We’ll travel for 16 days and see the following places: Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Salzburg, and Budapest. They’re definitely all worth seeing, and they are also very rich in history.
And how much is the entire trip from start to finish, you ask? For a 16-day trip with everything included it ran down to 1300 bucks.
Here is how:
Let’s first go over the trip breakdown. Basically, I dedicated 3 full days to every location and here is how:
Day 1: Plane from LA to Berlin
I chose to book with Norwegian Air, which I was actually very happy with. To get the best rate I booked for September, which is a slower season for Europe, and I also booked a year in advance. This brought the price of the ticket down to $600.00 round trip, with the ability to reserve seating. I always pick the emergency exit row, that way you get a lot of leg room for a crazily discounted price. I was also able to use credit card points to deduct the entire price of the ticket, so the overall price for a round trip ticket was $0.00 in this case.
Day 2: Arrive in Berlin
Day 3: Sight see in Berlin all day
Day 4: Sight see in Berlin all day
Berlin is awesome and rich in history. There is a lot to do, but today I just wanted to check into my Airbnb, relax from the long plane ride, and just get something to eat in the evening. For housing, you want to make sure you’re located within walking distance of most of the places you’ll want to see. This is important because it will reduce the amount you’ll have to pay for transportation, especially Ubers and Taxis. Sometimes you might find a cheaper deal further away from the center of the city, but in the end it will end up costing you more because of transportation costs.
From my research, this listing on Airbnb was the best deal: (Click here to see the Airbnb listing). It is a 10-20 minute walk from 90% of the things I wanted to see in Berlin: Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag Building, Berlin Cathedral Church, etc. The total came down to $309 that I split with my girlfriend. So the end total was $154.50.
I typically don’t workout when I travel outside of doing Mcgill's Big 3 exercises every morning and some stretching. However, I do try to remain on the clean side with my eating. There is an organic store called “Bio Company” about 5 minutes from the location listed above. You’ll even find Demeter-certified produce there, which is extremely rare most places but abundant at that specific store. Their selection is great, and for about 15 bucks a day you can have an abundance of very healthy, beyond organic produce and water. I would eat at the Bio Company in the morning and typically eat out at night to try the local food. I’m not a big fan of German food, so it was easy for me not to eat out too often. At the places I did end up eating at, the meals ended up being around $20 a meal. So the total for food per day in Berlin was about $35 bucks a day, which brings the total to $105.00 for food.
Day 5: Bus ride from Berlin to Dresden
You can use Omio.com for transport around Europe. They’re a reliable company and offer great rates if you book in advance. Personally, I would recommend getting business class on a bus VS train or taxi when going from city to city. This will cut the price down by about 60%, and it will usually be a way better ride and faster overall. Let me explain. First, the bus will get you to your location just as fast if not faster than a train. Second, business class on a bus is better than a train because you don’t have to share a space with others. The chairs on the bus also recline a tremendous amount, which makes it more comfortable to sleep in. Overall, less crowds and less people, and the price is about 60% less than a train ticket. This business-class bus ticket will cost you about $15.00 from Berlin to Dresden.
Day 6: Sight see in Dresden all day
Day 7: Sight see in Dresden all day
Same rules apply as above. Try to select an accommodation location within walking distance from most of what you want to see. You shouldn’t have to take a taxi in Dresden or rely on public transport. Everything is relatively close to each other there.
Here is the Airbnb location I picked, which once again is a 10-15 minute walk from everything: (Click here to see the Airbnb Listing)
The total for this specific Airbnb for all the nights came out to $226.00, which once again was split 2 ways, so the end price was $113.00.
In terms of food, I used the same strategy as I did in Berlin. There is an organic grocery store called Bio Mart in a mall about 5 minutes from the apartment. I ate breakfast there, and then I ate out for dinner to try out local food etc. The total for food was about $35/day in Dresden. Basically, the same price as that in Berlin.
Day 8: Bus ride from Dresden to Prague
This one ran about $15 bucks for a business class bus ticket. Once again, the bus gets you there just as fast as the train, but it is more comfortable with less crowds for 60% less. You can use Omio.com.
Day 9: Sight see in Prague all day
Day 10: Sight see in Prague all day
This is the Airbnb I used in Prague: (Click here to see the Airbnb listing). The host was very nice, and Old Town Prague was a short 5-8 min walk from the apartment, and about a 10 min walk from the train station where the bus dropped us off. Because of the location, no public transport was necessary. You can literally walk anywhere in 5-20 mins. The total for all nights was $198.00 for this location, so that’s $99.00 per person when you split the cost with another person. The food ended up being about $35 per day and a similar schedule as listed above. Organic places are tougher to find here.
Day 11: Bus ride from Prague to Salzburg
Same deal. Take the bus via business class. Way cheaper and just more convenient than taking the train, plus the seats recline way back, which makes it easier to sleep. Also, the thing that sucks about trains is they sit you so you’re facing another person directly head on, which is weird. You basically are staring at each other the whole time because there really isn’t anywhere else to look. In a bus, this doesn’t happen because you have more privacy. Use Omio.com. The ticket will run you about $25 bucks from Prague to Salzburg.
Day 12: Sight see in Salzburg all day
Day 13: Sight see in Salzburg all day
This is the Airbnb I booked in Salzburg: (Click here to see the Airbnb). Honestly, the pictures kinda suck, but the place was really nice with a great view of the mountains and some German looking buildings. It was built into the side of a mountain top. On the plus side, we also got upgraded to a suite for free. The total came out to $328 for all the nights (3 nights), which when split comes down to $164.00 per person. This location is close to everything so you won’t need to take any public transport of any sort, which will save you a lot of money.
Salzburg is really cool. It’s the home of Mozart, and other people society deem as important and talented. You honestly don’t need to spend 2 full days there; one is way more than enough. However, I like to space things out so that I don’t feel rushed and a vacation actually feels like a vacation. If you’re the same, then spend two full days there.
Honestly, Austrian food isn’t my favorite, but if it’s your thing there are plenty of really good places to pick from. It’s endless really. If Austrian food isn’t your thing, they have a few grocery stores that sell a mix of organic produce. I got breakfast from these stores and ate out for dinner, usually. The average came out to about $35/day.
Day 14: Bus ride from Salzburg to Budapest
Same as before. Take bus business class. Don’t take the train. The price will be about $25.
Day 15: Sight see in Budapest all day
Day 16: Sight see in Budapest all day
Budapest has an awesome history and is a great place to see. The Airbnb I rented here was this location: (Click here to see the Airbnb). It has a great balcony view and is walking distance from a decent number of places. The price for this place, per-person, for all the nights came down to $78.
In my opinion, you will need a bus pass to get around the city here, but you can buy an unlimited pass for about $12.00 for 2 days, which is worth getting and can be found at a train station. It can also be used for the inner-city trains as well, which will definitely help get you places quickly. You can take train number 2 and basically get an entire tour of the whole city, up close to every building. Don’t use the taxi service here. They’re super shady, and they will overcharge you. If you dispute it they will yell at you for not allowing them to overcharge you. There is no Uber, so you’re kinda stuck with them if you’re 100% dead set on taking a taxi around the city. This includes Bolt, as part of the shady business. But honestly, there are train/bus stops everywhere, which arrive every 5-6 minutes, even faster than a taxi. The train and bus go anywhere you want. It’s super easy to use them and super cheap.
I couldn’t find an organic store here, but they did have a few supermarkets with fresh produce. Just like before, I bought food here for the morning and typically ate out at night. The total was about $35/day.
Day 17: Plane ride from Budapest to LA
The train station is about a 10 min walk from the location listed above. You can get a business class ticket for $10.00 here that will take you to the airport.
So, the grand total comes down to about $1,300 for a little over a 2-week trip in Europe, which is an amazing deal for such a great experience. If you don’t have a girlfriend, not to worry. Bring a friend.
Hardvard MBA meets a Mexican Fisherman
A vacationing American businessman standing on the pier of a quaint coastal fishing village in southern Mexico watched as a small boat with just one young Mexican fisherman pulled into the dock. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. Enjoying the warmth of the early afternoon sun, the American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.
"How long did it take you to catch them?" the American casually asked.
"Oh, a few hours," the Mexican fisherman replied.
"Why don't you stay out longer and catch more fish?" the American businessman then asked.
The Mexican warmly replied, "With this I have more than enough to meet my family's needs."
The businessman then became serious, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
Responding with a smile, the Mexican fisherman answered, "I sleep late, play with my children, watch ball games, and take siesta with my wife. Sometimes in the evenings I take a stroll into the village to see my friends, play the guitar, sing a few songs..."
The American businessman impatiently interrupted, "Look, I have an MBA from Harvard, and I can help you to be more profitable. You can start by fishing several hours longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra money, you can buy a bigger boat. With the additional income that larger boat will bring, before long you can buy a second boat, then a third one, and so on, until you have an entire fleet of fishing boats."
Proud of his own sharp thinking, he excitedly elaborated a grand scheme which could bring even bigger profits, "Then, instead of selling your catch to a middleman you'll be able to sell your fish directly to the processor, or even open your own cannery. Eventually, you could control the product, processing and distribution. You could leave this tiny coastal village and move to Mexico City, or possibly even Los Angeles or New York City, where you could even further expand your enterprise."
Having never thought of such things, the Mexican fisherman asked, "But how long will all this take?"
After a rapid mental calculation, the Harvard MBA pronounced, "Probably about 15-20 years, maybe less if you work really hard."
"And then what, señor?" asked the fisherman.
"Why, that's the best part!" answered the businessman with a laugh. "When the time is right, you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions."
"Millions? Really? What would I do with it all?" asked the young fisherman in disbelief.
The businessman boasted, "Then you could happily retire with all the money you've made. You could move to a quaint coastal fishing village where you could sleep late, play with your grandchildren, watch ball games, and take siesta with your wife. You could stroll to the village in the evenings where you could play the guitar and sing with your friends all you want."
For past travel blogs, checkout the following:
Zion National Park:
Olympic National Forest:
Camel Safari in India: