Lifestyle Budget Tips from Chicago, my Windy City.
This is officially the longest and farthest trip I’ve planned so far on my own, and I’m glad to say that we made it back safe and sound without spending too much money!
Here’s an example account for 10 days of travel.
Bus Pass: $35
Train ticket: ~$160
Airbnb: ~$12/night for four nights (split with a friend and ordered the cheapest far in advance).
Hostel: ~$35/night for two nights. (We splurged a little to get some hostel experiences.)
Traveling depends mostly on how far you’re traveling, how long you’re staying, and what you would be doing.
Costs added up for us because we took one of the longest train and a reputable plane instead of the cheapest flight. However, our plane ride included free drinks, a few short movies, a plane tracker, 1 carry-on, and 1 personal item. In short, we were pretty much flying in style. Well, on a budget.
Food was cheap because we were able to cook our own food. Gifts shops were everywhere so there’s no worry when you think you might “miss out” on something. I splurged a bit on souvenir because one of the memorabilia cost $20, but sometimes it is worth it for the memories! The bus pass was a lifesaver because we never had to worry about paying for each ride.
There are only a few rules for the cheapest trip:
- Look around websites for deals.
- Book only Airbnb or hostels.
- Carry a backpack instead of bringing luggage.
- Bring food that you already have or buy groceries.
- Eat out less and with the purpose of trying different food rather than filling up your appetite.
- Book everything in advance.
- Choose public transportation passes.
- Learn to forgo a bit of luxury and be comfortable with what you have.
*Updated December 2016