Next stop: Prague, Vienna and Budapest!
A friend of mine from university, J, and I have decided to take a trip together – we both have some vacation time to use and her time off works perfectly for when I was thinking of heading out for another adventure.
Choosing the Destination
J and I Facetimed to decide on where we wanted to go on our next trip. We quickly decided on somewhere in Europe: J’s been to Asia for her last few big trips and I want to save Asia and Australia for a time when I can go for longer than two weeks.
We then put together a list of the cities we’d already been to in Europe (we both want to visit somewhere new). Based on raving reviews from friends, we thought Prague and Budapest would be great cities to see. Since we are planning on heading out for two weeks, we wanted a third city: a quick Google search (geography is not my forte) showed Vienna in the middle! Easy peasy.
Travel tip: read my blog post about travelling with friends!
Since Vienna is between Prague and Budapest, J and I would either fly into Prague or Budapest. Google Flights showed comparable prices so I signed up for Google Flight alerts for flying into Prague and into Budapest – we could decide later.
Travel tip: if you’re planning a trip in advance, sign up for flight alerts! You’ll get an email notifying you of when the flight price has decreased. I have saved upwards of $200 on one flight by doing this!
J and I talked about our expectations: we are both good with a cheap hostel, picking up food for breakfast/dinner at a local grocer/farmer’s market and overall travelling on the cheap to try to see and do as much as possible in the cities. I typically look through Hostelworld to find cheap but centralized hostels.
Travel tip: when travelling with other people, do a little bit of research to get the best deal! A cheap hostel bed may not always be the best option when travelling: a hotel split between everyone might be cheaper per person.
Budget = flight + (daily budget) x (days in city) + 10 % contingency
For this trip, I Googled a flight from Ottawa to Prague, Ottawa to Budapest, Montreal to Prague, Montreal to Budapest, Toronto to Prague and Toronto to Budapest. I will save up to $400 ONE WAY by flying from Toronto rather than Ottawa and a roundtrip train ride to Toronto is less than $200. DONE.
I then took a look at Budget Your Trip to find a daily rate for travel in Prague, Vienna and Budapest.
Finally, I add a contingency amount. From past experience, it’s always better to overestimate a trip than miss out on something because you didn’t include enough money in your budget. That’s where a contingency is so helpful: I use about 10% of the overall cost of the trip (including flights).
Travel tip: Don’t forget about the days to get to/from your destination! I like to include a daily amount for things like food and tea.
I can’t wait to plan more for this trip and share it all! September can’t come soon enough. Comment below if you have any tips or suggestions for things to do in Prague, Vienna or Budapest.