Myranda Bursey, Laura Hillier, and Cassidy Welsh know about vacationing on a budget. This year, as part of the international Red Bull “Can You Make It?” challenge, they handed over their cash, cards, and phones in exchange for 24 cans of Red Bull. From the starting line in Stockholm, Sweden, they had to make their way to Amsterdam, relying on Red Bull as their only form of currency.

“It was like a combination of The Amazing Race and Hunger Games,” said Team Biohazards, whose name is a nod to their shared history as Biology majors.

For your summertime enjoyment, here are Team Biohazard’s top tips for successful vacationing.

Tip #1:
Plan Your Overnight Accommodations in Advance

“Not having anywhere to sleep was the worst part of the entire competition,” they say.

“Lack of sleep really takes a toll on you. After a really rough day, we couldn’t score any accommodations and ended up pulling an all-nighter in McDonald’s in Hamburg, Germany. It was a Friday night, and everyone around us was drunk, this was definitely our worst day. We all agreed that McDonald’s was our safest location and somehow kept each other occupied until about 6 am. We then went to the checkpoint and then tried our luck to get the heck out.”

TIP #2:
pack Light, Pack Smart

On their adventure, using money meant disqualification. So, what were the most essential items in their inventory? CLIF Bars and dry shampoo. “We were never certain when we would be able to get food or accommodations next, so it was nice to know we always had an option for a snack and a half-ass fake shower if needed.”

TIP #3:
Capture the Memories (But Put Down Your Phone)

The teams were encouraged to update fans on their progress via a dedicated Red Bull app, so Team Biohazard has an incredible record of their travels. What advice do they have for capturing memories?

“We shared one phone,” says the team. “We still have loads of pictures and videos, but three of us were not attached to our phone like most trips. We were able to actually take in the surroundings and everything going on around us.”

TIP #4:
Keep It Breezy

“Planning every moment of real travelling isn’t necessary,” they say.

“We would wake up every day not knowing where we would be heading or where we may be sleeping, but it almost always worked out, even with no money. Local people and other kind tourists are willing to help. Do not stress too much about getting lost or needing help while travelling.”

TIP #5:
Be Kind to Tourists

Though they didn’t bring home the win, Team Biohazards learned a lesson in NL hospitality:

“Probably one of the most significant things we learned was to offer help more often back in our hometowns, especially to travelers and backpackers that we see around town, even if they do not ask for it…”

Check out Team Biohazard’s European vacation at