My birthday trip to Spain is almost here!!! –Cue me screaming, “YES!”–
I have to say that things are a little different for this birthday Spain trip than they were for my birthday Ireland trip.
For one, I’m less anxious. For my first solo trip to Ireland last year, I was freaking out a lot more than I let on. I researched every single thing I could which was a lot of work. However, this year, I’m a little more confident (and a little more busy with other things), which means I’ve done some research but not as much as I had last year.
However, the BEST thing that’s different about this trip to Spain than my trip to Ireland is that I’ve already saved a lot of money! –Cue me screaming, “OH, YEAH!”
So, if you read my blog, “The Birthday Traveler Books a 10-Day Irish Trip for $1,000” last year, then you know that I spent a little over $1,000 when booking my trip to Spain. That included airfare, travel, and hotel/AirBnB stays as I traveled to three different cities in Ireland alone for my birthday.
If you read the title of this blog, then you know that for my Spanish birthday adventure, I’ve already saved over $500 more than what I had spent on my Irish trip last year. I’ve spent only $480.94 booking my 10-day trip to Spain. –Cue your head exploding!–
Like my Irish trip, I will be traveling to three different cities — Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville. For this Spain trip, I will be traveling by train between the cities (rather than drive a rental car like I did in Ireland) and I will be flying from DFW (Dallas Fort Worth International Airport) to Spain (rather than LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) to Ireland).
So let me break it down for you:
- Airfare from Dallas to Madrid was $753, but it ended up being FREE.
Thanks to some awesome credit card hacking on my part, I was able to use my points towards an ABSOLUTELY FREE (even covered the taxes) airplane ticket.
- Three different AirBnB’s booked for $282, and I was able to get $42 off, so that comes out to $240.
I booked three different AirBnBs, one for each city that I’m visiting. I decided to save money by just renting a room out from a local which is why I only spent $282 for the nine nights I will be staying in Spain. Then, I used some more points with my travel credit card to take $42 off. I effectively will be paying almost $27 a night for my room and those include Wi-Fi, my own bedroom with a lock, and sometimes breakfast. BOOM!
- Train fare came out to $240.94 (and it could have been cheaper).
I wasn’t too happy with my savings for train fare, though it didn’t end up being that much with all things considered. I will be taking three trains during my trip to Spain.
I tried to book directly with Renfe (the Spanish train company) online. I used every single one of my credit cards, even called one of my banks and it wouldn’t let me book! I even tried using PayPal and that didn’t work! (I’m not the only American who has problems with the site).
So, I had to go to a third-party website to book the train tickets, Loco2. Of course, the only card of mine that worked with Loco2 required a fee, so I ended up paying about $7 in fees. The train tickets were also slightly higher than what they were on Renfe’s site, probably because I had to go through a middleman.
If I had to guess-timate, I would have saved at least $30-$50 on my train tickets if I could have booked directly with Renfe. Oh, well…
Suffice to say, I DID GOOD ON SAVINGS!
Yes, I could have saved more. There were AirBnBs that were farther from the city center that were cheaper, but I wanted to be able to walk to everything. If my cards and the Renfe website had worked, I could have had cheaper train fare. But, I think it’s safe to say that I’m winning with this Spanish Birthday Trip!
My goal is to only spend $500 dollars or less during my trip to Spain, making the entire trip total $1,000 or less. That’s still $500 less than what I spent for my entire Ireland trip (about $1,500), which isn’t too shabby.
With my Ireland blog, I gave some insight into how I saved so much money on traveling to Ireland. With this blog, I gave a little bit of information of how I saved. But what if you don’t know what AirBnB is or what I mean by credit card hacking?
NO WORRIES! 😀
I’m happy to say that I’m working on a book that shares all of my travel savings tips and advice. Even better, it’s not going to be lengthy or wordy. Rather, it’s my goal to explain everything to you in the most simplest of terms.
It’s about halfway written right now, and I’m trying to work on it every morning. So bear with me. I plan to get it out in the world before this summer (if all goes to plan).
Until then, happy traveling and stay on the lookout for blogs about my birthday trip to Spain in March!