It’s week 3, and I still haven’t managed to significantly bring down my spending. I’ll get a handle on this eventually, I swear…
Zero dollars! I stayed put in Athens the whole week so bonus!
I remained at the hostel, but I discovered a fun little trick to bring down my expenses. If you’re traveling to an area, using hostel/hotel aggregation websites is great. But if you’re already in an area…
Travel hack: ask the front desk for an extension and/or new booking.
This saved me $0.90 a night in website fees. So the price per night came to $17.62.
Most of this is gyros so I’ll save you the agony of going through each one. They typically run about 2.50 euro (~$3.00) a piece, and there are 3 shops that sell them within 2 minutes walking distance of the hostel. So I’ll usually order one, bring it back, and try to find a dinner date in the hostel’s common area. Plus, tap water is free! This also works with the pastry shops hanging around. They’ll typically stuff spinach or cheese between some filo dough, and it costs about 0.50 euro less than a gyro.
When I’m feeling like I need to bring the party to the hostel (this is usually when we’re playing cards and drinking), I’ll go out and buy a tin of what I call ‘chocolate cigars’. They’re chocolate cream-ish wrapped in chocolate pastry in a long, cylindrical shape. A ‘big’ can runs around $4, and typically goes over pretty well with everyone.
On Friday, a bunch of us went out with a vegan friend to a vegetarian restaurant. Surprisingly, those exist in the land of endless meat. It was good, but a bit pricey: $13.55.
On Wednesday, a few of us went to a local bar called Σφήκα (Sfika). If you’re around the south end of the Acropolis, it’s a fantastic place to visit. An appetizer and a glass of wine ran me $11.07. And the atmosphere was amazing.
Last night (Thursday), some new friends and I went to a sports bar for karaoke night. I spent a lot less than the others: $7.38. By the end, most of the place was singing along, and generally having a good time.
Travel insurance: 3.07/day.
On Friday, I tried a walking tour for 7 euro ($8.82). I blogged about it, but amazing would be a good summary.
On Saturday, I bought a phone since the cheap one I had in the US won’t receive the signal range used by cells (or mobiles) over here: $270.32. Then on Monday I bought a SIM and an initial package for it: $24.58. The reason I didn’t get them together is you’re required to provide your ID (passport for non-Greeks) to get a number issued. We have human traffickers to thank for this. So there’s one more reason (not that we needed another one) to hate modern slavery.
So yeah, a few under $50 days! If it wasn’t for the phone, this would have actually been a pretty good week. I could have not done the phone thing, but having one has made staying in touch with people so much easier. Everyone out here uses WhatsApp.