Budget traveller case study: how I spent the weekend in Krakow for less than £100.

Budget Travel

Today I will show you how I spent an epic weekend in Krakow for under £100.

You probably already know people who travel every weekend but don’t have a job or say they don’t spend anything when travelling.

How do they do it? Do they know some travel secrets that you don’t?

Actually, yes, they do!

But it’s not a secret, as some people regularly travel in style and on a budget.

I’m one of those people ????

And today, I’m going to show you one of how I spent an epic weekend in Krakow for only £100 using The Budget Traveller Technique. And in this case study, I will detail how I did it, step by step.

What makes a good holiday?

 As someone who has travelled all over Europe, I can tell you that there’s a simple traveller technique that works every time:

Plan ahead + use technology + be flexible & open-minded = unforgettable budget holiday.

The first part of my little technique is straightforward: plan ahead to get cheaper tickets or accommodation.

And that’s what most people do: they check Ryanair air for the cheapest tickets and then book the most affordable hostel.

Sure, you can save some money doing this…

…but you can easily double or triple your saving and increase your fun by adding some value to the mix.

The Budget Traveller Technique: A Mini-Case Study

Saving money without sacrificing is what the Budget Traveller Technique is all about.

What is it?

It’s a travel technique that uses technology and locals. 

Instead of just checking travel sites and paying tour providers to tell us what to do, we are going directly to the locals…

…with the help of technology.

To show you how well this works, let me run you through the three-day weekend I had in Krakow and the results after using this technique;

The 3-Steps to Using “The budget Traveller Technique” To have a fantastic budget holiday.

There are 3 steps to The budget traveller Technique.

Step 1: Plan ahead  

Step 2: Use technology

Step 3: Be flexible & open-minded 

Here’s why this technique works:

Step #1: Plan ahead 

One of the critical elements of budget travelling is planning ahead. Planning allows you to take advantage of the best deals and discounts while also taking advantage of local cultural experiences. This part can be the most time-consuming, but where many savings are made.

Start by opening up a word or google doc to add in all the research you are about to do. First, you” need to look for destinations with a reasonable exchange rate to the £/$/€. After which, you will check the peak travel seasons and the costs of flights and accommodation vs the peak and shoulder seasons and determine which is best. It’s typically best to avoid the peak season. You’ll save money on flights, accommodations, and activities. Once you have a list of places, you’ll need to pick the one you’re most interested in.

Next up, you’ll need to look for any cultural events in the city as these typically provide lots of free entertainment whilst exposing you to local culture and tradition. Additionally, they can also be a great way to meet people. In Krakow, I checked the city website Krakow.pl and found all the events being hosted and decided to visit at the end of June during the Wianki festival. There were many shows and concerts, music performances, fireworks and even a silent disco in the evening (all for free). As many of these cultural events can take place during peak times, you’ll also need to go back to your document and see if these free events can make up for extra flight costs during peak season.

Once you have done your research and have a rough idea of when you want to travel, you’re going to visit Skyscanner and then put in your destination. You’ll need to choose the whole month and include surrounding airports. It can be cheaper to go a day earlier or later or even fly into a surrounding airport and then get public transport to your destination. In Krakow, I flew direct a day earlier as it was 30% cheaper. 

Budget Travel Krakow

More great free or cheap things to do are free walking tours. Although they are called “free”, it is still recommended to tip at the end of the tour. I checked freetour.com and found an interesting ghost tour for Thursday evening and a tour of the Old Town and Jewish Quarter for Friday. For each tour, I tipped 10 zl / £1.8. Additionally, I received some great tips from the tour guides and met some other solo travellers, and we decided to go to the Wianki festival on Saturday together.

While visiting Krakow, I wanted to see the Auschwitz concentration camp. However, all the tours were over 200 zl / £37. So I did some research and found that you can book free tickets directly in the camp on the official Auschwitz website and then get a public bus which is 10zl / £2 each way. Add this to your document.

You can also search for special events that offer discounts, such as Restaurant Week in Krakow. This food festival offers exceptional 3-course set menus with a glass of wine for around 30 zl / £6 at all the best fine dining restaurants in Krakow. (who says budget travel cant still be luxurious) 

When it comes to the time of the trip, make sure you only have carry-on luggage, the key here is to wear as many clothes as possible and stuff things into all your pockets. Additionally, I had a small backpack filled up and wore it under my jacket, so it wasn’t seen. If you still have some room, pack a lunch and snacks, so you’re not wasting money at the airport or on the flight. 

  • Flights: 330 zl / £61 (Thursday night to Monday Morning) 
  • Airport Transfer & Bus to Auschwitz: 40zl / £7.5 (bus from the airport and return )
  • 3 days of Entertainment: 30zl / £5.6( Wianki Festival & free walking tours Auschwitz )
  • Thursday night lunch & dinner: free ( packed lunch )
Running Total: 400 zl / £74.1

Step #2: Use Technology

Technology is your friend when it comes to saving money while travelling. I have broken this down into a few subpoints for each one. Only some of these will apply in some cities, but they can still help with overall spending. 


I used the “Too Good to Go” app in Krakow for most of my dinners. This food waste reduction app allows you to purchase surplus food from local restaurants and cafes at a reduced price. This is a great way to save money on food while reducing food waste. You can always grab a little extra, take it home, and have it for lunch the next day. During my Krakow trip, I got an 18zl / £3.4 meal from Olimp, that’s usually 54 zl / £10 on Friday, and on Saturday, I went to Camino and got a 45 zl / £8.5 meal for only 13 zl / £ 2.44 and took double, so I hade some extra food for Sunday lunch.

Budget Travel Krakow


Public transport is the best way to travel as it’s always cheaper and more scenic. In Krakow, I used the public transport app Jakdojade to plan all my trips. Jakdojade is a public transportation app that provides real-time information on bus, tram, and train routes in Krakow. With this app, I could plan all routes ahead of time while saving money on transportation costs. If you are travelling further distances, you can use Blah Blah car, which can be much cheaper than buses or flights and a great way to connect with some locals.

Things to do 

When I was looking for something extra to do or to go out for the night, I posted in Local Facebook Groups such as Active Krakow and Krakow Expats. Most cities have similar pages, and it can be a great way to connect with locals who are usually more than willing to give advice.  

Additionally, you can use free city guides. In Krakow, I used the guides listed on The Good Time Monty Instagram page for inspiration, It takes some time to find decent guides, so it’s best to do this before arriving.  


Please don’t waste your money on travel insurance, as there are ways to get it for free. Many credit cards offer free travel insurance, but this can depend on your country. While visiting Krakow, I used the travel insurance with the paid subscription on Revoult. But don’t worry, I didn’t pay as they offer a full refund within 30 days, so I signed up before my flight, cancelled, and requested a refund when arriving safely back home. The Revolut app also allows you to pay by card without any extra transaction or foreign exchange fees. I also spend an extra 85 zl / £16 on some snacks and beers. 

  • Food budget: 44 zl / £8.3
  • Entertainment: ( free )
  • Travel Insurance: (free) 
  • Extras: 85 zl / £16 
Running Total: 529 zl / £98.3

Step #3: Be Flexible & Open-minded 

For my trip to Krakow, one of the most significant savings was not having to pay for accommodation, and I did this by using couchsurfing.com. This option isn’t for everyone, and I will list some alternatives. However, this is the #1 way to save money and live like a local. Couchsurfing has millions of members in 230 counties that offer a free place to stay. By staying with a Couchsurfing host, you can gain a unique and authentic perspective on your destination and forge meaningful connections with locals you may not have otherwise encountered.

In addition to providing a place to stay, hosts on Couchsurfing often offer great advice, tips and sometimes a few warm meals. In Krakow, I stayed with a lovely couple that lived just off the old town and had the entire room to myself. They also provided breakfast every day and shouted me a few drinks on Sunday night at a vodka bar.

If you’re worried about safety. The website and app have several security features, like verification systems, to ensure hosts and travellers are who they say they are. Additionally, the community is highly supportive, and members are encouraged to provide feedback and rate their experiences to help maintain a positive and safe environment for everyone.

Whilst planning ahead and researching things to do is a big part of the Budget traveller technique, you have to keep it from trapping you. The plans and research are a starting point and more of an idea and general direction for your trip, but you want to stay flexible and open-minded. If someone invites you out for a drink or over for dinner, jump at the chance, as these can be the most enjoyable experiences.

Accommodation: Free ( also including breakfasts)

An alternative to Couhsuring is, of course, staying in a hostel. Still, a better way to travel in style for a discount price is comparison sites such as Trivago and Kayak or sign up for hotel chains’ mailing lists, as they regularly send out great discount


Holiday Total: 529 zl / £98.3

Now it’s your turn. 

I hope you see the potential of The Budget Traveller Technique for your next trip and how you can save money without sacrificing quality. By planning ahead, using technology, and being flexible and open-minded, you can enjoy a fantastic holiday without breaking the bank. I’ve used these steps to have a memorable weekend in Krakow for only £100, and you can too.

Yes, it takes work and pushing your boundaries to experience something incredible.

But with this Technique, you are on your way to an immersive and budget-friendly holiday. 

If you have any questions or need further advice, please feel free to ask!