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Average weekly expenses estimate: meals, gas, and tolls

Average weekly expenses estimate: meals, gas, and tolls

Sep 17th, 2010, 07:21 AM
  #1  
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Average weekly expenses estimate: meals, gas, and tolls

Does anyone have any idea of how much spending money (cash) I might need? Also, I would like to know about how much I can expect to spend on a weekly basis for the following: Meals (3 adults, 2 kids), gas, and tolls (crossing from Germany to south of France through Switzerland, then heading to Paris).

Any input/advice will be greatly appreciated.
maythefal is offline  
Sep 17th, 2010, 07:55 AM
  #2  
 
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No one can answer these types of questions with substantive information. Who really knows what type of restaurant you like or what you are most likely to order for dinner other than you yourself?

Gas and tolls however can be accurately estimated by using one of the following road planning tools:

http://www.viamichelin.com
http://www.mappy.com
Sarastro is offline  
Sep 17th, 2010, 08:14 AM
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The cost of food varies greatly depending on whether you will be staying in hotels where you need to eat all meals out or staying in apartments where you can buy food in the supermarket or street market and eat in. Costs also depend on city vs. suburb/small town living. Restaurants are usually more expensive in cities. You haven't said where you're staying.

You also mention "meals" but you need to factor in the cost of snacks and beverages which can really add up for 5 people.

The amount of food (and cost) is also dependent on your childrens' ages. Teens will consume lots of food. If you have toddler, infant, adult children then the food consumption/cost will be less.

I would budget $50 to $75 per person per day and not exceed that but hopefully come in under budget. But you see how wide the range of food budget can be.

Please tell me that you're not bringing cash with you? Use your ATM card to get local currency as you need it.
adrienne is offline  
Sep 17th, 2010, 08:33 AM
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Face FACTS: the cost of FOOD alone depends on HOW MUCH YOU EAT
Dukey1 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2010, 09:12 AM
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Meals can be as cheap or as expensive as you want them to be.
kerouac is offline  
Sep 17th, 2010, 09:56 AM
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As far as spending money (cash) goes, if you mean how much cash do you need to bring from home to Germany, the answer is very little. Bank ATMs are the best way to go after you arrive in Germany.
Paul1950 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2010, 10:06 AM
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I think the OP is just using cash to mean spending money, but obviously, can can charge all kinds of things to a CC if you want (like meals, gas, etc.). SO I don't know.

I think there is a lower limit, of course, as to spending to be eating anything at all, I'm sure you could not survive on less than $10 per person per day food costs. I think most people even if being very frugal would spend at least $20 per person per day, on average, so $100 for a family of five. That is only for food, though. that is being very thrifty, however, and eating almost nothing expensive, such as meat,(as it is now only about 15 euro a day), and drinking only tap water. Which they don't like much in Germany, actually, as must as they claim to be so environmentally conscious, I think they are one of th eworst countries in terms of trying to force you to buy bottled water in retaurants even if you don't want it.
Christina is online now  
Sep 17th, 2010, 10:46 AM
  #8  
J62
 
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Here's my experience, mostly in Germany and Italy for each of the 4 main meals per day.

Meals.
Breakfast
if at hotel, price ranges from free to 15 euros per person, depending on the hotel and room rate.
if on my own, in room. 2-3 euros per person, per day
if out & about at cafe or grab & go, 3-4 euros per person, per day.

Lunch
if at restaurant, 10-15 euros per person, per day
if fast food, 5-6 euros per person, per day
if picnic, 3-4 euros per person, per day.

Dinner:
if at restaurant, 15-20 euros per person, per day
if street food, takeout, or fast food, 5-10 euros per person, per day
if cook in (apartment), 3-8 euros per person, per day.

Gelato:
2-3 euros per person, per day, every day.

besides these 4 essential meals, you also need to include money for snacks and drinks. If you use refillable water bottles then drinks are close to 0.
J62 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2010, 10:53 AM
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J62 - I like your idea of meals I think we will have a 4th meal while we are in France to be a pastry of some sort.
trvlgirlmq is offline  
Sep 17th, 2010, 02:33 PM
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My web page at http://tinyurl.com/2ccyjn3 probably has more than you'll ever want to know about the cost of travel in Europe. Those meal costs are for a single geezer who likes to eat and drink.
spaarne is offline  
Sep 17th, 2010, 04:32 PM
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The ages if your kids is key. If there are any boys from 14 or so up they will probably east as much as the rest of the family put together.

Also, soft drinks are very expensive. There are no free refills as you find in some family places in the US - and drinks are typically very small - not a tall glass. So with 3 kids you could easily go through 15 soft drinks a day at 3 euros each - 45 euros or about $60 - never mind ice creams or other snacks in the street.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 18th, 2010, 06:50 AM
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That's one of the things I like so much about Europe... in most places beer and wine is cheaper than pop!
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Sep 18th, 2010, 11:25 AM
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It seems to me that in most places in Europe, beer and wine cost about the same as soda pop, they are always around 3-5 euro per drink (in cafes, etc.), all of them. I know in France, all of these are about the same price. YOu can spend less on soft drinks if you buy them out of vending machines or something like that (or grocery stores that have some they keep cold). That is fairly easy to do in an urban area. It is more expensive having them in any sit-down restaurant/cafe, of course, as you are paying their overhead and for the real estate of sitting there, which is only fair. They can be expensive at street vendors, also, sort of in-between the cost of a grocery store/vending machine and a cafe.
Christina is online now  
Sep 18th, 2010, 01:22 PM
  #14  
 
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>soft drinks are very expensive
Not in Germany, cheaper or same as in the US, except cans are expensive and Coke costs more than Pepsi. Coke has gone up in price recently but will go down again the closer it gets to christmas . "No name" soda is dirt cheap, but who drinks that stuff anyway? In restaurants of course Coke and Pepsi are more expensive.

>no free refills
McDonalds and Subway in Germany have free refills except for most frequented places like train stations. The machine do not dispense ice but only the real concentrated stuff. No idea about Burger King.
Real restaurants don't have free refills ;-)
logos999 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 08:52 AM
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Switzerland is just plain expensive. Even for fast food. Even for food from Migros (grocery store). Even in local Ma & Pa cafes. I'm not sure what to budget for a family (since I'm a single person) but I definitely do not think you can do it on $10usd pp. Maybe $25 minimum?
suze is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 12:41 PM
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Switzerland IS just plain expensive!! Here now and thought I knew it was "expensive" but I am surprised at how much more expensive than my midwest home it is!

Ok - so we stopped at McDonalds (Please no flaming - it was easy and convenient) on our way out of Montreaux because we needed a quick dinner as we made our way up to Bern. A Big Mac meal with soft drink and fries was 11.30 CHF and CHF is pretty much on par with the US dollar right now. That is about twice as much as is charged in the midwest US for the same meal. I think prices here are 60-90% more here for grocery and restaurant food than at home. I am going with the flow and having a ball but to avoid sticker shock just be aware it is expensive here.
HappyCheesehead is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 12:49 PM
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Now who is buying all those francs? The $ and the € are in free fall against the swiss franc. Every day, the exchange rate is worse than the day before. Panic!

Many people in central/eastern Europe have their home mortgages in swiss francs instead of their local currency. Ask those home"owners" in Hungary or Poland how the like it now. And all this to enjoy the low rates on mortgages, denominated in Swiss francs.

It will not get better soon.
logos999 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 02:33 PM
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Now who is buying all those francs?

That would be Tim Geitner. He's got all that stimulus cash burning a hole in his pocket.
spaarne is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 10:07 AM
  #19  
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I don't know how to thank each and everyone of you for your responses. It's our first trip, and we're nervous. But not only have you supplied information, you have made me laugh with some of these responses. Thanks so much. And I think I'll budget about $25-30 per person per day. We don't eat that much, and we can go longer between meals with a small snack. My kids are young, but they really are not fussy.
maythefal is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 10:37 AM
  #20  
 
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You're most welcome. I think the $25-30 pp sounds just fine. Switzerland is a fabulous place to visit (so please don't let my comments about food costs scare you off). I LOVE it there!
suze is offline  

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