Europe is… Expensive. I mean, it is no more expensive then living in the United States, but in terms of long-term travel where we will not be making any money, it was not the cheapest destination we could have chosen. However, it is my dream. My history loving, foodie dream. And we saved, and scrimped, and worked for 30+ hours while being full time students, to make this dream of mine a reality. But how much will it actually cost? Well, the answer for Europe seems to depend completely on location in Europe and season. Western Europe is FAR more expensive than Central and Eastern Europe. March in Italy will be FAR cheaper than July in London. We are keeping costs down some by traveling mostly in a “shoulder” season (Spring), cooking many of our meals and walking A LOT.
We will be staying primarily in Airbnb’s, with some hostels mixed in. Airbnb is this AMAZING website where people all over the world can rent out rooms in their homes or apartments or their entire homes and apartments. It costs more than CouchSurfing (obviously) but costs about the same as a hostel for two people. Additionally, we will be staying with locals, which I hope will help us feel more like visitors and less like tourists.
We are not getting a Eurail Pass, as it did not make sense for our destinations on this trip. For example, Croatia is part of the pass, but does not have a large train system, so the pass would essentially useless there. Poland and England are not part of the pass. Bavaria has its own pass. Italy is highly connected by local trains and buses. Point being, it didn’t make sense, it is expensive, and we are only taking a few trains longer than a few hours. It is a great value for those going from major city to major city, staying primarily Western Europe, taking long distance trains or those who are more flexible than me (what can I say, I know what I want.)
So… to the numbers. These are our estimates for what we will be spending per country. We separated our trip into two categories: Central Europe and Western Europe. These amounts are for both of us. We have an advantage in traveling together because we are paying per bed with Airbnb, instead of per person, and we will be able to share many meals.
Central Europe: 100 euros/ day (~$140/ day)
Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, *Spain, *Morocco
Western Europe: 140 euros/ day (~$190/ day)
Italy, Germany, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, England, Scotland
*I know that Spain and Morocco are not in Central Europe, but they fall in this budget category.
We have not booked any of our transportation with the exception of our flights in and out of Europe ($2,362 for both), a flight from Cologne, Germany to Barcelona, Spain ($206 for both) and another flight from Marrakech, Morocco to Paris, France ($190 for both). We may start booking trains ahead once we get to Europe.
When we get home we will break it down country by country.