Since we left home almost 4 months ago, the questions I have received the most are:
- How much did you have to save for your trip?
- How much did your trip cost you?
- How much should I save if I want to go to Europe for X amount of time?
So I thought it was only fair that our first blog post should answer our most commonly asked question.
Before we start we wanted to give a quick overview of the destinations we visited in Europe, as it has a big influence on the overall budget:
Paris- Lisbon – Lagos and the Algarve – Alicante – Altea – Barcelona – Nice -Santorini – Paros – Milos – Athens and the Peloponnese region – Naples – Amalfi Coast – Puglia region – Split – Bol – Hvar – Dubrovnik – Milan – Venice – Cinque Terre – Florence – Rome
The most important thing to remember is that there are PLENTY of ways to travel through Europe and at the end of the day, how much you will spend depends entirely on your preferences and priorities. These are the major factors that will influence how much money you will spend (in our opinion):
Accomodation in Europe can vary from 20$ a night to over 1000$ per night! There are options ranging from dorm beds in a hostel, to Airbnb rentals all the way to luxury suites and apartments. We chose to save as much as we could on accommodation without entirely sacrificing our privacy and comfort. We chose to mostly stay in private rooms rented through Airbnb. We almost never had the entire apartment or home to ourselves, but we had all the space and privacy we needed and saved a lot of money by staying in homeshares. By doing this we spent on average around 70 canadian dollars per night throughout our Europe trip, considering some rooms costs us under 40$ per night, while others cost us closer to 100$ per night.
Transportation is another big factor because taxis are EXPENSIVE in Europe! A 10 minute ride can cost you 20-40 euros depending on the area you are in. So if you are taking them multiple times per day it adds up very quickly! We mostly walked and took metros and buses whenever necessary. Walking is a great way to more intimately experience your area while keeping you relatively active. Buses and metros in most cities are very affordable (between 1-3 euros per ride in general). Some cities even offer value passes which could be very helpful depending on what your plans are; for example, Barcelona offers a deal where you get 10 metro or bus passes for 10 euros. Another big aspect of transportation is how you are planning on getting from one city or country to another. Europe is great for this as there are options for every budget. You can fly between locations or use one of the many bus companies that get you there for a sliver of the price (hence why we did multiple 10-12 hour bus rides yaay). We recommend researching your options before you pick one to make sure the price-value ratio is the best for you. On average we estimate that for 2 people, we spent around 750$ per month on transportation including 5 inter-europe flights (and the montreal-paris flight), and the buses and taxis we took. A tip to help you save on flights in Europe is to travel with only carry-on luggage. The expense for checked baggage actually ends up doubling the price of your flight every time. We would have taken way more flights and avoided some of those long bus rides if we didn’t have to check-in our backpacks.
Now this third point, we learned the hard way. I (Bianca) love to eat out and was under the impression that to fully experience a city and enjoy everything it has to offer, we had to go out for dinner in the evening and try as many restaurants as possible. Well, let me tell you that the food expenses added up quite quickly. Limiting the frequency of restaurant dinners will make a big difference in your daily expenses! You can get groceries for the week with the amount of money that 3 dinners at restaurants will cost you for 2 people. To give you an idea, our daily budget for food and activities for 2 people was around 100$ Canadian dollars and it was much easier to uphold when we cooked our own meals.
In our case, we only spent 2 and a half months in Europe, but if we estimate based on our spendings:
70$ x 90 nights for accommodation: 6300$
750$ x 3 months for transportation: 2250$
100$ x 90 days for daily spendings: 9000$
That would come up to a total of 17 550$ for 2 people, for 3 months in Europe, in PEAK season! This number could be smaller if you travel outside of the summer months. It could also be smaller depending on the countries you visit. We definitely had some countries in our itinerary that were more expensive than others. It could also be smaller if you choose destinations closer together so your transportation expenses would be diminished. And of course, there are also MANY ways to make this number much, much larger!
We hope this was helpful in giving you an idea of what to expect when you plan a long trip through Europe!
If you have any further questions don’t hesitate to shoot us an email.
Lots of Love,
Ben and Bianca