European Budget for 28 days= $6,200USD
I’m planning about a year in advance so I’m sure that prices will go up. However, I need to have an idea of what my budget will be so I can have a savings goal to work toward. I like to use SmartyPig.com which is great for setting goals, sharing them with friends, and you can even redeem goals with certain vendors for an additional savings bump.
I broke my budget into lodging, food, entertainment, and transportation. Transportation is clearly my biggest expenditure, but if I can actually get a ticket from Venezuela at the unofficial rate, I could save a lot of money.
Lodging: Hostels/couchsurfing/camping (40E/night) = E1120/1540US
Food: I can cook twice a day at the hostel but I still love food and wine E30/day = 840E/1154US
Entertainment: Paris museum passes, fees for tourist sites, etc. E30/day= 840E/1154US
Transportation= about $2650 USD or $1410 if I get the amazing rate from CCS.
RT PDX to Paris $1250 maybe I can book CCS to CDG for $260 US (w/parallel dollar rate)
Budapest to Istanbul $130 US
Istanbul to Athens $81 US
Athens to Venice $144 US
Venice to Paris $66 US
Paris to Amsterdam (Thalys train 3hrs, 35E, www.b-europe.com) 48US
Amsterdam to Berlin (39E, www.bahn.de) 54US
Berlin to Prague €29. Book online at the German Railways website www.bahn.de. South of Dresden, the trains run along the scenic Elbe valley, make sure you grab a unreserved seat on the left hand side of the train for the best river views. 40US
Prague to Budapest Air-conditioned EuroCity trains link Prague Hlavni and Budapest Keleti several times each day, journey time 6h56. You can book these trains at the Czech Railways website http://www.cd.cz/eshop with cheap prices from just €19 (around 500 Czech Koruna). http://www.seat61.com/international-trains/trains-from-Prague.htm#Prague-Budapest. 26US
E10/day = 280E/385US
When I add up all of my estimates above I get $6183USD (or $5193 with the cheap airfare that I may or may not be able to get from Venezuela)! Gross! As someone who has lived and traveled in Asia and South America for the past few years, this amount of money is just obscene!
I hope to lower the cost of lodgings by half by finding various couches to sleep on in the big cities and cheap dorm beds whenever I can’t Couchsurf. That would bring my total down to $5728. (If you are reading this, you live in one of the cities I’m visiting, and want to host an international teacher like myself LET ME KNOW!)
I also think the food allowance I am giving myself is very generous because I enjoy cooking, shopping at local markets, and eating street food. I think an average of 20E (27US) a day is more realistic which would bring my total food cost to $756.
I am a little worried about my entertainment budget. I know I wont go to tons of museums everyday, but I haven’t done a lot of research to see how much it will really cost.
While I will create a savings goal of $6200US, I think I will spend closer to $5000 or maybe less. I am just nerdy enough that I actually plan on keeping a travel journal and seeing how close to my budget I can stay during my trip.
Help me! Do you see spots in my budget where I can save money? Do you have hostels or other lodging you can recommend? Is there something I forgot to add? Please comment below!
So first off, hi, I love your blog! 🙂 Looking at the European flights you’ve got down (particularly Venice-London) and I’m sure you could get them much cheaper if you check nearer to your trip! I lived in Italy last year and was forever flying back and for to the UK – never paying any more than €30 (€60 including one 23kg luggage). The lowest price I paid was €15 from Milan – Birmingham, but flying from Bologna – London was almost the same, as was Venice – Bristol.
Hi Bristol! Thanks for visiting the blog! I hope you are right about finding cheaper airfare closer to my departure date. About how long before I am due to fly, do you think I should purchase my European flights? I think I will cut out London entirely because lodging is so expensive…and I would rather spend my time elsewhere! I think I will be flying in and out of Paris instead. Any other Europe tips you can give me?
The equivalent of that in pounds lasted me 2 months. And i lived quite nicely 🙂 so you’ll be living like a royal! Have fun
Thanks for visiting the blog! I am happy to hear to hear that my budget should work! Can you name any particular hostels to stay at and mention the ways you managed to stretch your budget so well?
Hey there! I’m headed to Europe TOMORROW! And…I haven’t even packed…uh oh! Anyway, I’ll let you know what I spend. I’ll be there 21 days. London, Athens, Paros, Rome, Edinburgh, and Dublin. 🙂
I can’t wait to hear all about it! Are you going to be traveling carry on only and flying a lot? I’m worried about baggage restrictions for carry ons.
Hello! I think it is great you are planning ahead. That’s the best way to stay in your budget! I studied in Athens for a semester two years ago and spent time in many of the places you are traveling to.
One suggestion I have is take overnight trains to places you are going. You will wake up in your next city, and have one less hostel to pay for, I did this going from Prague to Budapest. They have sleeper cars that are only a few dollars more, I think it was about $25 US for the train trip.
When I went from Athens to Italy, I flew into Milan and then took the train to Venice. I don’t remember the exact prices, but I remember it was half the price of flying straight to Venice, of course this adds time to your travels.
In Prague, I recommend Miss Sophie’s. It’s a great hostel (about $10 per night) Super clean, and the staff were helpful.
In Athens DON’T stay in Omonia. It’s an interesting place to visit during the daytime and very close to the center of Athens, but there is a reason the hotels are so cheap.
Istanbul isn’t very expensive. All mosques are free to enter as long as you are dressed modestly. Haga Sophia is probably the most expensive tourist attraction at 25 TL, which right now is about $12. You can find a food bazaar and cook some great dishes for just a few dollars. If you stay at a hostel with a friendly staff, they will probably even help you cook some traditional Turkish foods. Turkish people are very friendly and love to share their food. Get ready to drink tons and tons of tea!
Here is more of what I learned from traveling to these places: http://lifegoneexpat.wordpress.com/past-adventures/
Happy safe travels!
Hi Chelsea! Thanks so much for your tips!
I did read about the overnight sleeper train from Prague to Budapest, but it seems like my Eastern Europe portion of the trip has the cheapest lodging options so I wasn’t so worried. The other train trips are all too short for sleeper trains.
I am most interested in checking out what you said about Milan. Perhaps that would give me a chance to check out the city for a couple of hours. I’m not to excited to see Milan, but if I’m going to be in the neighborhood, then why not?! However, since I am budgeting about a year in advance, I’m more worried about time than $50…but if it really is half the cost, then it is worth it!
I will definitely be checking out your blog. Thanks again!
I think you’ll spend a lot less than you are budgeting for accomodation, in reality! In the big cities, hostels will probably be quite pricey (Paris, Budapest etc.) but smaller cities are a lot cheaper. Are you just planning on visiting the places you mentioned in this post?
If you consider more of eastern Europe like Latvia, Poland etc you could get hostel beds for about $10 a night! Even a city like Stockholm, which is well-known as one of the most expensive European cities, cost €30 a night!
Having said that, it is always good to over-budget (I know I am for my summer travel plans!) as you have the sense of security AND can splash out on occasion too 🙂
I had that budget for me and my daughter for 5 weeks in Europe and Africa. I’m sure you will be fine (we definitely weren’t slumming it in anyway).
Thanks! I’m happy to hear it. I would love to hear of any hostel or cheap motels/B&Bs you can suggest.
Pingback: Update on my 31X31 Travel Goal | Teaching Wanderlust·
Pingback: Most Popular Posts from Teaching Wanderlust | Teaching Wanderlust·