Going out to the bars when studying abroad has always been a huge part of my study abroad experience. Not only do you get to better know the peers in your program and meet locals, but you get a sense of the country’s nightlife culture. However, going out to bars every night tends to become expensive.
I’ve found a few tricks to save a couple of bucks while still enjoying the night out. Below is my 5 step plan to save money while still going out.
This usually goes without saying. Grab your buddies and get a couple of drinks in before heading out to the bars. Making drinks at home or buying a rack of beers from the supermarket will always be cheaper than whats offered at the bar.
Extra tip: Grocery store liquor brands are not that bad and half the price.
2. Preplan how much you choose to spend
When going out, I brought only 3 things with me: My ID, a credit card (for emergencies only), and only the amount of cash I was willing to spend that night. I would never open a tab at the bar. Instead I would use only cash. Once the cash was up, I was done buying myself drinks for the night.
Don’t forget: Allocate enough cash to get yourself back home at the end of the night if you’re riding a cab.
3. Drink what’s local
Not only will this save you money, but it will also get you a taste of what the country has to offer. When in Rome, do as a the Romans do. When in Ireland, drink Guinness.
Extra tip: Ask for the well liquor or the house wines, those will always come cheaper as well.
4. Don’t get that last extra drink that you don’t need
We’ve all done it and you know what I’m talking about. This is a piece of advice I discovered halfway into my study abroad period that not only saved my wallet, but saved me from stupid mistakes and unnecessary hangovers. More often than not, you don’t need that last extra drink!! Just put the wallet away because that last drink won’t make a difference.
5. Have food ready at home
I’m all about late night snacking, but don’t forget the price of those street kebabs adds up! Instead, have something ready for yourself at home. My personal favorite is having a couple of frozen pizzas handy. Just pop them in the oven and it’s good to feed you and your drunkass friends!