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I have known for three year, that this year I would take my niece for a trip to some big city in the south of Europe. I took her big sister for a trip to Paris 3 years ago and now the time had come to travel with my youngest niece. I decided on Spain for this trip. I have been several times in Barcelona and I just love the city. It has so much to offer.
However, Barcelona is not a city that offers that cheap accommodation for short term rent, so we will only be staying 4 days using Airbnb. My niece also had to go back to school. 4 days actually ended up being cheaper than the 3 that was originally planned, because we had the option of being flexible on the flight date and time. Barcelona is not really a budget location, but I was actually about 800 euros under the budget for the year so far, as my trip to Brazil was under budget every month. That money made sure that Barcelona did not break my budget and that we could get to experience the wonderful attractions, the beach, the fantastic market and enjoy some tasty tapas. We also found some weird food to try. I love to try weird food. I love to make other try weird foods. I am not sure they enjoy it in the same way I do though.
How to spend less but enjoy just as much
The last time I went to Barcelona it was expensive. But I had a whole other mindset about consumerism and what to spend money on. This time, with my new mindset, it was a lot cheaper. One of the things that we actually spent money on was a Catalan cooking class. We selected an Airbnb experience that is also listed as number one on Tripadvisor of cooking schools in Barcelona. We made paella, catalan cream and sangria. I have been to a cooking class in Barcelona before, but this one was a whole other level! The teacher Angels was so warm and welcoming. It was a true cultural and gastronomical experience and at an affordable price. If you are going to Barcelona and want to try it out, here is the link for the cooking class. Below are some pictures from the day in Angels kitchen.
If you would like to get a hold of the recipes from the cooking class, drop me a message and I will send them to you. Below you can see the final touches being made to the main dish, paella. So delicious!
The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc - a beautiful free attraction
A great attraction that is absolutely free is the magic fountain at Plaça España. It is a truly spectacular display of colour, light, motion, music and water acrobatics. Pure magic! The show happens every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 20:00 to 21:00.
Mercat de la Boqueria - the food palace of Barcelona
Mercat de la Boqueria is a must try, see, smell experience. We went here two times and they just have everything in catalan cuisine. You can get some pretty cheap quality food to bring home or sit and eat in one of the many small stalls. You can also find specialities like huge ostrich eggs and green emu eggs. They have great selection of tapas, a huge seafood section at affordable prices, colorful juices and more different kinds of ham than you can dream up. The market is open all days except for Sunday and is situated right on the famous La Rambla street.
Picnic at Gaudí’s famous Park Güell
One day after shopping a lot of good snacks at Mercat de la Boqueria, we went for at picnic at Gaudí’s famous Park Güell. It is a huge park in Barcelona filled with buildings designed by Gaudí. The heart of the park has an entrance fee of 13 euros per person. Being a newborn cheap skate, I did not want to pay for this small part of the park. The free part lets you get really close to all the buildings and has a great picnic area. So we just had a free walk around the park, enjoying the people playing live music and ended by having a great picnic with an amazing view of the park.
Free travel insurance on all of your future vacations
Traveling with my niece and my best friend I of course needed travel insurance for all of us. Usually that would mean an extra expense, as insurance is never something I cut away in my budget, no matter how little money I have. Especially when traveling! But hang on. There is a way of getting your travel insurance absolutely for free.
When I buy my airline tickets, I always buy them with a Norwegian VISA credit card. That gives up to 90 days free travel insurance. That should be sufficient for most vacations. I used this method to get free travel insurance when I was in Brazil earlier this year for 89 days. The travel insurance does not only cover me, but an additional 3 fellow travelers! That means that you can get free travel insurance for your whole family.
You can take a look at what the insurance covers in the travel insurance terms in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish. It covers pretty much everything you need. The biggest drawback I can see, is that it does not cover anything with two wheels and a motor. So if you plan on renting a scooter, motorcycle, electric bike, electric skateboard or similar, you will need to purchase additional insurance.
How I am getting free airline tickets
Another great thing about the Norwegian VISA credit card is that whenever you use it, you will earn 1 % of the amount in Cash Points. These can later be used to buy airline tickets at Norwegian. This time however another airline had the cheapest tickets. But I still earned Cash Points to buy free tickets by using the Norwegian VISA credit card for everything on our trip.
The most valuable thing in life
One of the best thing about not working a 9 to 5 job is that you have time. Time for traveling and time to spend with your family and close friends. In April and May I spent more time with my parents, that I would normally do in 3 years! In April I went to the other side of the country to visit them without buying a return ticket right away. Something I have never done before, after I moved out of my parents house. I ended up staying for 10 days. I am so grateful that I have the power to do this today. The last 5 years of cutting back on expenses has really paid off because I now have money to buy back the most valuable and scarce resource in life. My own time. When you get born, you start life with a full tank of gas. However, there is no chance to fill up the tank along the way, no matter how much money you have. When the tank is empty, the journey ends. I fortunately still have some gas left in my tank so I will keep moving. I arrived yesterday in Riga, Latvia. Here I will attend the biggest european P2P conference this year and report right back to those of you interested in crowdlending. Here I am living in an old horse stable that I found on Airbnb. More about that later. Thank you for reading all the way to the end. Here is a small gift for you. If you would like to get 40 euros of free travel with Airbnb just sign up using an email not yet used on Airbnb, using this invitation link. Who does not like a free vacation? This article just taught you, how to obtain that.
Share your opinion and the opportunity for free travel!
Have you ever been to Barcelona? Did you love it? Have you lived for an extended time there and know the prices for renting for long term? When was the last time you visited your parents? Would you survive 10 days living at your parents house? Do you know someone who would like free airline tickets and free travel insurance? If so, share this post using the buttons below. Comment if you would like me to add a section with pictures about the weird foods that I convinced my niece to eat!