This following blog is based on a trip I made to Germany and Austria. The trip sprouted and formed from a ticket I spotted from Brussels to Cologne for one Euro. The trip then dramatically escalated into a frenzy of cheap buses all around Germany and briefly into Austria. At the time of booking, the whole trip (6 cities over 10 days) cost about 40 euros, an absolute bargain for Western Europe. The first half of my trip was going better than I could have ever imagined. I was 5 days in and I hadn’t even spent 30 euros. I was lucky that I had generous couchsurfing hosts and food in Germany was pretty cheap for the few meals that I went out for. It was only when I encountered my first hiccup that the trip became considerably more expensive.
The first foolish thing I did was book my return bus at 7:00 am on the basis that it was cheaper than all the others. I didn’t even take the bus and ended up paying double for the same journey only a few hours later. Then, I let my guard down and started purchasing all kinds of pointless things. By the time my trip ended, I had spent around 130 euros. Considering that I spent 10 days in Western Europe and visited many touristic sites, it wasn’t that bad, but when I look back, I could have trimmed this down to 90 quite easily.
Other people I know have fallen trap to such foolishness. My friend just purchased a group of flights around Europe and only after forking out over 100 euros, realised that one of the flights was booked for the wrong month. Naturally, to minimize damage they had to book another flight, but it was 70% higher than the original flight.
What is the point in highlighting all of this? to make you think and remind you to double-triple-quadruple check every bus, hotel, hostel, attraction, boat, walking tour, meal, credit card or safari. You are not foolish, but every penny counts, hey?