I had never been so happy to put away dishes. My remains of my breakfast waited patiently to be washed down the drain as I emptied the dishwasher. I thought about the last time I had touched a dishwasher. Two weeks ago, I was praying that I wasn’t going to open the door to a squat toilet. Now I had a bathtub.
My itinerary for the day included opening an Australian bank account, getting an ice cream sandwich, and wandering around the Gallery of Modern Art. If the itinerary was pushed back or completely washed away by the rain outside, I wasn’t going to get upset. The train would be running tomorrow, and banks, museums, and bars would be open for the next five weeks. Plus, I hadn’t had a job yet; the longer I stayed in the dining room listening to King Krule and drinking coffee, the less money I would be spending. I wanted to knit, but Baymax was sleeping on my yarn – I knew if I was sleeping, I wouldn’t want to be disturbed over a (potential) scarf. I hadn’t been up for more than a few hours, but I was ready for a nap too.
Let’s make a budget! Sexy! Exciting! Totally going to go as planned!
Budgeting isn’t fun, but it’s essential for beat, broke backpackers like me. Hindsight is 20/20 and about $20 more than I thought I was going to have to pay to visit Angkor Wat. I loved Siem Reap, Cambodians are super sweet, but there were a couple hidden expenses that I would like to share with anyone making a budget. So let’s begin!
This will be a quick post…I just always share this secret to people who are traveling and figured I would share it further!
So my one-way ticket from NYC to London in 2015 was $300. My one-way ticket from NYC to Bangkok was around $600. Andrew’s roundtrip ticket is arouns $800, which is pretty amazing.
How’d we find them? The secret is this site called Student Universe. I heard about it and bought my first ticket when I was a college student, since many airlines offer “student” or “youth” discounts. Student Universe, available as a website or an app, goes through different airlines that offer these discounts and gives you the cheapest deals on flights. If you’re flexible about the location or date of your flight, it’s even easier to find a good deal. All you need to book to prove you’re a student, at first, is a school email!
I’m almost two years out of college (aaah) and still using Student Universe, just for its ease of use and ability to find cheap flights. After a few flights, the website will ask for more forms of student identification to buy a flight…when it got to be that point, I would simply find the flights through Student Universe, then purchase them through the airline. Most of the “youth” discounts apply to people under the age of 25 or 26 anyway, so I’m in the clear.
Whether you’re a student or not, using Student Universe is a great way to find honest deals with no gimmicks. The site also offers great packages on hotels and tours, if you want to book those ahead of time as well!
If you’ve recently booked with Student Universe, or have a similar site you’d like to share, let me know in the comments!
It’s no secret that I love a good beer. One of my favorite pieces of travel advice is, “Try the local beer.” I tried quite a few while in Europe, and because I’m a hoarder, I kept a few of the bottle caps. Bottle cap coasters are another easy craft for making cheap souvenirs and putting them to good use. These are super easy to make, so let’s get started!
Step 1: Collect Your Bottle Caps!
You all know how to do this. Drink up (if you’re of age. Soda caps work just as well!) Nine bottle caps makes a nice coaster, so collect bottle caps from your friends if you need to!
Step 2: Collect Your Materials!
For bottle cap coasters, you’ll need:
Knife or Scissors
Q-tip or Small Paint Brush
Step 3: Cut Your Coasters
Measure out a square of corkboard. To cover a coaster in nine bottle caps, you’ll need at least a 3 3/4″ x 3 3/4″ square, but you can have fun with it! You can cut it with scissors, but a knife works just as well (better, in my opinion).
Step 4: Apply the Bottle Caps!
This is the trickiest part, and why you’ll need tissues. To most effectively glue the bottle caps to the coaster, you’ll need to add glue to the inside of the bottle cap (a Q-tip or a small paint brush are great tools for spreading glue to the inside edges). Then, stuff the inside of the bottle cap with a napkin or a cotton ball. The more the better, as long as nothing is sticking out after the bottle cap is applied. Spread glue on the corkboard where the cap will go, and voila!
Step 5: Let Your Coaster Dry
This will take a little bit. When first glued, the bottle caps may puff up or slide around. Placing a weight on top of your coasters will keep it together while they’re drying.
And you’re done! Homemade coasters for even more beer, or soda. Or coffee.
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