Euros per day

Jun 11th, 2008, 10:31 AM
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Euros per day

Greetings -

I am wondering what you all think is a reasonable amount of Euros per day to budget?


40 year old woman and 11 year old girl.

Staying in apartments for the majority of the time but a few B&B stays along the way.

This is NOT including accomadations or train/flight cost but strictly:

Food and any incidentals along the way.

1 night London arrival mid afternoon leaving in the am for Brugge
Florence 14 nights (apartment)
Venice 5 nights (apartment)
7 nights London (Apartment)

Shopping is not included in this.

Thank you as always!
MomDDTravel is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 10:47 AM
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This is a very difficult question for anyone to answer that does not know you.

Some people are not wealthy but spend heavily on vacation. Some people are very wealthy but are cheap when they travel. You just do not know. Where do you fit?

If you have a limited budget I would recommend that you eat where the locals eat and stay out of the expensive shops. You will be okay.

My wife and I traveled all over Europe in the early 70s when I was in the Army, made no money to speak of and had to use cash as we had no credit cards. We did fine by watching our food bills and what we bought.

The same thing goes today as the dollar was also shrinking then and I was only making $275.00 per month in the Army. When we ran out of the cash in our pocket we needed to get home asap!
traveldawg is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 10:50 AM
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I know it is tough... I am in the middle - but not a foodie in anyway... neither is dd. We are happy to go to the store and then eat in for the most part..but of course would like gelato
MomDDTravel is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 10:59 AM
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I feel your pain. I understand why are ask the question. I am also dealing with the same issue. My girl and I will arrive in Frankfurt on July 3rd and will spend 11 nights in Germany and Austria.

I can remember the year that the Euro was first introduced. I seem to remember an exchange rate of 73 US cents for a Euro. Now, it looks like we will be spending 1.56 US Dollars for a Euro. Factor in the cost of inflation since 2001 and I am thinking that Europe is going to be alot more expensive this time.

Some of the things that we are planning to do probably includes some of the same things you may decide to do. For us, these will include:

Loading up on a good breakfast. We will ask the owner of the hotel if making sandwiches off the breakfast buffet will be allowed. We will bring plenty of Zip Lock baggies with us.

Buying groceries at a supermarket and eating picnic style will be the norm this trip. On past trips, eating picnic style was done for fun. This trip it will be done out of necessity. We will be packing a cooler that collapses, as well as paper plates, plastic forks and knives (in the suitcase of course)

Eating dinner at night will be a shopping challenge. Instead of picking just any restaurant, we will be a bit more selective.

Instead of eating in the big city restaurants, I see us spending a few Euros each for a train to get out of the big city restaurants for a smaller town restaurant.

We will be taking any night train that we can. Sleeping on a train isn't as comfortable as a hotel bed, but it is certainly an alternative for a few nights in a hotel.

We will be looking at any breakfast and dinner combination deals at the hotels we are staying at. If you are able to get back to the hotel for dinner hour, it might make sense to consider the breakfast and dinner package included in the room rate.

We will avoid postage at all costs. We will not send any postcards nor do we plan to buying many souvenirs for people back home.

If you are driving by car, planning to stay at a farm or a private house for one or two nights would be a good alternative to the hotel room.

Of course, buying a rail pass is mandatory instead of tickets.

Based on what you listed as your information, if you are not careful you could send up spending 300 to 450 Euros a day in the bigger cities.

I am hoping that our trip if we plan it correctly and stick to our goals, will average us somewhere between 150 to 175 Euros a day for housing, food, sightseeing.

Any input from others

tampabay1 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 11:02 AM
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Mia is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 11:17 AM
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Gelato runs from about 2E a cup to 5E a cone to 9E for something fancy. I find Florence to have the most expensive gelato. Check prices closely before ordering. Some places show a pic and price, but the price can be FROM whatever. Then they add for special flavors, nuts, cream etc.
TravMimi is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 11:53 AM
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I am budgeting and will survive on 100-150 euros per day for food and sightseeing for myself and 12 yr daughter this July. I am not including transportation or hotels.

I do not shop.
We found a hotel in Paris for 118 euros per night with breakfast included, and a hotel in Rome for 99 euros with breakfast included( these were booked months ago, rates have gone up) .Both hotels have mini bars( fridges) so I will stock them with sodas and juices from store as opposed to buying 5 euro drinks at cafes . In Paris we drink tap water and ( for me)house wine with meals. Also will stock yogurts and fruits.

We will picnic for lunch , street food etc.

Dinners will be cafes, we will avoid anywhere with a table cloth.. LOL

I have budgeted a few splurges in though, but that is seperate budget( about 500 euros for the month, this will cover a few nicer meals with relatives) .

I am afraid that some places will kill me ( Venice being one of them) but we will only be there 2 days, as opposed to 10 days plus in Paris, where I feel more confident on being able to go cheap( I have been enough times and I just think Paris is cheaper fhen Venice or Rome)

With an apartment I think you could easily budget 100 euros a day for food you prepare and sightseeing.
Lucky you, your daughter being 11 means you can still get some child discounts, I notice 12 as a cut off date for many discounts,,rats ! In Paris as least many sites are still free for under 18's .
bozama is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 12:09 PM
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Why do people that spend a ton of money where it isn't needed (+100€ hotel rooms) still think they've made a good deal? With the 100€ spent on food per day!!, you could buy the whole town.
logos999 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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bozama - I was worried about Venice... sigh. I cannot keep moving dd around she will get worn out and thus so will I. Hence I found a B&B/apartment type place in Venice for us. Found it through Rick Steves website. The woman is also going to tutor us in Italian to conintue the lessons.

I will be VERY interested in reading your trip report and hearing your current itenary if possible?

tampabay1 - really good information - I am going to borrow some of those ideas.

Thanks for the tip on the gelato!
MomDDTravel is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 01:20 PM
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We did it in 2006 for just under $150 a day, not inculding transportation (car and airfare). We are plannning to go again next spring and currently plannning on $200 a day. We stayed in B&B's with the exception of one night in a hotel. You can read about how we did it in our trip report here:

dgassa is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 01:22 PM
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200.00 USD or Euros?
MomDDTravel is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 01:51 PM
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Hi Mom,

>I am wondering what you all think is a reasonable amount of Euros per day to budget?... but strictly:

Food and any incidentals along the way. <

Depends on the size of your bar bill.

For food, take what you would usually spend at the supermarket or local restaurant (not a fast food place) and plan on spending that amount in GBP or Euro, ie, if you spend $20 eating out, expect to pay 20E.

ira is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 01:54 PM
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You can actually be a whole lot cheaper than some of the replies have indicated and still have a fabulous trip. I have been to Europe about twice a year for the past decade and average no more than 25-35€ per person per day for food. You can easily get lunch for 5€ - a slice of pizza, sandwich,etc. And you could repeat that for dinner if you wanted to but even a more "regular" dinner can be had for 10-15€ in inexpensive non touristy restaurants. Gelato twice a day for 3€, one bottle of water or soda a day for €3 (usually refill your water bottle in the hotel, or in a fountain as long as it says "potable"). Another snack of fruit from a street market, etc for another 2-3€. That adds up to about 30€. Very, very doable. Obviously this is not the "recipe" for a nice vacation for a foodie, but you said you were not one. I feel I eat great like this. When I travel with my husband or daughter we often spit things and that helps alot too.

In London buy sandwiches and salads at places like Marks and Spencer food courts or any grocery store. They are much better and fresher than a pre-made sandwich you could buy in the US. You have an apartment in London, so Marks and Spencers packaged dinners will be great. They are refrigerated, not frozen, and you cook them but they are all prepared and quite good. If you want to eat some restaurant meals in London there are lots of Chinese and Indian restaurants that aren't too expensive. Try Wagamama noodle restaurants, there are several.

In Florence and Venice there is a chain of cafeteria style restaurants called Brek where you can easily get a very good meal for 10€. In Venice there is one on the street leading towards the center of Venice from the train station, on that same side of the canal, about a five minute walk from the train station. There's another within site of the Rialto bridge. In Florence there are a couple on the street just off the main piazza in front of the Duomo. The big markets in both Florence and Venice have lots of things besides fruits and veggies for stocking up the apartments.

Admissions to sites can add up but remember you do not need to go into absolutely every major site. All of the places you are going have wonderful off the beaten path places to see that are free. Museums are free in London so that should help a lot. In Italy it does seem like every little church charges 5€ but if you think that you are really paying to help preserve fabulous art it doesn't feel as bad. I guess I'd say most of the time it is worth it.

In London you will need a transportation card for the week, London is too spread out to plan to walk everywhere. But take a lot of double decker buses, they are fun and they save your feet but don't bother with a "hop-on-hop-off" bus, you can do your own tour in regular buses. In Venice a vaparetto pass is worth while, nothing can compare to riding up and down the grand canal (but I've never felt the need to spend the money on a gondola). In Florence I really literally walked everywhere. Same for Brugge (but I did take a boat ride there which I felt was worth it). You can figure out exactly how much all this transportation will cost since they all have web sites with this years prices on them, just google them.

Have a wonderful trip, and you will NOT need to spend more than 50-75€ per person per day for food, local transportation and admissions.

isabel is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 02:19 PM
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For just food and incidentals (entrance fees, local transportation), I would think you could do it for 100€ per day or less, depending on how much you spend on entrance fees, and still have a dinner in a restaurant. Look around for less expensive places. They post their menus, so you can see before you go in if you can afford it. Buses are a cheap way to get around. In Italy, you can get pizza or a sandwich for lunch for under 3€.

I wouldn't assume a rail pass is the best way to go. Definitely check out point-to-point prices before buying a pass. They can sometimes be much more expensive, especially in Italy.

I certainly wouldn't be asking the hotel owner if I could take my lunch from his breakfast offerings! Very tacky, and what would he do if everybody wanted to do that? You're basically asking for free food and putting him in a difficult position, because he's obviously going to want to say no!
SusanP is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 02:37 PM
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I would never ask for lunch from my hotel. I would die of embarrassment. It is just me.

I do not drink much - maybe a glass of house wine here or there, sesp. since it is just dd and I.

isabel - thank you for all your wonderful tips! I am hoping I can do it with the budget you have outlined.

We are really not high end folks with dining etc. Transportation might be an expense. I get lazy and will be the first to get a cab for example and will need to be smart and information about public transportation. I have yet to try to wrap my mind around the Oyster Card etc.

I do have a train pass - still not sure if it was the best "buy" per-say.

I am rethinking the 5 nights in Venice but trying not to think too hard. I get into a frantic mode and start freaking out....and then the posts start flying LOL
MomDDTravel is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 02:55 PM
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Last fall in Paris I spent $88 per day (exchange rate of 1.4) for food, sightseeing, and transportation (everything except airfare and the apartment). I had an apartment and bought most of the food in the supermarket or the street markets. Sit down lunches in cafes were always 10 Euro but you could buy quiche or ready-made salads in bakeries that were delicious and find a park to sit. Dinners were mostly at inexpensive restaurants except for a couple of splurges.

I did not skimp on any sightseeing or walking tours. I mostly walked but bought a couple of metro carnets for longer trips. I didn't have many stops in cafes for wine or coffee but carried a water bottle with me (refilled at the apartment) and sat on benches to people watch. Fortunately Paris has lots of benches!

I bought very few gifts but did spend almost $200 at Fragonard for me.

In London you'll find that most museums are free and this will save you money. In Venice just walking around is a delight - you don't have to spend a lot of money.
adrienne is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 03:42 PM
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adrienne - thanks for the post/encouragement.

I am not planning on buying gifts for others on this trip (hope that does not sound horrible?).

It is really a gift for myself and dd if that makes sense. I also have to remember how much money I spend at home - for us to eat etc.
MomDDTravel is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 05:05 PM
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I used to bring back lots of gifts for family and friends but do not do that any more. It's not terrible at all not to bring things back for people. It's your vacation; not a shopping spree for others.

If you want to buy some token souvenirs you can stop in supermarkets and find packable small food items for friends who cook - things that you cannot get at home or things that cost a lot at home. There's a large supermarket in Venice near the Fundamente Nuovo vaporetto stop where you can buy some interesting items.

You're right - you normally spend money to eat at home and you won't be running a car while you're away. This money goes into the trip.
adrienne is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 05:15 PM
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I'm glad you agree about not asking to take lunch from the breakfast buffet!

Definitely don't feel guilty about not bringing back a lot of gifts for others. I usually bring something for my son (he loves cheese!), but if you start doing that for a bunch of people, it can really get out of hand.

You really might want to check out point-to-point train tickets. I think rail passes are refundable if you do it ahead of time, and it would certainly be worth it if it saves you a lot of money. Money you could enjoy on your trip!
SusanP is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 05:54 PM
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Should clarify , my budget of 100-150 euros per day is for both of us, not each. I have done if before and know I can do it again.
I do buy my kid ice creams and some extras since it is a holiday right?

For a really cheap fun souvenir for your daughter to bring home , let her get the little Eiffel Tower keychains, my kids all bought them at 3 or a euro or so, and they are great for the kids to give to their friends. Here, where I live, younger kids like to collect keychains to attach to their school backpacks,so this is a great cheap gift.

I also made my boys save and bring their own spending money, my daughter already has about 150 dollars saved, which she thought was great, till I told her that is less then 100 euros,, and ice creams are 3-5 euros,,LOL

I do like a hotel room that has A/C and a mini fridge, so I will happily pay for it, I try and keep it under 120 euros, but have paid as much as 180 euros to as little as 60 euros. I like being central and having certain comforts and economize in other ways. I like someone making my bed and bringing me clean towels. Sorry, its my holiday... and I do that stuff at home!!
I don't waste money shopping, and I don't need expensive meals( often, LOL ) .
I do think that cheaping out all the time is no fun,, so I am not bringing a jar of peanut butter in my suitcase, LOL
bozama is offline  

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