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Questions?

Last updated June 09, 2014. 

 

How much is this going to cost me?

This is question everyone (with the possible exception of Bill Gates) wants to know. 


Pre-Trip Expenses:  The stuff you need before you step even a foot in Europe.

  • Backpack $85-???.  This is up to you, but I wouldn't pay more than $250. During my first trip to to Europe I used an Eagle Creek's Backcountry Guide pack (2800 cu. in. 14 x 20 x 10) for $100.  I liked this pack because it was small and compact and was very comfortable for a shorter person like me to carry (I'm 5'2"),  however it looked ridiculous on my dad and brothers, so if you are over 5'6" try a slightly larger pack.  During my last trip to Europe I used Eagle Creek Continental Journey, (4200 cu. in. 22" x 16" x 10") for US$175.  I highly recommend Eagle Creek backpacks. See my "Packing" page for  information on how to choose a backpack, some backpacks to consider, and places to buy backpacks.
  • Travel guide(s) $18-$50.  Go to my travel bookstore to read about some of available guides on the market.
  • Travel accessories $50-$150:  sleep-sheet ($18-$60 depending on whether you buy cotton or silk--or you can always sew an old double or queen sized sheet together), toiletry containers and/or bag ($10-$25--buy these at discount stores like Wal-Mart, Target, or K-mart), first-aid kit (you can make your own for almost nothing), sewing kit (make your own or buy a cheap one for $2-$5), utensils (knife, fork, spoon--essential if you plan to be doing a lot of "picnicking"), small flashlight ($5-$10), Paktowl ($10-$15) or an Aquis towel for ($25-$35), micro umbrella ($15-$20) or rain poncho/jacket ($5-$25), etc.  See my "Packing" page for more info.
     
  • ISIC Student, Youth, or Teacher Identity Card and/or valid student ID card
     
  • Travel in and around Europe using either bus or train depends on the length of your trip and the number of places you want to visit.  Traveling by bus for three months should cost about $600-$1000.  Train prices vary, but you can buy a decent rail pass for $400-$900 for travel in continental Europe, add another $200-$500 for travel throughout U.K. and Ireland).  See my  "Transportation"  page for more bus and train info.
  • Airline ticket $500-$900.  I used frequent flyer miles (50,000 pts) that my dad's American Express Card earned.  Explore your resources and you too may find a pleasant way to cut down your expenses.  See my "Transportation" page for more info.

Pre-Trip TOTAL:  US$800-US$2,500

You can bring this cost down by:  asking for some of these things for birthday, Christmas, or graduation presents (example:  I got my Swiss Army knife, my boots, and my guide books for my birthday; my backpack for Christmas; my plane ticket for graduation--saving me about $600-$750), using frequent flyer miles if you can, or begging your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, and/or strangers to donate money to the " Your Name Here--Europe or Bust Fund."

I'd like to give a special thanks to all my friends and relatives who contributed to my "fund." Their money was well spent!

Remember it is a nice gesture to send a postcard to everyone who contributed in making your trip possible.


On the Road Expenses: the cost of  traveling, eating, sleeping, & site-seeing while in Europe

I'm listing these expenses in Euros () now due to the crazy fluctuations of the US$. Go to xe.com to convert these cost estimates to your home currency.

  • Sleeping: Accommodations at hostels 15-35 per day  (prices tend to be at the higher end of this range in large cities like London and Paris, but considerably cheaper if you go to cities in Eastern Europe like Prague and Budapest). Also hostel prices are higher in the summer high season and lower in the off season. See my "Hostels, etc." page for more info.
  • Eating: Food 10-20 per day (this of course depends on how much, what, and where you eat).  Personally, I bought most of my food at grocery stores and limited myself to two meals a day (breakfast and a late lunch and occasionally a snack or two).  If you plan to do most of your eating in restaurants, then expect to pay a minimum of 25 per day (restaurants prices in Europe are outrageous!). See my "Hostel Life" page for more info.
  • Having Fun: Unless you plan to walk 20 miles a day, you'll probably be using local buses, subways, and/or renting bicycles to get to the attractions of the town you're visiting--once you get there you then have to fork over more money for entrance fees, etc. Cost depends on where you go and what you see, but you can expect to pay about 10-30 per day more or less depending on how extravagant you are. If you plan to do a lot of drinking this could easily double. 
On the Road Expenses TOTALS: 10 days=450-675

(These prices do not include Pre-Trip Total)

15 days=675-900
  30 days=1,350-1,800
  45 days=2,025-2,700
60 days=2,700-3,600
75 days=3,375-4,500
90 days=3,600-5,500

Remember this does not include your airline ticket and your other "Pre-Trip Expenses" because prices for those items can vary so drastically from one individual to another. 

One quick way to get a rough cost estimation  for your On the Road Expenses is to multiply the number of days of your trip by 50 If you want to provide a "safety net" in your budget, multiply the number of days of your trip by 60 or 10% of your total budget.

The prices I list are ESTIMATES, your trip could cost more or hopefully less. Good luck and happy travels!

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