Ok, first of all, I'm not really a cheapskate. I don't buy 88-cent crepe paper toilet paper, nor is my freezer stocked with Tombstone pizzas. I still have my dignity. So for dignity's sake, let's call me thrifty.
This is where my thrifty ways cost me my sanity.
I thought I was being clever buying a plane ticket to Paris instead of directly to Romania. It was about a $500 difference. I figured I could hop on a cheap inter-Europe flight, ride a train, or even hitch hike on the back of a gypsy wagon to get to my final destination.
It sounded so simple in my head.
This is what my travel plan looked like. Beware: you'll feel like you're on drugs.
1. Plane: LAX to Munich to Paris--13 hours
2. Sleep in Paris airport (total hobo status)--6 hours
3. Take a cab in the morning to train station
4. Train: Paris to Munich--6 hours (yessss, I went BACK to Munich. I tried to convince the airline to let me just stay there the first time, but they said if I messed with my flight plan, the return ticket would be void)
5. 3 1/2 amazing days in Munich with my amazing friend Sara! (The only perk of this wack journey)
6. Train: Munich to Budapest--9 hours
7. I arrived in some no-name train station in the middle of nowhere, so I took a bus AND a cab all over this godforsaken city to find a train station with trains to Romania.
8. Wait in train station like a bum--3 hours
9. Train: Budapest to Cluj--9.5 hours
10. Cherry on top: that final train ride was hotter than Hell. I have never been so completely doused in sweat in my entire life.
Moral of the story: just spend the extra $500.