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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Paris, Budapest, Vienna, Prague: TBYM

We returned lat night from our longest trip ever, a dream trip of cities, three heretofore unvisited, including the city of my mother's birth. How did we pay for it? Being mere teachers and all. Who haven't had a raise in at least five years? The short answer is always the same: FRUGALITY. The longer answer is TBYM.

TBYM. That means TRAVEL BELOW YOUR MEANS. The term is adopted from the familiar LBYM, a cornerstone of frugal living, early retirement, and the like: LIVE BELOW YOUR MEANS. So when I hear about the snazzy lodgings and luxe restaurant meals of other tourists of my acquaintance, I'm not jealous for more than a few minutes. We are trading a long vacation for a shorter--and perhaps more intense--one.

The rough stats:

Airfare and inter-city transport: a bit under $3000. OUCH. I do envy people who can rack up big frequent flyer numbers through business cards and the like. I am not one of those people.

Lodging: Thank you internet for AirBandB and similar. We paid between $38 (Budapest) and $70 (Vienna) per night. Our apartment in Paris was teeny and probably below the acceptability level of many people reading this. We thought it was fine. These little apartments had washers and--most important--kitchens, so

Food: OK, my kids say we should go out more. Still, I LIKE cooking and I loved figuring out how to use the unfamiliar ingredients of Eastern Europe. So we ate chez nous mostly, just like at home. The best thing we ate: some strawberries in Prague.

Yeah, the numbers added up, but not as much as you would think. We're going to start saving for next year!

Do you TBYM?


Rosa said...

LOL! I love it! I don't TBYM--I LBYM so I can TBYM (Travel Beyond My Means)! Still, I'm a backpacker at heart, so I don't need a luxury hotel, but I do want a hotel. I don't need expensive restaurants, but I do like to eat street food and in restaurants where locals go for daily fare. So I guess I still am TB(elow)YM for most things...

Duchesse said...

Eager to hear more, there must be months of posts in your esxperiences!

We like to travel like we live at home, so standard is comfortable but not luxurious. And I I will no longer share a bathroom with strangers.

The Frugal Shrink said...

I won't do backpacking or hostels but otherwise try to remain frugal in my travels. How wonderful that you were able to take such a lovely trip!! It says a lot of positive things about your frugality. :)

Shelley said...

Now that we have the motor home (for which we paid cash)it's easy to TBYM. I'm glad to know about the AirB&B, though, because some places are probably a bit harder to drive to. Hope you'll tell more about Vienna and Budapest, two places I've not visited yet. Glad you had a good time and of course you need to go again!

Frugal Scholar said...

@Rosa--Oh, I like BEYOND too. We were BEYOND in the length of the trip.

@Duchesse--Love the idea of "living like you do at home." I must admit that--one year--we did have to share a bathroom. Mr FS made a mistake and he was contrite. It was only for two nights.

@Frugal Shrink--I read your blog while I was away. It kept me strong! Thanks for the compliment.

@Shelley--i envy you your easy access to all those European cities. Vienna=$$, though food was cheap. Budapest=cheaper, in an interesting state of transition.

Much beauty in both cities, but Prague is the most beautiful of the three new to us cities.

Patience_Crabstick said...

We used airbnb when we went to Lisbon, and saved a ton. We were traveling with our four children, so renting an apartment saved us money in many ways. I wouldn't call this TBYM, though, more like, traveling in the only way we can afford to.

If only there was an easy way to save on airfare. I keep telling myself to get a credit card that offers frequent flier miles, but I just hate signing up for more credit.

Frugal Scholar said...

@PC--Yeah--the airfare is the killer--esp w/ 4 kids. I've never been to Lisbon--should we put it on our list?