We are posting this now since it is getting very close to Christmas and all the travel companies in Florence will be having sales really soon. In fact this is our no. 1 hack.
Travel will account for almost two thirds of your semester budget. Every weekend (Thursday – Sunday) you will spend approximately €400 – €500, exploring Italy and traveling to the most important and amazing cities in Europe. Make your abroad budget last the distance with these simple hacks!
1. Save up to 50% when you buy Tours on sale
There will always be some destinations that you will need to visit on your own. London obviously comes to mind because it is not reachable by bus. However, taking trips with Student Travel companies is almost always the most cost efficient way to see Europe. Not only will you save money, you won’t have the stress of planning your own travel and you will be with fun, experienced guides.
Hypothetically if buy the following tours in the sales:
1) Interlaken, Swiss Alps – January or February
2) Budapest, Vienna & Salzburg – January or February
3) Spring Break – March
4) Amalfi Coast – April
5) Croatia – April
6) Munich Springfest – April
If you get them all for 30% off you will SAVE approximately €600 which is currently about $680 USD. Not bad. Remember that sale spots are limited. It is usually first in, first serve.
Make sure you have a promo code to save more. If you don’t have one, use promo code CAMPUS. We are adding more and more places that you can save with promo code CAMPUS every day. Tours, hostels, pub crawls, ice bars, bike tours — in Florence and around Europe.
2. Even better become a Campus Ambassador and travel for FREE
If you have a lot of friends coming with you on study abroad, or you are the type of person that falls naturally into the role of the organizer or promoter, get in contact with the travel companies asap to ask about becoming a rep. You can essentially work as little or as much as you want during your semester abroad. The standard way of rewarding your promotional efforts is one free trip for every 10 people that use your promotional code.
So rally your crew, plan some trips, get everyone to sign up and you go for free. Plus if you are really good at it and you sell more you can ask to be paid out for credit not used and have some extra spending cash for your last couple of weeks in Florence.
Interested? Shoot us a message on facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you directly in contact with the right people.
3. International Bank Fees
Every time you buy something online, every time you swipe your card and every time you withdraw cash in Florence, you’re bank will charge you a commission or a fixed fee or both.
Contact you bank now to find out what their international fees are and if they have partner banks in Europe where you can withdraw money fee free. For example Bank of America and BNL in Italy are sister banks.
Withdrawing money from non-partner banks attract a flat fee of $5 per withdrawal. That is just to start, then there are other fees as well, depending on which bank you use.
Charles Schwab has one of the best offers for international travel — fee free withdrawals from ATMs.
If you are studying abroad in Florence and your bank offers you a Discover Card — just say NO! It is very rarely accepted in Florence. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted.
4. Buy Electronics in America (hopefully on sale post Christmas!)
Do not wait until you arrive in Florence to decide to buy a camera. If you think you want to document you semster in Europe with a Polaroid Camera or you are going to try your hand at making GoPro videos, buy your hardware at home.
Florence is a wonderful city but there are no big shops in the center and especially not for eletronics. In most cases the prices are also higher than in America.
Wait until everything goes on sale and get yourself a good deal.
5. Get your Cellphone Unlocked before you leave
Cellphone pay-as-you-go plans cost nothing in Italy. You can get unlimited calls, unlimited texts, and lots of GBs of data for under €20 a month. Plus there is Europe-wide roaming included now too (with a couple of exceptions Switzerland & UK).
An international plan with your American provider is usually not nearly as cheap.
You can add a couple of euro a month to your cell plan in Florence to have calls to the USA included too.
6. Bring a Jacket
Seems obvious? Some people are under the impression that it is always sunny in Florence. If only!!!!! When you arrive in January it will be cold. You will also want to travel to colder places like Switzerland, Budapest, Prague where cold is legit, 32 degrees and sometimes colder.
Don’t waste 100 plus euro in your first week just because you were ill prepared for the weather. There are way more fun things you can do with your money!
7. Bring a Water Bottle
Italians love bottled water. In fact, they have one of the highest consumptions of bottled water in Europe. Although it is super cheap, if you bring a water bottle with you and refill it from the tap you will probably save €200 in a semester.
Check out our Water Bottle recommendations — Stylish Ways to Stay Hydrated
Remember that you can’t carry liquids on the plane with you so make sure your water bottle is empty for traveling.
8. Download our App and join our Facebook Group!!!!!
A quick plug for Campus Florence. There are loads of discounts for students on our App and exclusive discounts being launched in our Facebook Group. We hope to provide you with great recommendations but more than anything else 100s of ways to SAVE.
Feel free to send us questions.
We will be following up with more Abroad Hacks articles soon. Next up how not to blow your entire semester budget in week one in Florence. Because believe us it happens.
Photo credit: Free photo 82949614 © creativecommonsstockphotos – Dreamstime.com