How To Plan A European Adventure – On A College Budget

Good Afternoon Loves!

Eric and I made it safely to Florida yesterday afternoon and have been enjoying a day (with a late start) full of last minute errands before we head out on our graduation cruise tomorrow! Woo! If you’ve been following on my journey the last few months, you may already know I recently graduated from Arizona State University and am now a full time employee at a local Landscape Architecture firm in Scottsdale – so basically I’m a real adult now.. it’s been a crazy transition but I am oh so excited to no longer have homework – ever!

For my final Spring Break (ever) I planned an European Adventure for myself and two of my best gal pals, Alex and Lauren. This was Alex’s first time abroad so I wanted to make sure we hit the hot spots to get the best experience out of our short week of travel. In typical Crystal fashion, I began the planning process about 10 months in advance and was able to score some amazing flights!


No really – we booked our flights from Los Angeles to Barcelona for $139 one-way, and our return flight from Paris for $158! So really, if you’re on a budget and you don’t think you are able to make a trip abroad happen – you totally can! My best words of advice to do so are to check SkyScanner for flights. I would honestly recommend Norwegian Airlines to anyone looking for an affordable airline with amazing service. I used Norwegian for my flights to France two years ago when I studied abroad and visited 12 countries!1

So, to give you an idea as to what really happened I have included a few pages of the Plan Book I made to keep us all organized – I’m a tad bit OCD about organization if you haven’t noticed… But it came in handy! From an overall itinerary to a more detailed Daily schedule, we had all of our bases covered with wiggle room for last minute adventures (like our last minute decision to go to Paris Disney!)


So really, if you’re on a budget and you don’t think you are able to make a trip abroad happen – you totally can! Just follow some easy money saving tips that I have outlined below!

Finding Cheap Flights

Like I said earlier, I 10/10 recommend SkyScanner but if you’re looking for flights abroad and are willing to fly out of one one of the major hubs (Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York) then I would say Norwegian is the best airline with amazing low-cost flights. When using Norwegian, there is a calendar tool that gives you a full month view showing flight prices to allow you to choose the cheapest date.Screen Shot 2018-05-20 at 5.21.55 PM.png

Finding Cheap Transportation

Aside from the typical recommendations of getting around town via Uber or Lyft, I recommend downloading the local transportation maps and utilizing the public transportation (if available in the city you are visiting). This saves you money when purchasing the bundle tickets and gives you a real experience as a local by navigating your way around town.

Finding Cheap Eats

I 100% recommend using Yelp when you are traveling to be able to search for literally anything! Restaurants, Shops, Entertainment, Tattoo Shops (we got matching tattoos in Barcelona via Apple Maps recommendations). Prior to your trip, I recommend assembling a list of restaurants located around town or around the spots you plan on visiting so that you have restaurants in mind to visit.

Next week I will post about the specifics for each location – Barcelona, Munich and Paris! So check back for that – in the meantime, feel free to comment below with any questions or tips that I should include!XOXOged!

Published by Crystal Diane

Landscape embroidery artist + Landscape Architect

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