Travel Planning 101: Sticking to Your Budget

Written by Mikaela February 3, 2016

Enjoying the sites of Florence, Italy


Florence, Italy

Waiting for our train to Florence, Italy!

The best panini street food in Florence, Italy.

I have gone $300 over budget on travel so far. Well actually, I never made a budget, but I know I spent way too much on flights and hostels. It is extremely easy to pay double for travel expenses and now I have learned my lesson. Here is my mistake that I hope you can learn from:

What I did wrong when travel planning was wait until the last minute to book my flights and hostels. Even though I thought that prices might increase if I waited too long, I just pushed it off and booked late. Immediate regret.

Looking back, I should have put in much more effort to really get to know my fellow classmates from day one. Then I would have started to coordinate where and when to travel at least a week or two earlier than what I actually did. My recommendation for others who haven’t studied abroad yet is to get to know your classmates right away. Get a good feel for those who you would enjoy traveling with. Talk to them about their top places to travel and compare it to your list of cities. Then book a travel weekend with them or with 5 others. Whatever feels right for you, just book your plane and hostel at least 2 or 3 weeks ahead of time. Or just not the week before. 

If you already know this, it is easy to ignore it and wait it out. Don’t let time pass you by if you want to save money, like my $300 I could have saved.

With that said though, try not to stress yourself out too much. In the end, you travel, you see new places, and you have experiences that turn into memories you will cherish. Just keep the “book-as-early-as-you-can” rule in mind when you start your studies abroad.

In the end, you will have an amazing time!