Maths Nerd applied to Euro trip 2019 – the cost of my month travelling Europe

I could do endless posts on photos of my month in Europe. But instead, I want to publish my costs. We all have our things… when I’m feeling uncertain or bored; or when I’m looking for a fun project, I often come back to the barre spreadsheet (I’m only a ballet dancer in my head).

All mine in Santorini

So since the start of 2018, I’ve been tracking daily expenses in a ASIC app. It was likely a strategy to get more comfortable with contracting, potentially changing jobs and salary etc etc. So when I was in Europe in May this year, I continued the habit but in a spreadsheet to manage different currencies.

Cute huts that slept two for my overnight tour to Plitvice Lakes National Park

Let me lay it out – who knows, someone might find it helpful?

Total nights away: 31 (hyperlinks to where I stayed, I don’t earn anything for the recommendations)

Budapest hostel – my original bed. I opted for a change – upper bunk with a curtain and storage box at the foot of the bed. Perhaps a mistake, given I got bed bugs

As you can see I move around the types of accommodation, both for an budget perspective but also a socialisation side. I am so pleased I went extra luxe in Santorini – not that I know what cheap options existed! I ended up arriving at 4am off a long ferry trip, and left at 6am on another morning. So it was nice to have somewhere entirely to myself – not worry about waking anyone. I had breakfast delivered three mornings, so tasty and healthy. I only moved locations in Budapest due to bed bug bites – so I found an AirBnB near the airport as I had an early flight.

Back to privacy in my AirBnB in Naples with ensuite bathroom.

My accommodation costs are on par with my transport costs, which included a flight from Sydney to Athens via Singapore, and departing from Paris. One leg of the four was on Scoot which is a budget carrier.

WhatHowCost (AUD)
Sydney to Athens/
Paris to Sydney
Athens to SantoriniFerry$62.67
Santorini to BudapestFlight$192.84
Budapest to NaplesFlight$212
Naples to BariCoach$18
Bari to DubrovnikFerry$269
Dubrovnik to MakarskaCoach$22.37
Busabout overnight tourCoach$289
Split to Frankfurt flight cancelledFlight$217.23
Split to Luton*Flight$156.19
Heathrow to Frankfurt*Flight$321.99
Frankfurt to HeathrowFlight$178.30
London to ParisTrain$155.22
No wonder I paid SO MUCH, my overnight ferry room was four berths!!

I passed customs and immigration for my Split to Frankfurt flight, and THEN it was cancelled. I wasn’t keen to wait endlessly in a long line for alternative arrangements, so booked a flight to London, knowing I could crash with my brother. It did then cost a considerable amount more to resume the planned itinerary from Frankfurt. I had a friend who I love dearly who lives in Heidelberg, near Frankfurt. And she’s on maternity leave, whereas my brother and his GF were at work. It also costs a LOT to fly out of Heathrow; but it’s the closest airport to my brother. I do expect to get the costs of the cancelled flight reimbursed, and given accommodation was free in both locations, I’m not too fussed.

Hostel in Dubrovnik – only one in a HUGE four bedded dorm in a tiny hostel.

What did I spend eating and taking tours and local transport?

CountryTotal spent AU$NightsAverage cost per day
DAILY AVERAGE$ 102.23 TOTAL$ 3,169.21

*technically 6, one night was on a ferry between Italy and Croatia

In England, I ate from my brother’s pantry and occasionally paid for meals for the three of us. We took turns. In Germany, I am spoilt rotten by my friend, and we largely eat at home for two out of three meals. I did buy two pair of shoes, and paid for some incidentals when my friend was distracted by her darling daughter! But my tracking lapsed!

A legit single room in Wales
My brother and his GF got a double room, and this was their view. I was on the other side of the building – the wind turbines were AMAZING

So the total costs:

Accomodation + Transport + Spending =

3,244.99 + 3,469.06 + 3,169.21 = $9,883.26

Undoubtedly, I could have eaten less (my waist band tells me that!). Places like Wales and Greece, I certainly could have stayed in cheaper places. And I flew a lot of places, whereas with a better coordinated itinerary, I might have used less fuel intense travel options. I did find much of my scattered travelling came about as the planned routes or flights weren’t running as it wasn’t yet ‘high season’ of summer. Live and learn.

Ah Parisian roof tops, be still my heart

Interestingly, I don’t set budgets for holidays, but just try to do things as I usually would – the occasional splurge but usually toe a restrained line. I did noticed in late 2018, my annual budget had a $6,000 line item for travel :/ And that would include interstate travel for weddings or other family events. So yeah, I was a little off the mark there!!

Do you budget for holidays? How do you work out how much to set as a limit – is it based on your savings, or on what others advise a destination costs?

5 Replies to “Maths Nerd applied to Euro trip 2019 – the cost of my month travelling Europe”

  1. This is the most awesome post!!! I *love* it. I don’t have the foggiest clue what my own costs of going to Europe were (most recently, 2016-17 for 6 weeks on a school trip, then a trip in 2014 with the whole family for 4 weeks.) So I’m relieved to have your excellent costs as a guideline!

    I love the links and will peek into them to see what types of accommodation were available for this budget. Also love the idea of using an ASIC app for spending tracking while away! I should try that out for my New Zealand trip. I always struggle to keep any kind of handle on the cost of incidentals and food.

    We don’t necessarily budget for holidays, but we don’t use credit either. We adapt as we go to what we have in savings. We tend to just prioritise our “must do” items, book that, then spend “whatever is left” as best we can.

    I really like this post. I’m tempted to go back to my 6 weeks in France – which was (scarily) all tracked on Google Maps, right down to the last supermarket or stroll – so I can reconstruct places I stayed in to review my accommodation costs.

    Great job, Sarah. It must have taken a lot of work to track and list this!

    1. This bizarre thing is how interested and engaged I was doing this – like totally in the ‘flow’!! The wheels fell off a little when with my friend and brother (with respects to tracking, spend didn’t go nuts).

      I recall my first trip as a newly minted professional – to the US with Cuba, Bahamas and Canada thrown in. Money wasn’t as freely flowing then, and in the year prior I’d struggled to save to buy my scooter for example. So I know how tricky it can be plan what things will cost.

      When I lived in France, I remember meeting a guy in Prague when travelling who paid ticket entry over food. I was aghast – food IS part of the culture to me, and I’d skip entry to a place I was only sorta interested in for a tasty meal, for sure!

  2. I love this post, too! I felt you got very good value on your trip. Under $10,000 for 31 nights sounds reasonable to me! Europe on $319/day, LOL 🙂

    I budget for my annual trips to Toronto and London. Since we go to both so often, I know what the costs are like so it’s easier to plan. I do set limits based on savings.

    This year’s Cuba trip was unbudgeted and I’ll spend the rest of the year making up for it – but at least, no debt! That trip happened when my brother invited us to accompany him, and he’d already purchased a package deal, so we bought the same one. It was not economical and I would do my own research and make my own choices next time. No regrets, though!

  3. Amazing level of exactitude. I’m not budgeting. But don’t think we will spend too much.

    Bed bugs!!! Yuck. I have only encountered them once. In NZ and was worried they would turn up in my luggage

    1. I think I was in the habit of daily spend tracking in Sydney, so it just continued? I also love a spreadsheet!!

      It also helped me look at my unemployment costs and then remove the large discretionary item: travel!!

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