Hacks to Save Money When Travelling in Europe

  1. Find a Geographical Focus

It is easy, if not natural, to get wrapped up in the excitement of endless possibilities when planning your voyage throughout Europe. When considering what historic streets and enchanted cities you want to roam, many look solely at the well-loved destinations such as Paris, London (although no longer in the European Union), Milan, Rome. Whilst some do jet-set from corner to corner of Europe to experience major cities, it is imperative to be methodical and geographically focused when planning your route.

My best friend and I ran into this issue whilst booking our voyage.

We had both visited different countries respectively and neither of us were willing to overlook unseen cities for those that were familiar. In out attempts of working around said issue, it became apparent that we would have to invest thousands upon thousands for a few weeks of travel to jet-set throughout Europe.

AUSTRIA>LODZ>WARSAW>KRAKOW>BUDAPEST>ZAGREB>SPLIT>HVAR>ZDAR>

DUBROVNIK>KORCULA>PRAGUE>AUSTRALIA

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In retrospect, our excitement and naivety led us to making inefficient decisions that lost us valuable time and wads of cash. What is painfully apparent is that you cannot see all of Europe at once, and to be frank, you probably shouldn’t either. If you are lucky enough to do so, travel at multiple stages throughout your life, when you have different passions, interests and desires.

If you, like us, have no idea where to start and how to determine what the natural route of travel is, I recommend referring to established bus and train routes to grasp the most efficient way of seeing as many cities as you can.

2. Stay Central and Travel by Foot

An ethos I have worked by throughout all my trips domestic and abroad. Whilst residing in
central city locations can be on the pricier side, savings from not using public transport, taxis and ride-sharing services should be accounted for in the price of your central location.

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3.  Continental Breakfasts 

The gift that keeps on giving.

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I am yet to stay at a hotel or hostel in Europe that does not provide a continental breakfast,complimentary or not. A sneaky penny saving tactic that I have used in the past is packing lunch on the go at the breakfast bar.

A simple ziplock bag can house a sumptuous rustic sandwich made with fresh and healthy product, too often overlooked whilst travelling.

In doing so, I am unashamed to have saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars with packed lunches.

4.  Travel with Countries not on the Euro

Exchange rates can be a make or break when travelling on a tight budget. Eastern European nation such as Poland, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania that have a favourable exchange rate in comparison to the AUD/US Dollar/Pound will not drain your pockets and accounts.

Note: Strong economies that do not adhere to the Euro currency, such as Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and the UK can be onerous on the back pocket. 

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5. Pack a Flask

No, not that type of flask.

I mean, each to their own but that’s not what I’m referring to.

A trick I recently learnt on my cruise is to take a lightweight flask that can maintain theh999bu078_t2-stainless-steel-flask-lilac_r1
warmth of tea or coffee for the duration of the day. Whilst some may see this as a ludicrous proposition, for someone like me who drinks 5+ cups of
tea daily, I can save on average $700AUD within the month of travel.

6. Beauty Maintenance 

Calling it out for what it is, beauty maintenance services in travel hubs is the equivalent of a daylight robbery.

Forget the gypsies and pick-picketers, the lay-traveller should fear the beautician and how much he/she will charge you.

Every time I return to Europe, I learn the hard way (over and over again) that shellac is not anywhere near as popular and affordable as it is in Australia.

Whilst I am consistent with my fortnightly shellac maintenance, affording that same maintenance overseas makes me feel like I’ve sold my soul for a fresh pair of non-cuticle, coloured claws. For the sake of your monobrow, nails, spirit and account – tick a pair of tweezers, a bottle of nail polish and hair treatments off your ‘to pack‘ list.

7. Be an Aware Passenger (Taxis)

Before departing for Budapest, I was advised by fellow travellers that the taxi-drivers in Eastern Europe are notoriously known for ripping tourists off. I, ever the optimist, paid little attention to the advice offered to me, being:

A. Familiarise yourself with the rate of the side of the taxi.
B. Ask the driver whether they can estimate how much the fare will come to, and/or whether they are willing to establish a set price before the meter begins.
C. If all else fails, bargain with different drivers until you are offered a reasonable price.

Even with this advice, we were ripped off and charged a ridiculous amount for a 10 minute adventure. Ironically, the driver who was perfectly competent in the english language and conversed with us throughout the whole journey, claimed there was a language barrier when we questioned the final fare cost charged.

8. Hop-on-Hop-off Buses

2016 was the year of the hop-on-hop-off adventures. The amount I crammed into a limited amount of time stands testament to how fantastic these services truly are.

The beauty of the hop-on-hop-off service is that it is tailored to facilitate the ‘go-to’ placed for tourists whilst still allowing the option to sight-see solo.

When I sit and calculate how much time, effort and money would be funnelled into catching public transport and hiring a tour guide, it is evident that these services are both efficient and economical.

9. Travel Insurance

Need I say more?

You are potentially saving yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars if one of your adventures turns pear-shaped.

In the meantime, happy travelling!

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2016 Favourites

As a consumer who gullibly believes the claims of beauty companies, I have dabbled in various products and their claims to determine what is and isn’t mere puff.

To celebrate the beginning of the new year, I would love to share the products that proved exceptional, that I will continue to use throughout 2017!

Skin Care

Clinique Anti Blemish Solution

2016 was the year of acne.  Vicious, aggressive and unyielding acne. Quickly I learnt that  teenagers are not the only ones to fall victim to the curse of cystic hormonal acne.

Thankfully, with the assistance of the Clinique Anti Blemish Solution Range (review available at: Clinique Anti-Blemish Solution Review), my skin has been afforded the opportunity to clear up. I recommend these Clinique products to those struggling with their skin, yet do not want to use harsh chemicals or reach to prescribed oral or topical medications.

Frank Coffee Scrub

When it comes to ensuring soft luxurious skin, coffee scrubs have been all the rage this year. Every Tom, Dick and Jane have released their take on the humble coffee scrub. Meanwhile, I have been the foolish consumer who has purchased dozens of coffee scrubs in an attempt to knock the most popular of them all, being Frank. Unfortunately, said venture has led me to some skin issues. Some of the scrubs have been too coarse, causing grazing and irritation, some have had far too many chemicals, causing mild allergic reactions, whilst the others were bluntly underwhelming. Through my hundreds of wasted
dollars and my many skin issues, I have come to the final determination that Frank is not at all overhyped and that it is about time I show fidelity to the original coffee scrub brand.

The Frank: Peppermint and Coffee Scrub has established itself as a staple of my beauty routine. Beyond the fact that I am a stickler for anything peppermint flavoured or scented, the scrub has an incredible ability to penetrate the skin’s surface to leave a luxurious sheen to the skin (of oil), whilst relaxing tense muscles. I particularly appreciate this particular coffee scrub for post-workout relaxation (as discussed in my first point in 16 Lessons Learnt throughout 2016!).

Makeup

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Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation

There is a reason why the Double Wear Foundation is the number one selling makeup product from the internationally acclaimed skin care brand. The medium to high coverage buildable foundation is incredible for both day-to-day wear and for special occasion makeup.

It is no secret that a wide range of influencers speak glowingly about this product (to be fair, I was late on the bandwagon), but repurchasing on multiple occasions throughout 2016, I would not enter 2017 wearing anything else.

p.s I recommend wearing the matching pressed powder on-top so not to look caked. 

Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer

I originally purchased this product purely on the premise of price. Cosmo Cosmetics in Sydney was clearing their Giorgio Armani range (still in date) for a fraction of their retail cost. As a constant fake tan user, I was recommended the fluid sheer in shade three, which is a luminous colour corrector that I mix with my foundation. I love the natural highlight that the fluid sheer provides and the fact that it alters to my individual skin tone.

It is also worth noting that the product packaging is stunning and can easily be used as a decorative piece (as discussed in Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget: Budget Friendly Luxury Design).

Too Faced: Better Than Sex Mascara

One coat of the carbon black, collagen-fuelled mascara formula and lashes are full, defined and stretched to unbelievable lengths. Two coats and lashes are even more luscious, curled and dramatic. Three coats and achieve the most intense black, oversized, multidimensional lashes possible! A mascara so amazing it’s Better Than Sex!

Mecca Details

…took the words out of my mouth.

Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Liquid Eyeliner 

I struggle with liquid eyeliner. Watching me create a winged eyeliner somewhat resembles a scene from the Trojan War. The Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Liquid Eyeliner is an incredibly thin brush that is easy to control, which is always a positive when working with carbon black eye products.

Mac Lipsticks: Angel and Honey Love

Considering actions speak louder than words, let us appreciate the fact that I have repurchased the Frost Lipstick Angel six times this year!

Angel is a stunning hybrid of glossy pink and nude that provides medium to full coverage on the lip. Whilst I begun using Angel without a lip liner, I soon determined that the shade suited a slightly darker nude lipliner (currently using one from Nude by Nature). Surprisingly, I recently wore the shade without the lipliner and came to the determination that the colour was slightly too pink and youthful without a darker undertone (which might suit those with lighter coloured features).

At the same stage I started reaching past Angel, I was inspired by the infamous lip combo of my favourite blogger and YouTuber, Lydia Elise Millen. I was gifted Honey Love for Christmas 2015 but did not wear the colour as I am not a fan of Matte lipsticks (seemingly unlike the rest of the world). Lydia prompted me try the shade and have not put the lip product down since!

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Hair Care

For as long as I can remember, my best friend has tooted on the horn of BioSilk silk infused hair therapies (which fell upon deaf ears).

Whilst sailing through the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, my hair became dry and brittle due to the effects of the harsh and unyielding elements. In returning from the ocean, I fell into the habit of running the BioSilk treatment through my hair after I washed it. In no time at all my lifeless mop turned light, luscious and felt nourished – somehow my hair looked and felt far better than it did leaving Australia.

Since returning back to Australia, I am pleasantly surprised to find out that Priceline Pharmacy has decided to stock BioSilk therapies, which were previously only available from the American or in Europe.

The entire BioSilk collection including the shampoo, conditioner and leave in treatment  has revolutionised my hair care routine. I would unreservedly state that this find was the find of the year.

Fashion

Monogram (Hot Stamped) Leather Goods

Up until 2013, it was rare to see an everyday working woman sporting hot stamped leather. Whilst some were lucky enough to get their hands on hand painted Louis Vuitton, the rest of us were left googling images of celebrities showing off their initials.

Irrespective of how common and ‘on trend’ monogram has become, there is still a wow factor about someone taking their wallet to bag to the next level. I personally believe that people look at a hot stamped speedy and appreciate it first and foremost for the reason that it is a genuine Louis Vuitton piece. The initials take a backseat to the name behind the brand. TDE and Monpurse have branded solely around the complimentary hot stamp service. The fact that your bag isn’t mass manufactured for millions of people to wear worldwide adds a sentimental value to your item.

Personalising a Trend: Monogram

From phone case, laptop cover, cosmetics bags, pencil case, pouches, card wallets, purses and everything in between – I purchased it in 2016 and I will continue to love it in 2017!

Miscellaneous

Zara Home Car Air Freshener

Having a immaculately clean car is a must for me. The most commonly used phrase said in
my car from friends is generally “wow, your car is so clean!”, to which I hide an inconspicuous smile well-knowing that I vacuum it multiple times a week. I pay just as much attention to the scent of my car considering how many hours I spend in my vehicle in the week.

Zara Home in Sydney stocks beautiful car air fresheners that are beautiful and luxurious smelling. My favourite scent that I continue repurchasing is the wild berries scent that resembles my favourite triple scented candle.

BOSS The Scent for Her

THE FRAGRANCE

INGREDIENTS:

TOP NOTE: ATTRACTION
The fruity and floral Honeyed Peach and Freesia meet in an exquisite, head-turning combination that creates an irresistible attraction.
HEART NOTE: SEDUCTION
Warm and voluptuous heart notes of the oriental flower Osmanthus connect the top and base notes in an initially light and delicate allure that evolves into a darker, heady quality.
BASE NOTE: ADDICTION
Locked together and powerless to resist, the fragrance unleashes an irresistibly rich base note of Roasted Cocoa. An enigmatic element with strong hidden qualities, it offers an addictive boost that arouses the senses, making the protagonists relinquish control in the moment.

Hugo Boss

The fragrance is stunning and no description can honestly pay it justice! I was lucky enough to be gifted this fragrance for Christmas (features in my Christmas Gift Guide: Women who have Everything!) and I am certain that this will be the scent of the new year!

Clarisonic Mia 2

My boyfriend generously gifted me the pink Clarisonic Mia 2 in the baby pink after I dragged him through Sephora on a summers day.

I love the fact that the Clarisonic cleans six times deeper than washing your face and body with your hands, moving at more than 300 movements per second to deeply clean the skin. Unbeknown to the Clarisonic company, their product is also a vital and effective part of my fake tan skincare routine and preparation. The Mia 2 is waterproof and the cleansing head is wide enough to be used for the rest of the body surface making it multifunctional (also ladies, we are getting our cost-per-wear down).

The only downfall of the Clarisonic is the fact that the charger isnt made for Australian powersockets, thus it requires an adapter which can be bulky when travelling.

The Clarisonic has been a constant companion in my self-care routine and I am certain that it will continue to do so in the new year.

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Work Christmas Party Outfit

Tis the season ladies and gents.

With every candy cane and Christmas carol comes another right of passage for this time of year –

Christmas work parties!

Having attended my Christmas party in the week past, I encountered the ever so common conundrum of deciding what to wear. In my pursuit of trying to put together the perfect outfit, I came to the conclusion that outfit choice is actually pretty important.

Whilst colleagues are accustomed to one another in  corporate wear , Christmas parties allow you the opportunity to express yourself and your love for fashion.

Having conceptualised the significance of choosing a fun and playful outfit, I too dug through my closet and put together an outfit that I really enjoyed wearing. I would encourage you to dig through your wardrobe and pair items that you are passionate about, yet never had the opportunity to wear.

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Shop my look:

Dress: Romeo and Juliet Couture dress available at Trade Secret and/or online.

Bag: Gucci ‘GG Blooms’

Shoes: Furla (available at Birkenhead Point Outlet Centre)

Bracelet:  Hermes ‘H’ Cuff

 

Other outfit inspiration I put together are also available here:

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Happy experimenting (and merry christmas), xx.

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