By: Jennifer Moran
As a financially independent college student, choosing to participate in an unpaid internship abroad was a decision that took a lot of thinking and required a lot of planning. No matter how cheap we want to be, travel requires money.
Regardless of my financial situation, I strongly believe in the idea of traveling even if it’s on a small budget. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. Below is a list of 10 tips on how I cut down my expenses in Buenos Aires and stayed within my $1,000 budget for two months:
- Cut your phone plan. Wi-Fi is very accessible in Buenos Aires.
- Bring a water bottle and make water your favorite drink.
- Learn how to cook. Restaurants are expensive and have a service fee in addition to a tip. Groceries, fruits, and vegetables are expensive but cooking is still a cheaper option than eating out. Planning your meals ahead will be extremely helpful.
- Use public transportation or walk to your destination. Taxis are expensive (especially at night).
- Bring U.S. dollars. You’ll receive a better exchange rate. If you rely on your card, you will have to pay a fee every time you take out money in addition to any international fees from your bank.
- Use cash. It makes it easier to keep track of your expenses. You are more likely to swipe your card than to spend cash.
- Take advantage of the free activities in Buenos Aires. There are free walking tours in the city. Yes, tourist guides expect a tip but it is definitely cheaper than booking a tour with an agency.
- Speak Spanish especially when shopping. Locals will rip you off if they notice you’re American.
- Don’t feel pressured to buy souvenirs for everyone! Your loved ones should understand your financial situation. If anything, rely on postcards!
- Have a budget and stick to it!
Buenos Aires is a very expensive city. Learn how to distinguish between wants and needs. I want a very berry hibiscus refresher from Starbucks every day after work but I need that money for groceries 🙂