Travelling is a luxurious sport, a prerogative really yet people tend to enjoy it rather much. Among youngsters wandering the world is their wildest drive albeit, between their studies and social life there is little room for a job and decent earnings somehow they always find a way to put some money on the side for travelling. When in Germany, one of the most exquisite and diverse countries in Europe, as in many other countries every step you take will cost you the certain sum, sleeping, eating, transportation, toilets, entry fees, even the air you breathe has a price tag.
Nevertheless, with a bit of planning prior to your departure and loads of research one can avoid the unnecessary expenses that will otherwise come in your way.
Germany is quite a flexible country, it adapts to the depth of any pockets. Moving in an out of the country to get the best out of its urban madness and honorable suburbia followed by deep fairytale forests alongside rivers and lakes is no doubt doable if one decides to play it smart and cautiously.
Managing your funds respectively following a certain itinerary is never easy since there is always some unexpected movement popping out of nowhere leaving no room for alternatives. Hence, once we succeed on minimizing the surprises we get to control our deeds thus our outflow.
All in all, a few tips here and there will help you organize the whole trip smoothly and affordably without the need to escalate into robbing a bank or seeking asylum.
First thing first, if you come from a country that uses a different currency that is not Euro, immediately exchange all the money you are planning on spending to avoid losing dozens of what-ever-currency-that-you-are-using due to higher provision depending on the region. Once you’ve got this one covered up move to the second bullet point on the row.
Book an early flight
If you don’t need a visa to enter the German border, book your flight months before you plan on taking the trip. This way you’ll pay half of the price you would otherwise pay for your ticket normally concurrently taking the ticket out of the spending spree you’ll face once the trip has started.
Sleep walk through the nights
When embarking for a restless journey in and around a country, sleeping shall be the least of your concerns. Since you will be moving a lot, the smart thing to do is sleep over at some cheap hostel in the neighborhood; in the end of the day all you will be needing is a roof over your head for less than a couple of hours. Comfort and commodity don’t count much, remember you are in motion you won’t have the chance to enjoy it properly so why pay a fortune.
A second family
As a student, there is a great chance you will find a family willing to accommodate you, similar to exchange programs under very low cost. If so, be nice to them and show some interest in sharing experiences and culture differences they might even offer you food on daily basis. This way you will have a personal Cicero on what and where to do in Germany and they will satisfy their curiosity with questions about your hometown. Luckily they will have a son or daughter of your age to be your loyal companion in this voyage.
Insure your wellbeing
In order not to stun yourself with a longer-than-the-chinese-wall medical bill in case you, god-forbid, experience any fatigues, a cold or food poisoning due to the climate differences, do get health insurance for the time you plan on spending in Germany. Health insurance in Germany is offered in two domains public and private, yet I suggest you with private companies offering optimal and affordable prices for everyone. Also, you can purchase your travel insurance online before you even depart your home country.
Sounds of the underground
Instead of wandering around in expensive taxis try using the famous German railway, the Bahn. Germany has the most functional, efficient and the fastest underground transportation very well linked with the central parts and the suburbia, covering mainly every desired destination. The smart thing to do is to get a monthly ticket in case you are planning to stay for longer so you pay half price tickets to anywhere you wish to go. Travelling through and within Germany will leave behind an impression of a true disney fairytale, passing by places you could only dream off. However, some places stand out among others and a must is a must thus the hints and traces left by the people who’ve already been there and done that. But, before you do so, get a map or GPS even better.
To eat or not to eat
As I said before Germany will adapt to your mode of spending. Concerning food, there are several cheap mini restaurants that serve delicious dishes be it traditional or even exotic. In the streets, in every corner you will notice small kiosk that sells different types of Wurst, the German unique sausage recipe and their pride.
If by any chance you own a student ID don’t by any means leave it at home, it will be your lucky card. Most of the tourist attractions around Germany offer discount in entry fees up to 70% or entirely free for legitimate students. It might not look as much in the beginning but after a few days you will realize the amount of money you’ve managed to save, a bit here and a bit there.
Cure the pain
Needless to say, shopping is off the limits. Avoid the fancy streets full of international brands that will drive you crazy. It’s hard of course yet it’s the only way to survive until the end of your journey. Spend some money on interesting souvenirs that bring back memories later on. Clothes are overrated at this point.
By Haruto Abe