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When the hell do you tip in Europe?: a continental conversation on gratuity history and convention abroad

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 24, 2008 in Travel Tips

I came to Europe staunchly under the impression that I didn’t have to tip.

That’s supposed to be an American conception. You know the tired old argument: Americans like letting the market dictate wages, so you have to hustle for your dollar, while the Europeans believe in a base standard for everyone. I’m not here to argue which is better.

I was just psyched on seeing something in a menu, ordering it, getting it and peacing.

Boy, did things get a lot more complicated than that.

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The finances: costs of a month of backpacking Europe

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 16, 2008 in Costs

Sean and I each went to Europe with $4,200. Between the two of us we returned with more than half of our total - what’s left of mine is seen in my online bank statement seen above.

For both of us, that was very nearly everything cent we had in savings. We each returned to find jobs and homes and begin payment on student loans (Sean’s thoughts, too). Though a lot of ground needs to be made to begin our lives, fortunately we returned with some savings.

How’d we do it? After some budget crunching abroad and some more on my own, I have figured out my expenses. Get a rough sense of the costs of a backpacking trip like ours, using the totals from my $4,200.

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ATM fees

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 15, 2008 in Costs

Six weeks of $3.50 ATM charges? Complete and regular frustration. Constantly wanting to avoid taking money out if I didn’t have to. That worked out to a grand total of $24.50.

It does help to work with a buddy on your budget and reduce your trips to foreign banks.

Watch out for those credit card fees, too, kids.

Photo from FirstNYFCU.

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How to keep a budget while on the road

Posted by Sean Blanda on Nov 4, 2008 in Travel Tips

The pain of figuring out the budget

The pain of figuring out the budget

Today, Chris and I bit the bullet, dumped out the receipts and figured out who owes who what.  After all, it is a cold Monday night. Up until now, we had alternated who took cash out of ATMs and tried to split big purchases such as hostels or train tickets.

Bad idea.

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