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!