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How to Travel Abroad on a Budget: Au Pair Edition

Have you ever wanted to go abroad but worried about budgeting? I felt the same way. I was able to find a program that helped me out with just that! RomeAbroad is an au pair program throughout Europe that helps you travel and immerse yourself in the culture, including room and board and weekly pay.

 Now, this program isn’t free. However, it is a lot cheaper than going on a study abroad through a university or other programs. Depending on what country you would like to au pair in, the basic package fee starts at $375.00 and ranges up to is $495.00. This is very inexpensive in comparison to other programs. You’re also able to buy the Premium package which ranges from $1,799.00 to $2,399.00. The Basic package includes a private room, food, introduction + match with a host family, personalized contract, guaranteed weekly pay, training + traveling tips, and RomeAbroad support. When purchasing the Premium package, it includes everything in the Basic program PLUS FLIGHTS! The program director will do all the traveling logistics. For example, when it comes to flights, they will make sure you arrive in the right place at the right time! The pricing is what caught my eye because there was no way I would be able to afford a +$4,000 Study Abroad program and then having to buy my own flights on top of that. 

The hardest thing about going abroad is saving your money! When I finally decided that this is what I wanted to do, I needed to make some decisions on how to save up for my summer abroad. The first thing I did was make a promise with myself. Each paycheck I received, I would transfer a percentage of it into my savings. I always tried to transfer 50% or more into my savings. Granted, I understand things come up and there may be times when bills or other priorities were a little more expensive than I previously thought. If this happened, I would try to cut back on little purchases (i.e. morning coffee, eating out, or that shirt I definitely needed but didn’t know where I would wear it, etc.). Doing this during the spring semester definitely made me feel more comfortable controlling my spending habits once abroad.

Once you’re in Europe it’s unbelievably easy to get around: walking, biking, scootering, trains, planes, buses, etc. Not only is public transportation ten times better than the States, but it’s also inexpensive to travel as well. I was able to travel to Rome from Tuscany by train for only $25.00 round trip. I was stoked. I believe the most I spent on a roundtrip train was $60.00. It was seriously such a steal. Also, hostels are the best ways to save money and meet new friends!

Traveling solo can be hard sometimes, it can be hard to meet other travelers like yourself. RomeAbroad is a fantastic way to combat loneliness! Believe it or not, you won’t be the only traveler in the program. There are other travelers who will be au pairing at the same time as you, possibly in the same city as well. If you’re in the same city, you can make plans with them to get some gelato after the kids have gone with their parents. You’re able to make weekend plans to travel to Paris, Venice, Nice, Split, etc. I met some beautiful, unique people across the States that I wouldn’t have been able to meet without this program.

Without RomeAbroad, I don’t believe I would’ve had the chance to explore Europe and all it has to offer. I’m extremely happy that I had this opportunity to be surrounded by beautiful people and surroundings. If you’re wanting more information on RomeAbroad and all the programs they offer, check out their website at romeabroad.com or their Instagram @RomeAbroad.

Health Education and Promotion Major with an Anthropology Minor; Community Health emphasis. Just your average 24 year old trying to scramble her way through everyday life.
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