This summer made me a Delta gypsy and prone to impulse traveling on whim. First it was Rome, then Budapest, then Berlin, then back in the states for a whirl at Saint Petersburg, Atlanta, Asheville, and Nashville. With my first transatlantic flight at two and nine trips to Europe under my belt, I’m an airport addict.

However, my previous trips were usually planned with every hotel room, rental car, and tourist destination mapped beforehand. This summer, I threw TripAdvisor out the window and grabbed only my camera and a map. I didn’t plan, I didn’t worry, and I had an incredible time.

For when you want to Jack Kerouac-it and be spontaneous, here are a few tips on how to impulse travel on a budget and still have basic amenities.

Master Public Transportation

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Mackenzie Patel

Why pay for a 12 euro Uber when a metro ticket costs 3 euros roundtrip? I know all the squiggly lines – red, blue, yellow, or green – look scary, especially when the titles are in a foreign language. However, mastering public transportation (i.e. metros, trains, and ferries) will leave your bank account happy.

Also, public transportation in all its sweaty, crowded glory is a tourist attraction in itself – it allows you to study another culture without the tour bus and kitschiness.

Hit Up The Local Grocery Stores

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Mackenzie Hollis

Eating fancy lunches and dinners ads up. Ditch the menus and “gratuity added” and explore local grocery stores. Bread & cheese sandwiches are dirt cheap – and delicious with a bottle of Becks and a Pick Up bar.

In Berlin, I spent 3 euros per day on a breakfast of yogurt, an apple, and Nutella bread, as opposed to the 12 euros the hotel charged. Grocery stores also have inexpensive, unique souvenirs. Don’t know what to get your mom or dad? Buy a 12 pack of Kinder Chocolates (around 4 euros) and call it a day.

Ditch The Tour Bus and Explore

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Mackenzie Patel

Especially for younger people, guided tours are synonymous with limited freedom, expensive dinners, and recorded history on a Greyhound. Forget the cheap, plastic earbuds and explore the city yourself. TripAdvisor and travel bloggers are modern tour guides – and they’re free.

Hit up the library for history books, join a few location-specific groups on Facebook, or download Couchsurfing. Traveling is only expensive when it’s organized, so crumble the itinerary and lace up those sneakers.

Use Price Comparison Websites Wisely

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Mackenzie Patel

Airfare is the most expensive part of traveling, so be coupon savvy and look for the best deals. Use sites like Kayak, Expedia, and Skyscanner to find an inexpensive fare. Coach is queen, so save the money and deal with limited leg room - take a few Nyquil’s and space won’t even matter.

Lowest fares also apply to trains and metro cards; in Italy, I figured out the cheapest routes from Rome to Assisi using the Italia Rail site. It takes time, but who said impulse traveling was easy?

Who Needs Souvenirs?

Mackenzie Patel

Don’t spend money on garish aprons or plastic statues that will collect dust. Take photographs – and thousands of them. They are free, digital souvenirs, and their Facebook likes will make you happier than paper fans from Spain. I find that memories are more poignant than objects, so compose, shoot, and distribute. Ever consider creating a travel website?

Don’t Underestimate Free Wi-Fi

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Mackenzie Patel

I traveled throughout Europe all of May and didn’t have cellular service – Wi-Fi was my only communication with the outside world. I was too cheap to pay for the minutes and reasoned It’s 2017; Wi-Fi is practically a human right.

All of my hotels had internet, so I never went a day without scrolling the feeds of Instagram, Facebook, or Gmail. I didn’t spend a penny, and I had a good excuse for not being constantly connected with my Florida world.

Reach Out To Locals Through Social Media

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Mackenzie Patel

If socializing is your peanut butter & jelly, hit up local Facebook groups to find a personal tour guide. For my Berlin photojournalism project, I found an American opera singer living in Berlin – she was fantastic.

She showed me around Hackescher Markt, brought me to corner coffee shops, and opened her apartment to me. I even photographed an opera rehearsal in an ultrachic, antique apartment in the West. All of these interactions (and free tours) happened because of social media.

As a restless college girl, I’m a recipe for impulsive disaster. I want an Ancient Roman tattoo one week, a weekend trip to Nashville the next. Especially now, I feel like my future is a mess, travel plans included. Hopefully these tips will help you pack a bag for cheap – my best adventures are always one dollar sign.