Four months ago I booked the cheapest multi-stop, flight-driven trip I could find for Summer 2017 in Europe. Last time I went in the winter, so it is time for a summer eurotrip. The past couple months I’ve been building out maps, researching restaurants, and learning Danish.
JFK to Copenhagen
3 nights in Copenhagen, $363.56 roundtrip on FinnAir
5 nights in London , $42 one-way
to Ibiza, Spain
4 days in Ibiza, $48 one-way
1.5 days in Barcelona, $38 one-way
JFK via Copenhagen
1 night in Copenhagen, $114 USD one-way
Total airfare, $605 for 6 one-way flights.
I stay in hostels booked on hostelworld.com. I pick hostels based on
- Proximity to features on my map.
- Cost (<$40/night if possible)
- Highest Percentile of Reviews. More popular and more people to meet and network with during the trip. (>2,000 reviews if possible.)
- Highest Rating (>8.5 rating is trustworthy.)
Total Lodging, $745 for 16 nights. I think this could have been cheaper had I not waited until the map was built to book the hostels.
I like to be specific advice in the case you’re seeing this and planning a trip yourself.
Generator Hostel, Copenhagen
Amistat, Ibiza (I didn’t want to stay in St. Antoni, but Old Town lodging prices were insane, >$150/night.)
Food and Day’s plans
Using Yelp, Reddit, and various blog articles I generated a list of restaurants and sites to see in Copenhagen, London, Ibiza, and Barcelona. I plotted the entries on a map and hired an online contractor via Upwork to look up every place I had found (56 in total) on Yelp, Google, and Facebook. This was $25, a price that I set, which seemed like a reasonable rate to offer. Armed with the data, I got a weighted average for every restaurant in the target cities and then whittled down the map to a more streamlined size.
Planning the days
There are places on my itinerary that deeply pique my interest. I studied the destinations on the web rating data, qualitative assessments from online users, and a good match with my desire to be thrifty and focus on ultra-value food and fun opportunities.
Going up the Frederiksgade Church Dome any day at 1pm for a view of the city.
Though I’m not sure it will happen, I reached out to world-renowned food critic Andy Hayler and he’s interested in meeting up. I’ve suggested we meet at one of his favorite restaurants in London. This would be a major highlight if it happens.
English Premier League Football Match: Southampton vs. West Ham
I plan on exploring the city of London primarily by foot.
Drinks overlooking the Mediterranean sunset at Cafe Mambo.
Two world-class progressive house DJ’s Armin Van Buuren and Eric Prydz on the world’s best soundstage: The infamous Space Ibiza.
Tapas and Wine tour
I’m still working out the details on a Excel spreadsheet. I expect to be sipping a lot of Grenacha and eating obscene quantities of fresh seafood.
Sagrada Familia Church
Language Learning (Danish)
I like to be able to use some simple language to show my dedication to getting to know a culture. I started this process two months ago completing 25% of the DuoLingo for Danish. I learned very basic sentence structure. i realized this was more than I needed. So I made digital flashcards using the most common travel phrases I use. I eliminated questions, because I won’t understand answers.
|Nice to meet you.|
|I would like…|
|Here you go.|
|the bill, please.|
|I have a reservation.|
|The United states|
|I am from the united states|
I studied these words from Danish->English and then English->Danish. I used the Google Translate formula in google sheets to quickly make all the translations. I then generated ANKI flashcards with the ANKI desktop app’s built-in upload feature. ANKI is a program designed to model the human memory to refresh your brain right before you forget something. The timing of the cards is generated and tracking wholly by the program .
On paper this trip looks completely insane. Four cities in 16 days. Scandanavia, the UK, the Balearic Islands, and Barcelona over the course of two weeks. The schedule fits tightly into my job and personal life. I’m beyond excited to explore the design of Copenhagen, the pubs of London, the teal waters of the Balearics, and the hallowed ancient hills of Barcelona.
I want to see European summer through the eyes of locals. Unless absolutely essential, I won’t visit major tourist sights. Locals don’t visit them and they don’t define life for the average residents. I want to find the small places where Barcelonians lounge during the afternoon with a glass of wine. I want to sip coffee in a cozy sunbathed Nordic café. I want to cliff jump with Germans in Ibiza on summer vacation. I want to fight for a seat on the London Tube and chow on curry at Herman Ze German in London. I want to grab a beer and sit in a sunny park in Copenhagen. I want to see and live the worlds I’m not living, so I can come home and inform the life I do live.