Europe from $70 a Day ...

Aug 18th, 2004, 02:29 PM
  #1  
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Europe from $70 a Day ...

Having gone to Europe for the first time in 1964, I carried Arthur Frommer's "Europe on $5 a Day" with me, and, yes, one could get by on this amount for hotel, food, etc. I just did a search on Amazon and note that the latest book is "FROM $70 a Day" !!!! My, have times changed ! But, I don't think $70 a day is very accurate. Last year in Central Europe, which is cheaper than Western Europe, we were averaging $100 a day, per person of course. Does anyone have average amounts for GB, France, Italy, etc ?
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Aug 18th, 2004, 02:47 PM
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I don't think the $70 includes anything like attractions, but just the necessities. Also, Paris and Scandinavia are said to cost more.

It's really hard to say what averages are. I know my son and I averaged somewhat less than that recently in Berlin for sure, but we did not not have lavish meals.
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Aug 18th, 2004, 02:48 PM
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As it says, "From" $70 per day which means $70 and up. So it is accurate -- $100 per day IS from $70.

It all depends on the types of activities whether any amount is realistic.

In the UK (outside of London) for instance I could easily get by on $70 a day or there abouts ($30 to $40 for a B&B, Great British Heritage Pass for sightseeing, big lunches and light dinners, and no rental car). But I usually spend more because I like to have a car and mostly get ensuite facilities.

In London I tend to average about $100-$150 a day -- rented flat, public transport, TKTS for theatre, etc.

My first UK B&B book is from 1974 and the average ensuite B&B was about £2 or £3 per person, and a 3 or 4 star hotel in London was less than £10 per night.
janis is offline  
Aug 18th, 2004, 02:49 PM
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You'll get no argument that it costs a whole lot more to travel now than in 1964. But in all honesty, I don't think it is any harder to travel at $70 a day than it was to travel for $5 a day in 1964. I'm curious, were you able to stick to that budget back then?
I'm not so sure that similar options aren't still available to meet that $70 budget now. Most of us are just used to getting a lot more now than then.
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Aug 18th, 2004, 02:52 PM
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I too did Europe of $5 a day in the late 60s. We're still pretty much budget travellers but at a slightly different level. We were in France in June (not Paris) and I think $140 a day for 2 people is not too unrealistic if the dollar would go back to being on par with the euro. Now when you have to add 20-25% to the price because of currency conversion, it is another story. We stayed in charming chambres d'hotes for an average of E60 a night per room; these included breakfast. We picniced for lunch, and we could get by for around E40 a night for dinner for 2. Variables would be adding in transportation and admittance fees. But, for room and 3 meals we could get by for 2 people on about E115 a day.
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Aug 18th, 2004, 03:08 PM
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My mother said that the double hotel room that she stayed at in Copenhagen cost $2.50 USD per night in 1957. It did have a bathroom down the hall. This included a continental breakfast (not a Scandinavian one).

If you wanted something equivalent today I think the price would be a minimum of $100 USD (outside of a great deal on Priceline).
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Aug 18th, 2004, 04:45 PM
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I averaged about 80 dollars a day in Europe over the course of 4 months. Expensive cities like Paris, Munich, Vienna, are included in that total. And that was going pretty hog wild for me. In that total, I enjoyed fine dining (like Cane e gatto...twice! Dona Rosa, etc etc) quite often, and many times paid for whomever I was dining with as well. I went and saw every attraction I wanted to.

So how did I do it? Well, it says EUROPE on 70 bucks a day. That includes countries like the Czech Republic where I did a decent chunk of time and averaged about 15-20 bucks a day (hosteling). Croatia was similarly very cheap, and we had an apartment where we cooked our own food. Greece was also very cheap at the time, because May was still off season. Lodging was 15 dollars for my own room and bathroom, and good food could be had for as little as 20 bucks a day. Plus enjoying the beach is free.

But I know the average person doesn't want to travel like I did...so 70 bucks a day could be tough. But even the most expensive hostel is about 25-30 euro a day...and it leaves a good chunk of change if you live frugally. Plus, I also traveled when the USD was just a few cents shy of matching the euro.
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Aug 18th, 2004, 05:58 PM
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I think it's cheap now.

In 1980 I made 3.25 working in my dorm cafeteria. Gas was 1.65 a gallon. Home mortgage rates were in the very high teen percentage rates.

I remember thinking I would NEVER be able to afford a home.

25 years later I make (barely) 6 figures. My house is paid off. Gas today jumped to 1.98 a gallon.

In 1989 I paid 1,100 USD round trip to Egypt. The same year I paid almost 1,000 USD to fly to London.

In May I spent less than 600 RT to Paris. I have a RT ticket to Paris in November for $475US.

I think EVERYTHING is cheaper. I still think Europe is affordable.
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Aug 19th, 2004, 05:17 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Bedar,

Back in 1964, I'll bet that you stayed in hostels w/o AC, had a bathroom down the hall, ate at cafeterias, slept on overnight trains in 2cl seats, never thought of taking a taxi and drank really cheap wine.

In addition, you paid more for your plane tickets than you would today.
ira is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 06:44 AM
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Yes, we were able to stick to a $5/day budget, not that we did always, but it was possible. We stayed in HOTELS without A/C (hardly anyplace was a/c'ed then), ate in RESTAURANTS, and got our wine in Paris at Hediard ( premieurs crus were then 10 FF/bottle !). If we weren't drinking top wines, we were drinking GOOD wines, not 'cheap.' My ticket on Icelandic Air - NY to Luxembourg - was $300. I spent 20 yrs. in Europe so I did see prices rise, but not in the way they have in the past, say, 15 yrs. 1985 was a phenomenal time - we were there for only a week - the dollar was at about 11 FF/dollar - it was actually sort of scary - everytime you went to the bank, you got a higher rate of exchange. We bought a carnet of metro tickets and took the metro just once. After that it was taxis, and every meal was at top restaurants. We should have bought some property but had to get back to NY. Hindsight is wonderful.
Yes, people's expectations are higher today, but today's standard of living is higher, too. Most places are a/c'ed; people demand internet connections and need to call home everyday, etc. - there was no internet, and international calls were very expensive. Email, unless printed, and calls are transitory. I have a cache of maybe 1000 letters that I wrote my mother during those 20 yrs. abroad. I hope I can find the time to read through them. What fun ! If I find any startling monetary info, I'll post it here.
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Aug 19th, 2004, 06:50 AM
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I still have my Frommer's book from my third trip to Europe, in 1987. By then it was up to $25/day.
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Aug 19th, 2004, 06:57 AM
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Bedar writes: "Message: Having gone to Europe for the first time in 1964, I carried Arthur Frommer's "Europe on $5 a Day" with me, and, yes, one could get by on this amount for hotel, food, etc."

I read your 'post' on the Spain forum so my reply will be so directed: In June '04 I went to Galicia (Santiago de Compostela & VilaGarcia de Arousa); stayed at Hostals (not Youth Hostals) in private room ensuite, w/breakfast included in room rate. In VilaGarcia (a beach resort) room rate: 35 Euro; in Santiago: 30 Euro. Main difference was the hostal in Santiago didn't have an elevator. Rooms had TV & telephone.

I found both places on the Internet. I made my reservations by phone.

Traveling solo, lodging w/breakfast cost me $37.50 to $45 a day. It left me enough for local traveling and dining and staying well under $70/day. I traveled mainly by bus.

Sometimes we think of a Hostal as just a barracks-style dormitory. In Spain Hostals are rated: sometimes a Hostal will not have some of the amenities for a 3-star hotel rating so they prefer to call themselves a hostal. I have stayed (with my wife) at Hostal Paris in Sardinero (Santander) and at Hostal Picos de Europa in Potes. As far as I could tell, these were Hotels!

They were much better than several that I found in Frommer's 'Europe on 10-to-15 dollars a day' back in 1974: Hotel Arc Eiffel in Paris with the Metro outside the window and Gasthof Innbruck in Innsbruck, Austria with the pitter-patter of little feet as people went to the (community) bathroom all night after a Ham & Bean siup supper.



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Aug 19th, 2004, 07:26 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Bedar,

>1985 was a phenomenal time....<

You bet. The dollar has never been higher with respect to both the GBP and the FF.

Lucky you.
ira is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 07:33 AM
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Nedsireland, you are doing some good traveling. Yes, I am very familiar with hostals in Spain, and I am sure the ones you found this year are better than the ones you used in '74. As I said, the standard of living is higher today, and we travelers benefit from this. When in Madrid, we stay at a hostal right near the Palace Hotel for about 35 euros/night.
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Aug 19th, 2004, 08:05 AM
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I looked at that book and yes, it is from $70 a day: per person, based on double occupancy. Once again the single travel(l)er is screwed.
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Aug 19th, 2004, 09:25 AM
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ira
 
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Hi nc,

Has it occurred to you that it requires more time to care for two single rooms than one double?
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Aug 19th, 2004, 10:31 AM
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Yes, it does cost more for 2 rooms than one. But when I read "From $70 a Day" on the cover I didn't see an asterisk there like most travel ads have for the pp/do requirement.

At least a single room is available in Europe.
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Aug 19th, 2004, 10:35 AM
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For a single traveler, I think that $70 is probably only possible if one stays in a hostel. Of course, this is exchange-rate dependent too. At $1.25 to 1 Euro, this is only 56 Euros. A pretty difficult budget.
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Aug 19th, 2004, 11:02 AM
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ira
 
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The B&B Peterson in Florence offers a single for 42E.

We have found many properties in the Dordogne region of France for about 55E dbl w/bkfst.



ira is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 11:07 AM
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True, there're even hotels in Paris for about 50 Euros, as I'm finding out. So maybe the hostel comment is a bit of an exaggeration.

I'd be interested if anyone can manage on this budget in London or in Scandinavia, which I've heard is very expensive.

Anyway, the rate for a single is rarely half that of a double. Most of the time it seems to me to be about the same or at best at a slight discount.
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