I’m 27 & This Is How Much I Spent On A Trip To Budapest & Vienna With My Cousin

Welcome to Travel Diaries, a Refinery29 series where we tag along as real women embark on trips around the world and track their travel expenses down to the last cent. Here, we offer a detailed, intimate account of when, where, and how our peers spend their vacation days and disposable income: all the meals, adventures, indulgences, setbacks, and surprises.
This week's travel diary: A 27-year-old grad dips into her savings for a well-deserved vacation exploring Vienna and Budapest. 
Editor's note: all currency has been converted to USD.
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Age: 27
Occupation: Student – I just completed my academic work for my Master's degree and am waiting to start a job or an internship to formally round up my degree. I am a student and do not have any income or paying job at the moment.
Salary: None, at the moment. At the beginning of my Master's degree, I took a private loan from Prodigy Finance to pay off my tuition. I got a partial scholarship from my university which I added to my savings to move to France and called these “Living Allowances” AKA savings during my Master's degree. I skipped out on a Spring vacation this year so I could afford this trip. I set aside about $200 – from my savings, after paying for the flights.
Travel Companion: Cousin J., who’s meeting me in Budapest from London
Hometown: I'm originally from Africa but I'm currently living in France.
Trip Location: Budapest, Hungary and Vienna, Austria 
Trip Length: 6 days
Annual # Of Vacation Days: unlimited as I don’t have a job for now and just finished my coursework for my Master's
Costs: Flight via WizzAir. I left Nice Aéroport and landed at Budapest International Airport. Cousin J. flew from London Heathrow to Budapest International Airport via RyanAir. We both returned through Vienna International Airport to our originating airports with the same airlines. My flights came to a total of $78.29
Total: $78.29
Costs: We stayed at two Airbnbs. I did not pay for this (my cousin J. did) and I covered other costs discussed in the trip! The Budapest Airbnb was in Szemere U. while the Viennese Airbnb was in the Josefstadt area.
Total: $0
Miscellaneous pre-vacation spending: I didn’t buy anything new as I already had travel toiletries at home which I packed.

Day One 

7:00 a.m. – I wake up excited to finally go on this trip. I just finished the academic coursework for my Master's degree and despite the intensity of my program and proximity to other European cities, I have not gone on vacation in exactly four months. I need this! I’m also a bit apprehensive because I’m spending time with my cousin J. We’ve never spent time alone so I wonder how the next six days will be. I packed my bag the night before so I don’t have to worry about packing this morning. I am going on a six-day trip to Budapest, Hungary then Vienna, Austria.
9:00 a.m. – Yikes! For someone looking to bake a carrot cake for my trip, (cousin J. requested that I bake a cake to bring on our trip) I am mortified to find that I spent two hours dawdling on social media. I immediately jump out of bed and head out to the kitchen to start baking the cake. I already have baking ingredients in my apartment, so I didn’t need to purchase anything.
11:00 a.m. – Finally done and jump into the bathroom as I plan to be out the door at noon. My flight is not till 3:00 p.m. but there’s a public holiday here so the bus schedules are not predictable.
12:05 p.m. – Out of the house and decide to walk to the promenade, which is approximately 12 minutes from my house. I try to stop at Lidl and realize that all the grocery shops are closed today. Say a silent prayer that I find a bus to the airport on time.
1:30 p.m. – After standing at the bus stop for 45 minutes with no bus in sight, I order an Uber to the airport. So annoying because it’s an unplanned expense. The driver is really nice and also speaks English. He drops me off right in front of my airline’s terminal without hassle. $14.18
1:35 p.m. – Rush to the airline’s desk only to find out I need to pay an extra $54.54 because I did not check-in online and it’s too late to do this now. I don’t know why I keep receiving emails in French even though I always select English as my preferred language. Oh well! $54.54
3:30 p.m. – Flight is slightly delayed for about twenty minutes but it’s alright. The flight lasted just under two hours and I’m happy I did not spend any euros at the airport even though I was slightly hungry. I am on a strict budget here, reader!
5:30 p.m. – Finally in Budapest! The airport does not look impressive and I immediately rush to a foreign exchange counter to change some of my euros while simultaneously trying to connect with J. Even though most of Europe uses euros, some countries use their own currency and Budapest uses Hungarian forints. I don’t know if the rates are the best but I’m too tired to make any comparison at this point. He arrived in Budapest two hours before I did but decided to wait in the airport so we can head to our Airbnb together.
6:00 p.m. – After finding J. and collecting my changed currency, we head to the bus stop that will take us to the city centre as our that’s the location of our Airbnb. I pay for our tickets which are surprisingly expensive. $8.73
7:30 p.m. – It takes us a while to locate our Airbnb as the owner of the apartment did not provide us with a mobile number but gave us details to access the building. Weird.
8:40 p.m. – We finally settle in and both of us famished. We decide to find somewhere with good food. The Airbnb is a two-bedroom and one-bath apartment that looks okay in a serene yet central neighborhood. The floors are wooden (which cousin J. hates but I love) and the furniture is old. I think the owner of the apartment loves to read as there is a huge bookshelf with English books in the master bedroom where J. is staying. I will be staying in the “children’s room” because I do not care since I am not paying for my accommodation. Google gives us some recommendations and we decide to settle for Thai food at a restaurant 15 minutes from our Airbnb. We both order noodles with shrimp and chicken. The portions are really huge and we pack our leftovers. I pay. $16.84
10:00 p.m. – On our way back from dinner, we make a pitstop at the Szechenyi bridge (I believe this is one of the most popular bridges in Budapest as it connects two cities/towns – Buda and Pest – that make up Budapest) for pictures before heading home. Even though there are lights on the bridge, I am not impressed. I try not to make any judgments on my first night, though. After catching up with J. for a bit back at the Airbnb, I fall asleep by 11:30 p.m.
Daily Total: $94.29

Day Two 

6:30 a.m. – Wake up to the sun filtering into my room. I really want to sleep in but decide to watch Chesapeake Shores. Honestly, Chesapeake Shores is an incredibly long Hallmark movie in my opinion and I can’t help but roll my eyes. J. is still in his room and I assume he’s still asleep.
9:30 a.m. – J. finally wakes up and plans our activities for the day (by plan, this boy looks at a map of Budapest and decides that we should get on a Hop-on-hop-off bus to see the city). I purchase our train tickets to Vienna ($20.96) while he purchases a Hop-on-hop-off bus for $51.75. Typically, when traveling between cities in Europe, I use a site called as it compares prices between air, train, and road travel. We take our baths and head out for breakfast. I'm eager to try Hungarian sausages!
11:30 a.m. – Google’s first suggestion for breakfast is a fail as there were no free tables to sit us. We decided to use another Google Maps recommendation to another breakfast place and I am glad we did! The restaurant (10-Sixty Six Bar and Breakfast) is hidden and quite dark but the service is top-notch! I have the Hungarian breakfast which includes toast bread, baked beans, Hungarian meat, eggs, tomatoes, and mushrooms spread while J. has the American. By the time we are done, our bellies were full. #NoRegrets I pay. $20.52
12:45 a.m. – Leave the restaurant to attempt to sightsee but the Hop-on-hop-off bus insists we print out our tickets before we could board. We eventually convinced the conductor to take us to their Main Office which is the last stop for the day so we could use the opportunity to see the city.
1:00 p.m. – Several stops and pictures later, we finally make it to the main office. Budapest has a lot of dust with all the construction going on so our faces are already sweaty and dirty from being out all day. Unfortunately, we did not come down at any of the stops and only sight-saw from the bus because of the issue with validating our tickets.
1:30 p.m. – The main office is close to our Airbnb and we find an ALDI right on our street so we stop to buy groceries: $10.27
4:30 p.m. – We decide that we can’t waste the entire day and head out to the Great Market Hall which is about five tram stops from our Airbnb.
4:45 p.m. – The market is as interesting as advertised on the internet and we spend a couple of hours window-shopping and laughing about a picture of an American political leader on a T-shirt. We also find some knick-knacks but resist the urge to buy anything.
7:30 p.m. – Finally home and after eating some of the groceries we bought earlier from Aldi, we decide to stay in to watch Netflix and finish the bottle of Patron XO Cousin J. brought with him from London.
12:00 a.m. – Lights out!
Daily Total: $30.79

Day Three 

6:35 a.m. – Like clockwork, I’m awake. I really can’t wait to have my own apartment and ensure it’s as dark as possible at all times so I can sleep better. Stay in bed catching up on social media and worrying about a job interview later today and feedback from another company I should receive today.
7:40 a.m. – I manage the willpower to go for my waxing. My calculations show Budapest is cheap compared to Nice so I want to do the waxing here if possible. Dieu m’aide as this is my first time waxing anything!
8:15 a.m. –I set out of the apartment as Google Maps say it’s a 16-minute walk.
8:35 a.m. – Get to the wax studio and the lady says she’s booked and doesn’t have any free spaces. I can’t decide if I’m happy or sad so I immediately made up my mind to buy Veet or Nair on my way back to the Airbnb.
9:10 a.m. – No luck with buying Veet or Nair so I made it back to the apartment. I attempt to make a light breakfast of soft boiled eggs but somehow my eggs were not cooked enough and I tried to hasten the boiling process in the microwave and I ended up making a huge mess. Rookie mistake. I clean it up though even though J. said I could leave it because a cleaning fee was part of the Airbnb payment.
12:45 p.m. – We decide to head out the city for a boat cruise from yesterday's Hop-on-hop-off ticket.
1:50 p.m. – Hop on the boat and buy a hotdog ($1.95) while J. buys us two beers ($3.26). It is quite cold and I can't help but feel sleepy. I didn’t enjoy it very much. Calling it a boat cruise is a stretch and I will say its a Boat Tour. We sailed on the Danube River and the guide pointed out some places of interest. It was a recorded voice so not quite as interactive as I would have liked. $5.21
3:15 p.m. – The boat tour is over and thanks to a combination of the cold weather and the beer, I really need to pee. J. is hungry so I use the bathroom at KFC while he buys a chicken wrap, two cups of Lipton Iced Tea, and eight chicken wings. I have six chicken wings and one of the drinks but J. covers it. Yay! 
4:00 p.m. – J. wants to go somewhere on a hill which I later realize is where the shoes of the people who were pushed into the river are. The site is called Shoes on the Danube Bank (located in the Eastern part of the river) and it was created by film director Can Togay and sculptor Gyula Pauer to honor the Jews who were killed by fascist militiamen in Budapest during World War II. The memorial site represents their shoes left behind on the bank.
4:15 p.m. – We find the drugstore to buy Veet and I buy two tubes and a 250ml tub of body butter that contains Shea butter and sandalwood oil and it smells amazing! $16.92
4:25 p.m. – As Budapest tourist sites are mostly located close to each other, we spend a lot of time walking between these locations. We stop at St Stephen’s Basilica and it’s full of tourists! I’m not religious but I’m trying to say a novena and think it would be best to do it in church. Couldn’t concentrate I rush the novena. Don’t know if it will work but at this point, fingers crossed.
4:45 p.m. – We get on the hop-on-hop-off bus to get to Gellert Hill, which is the top of Budapest, for a panoramic view of the city’s skyline but by the time we hop off at about 5:00 p.m. at the hill, the place was ridden with tourists so could only get half-decent photographs.
5:15 p.m. – Hop back on the bus and get to the Shoes on the Danube Bank at 6:15 p.m. to take some pictures of the shoes and ships at the harbor overlooking the memorial. I also take a decent Boomerang of the wind blowing against the water and a moving ship that I share on my Instagram and get quite a number of replies.
7:15 p.m. – On our way home, we stop at ALDI to buy a bottle of Hungarian bitters, some juice, and snacks from the baked goods section. The damage is $16.36 but Cousin J. took care of this before we headed straight home.
10:30 p.m. – We leave the Airbnb to the ruin bars in the Jewish Quarter but cousin J., in his infinite wisdom, decides that we should go to a bar his friend recommended. Long story short: we stayed at his recommendation for less than five minutes because it smelled like a toilet! My classmate recommended another bar to me only to find that it already had a 1km waiting line in front by the time we got there. So far, I love Budapest but I hate queues so I decide to consult Google Maps. Luckily, there is a bar called Doboz that was three minutes away. 
We get there and I immediately fell in love with the vibe. It’s also a ruin bar with a large tree located in the middle of the courtyard with a dance floor full of lights. I dance for two hours non-stop to EDM on the dance floor all by myself till the DJ loses focus at 12:45 a.m. I also buy two cocktails for both of us. $10.23
12:45 a.m. – We leave the bar and decide to buy some Thai-food from the food court since we skipped having a proper meal earlier for dinner. I opt for glass noodles and shrimp stir-fry while J. orders chicken and egg fried rice and spring rolls with chili sauce. He caters to this bill of $20.73 while I buy him dessert ($5.45) and myself a beer ($2.18). $7.63
1:45 a.m. – We take the tram from the ruin bars back home and cousin J. immediately goes to his room to sleep. I should clarify our transportation situation while in Budapest: When we were not walking, we took the Hop-on-and-hop-off bus, otherwise, we took the tram. However, apart from the ticket we bought from the airport to the city, we never found anywhere to buy tram tickets while in the city so technically we used the tram without paying. There were also no validation points in the tram nor did any officials ask to see our tickets so I guess the tram is free to meander within Budapest? We never confirmed this. 
2:00 a.m. – I change into my nightie and settled on the couch to watch Bridget Jones Diary. Not sure exactly when I fall asleep but I’m sure I dozed off soon after the movie started.
Daily Total: $39.99

Day Four 

6:30 a.m. – Wake up to the sound of rain and cars and I am angry I can’t sleep in despite the alcohol I consumed yesterday. I immediately reach my phone to look at WhatsApp and see my classmate is requesting for my contact details to book our hotel room in Paris in two weeks for a startup conference. I’m not very interested but I need a job so I will go anywhere I can network.
 8:00 a.m. – I stand up from the couch to take my bath and arrange my bag for the trip to Vienna later this afternoon. I also intended to send in a job application this morning before heading to the station but I get carried away with frying eggs for breakfast and stressing about the possibility of forgetting something at Airbnb.
10:00 a.m. – We head out and apparently it's drizzling heavily. Thankfully the tram stop is only 5 minutes away from the apartment and after waiting for less than ten minutes at the stop, we are in a tram. Yes, another free tram because no ticket machines, desks, or officials to ask. We also notice other people are not validating tickets, hence our comfort.
10:45 a.m. – We get to the station and for some reason, the timing on the schedule didn’t match what was on my ticket.
11:00 a.m. – I look at my tickets and tell cousin J. we need to go back to the main terminal to confirm if this is the right train. Get back and find out I bought bus tickets instead and the bus is departing in 20 minutes (thanks!). Luckily, the bus had not started boarding by the time we get to the terminal and we get good seats on the 2hr 45-minute bus ride.
The bus ride is pretty uneventful, I spend the time filling out a job application and then watching the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
2:30 p.m. – We get to Vienna and the weather is dull and makes the city look grey. The weather app on my phone shows there was some rain earlier in the day so this works for me as a welcome change from all the sun and dust in Budapest. I really love rainy and cloudy weather.
3:40 p.m. – After trying unsuccessfully to get an Uber or Taxify in the cold for 20 minutes and J. going off to find alcohol without saying anything, I am very irritated. I finally find an Uber that comes almost as soon as he accepts my request. I pay. $19
3:55 p.m. – We get to the apartment and it is a dream! Compared to the Airbnb we stayed at in Budapest, this is smaller but very clean and modern. I already imagine living in an apartment like this when I get a job. The host is also very delightful and gives us some tips for places to visit. 
4:05 p.m. – After the host leaves, I immediately settled in and charge my phone for 20 minutes before heading out. To be honest, at this point I’m ready to explore Vienna by myself as I’m tired of being around J. all the time. But he wants to tag along too so I can't say no.
4:25 p.m. – We head out to the train station that was only two minutes from the apartment and I buy us each a 48-hour transport pass. $30.76
4:35 p.m. – Get on the train to Naschmarkt (the largest food market in Vienna with over 100 stalls selling food, produce, clothes, and souvenirs, as well as restaurants) where I want to buy food, some souvenirs, and people-watch. But J. makes the visit annoying. He is two years older than I am but gets cranky like a child when he is sleepy or hungry. I buy him a chicken wrap and get myself noodles in a box for the same price ($10.90). I want to buy some cheese but it is too expensive compared to France so I buy two pieces of sausage, instead. ($7.64) I also buy two packs of instant ramen noodles ($1.09) $19.63
5:37 p.m. – J. says we should go home to take a nap and come out later and I tell him I don't intend to leave the apartment again when I get back. I need to call a former colleague to give me tips for a job I am applying to and I really need some me-time. He says we should see some attractions before going back and I oblige. 
5:45 p.m. – We go to the Opera House, which is an eight-minute walk from the market but it’s ridden with tourists and the weather is not looking very good for pictures so we walk around the area for a few minutes to get a feel of the city.
6:00 p.m. – We get on a train back to our Airbnb and I am as excited as a kid in a candy store!
6:15 p.m. – We get to the train station close to our apartment and I tell J. to go ahead while I take a walk to discover our neighborhood shops. We’re staying in Josefstadt. Unfortunately, most of the shops are already closing and I walk for only 1km peeking inside the closed shops. I really like what I see about the city and make a mental note to do as much exploration as possible the next day.
6:40 p.m. – I get to the Airbnb, finish my noodles-in-a-box, change into my nightie, and turn on Chesapeake Shores on Netflix. This show is really a waste of my time but I cannot stop watching it.
7:00 p.m. – I remember I need to call my former colleague, K. and call him straight away. After a few minutes of small talk, we discuss his company at length and I’m excited to apply. I previously applied to positions at his company but got rejected. He says that was most likely because his company prefers receiving referrals from internal staff instead of blind applications via its career website. I find that odd, but in Europe, most companies seem to prefer new hires via referral than blind applications which sucks. But hey, when in Rome, act like the Romans.
9:00 p.m. – I get off the phone with K. and start editing my CV and cover letter to apply for the positions he recommended for me. I do this for two hours while listening to the Home and Away soundtrack on repeat.
11:00 p.m. – Applications are done and documents sent to K., I’m ready to watch Chesapeake Shores before I fall asleep but J. is awake and wants to go to the club. I ignore him and I think he understands from my body language I have no interest in going to a club in Vienna and leaves me alone.
11:30 p.m. – I retire to my room and turn off the lights so I can fall asleep faster.
11:45  p.m. – J. tells me he is off to the club and I tell him goodnight and doze off a few minutes after midnight.
Daily Total: $69.39

Day Five 

5:30 a.m. – I wake up to pee and can’t go back to sleep so I stay in bed to watch Chesapeake Shores while J.’s snoring from the other room fills the entire apartment. I wonder if all younger men are the way he is, shudder at the thought of dating again, and promptly push it out of my mind. My last relationship ended in February. There was a significant age gap between us and I can’t help but think about him. But compared to J. and the guys in my class, my ex was self-sufficient and had agency and I miss being able to feel protected by him. I don’t think I am ready for a relationship yet so I banish these thoughts from my head almost immediately.
9:00 a.m. – I wake up to prepare my breakfast of seeded bread, sausages, and a strawberry spread with some juice. I then take a warm bath with my exfoliating sponge and feel really good afterward.
10:00 a.m. – I head out of the house and realize it is raining. Since I have only less than 24 hours to spend in Vienna, I am willing to brave the rain and cold without an umbrella.
10:05 a.m. – After walking really slowly to take in the neighborhood, I get to the bus stop to see the bus waiting for me. Yay! Surprisingly, the bus is waiting for an extra 15 minutes – not sure if it’s a Sunday in Vienna thing for buses to wait for some minutes at select bus stops because I notice the driver doesn't wait at other bus stops.
10:25 a.m. – I get to Schonbrunn Palace since it's the closest tourist site close to my Airbnb. From outside the gates, I can see it swarming with tourists even in the rain. Ugh! I also realize I need to buy tickets for the tour of the palace so I take pictures of the gardens outside the palace and check Google Maps for my next destination.
10:50 a.m. – Google Maps is really taking the piss as the pointer keeps moving in different directions and I can't quite decide how to get to the train station. I trust my instincts and just walk towards the nearest place that looks like it makes sense to walk towards. I end up walking for 10 minutes until I find the U3 train station but my fingers are so numb with cold. As soon as I walk into the warm train station, I get a headache but I tell myself this is for a good cause. The train comes in five minutes and I stop at the train station close to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The cathedral is only a minute walk from the train station so I’m not bothered by the cold. At this point, I’m beginning to like it. 
11:00 a.m. – I meet a guy who is selling tickets to the Opera for today, tomorrow, or yesterday (yes, his exact words) and asks if I wanted one. I turn around to smile at him to which he gave me the most beautiful smile. Reader, I would like to say I walked back to ask him for coffee or something but I just walked into the cathedral after our smiling sesh.
11:30 a.m. – I am in the cathedral and of course it is laden with tourists. A section is closed off since mass is ongoing but they allow anyone in who says they are going for mass. Some of the tourists take advantage of this and say they’re going for mass and go on to take pictures of the church while mass is ongoing. I assume people in the church are used to this though.
11:40 a.m. – The church is quite large with a beautiful altar decorated in gold, satin, and velvet. After taking pictures of the area accessible to tourists, I ask the guard if I can go for mass but decide to go towards a section with a picture of Mary where I see people kneeling down to pray. Disclaimer: I am not religious anymore but I grew up in the Catholic Church. The hymns and various altars in the Catholic Church still give me a certain calm (I can’t explain it), so I kneel and cry for a bit. After ten minutes or so, I stand up and try to stay for the next mass at noon but since it will be in German, I decide against it and leave the church.
11:55 a.m. – I take some pictures of the Cathedral from outside and a girl I follow on Twitter recommends I visit another church that Google tells me is four minutes from the cathedral. It's much smaller and has less tourists so I decided to go to that church. However, while trying to navigate my way after a brief stop at a souvenir shop in front of the cathedral, I find a cute restaurant, Wein & Co., and decided to go in for coffee.
11:57 a.m. – I go in and ask for an espresso shot because my fingers are frozen at this point but the place smells like a home on a Sunday and the waitress who attends to me is really nice so I decide to have an early lunch here. The waitress comes back with a menu and I ask for a beef goulash and if I can have liver dumplings with the goulash. She agrees at no extra cost, yay! She brings my meal and coffee in less than 10 minutes and I settle in. The meal is so comforting and I thoroughly enjoy it. After wolfing down my food and coffee, I ask for my bill. $11.24
12:35 p.m. – I leave the restaurant and walk to St. Peter’s Catholic Church, the less touristy Catholic church. On my walk there, I find some horses and carriages and take pictures of them. I get to the church and indeed, it is less touristy, smaller, and more beautiful than St. Stephen’s Cathedral but this is just me. 
12:45 p.m. – After spending 10 minutes in the church, I head out to Albertina Museum with no plans to go into the museum. I only want to go to the terrace for some pictures of the Mozart Café and the other views I can get from the terrace. I get there at exactly 1:00 p.m. and take some pictures of the views and ask someone to take me a picture on the steps. All beautiful shots.
1:1 p.m. – The day is still young and I decide to go to Schweizerhaus for a beer. Google says it's in a park, so I decide to combine drinking a beer and people watching. On my way to the train station, the rain gets heavier and I see a door with a lot of people inside listening to jazz music and I can feel the warmth, so I decide to wait out the rain there. As I enter the room, I realize what I saw from the outside was the entrance to a Music Museum called Haus der Musik. I wish I had budgeted some money to visit museums but I take advantage of my wait-time and explore the mini-exhibition of Austrian classical and contemporary artists in the entrance. At this point, I’m certain I will visit Vienna again, soon.
1:35 p.m. – As I walk into the train station, the smell of pastries waft into my nose and I decide to follow my heart (and nose)! After walking about 50 meters, I find a cafe called Anker and go in. I order something with a name I can’t remember but it looks like a giant cinnamon roll drizzled with sugary cream. After eating, I contemplate buying something to eat later but decide against. I head back to the train platforms soon after. $2.10
2:00 p.m. – I get to the Park where Schweizerhaus is and realize its located in the infamous park called Wurstelprater. I sight-see on my way to Schweizerhaus but the rain gets heavy again so I rush there.
2:20 p.m. – The waiter asks me if I want a beer without giving me a menu to choose from so I assume they offer a complimentary beer. He brings the menu and I see that I wanted a different type of beer but decide I won't order anything else. And then he brings my bill. First of all, I didn’t even like the taste of the beer he “forced” me to have to justify over $5 for a beer, but I am already too tired so I just pay and leave. $5.13
3:00 p.m. – I decide to walk around Prater’s park in the rain and I’m by the attractions. I almost pay $5.45 to go into the haunted house with zombies but I’m too scared to do it by myself. After walking around the park for 30 minutes, I go back to my Airbnb to continue watching Chesapeake Shores.
4:00 p.m. – I get home to find that J. is not home. Sweet! Now I have the apartment to myself for a while. I start packing my bag and admiring different wall paintings, pictures, and artsy items in the apartment I had not noticed before. The Airbnb owner definitely has an eye for collecting beautiful knick-knacks and I can imagine what her home must be like if her Airbnb is this tastefully furnished. I also loved how clean the entire apartment is.
15:30 p.m. – J. returns home and I’m on the couch watching Chesapeake Shores. We talk about our days and he brought back some chicken wings. I didn’t even know Burger King sold chicken wings in the region.
6:15 p.m. – I make us both a Jagermeister and grape juice cocktail to help us deal with the cold and retire to my room to keep watching Chesapeake Shores. I fall asleep after watching three episodes.
Daily Total: $18.47

Day Six 

4:00 a.m. – My alarm wakes me up and I hear J.’s snoring from my room. He said he was leaving the house at 5:00 a.m. so I decided to snooze for another 30 minutes.
4:30 a.m. – My alarm wakes me up this time and after brushing my teeth, I stay in the living room to apply to some jobs with Chesapeake Shores playing in the background.
5:00 a.m. – J. is finally awake and brushes his teeth to head to the airport. We say goodbye while he orders an Uber to the airport.
5:15 a.m. – J. is finally out of the apartment and I hope he doesn’t miss his flight that leaves at 6:30 a.m. He says he checked in online though.
7:30 a.m. – I jump into the shower as I plan to leave the house by 8:30 a.m. My flight is at 10:30 a.m. and I want to take the train to the airport.
8:45 a.m. – After sadly shutting the doors to the apartment, I rush to the train station. I wait for less than 10 minutes before the train gets here. I checked-in online so I don’t worry about paying to check-in online. Once beaten, twice shy!
9:30 a.m. – The train is still moving and I begin to panic that I won’t make my flight. In the connecting station, I decide to take an Uber instead.
09:42 a.m. – The Uber picks me up and five minutes into the ride, I realize that 10:30 a.m. is actually when boarding starts and my flight does not depart till 11:15 a.m. I curse myself silently for not understanding French.$16.22
10:30 a.m. – I'm finally at the airport and I profusely thank the Uber driver before I walk into the airport doors. Sigh! I attempt to rush through security to my boarding gate but the lines are long. Because of the public holiday in Europe today, the lines are longer than usual. Somehow, security finds a way to create an additional security point starting from me. Score! I get slightly delayed because of the shea butter cream I bought but since I already peeled off the part that shows how much ml it contains, they can’t tell it’s more than 100ml and let me go.
10:50 a.m. – I am at my gate and breeze through confirmation to the airplane.
10:56 a.m. – Finally in my seat and I'm out of breath. I was almost sure I would miss this flight so I’m thankful I don’t have to incur additional costs. After settling in my seat, I realize this is the first time I am returning from vacation with sadness. I really do not like France and this trip made me realize how much I want to move somewhere I can communicate in English most of the time. Is this what loneliness is like when one moves to a foreign country?
11:15 a.m. – The plane taxies off the runway and I say a silent prayer hoping that I will get a good job soon. I fall asleep soon after and only wake up when the flight attendant nudges me to put on my seat belt and prepare for landing in Nice.
1:10 p.m. – We land in Nice Aeroport and I’m still sad about returning to Nice. It is also very sunny and hot in Nice, which is a sharp contrast to the weather in Vienna. At the beginning of the school year, I bought a year-long transportation card that covers my transportation around Nice and it is still valid so I take the tram from the Airport. I switch to a bus after 20 minutes and the bus stops me right in front of my apartment.
2:00 p.m. – Finally home, hungry, and tired, I make some ramen noodles and eggs for lunch. Afterward, I have two glasses of wine while simultaneously applying for jobs before falling asleep at 6:30 p.m. Tomorrow is another day to continue my job hunt!
Daily Total: $16.22
How did you prepare for this trip?
Mostly Google Maps recommendations and a couple of recommendations from friends.
Do you have credit card debt as a result of booking this vacation? If so, how much?
No, all costs were paid with my debit card for my ticket and I withdrew cash from the ATM for other expenses.
Did you use credit card points/miles to pay for parts of this trip? If so, please explain further:
What was your favorite part of the trip? 
My favorite part was the Airbnb in Vienna. I wish we stayed longer in Vienna but we made our decisions based on Budapest being a party city and we wanted to spend a Friday there. If I could change things, I would have preferred to stay longer in Vienna than Budapest though.
What was the best meal or food you ate while you were there? 
The beef goulash and liver dumplings at Wein & Co. that was opposite the big cathedral in Vienna. I love german soups so I was not surprised.
When did you book your flights? Do you think you got a good deal?
I booked about two months in advance.
Is there a tourist trap you wish you had avoided?
Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna. It was too crowded and I didn’t enjoy the visit.
Would you stay at your Airbnb’s again? 
Yes, yes, yes! I loved both Airbnb’s and the one in Vienna has a special place in my heart. It was in a good location – close to bus stops and the train station. It was also very clean without having any antiseptic or bleach smells or over-powering air fresheners. 10/10 I would recommend it!
Is there anything you wished you had time to do but didn’t?
I wish I spent an extra couple of days in Vienna so I could take a day trip to Salzburg and visit the museums in Vienna. I will do this again soon.
Travel Diaries is meant to reflect individual women's experiences and does not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.

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