Daily Spending Budget

May 18th, 2010, 10:53 AM
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Daily Spending Budget

I am going with a college travel company next summer to Western Europe for 25 days and want to start planning my daily spending budget (so I can start saving up.)

Breakfast is paid for already, but all other meals/drinks are up to me to pay for. I want to have maybe a few nice meals, but mostly just smaller meals/snacks. I do, however, plan on drinking a lot of alcohol and want to know how much I should plan on spending each day on food and drink.

The trip cost already includes transportation to each city and lots of tours/entrance fees to sights. How much should I expect to spend on sightseeing?

What about souvenirs?
What would be a good daily budget for a moderate eater, heavy drinker, heavy sightseer, and moderate souvenir buyer?

lalalacheesejah is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 10:58 AM
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Love this post

What was your name before you've re-registered?
Dayenu is online now  
May 18th, 2010, 11:02 AM
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How can anyone give you good responses if you don't tell us where you are going. Expenses vary according to to the countries you'll visit and vary if your are in cities or in small towns. Western Europe covers a tremendous territory.

Will you be drinking in cafes or buying wine in supermarkets and drinking in your room?

My guess is 75 euro a day.
adrienne is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 11:03 AM
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If you go to clubs and buy cocktails then make it 150 euro/day.
adrienne is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 11:15 AM
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If you go with 1 liter boxed wine from Aldi then you can get by on 10 euro/day.
J62 is online now  
May 18th, 2010, 11:54 AM
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Well, plan on $0 for sightseeing as you'll be too drunk and/or hungover to care about what you're seeing anyway.

Thank you for perpetuating the drunken fool stereotype of the college age group.

With that said, figure out how much you would spend for the same time frame for eating out at home, raise it a bit and then multiply by the exchange rate. $25 at home -> $35 traveling -> *1.3 = E45.50 per day. That's probably a higher guess for food but don't worry, you can spend anything extra on booze.

Souveniers and alcohol depend on you and can't be guessed by someone else, let alone a group of people who only know you as a drunk college age gomer.

Sightseeing will also entirely depend on you, where you're actually going in Western Europe, what's already paid for and where your interests outside of alcohol lie.

Really, it's like someone saying "I'm going to the USA to drink alcohol and sightsee. How much does that cost?"
Iowa_Redhead is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 05:18 AM
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Yes, Iowa_Redhead, I plan on drinking and sightseeing in Europe, thanks for your concern.

(Geez, I just joined this site to ask some questions. Why are there always total jerks on every forum?)

I was asking for a general budget, obviously souvenirs is dependent upon me, but isn't there an average souvenir purchasing rate amongst average American travelers?

Anyway, thanks to everyone who was actually helpful!
lalalacheesejah is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 05:47 AM
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I think you should just guess about what you think you would spend on eating and drinking if you went on vacation in any major city in the US, for example. A draft beer may cost you about 3-4 euro, probably. Hard stuff liked mixed drinks will be more, if that's what you want. YOu can eat very cheap if you want, but we don't know how much you want to eat. Some people eat a lot and others not much. I think you should budget at least 40-50 euro a day for food and drinks if you plan to drink at least 3-4 drinks a day and eat a lot of snacks. I rarely eat anything between meals so I don't know how much you want to eat a lot on snacks, but they can be expensive, of course, depending what you eat. But any kind of snack, even street food, is going to run you maybe 1-2 euro each time, at a minimum.

I don't know what people spend on souvenirs, I am fairly thrifty so never spent much on them at any age. Of course I picked up a few little things (scarf, refrig magnet, etc.) but I never spent more than maybe 25 euro total per trip on souvenirs. I would think if your entry fees are mostly covered, you shouldn't need to be spending much at all on sightseeing.

I agree with the 75 euro a day estimate as being a good ballpark.
Christina is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 06:55 AM
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Thanks. Yeah, I plan on having maybe 2 meals a day (one provided free at hotel and one other decent but not 3 course/gourmet/really nice), with maybe a couple pieces of fruit/veggies for snacks. And by heavy drinking, I mean having about 6 (hard) drinks probably 4 nights a week.

Not planning on buying many souvenirs, so I hope I don't find too much cool stuff! I just hope that photos and tourguides will serve that purpose.
lalalacheesejah is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 08:01 AM
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Again, you don't seem to want to say where you are going so it doesn't look like you want much help.

On another thread someone specifically asked about expenses in Prague and got good answers because she was specific.

The difference in prices in Europe is like the difference in prices between New York City and some small town in Alabama. Huge differences in pricing.

Hard drinks will cost you a lot more than beer and wine, no matter where you go. And coke and iced tea will cost a lot of money too.
adrienne is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 08:20 AM
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Yeah, I don't want much help because I neglected to state all the exact stops I will be making in Europe...

Okay, here is where I will be for people who have no clue how to give answers about average prices (which really don't vary too ridiculously from large city to large city): London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Lucerne, Paris, Nice, Florence, Barcelona.
lalalacheesejah is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 08:26 AM
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In London you can expect to pay about £5 for a glass of wine, anywhere from £3-5 for a pint, and +£6 for a cocktail...cocktails are the most expensive thing to drink.

As for food you can stop at lots of sandwich shops (Pret, Eat etc) and get sandwiches and salads for about £3-6 and eat in the parks. If you want to eat in a pub expect to pay between £5-10 depending on what you have (sandwiches being cheapest, fish and chips running around £8).

I find Dublin very expensive. More so than London for food. Fish and Chips in restaurants ran me about €12 for example, so budget a bit more if you want to eat in restaurants. Otherwise look for M&S or sandwich places for cheaper options.
jamikins is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 08:31 AM
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No one except you knew you were only going to large cities.

And prices do vary a lot from large city to large city as jamikins has just explained.
adrienne is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 08:31 AM
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"Yeah, I don't want much help because I neglected to state all the exact stops I will be making in Europe..."

So...you are an expert now? People here want to help, why not co-operate...instead of attitude?

I would also ask the question at Lonely Planet.
Michel_Paris is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 08:34 AM
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You will have a wonderful time I am sure, lalalacheesejah, if you continue to show the attitude while in Europe that you display here on Fodor's while asking Fodorites to take their time to answer your questions, lol. Regarding "people who have no clude how to give answers.." I will say the great majority of us have a clue how to figure what our costs will be when taking a trip.
LoveItaly is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 08:41 AM
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I response to sarcasm with sarcasm.
I ask for help and get answered with snobbish replies.

"Again, you don't seem to want to say where you are going so it doesn't look like you want much help."

Why would I ask that question if I don't want help?

And give me a break about the price variation thing. Is a drink in D.C. really all that differently priced than one in Chicago or NYC or even a small town in Alabama?
lalalacheesejah is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 09:17 AM
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Well yes, the cost of a drink in the city in N CA with a population of about 100,000 residents which is where I live is half the price of a drink in say San Francisco.
LoveItaly is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 10:02 AM
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Yes. A beer in one town near me is $2 a pint, the same beer in another city is about $6 a glass. The same drink in a bar a half a mile away might be double the cost. You said you wanted to drink heavily so that likely means hard drinks which have even more of a variance. Do you want a drink with cheap liqour or do you want mid/top shelf liqour?

If you're going to have the attitude that there is little or no variation in the cost of a drink in various countries, why ask the question in the first place? Dublin seemed to be more expensive than London for food and drinks. I remember Florence and Lucerne as being fairly mid-range for prices.

As I explained earlier, it's practically impossible to give someone else a reasonable plan for souveniers. One person might buy a ton of post cards and little else. Another might buy expensive items like jewelery, Italian leather items, a nice watch in Switzerland, and artwork. What is entirely normal to one person is insanely frugal or insanely expensive to another. As the ONLY thing we know about you is that you are college age and like to drink, how on earth could we give you a reasonable estimate? Most people tend to figure out what they're comfortable spending on a trip and adjusting the trip accordingly.

Same for sightseeing. You're going to London... is the Tower of London paid for? That's one of the more expensive places to visit. Do you plan on going places like museums and art galleries (usually/often free or very cheap) or going to places like the Tower of London where you have to pay? Visiting a cathedral may be free or only a nominal fee but would you be interested in the tour for an extra fee?

Your question is like someone from Europe saying "I'm going to the US. I want to drink heavily and sightsee. How much should I budget for each day?" It doesn't work. Visiting LA is a lot different budget-wise than visiting Chicago, Colorado, New York, DC or the midwest. In one area there may be a lot of cheap public transit and in another it's taxis only. In one place you can spend weeks doing just free and very cheap attractions while in another place you have to pay for any little thing.

You're getting snotty replies because of your question. In your original question you give very little information about where you're going and what is already paid for and expect people to tell you how much you'll need for food, booze and other transportation. You were asked to clarify your question and your answer was <<Okay, here is where I will be for people who have no clue how to give answers about average prices>>.
Iowa_Redhead is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 11:42 AM
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So drinks cost the same all over?

Not so in Paris where you'll find 3 prices
for the same drink in the same cafe... lowest standing at the bar, more at a table indoors
and highest at a table outdoors.
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 12:15 PM
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Saying you are planning on "drinking a lot of alcohol" to me kind of says that you are going on a binge and might remember some of it. I'm certain that is not what you meant.

As to the other parts, it does help to have an idea on your itinerary. There are substantial differences in costs in various cities as well as locations in specific cities.

As an example: I can buy a Peroni beer in Piazza Rotonda in Rome, looking at the Pantheon for about 8 euros. I can get the same beer at a little pizza joint I know near San Clemente for less than 4 euros and I can buy it in a market for about 1.5 euros. A coke in that same pizza joint is 1.5 euros, but from a street vendor it is 4 euros.

What Paris said is true in many places. If you take a drink and stand it is cheaper than if you sit at a table. It may not make sense, but it is true and that includes things like coffee.

I personally prefer to buy meals from the little out of the way, mom & pop places. They are far cheaper and for me, better tasting. Once again, with that pizza joint, I can get a lamb kabob that is so stuffed it is impossible to eat it all for 3 euros. I can buy a stale, old panini from one of those trucks for 8 euros. So it is a matter of taste, hunger and convenience. If you are really hungry and the bus is getting ready to leave and the only thing around is one of those rip-off trucks, well...

Now, back to your original question. Assuming all the essentials are already paid for, except 2 meals daily and DRINKS (not DRUNKS), you could go anywhere from 25 euros per day to maybe 60 euros. So, make it say 50 euro/day average with other stuff, if you are frugal and smart. If however, you intend on getting plastered the entire time you are traveling, hitting lots of clubs, then the costs could be substantially higher. And yes, many of us were actually young once, but may have forgotten what we did.

hope that helps

daveesl is offline  

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