I spent the past weekend exploring three new countries on a short solo adventure. After the fun coach trip from Cardiff to Gatwick with National Express (£16), day one saw me land in Vienna, Austria. A country in all honesty I have never really thought about visiting but it was such a cool place.
I departed from London, Gatwick with a relatively new budget airline known as LEVEL (£46). Although a delay in take off this airline did not disappoint showcasing a menu full of Austrian snacks and drinks as well as USB charging which I have never experienced on a budget short haul. I would definitely fly with this airline again!
Arriving in Vienna I decided to splash the cash on the CAT (City Airport Train) (€11) which gets you to the city centre in 16 minutes and the 24 Vienna Travel Ticket (€8)
which allows unlimited on the cities travel network which was definitely worth the investment.
I booked one nights stay in Hostel Ruthensteiner (£19.06) making use of a 10% off coupon on hotels.com, not the most low cost for Vienna but definitely the best. I’ve never felt more welcomed at a hostel! Workers and other travellers were friendly, I wish I could have stayed longer!
When I go away I like to do what the locals do and one of the Austrians past times is my favourite sport – Ice Hockey! So I spent my evening watching the Vienna Capitals v Moser Medical Graz 99ers. The ticket cost €18 which is a pretty standard price for European hockey. Good atmosphere, Great food and not a bad overall first game in Austria!
The next day before my coach to Country #2. I spent exploring the cities sights making use of my travel pass. Highlights were KugelMugel an Austrian Micronation that declared Independence in the late 70s and the view from the top of Vienna’s famous Ferris Wheel aka Wiener Riesenrad (€10).
I also love checking out fast food in other countries especially, when the likes of Mcdonald’s has menu items you have never seen before. You just HAVE to try them! Biscoff Mcflurry, Rice crispy-esque coated chicken selects and waffle fries = 10/10. The Austrians national snacks and drinks were awesome too. I’d definitely recommend trying Almdulder and local bakeries!
Even though my time in Vienna was short, I definitely want to head back and explore more of this country.
PART TWO – COUNTRY #2 UP NEXT!
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This next post (not as exciting as the last) but can help you save on getting around the cities/towns you are visiting!
PART FOUR – GETTING AROUND
(i) SAY NO TO TAXIS
Obviously this depends on the country you are visiting, but a general rule of mine is to avoid taxis, UNLESS like me you have just walked to the wrong ferry port in Helsinki and have ran 1-2 kilometres with about 15 minutes to spare before your ferry departs.
(ii) USE YOUR LEGS
I am a big fan of exploring by foot. This can help save, get to know the city more by exploring deeper but this can increase journey times.
(iii) PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Check out the local transport networks as many countries invest in these greatly which can save you. I would even recommend this option in countries known for being expensive, as many of their public transport networks are low cost and some even free!
(iiii) BIKE FRIENDLY?
Renting a bike allows you to take the scenic routes and see sights you may not see on the main road helping you get to know the place better! Using a bike will also cut down on travel times greatly and is great exercise too!
No pain, no save!
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You have arrived at your destination…but where will you eat?!
Part three (THE BEST PART) is all about THE FOOD!
(i) SUPERMARKETS // CONVENIENCE STORES
I love a foreign supermarket! Nothing beats trying all the snacks and foods you can’t get back home. But buying foods here can help you save costs!
If your hostel has a communal kitchen try cooking for yourself as this will save you money. As well if you make friends you cook for each other to help split food costs further!
If not there are some great supermarkets and convenience stores that offer food to go such as Hot dogs and build your own salads which taste great and can cure that hunger.
(ii) Fast Food Chains
This option can sometimes not be the healthiest but tastes great and can help save on the cost of a sit down meal. I always like to live like a local so make the effort to try the local fast food chains and many have been great.
Sweden’s MAX Burger is my favourite fast food chain, who are all about natural ingredients and reducing their carbon footprint. THEIR BURGERS AND CHICKEN RULE! As well in Germany I went to Kochlöffel, they cook a mean half a roast rotisserie chicken and chips for around £5-6!
This is the only ever time I will use Tripadvisor. I usually search on google Best fast food in “insert city” or Cheap eats in “insert city” and the first result is Tripadvisor which lists some great eats that allow you to cut costs.
(iiii) Leave the tourist areas
If you are dreaming of sit down restaurants meals make sure you leave popular tourist areas! Even just walking 15 minutes away from main squares can help you save on good local restaurant meals!
What to talk about next?! Its either gonna be getting around or things to do!
PART FOUR COMING SOON PALS.
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So you have picked your destination but where are you going to stay when you arrive?
Part two is all about how I save on accommodation!
(i) Do you have to stay overnight?
As I mentioned in part one point five if you are city hopping, travelling through the night can help you save.
(ii) Hostels > Hotels
I know in some countries you can get a hotel for the same price as a hostel bed especially when splitting with your travel pal but when travelling solo a hostel can help keep costs down. Many countries offer dorm beds for some times less than £10!!!!
(iii) Where to find your accommodation?
Again I use comparison sites, mainly Hostel World and Hotels.com as well as Booking.com and Last Minute. But after searching through these sites I will head over to the accommodations self-run website to see if it is any cheaper or they have any other deals.
(iiii) COUPON CODES
I ALWAYS search google for coupon and voucher codes. I will just type in for example ‘Hotels.com Voucher Codes’ and look through the listings. This can sometimes get you 10% off your booking, if not more so its always best to search! All savings add up!
PART THREE WILL BE ALL ABOUT THE FOOD!
SEE YOU SOON
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