How much is this going
to cost me?
This is question everyone (with
the possible exception of Bill Gates) wants to know.
Expenses: The stuff you need before you step even a foot in Europe.
- Passport and pictures
US$145 ($110 for passport, $25 for execution fee for time passport
application, $10-15 for pictures). Make sure you do this
3 or more months before you go. Currently, due to high demand, passports in
the US are taking up to 10 weeks to be processed. A passport may be
obtained faster if you pay for expedited service ($60).
- 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
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.
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-$750),
using frequent flyer miles if you can, or begging your parents, grandparents, aunts,
uncles, cousins, neighbors, and/or strangers to donate money to the " Your Name
Here--Europe or Bust Fund."
I'd like to give a special thanks to all my
friends and relatives who contributed to my "fund." Their money was well
Remember it is a nice gesture to send a postcard
to everyone who contributed in making your trip possible.
On the Road
Expenses: the cost of traveling, eating, sleeping, & site-seeing while in
I'm listing these expenses in Euros (€) now due to the
crazy fluctuations of the US$. 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
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.
the Road Expenses TOTALS:
(These prices do not
include Pre-Trip Total)
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