also cheaper! The plan was to take about three classes all studying Spanish, this would complete my Spanish minor. I had saved up money for a year and a half to be able to go and support my goals of traveling around Europe. I lived in a home-stay, which means I lived with a local family who cooked my food, washed my clothes and basically acted as my family in Barcelona.

jordan spain5

They were absolutely incredible and made me feel at home right away. Everyone always asks me how I was able to travel around so much and attend school. The answer is discipline. I generally don’t have much so when I told my family I was going to practice discipline to finish the classes, so I could travel they laughed in my face. This is what I did.

My classes were scheduled to be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Starting at 8:00 AM and I would be done by 2 PM with the classes. I forced myself to not leave the school until I had finished all assignments and studying for that week. This left me the time I wanted on Friday through Monday to do whatever I wanted. It was HARD. My classes were advanced Spanish classes like Spanish Literature of the Golden Age of Spain. I had to read all of Don Quixote in Spanish. If you don’t know what that is look it up and see how many pages it has. It was insanely hard, and I didn’t understand most of it. It is like reading old English books but in Spanish.  So that is how I was able to finish my classes and still have time for travel.

On the weekends I took trips to different parts of Spain, I went to Montpelier, France and a town that was the home of Vincent Van Goh in France. I did all that in one weekend and would be back in for class on Tuesday. I took a plane to Belfast, Ireland for a weekend and I also visited places like Rome, Florence, Venice, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. The end of my trip I took the most advantage of being in Europe already and made it to Switzerland for a few days where I visited the land of my ancestors and parasailed in Interlaken.

I probably sound like I’m bragging, which I am. It was an amazing experience and being able to take advantage of being in the study abroad program and make so many new friends and see amazing places is an experience I will never forget. In my other posts I will go further into ways I saved money, essential things to take, posts about places I visited, and hilarious stories. You won’t be disappointed, or maybe you and will never read my posts again. I’m fine with that, I am writing stuff I would like to read and trying to express how I did my travels and how I will make future travels. I made most of these trips all by myself and it was quite an adventure.

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