Thursday, August 20, 2009

Euro Trip - All about the Expenses

As promised I'm posting the details of the expenses on 50 day Euro trip by category. I would have loved to find something like this while planning my trip and thus decidde to record, consolidate and post these details. I hope this helps others plan their trips.

My total expenses for the trip were Euro 3,635 over 50 days all inclusive. I'd say that we were careful with our money but not too stingy. We did save a lot on food and hardly ate any expensive meals. I didn't do any shopping other than souvenirs. Still, its possible to do this on much smaller budget. Eastern Europe is especially great value for your money!

Here are the details below:

Northern Europe includes Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Denmark
Eastern Europe includes Poland, Czech republic, Hungary and Austria
Southern Europe includes Italy and Greece


1. Make sure to book your flight tickets early
2. Optimise your Euro rail pass. It helps a lot in Northern Europe but some of the Eastern European countries are not included. To save money you could book a pass with lower travel days and pay on the go for one or two trains in Eastern Europe
3. Train reservations cost about 5-10 Euros per reservation and are mandatory on most trains
4. While booking Hostel look out for ones with good kitchens; will help you save money on dinner
5. Be careful about cleanliness while picking hostels. Sometimes you'll pay a premium for Hostel fun and culture but in our experience it was always worth it
6. If you like to go out and have fun, definitely don't restrict yourself. Its better to buy few beers at groceries and have them to start of your night and save $$
7. If you are student, make sure that you get an international student id which costs about $24. It saved us over 50 Euros each. Especially useful on longer trips
8. Be aware of the transaction fees charged by your cards. Always use your debit card to withdraw cash. Pay by cash everywhere. The exchange rate and fees on credit card is a rip off
9. On Inter-city transport Euro Rail is worth it for longer trips. For short trips consider your alternatives such as the bus and sub-urban trains and not using your EU rail pass
10. For Iintra-city travel figure out whether you can cover city on foot or you need to take the metro. If latter, how often. Sometimes its better to buy individual tickets and other times a day pass, multiday pass or group passes. Ask at the Hostel about this the day you arrive.
11. Evaluate howmany museums/sites you are going to visit and whether a pass is better than individual entry. You get great discounts as a student under the age of 26. If thats available to you make sur enot to miss it.

I'll add other thoughts as and when I remember

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