How to Pay for Travel, Part 7: Sample Itinerary {Travel Tips in ACTION!!}

Thursday, March 13

So for those of you who have been tracking with me through all 6 posts of "How to Pay for Travel", this post today is the essence of how to really put those tips in action!! I have taken an actual trip of mine, and will showcase how I took my own advice to save massive amounts of dollars!

In November of 2012, I went to visit my sister in Europe. My sister Polly had been living in Italy, and we had schemed up a delightful plan to do meet up in Germany and do some traveling together. We spent 4 days in freezing but adorable Germany, then flew to Greece and spent 4 delightful sunny days on the island of Crete.

Our trip was 10 days. And here's the kicker…
Typically, a trip like this should cost around $2000-$3000 because you have international airfare, trains, rental cars, food, lodging, etc.
I only spent about $500

Ready to see the breakdown in action? Here we go…

1. International Flights- Surprise…I used my Delta card and got a FREE flight with points! I flew from Los Angeles to Amsterdam (which was the cheapest destination with 60,000 points). From Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, I took a train to the border of Germany where our family picked us up! In total, my international flight only costs me $60 (for the airline tax on my free ticket), and then i'll add my $40 train ticket to Germany, for a total of $100.  

2. Lodging- In Germany, we stayed with family, so lodging was FREE! Our most generous hosts were so kind in driving us around the city, feeding us, and providing the most cozy little apartment for us to call a home base. In Greece, we found a REALLY cheap and gorgeous B&B that was $40 a night {which Polly and I split, so $20 a person} In total, I paid $60 for lodging our entire trip! 

3. Food- In Germany, our most generous family paid for everything. We could not believe how kind and good they were to us! {they even took me to a gluten free store! wow!}. In Greece, the first place Polly and I went after getting settled into our hotel was the local grocery store! We picked up tons of fresh fruits and veggies, and some snacks for our day trips! We ate out for dinner, and went to places the local recommended (instead of the super touristy areas where they charge more). We were able to get the most delicious dishes for a fraction of the price! In total, my food expenses were $60! 

4. Transportation- From Germany to Greece, Polly and I scored some awesome Ryan Air tickets for $160 a person roundtrip from Dusseldorf, Germany to the island of Crete in Greece. We made sure to only bring a carry on bag (so we didn't have to pay the luggage fee!), and left our big bags at our family's house in Germany. Once in Greece, our biggest expense was the rental car! We paid $200 (which we split) for 4 days with the rental car, plus gas (which was $18 a person).  The rental car allowed us free reign to explore the island, stopping off at the most gorgeous beaches, hill caves, and other adorable and quaint cities on Crete! While in our home base town of Hania, we took advantage of using our legs and walking the city!! Transportation, in total for me, costs $278.

5. Treasure- One can't really go to Greece without filling her bags with island treasures, right? hah! This expense certainly wasn't necessary, but I managed to leave Greece with a gorgeous turquoise ring, a beautiful violet scarf, and homemade olive oil from a little old lady selling it along the road! In total, these beauties cost me $52. {but of course, these kind of purchases are optional, so I did not include them into our total price at the top!!}  

SO as you can see…traveling for CHEAP can be done, but it takes some planning and forethought! The biggest expense I saved on was the international flight ticket (take THAT $2000 flight!!), and of course, lodging! To see each of my tips as described in further detail, see the link below…

Part 1- Prioritize your spending
Part 2- Travel Credit Cards
Part 3- Food
Part 4- Teach Abroad
Part 5- Accommodations
Part 6- Transportation 

You can see more pictures of our time in German {here and here} and Greece {here and here}
Happy Traveling Friends,
love Katie 

A few sister shots below:) THe first in Germany the second in Greece:)


  1. ahh love the photos! :) esp the first one! nice way to save. we're always trying to find ways to make travel more affordable.

  2. Sounds to me like it's a very good idea to have connections all over the world if you want to travel inexpensively...knowing people is very helpful! :)

  3. yup, we'd be perfect travel buddies. but we already knew that ; ) so so awesome that you were able to travel to cheaply! i need to learn a few things from you because while we travel cheap, it's nothing close to that!

  4. Wow $500, that's amazing! I really need to get look into travel credit cards, because the price they get you on flights is so cheap. I cringe right now at the fact that I have to pay over $1100 to visit home. It's so expensive. It really helps to know people around the world! I had a friend who paid for our delicious dinner when I visited Korea. I totally didn't expect her to and she was so nice about it.

  5. Wow that is so nice, you spent only $500 for that great trip? I wish I can do that too.

  6. Wow way to look around and get the best deal! To save money when you travel it takes lots of preparation but its so worth it. Sounds like a wonderful trip, you know how to plan trip and not break the bank.

  7. You two are precious. :) And you truly have a gift with photography. I'm thinking your next "set" of posts should be about photography, settings, and equipment ;) How to capture moments and memories of your travels through pictures!

  8. Love this post :) And of course all your other traveling tips!

  9. Wow, I can't believe you managed such a great trip for $500! Good for you for making it happen. Thanks for the tips, Crete is definitely on my bucket list!

  10. It totally helps to have friends all over the world and actually take them up on their offer of free stay!! Our close friend's parents are letting us stay at their home in Paris this summer which is helping us save sooo much money on accommodations. I am about to read through all your previous posts in this series now haha :)

  11. This is absolutely AMAZING! It definitely helps to know people around the globe. :) My sister lives in the Czech Republic and one of these days we are actually going to make it there to visit her!

  12. Your travel tips are the best! I do hope I'll be able to put all these tips into practise too!


  13. This is spectacular! $500! How awesome!! We don't have the Delta card here but we have Air Miles cards (not a credit card, just a point collector card) and I've figured out the best place to rack up the points. In the last month and a half I've gotten enough points for half of a flight back to LA, which is pretty sweet. Thanks so much for sharing your tips and tricks Katie! Maybe you should get into the business of helping people organize their own cheap trips!

  14. Such great pictures of you and polly! i have two gorgeous sisters!

  15. Ah... good old Ryanair! Although the service is crappy, you really can't beat their prices!

  16. Love these tips and your photo's are beautiful! Now I really, REALLY want to visit Greece! :)

  17. It's great to have connections a over the world. I'd love to see another post on how to save money traveling when you don't rely on friends/family for those of us that don't have that option when traveling.


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