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Experts only please - What is the average cost of a European vacation?

Experts only please - What is the average cost of a European vacation?

Aug 22nd, 2001, 07:16 PM
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Well, Jason, that's quite amazing if true.
$5500 divided by 5 trips comes to $1100 for 4 people per trip.
Or $5500 divided by 44 days comes to $125 a day, including airfare, for 4 people.
Would you care to share your secret?

Otherwise, my guess is: You bought no souvenirs, saw no paid sights (like museums), went camping, ate out of WWII cans, and travelled on U.S. Military cargo planes. It's doable!

Aug 22nd, 2001, 08:36 PM
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I rarely complain about anyone's question, but am I really the only one who thinks this is a ridiculous question?
Aug 22nd, 2001, 08:55 PM
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1998--5 people to England (London) and Denmark (all over) for 23 days for $85/person/day. Got two airfares free with Sprint points, stayed in hostels in Denmark, a student apartment in London, ate fairly low-budget. That price included EVERYTHING except souveniers. Prices may have gone up a bit since then, but the exchange rate for both the £ and DKK are MUCH better than they were then, so maybe could be done cheaper.
Aug 23rd, 2001, 12:00 AM
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There are 3 secrets to my budget travel. 1. I'm an American living in Europe (no airfare needed)
2. It's really only 2 people (my kids are 2 and 4, therefore free for everything)
3. I don't stay in hotels, either apartments or rental homes.
I asked this question hoping Americans would give me a good feel of how much my trips would cost if I were still living in the best country in the world USA!!!
Aug 23rd, 2001, 04:10 AM
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Up coming trip to France. Est cost for two weeks and two people. Air: $1,700; Food and Lodging $2,500; Rental Car $500; gas $150; Total: $4,900
Aug 23rd, 2001, 08:17 AM
Janda Otavalo
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I would figure $100.00 a day plus airfair. In one month we are going to Italy and France for 21 days. All in all it will be about $2500.00 each. That includes $100.00 misc.and $100.oo for souvenirs and $100.00 for film, walkman batteries,& camera batteries.
We will be in northern Italy, then on a drive yourself canal boat in the south of France for 1 week then in Paris for one week. We have learned that getting a short term apartment is very cost affective. It turns out to be about $50.00 a day per person. Then you can cook and it makes you feel more like a native and not a visitor.
I hope this helps. I also am a travel planner and a travel consultant. Please feel free to ask me any questions.

Janda Otavalo
Aug 23rd, 2001, 08:28 AM
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$100.- per day
Plus: Airfare, car rental, Train and souvenirs.
Aug 23rd, 2001, 08:30 AM
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OK Jason, so if you had to buy airfare, assume you travel in off peak times, you'd still need to buy a ticket for each kid, so estimate $500 per ticket but change nothing else and you'll find you'd be spending about $3100 per week long trip. Puts you in the low budget category. If you left the kids home with Grandparents, you and your wife would have made those trips and been able to eat out more often and probably have visited some more adult-oriented sights/activities for about the same $1500 per person everyone has been quoting.
Aug 23rd, 2001, 08:32 AM
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...and spent the extra $ on presents for the kids & grandparents!
Aug 24th, 2001, 08:38 AM
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Thanks Jason for taking the time to explain your figures.

It makes more sense when you take airfare out of the total calculations.

Also kids at the ages that you mention don't cost much in terms of lodging and food. Apartments and rental homes make a whole lot of sense for a family, but for those who want to run around the continent, it's not practical.

Thanks again.
Aug 24th, 2001, 08:42 AM
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Everyone has their perception of an appropriate budget. IT has been our experience that it usually costs twice as much as we estimate, due to unexpected circumstances (can;t find a hote in our price range and must pay more, find something we just must "buy", an illness, travel arrangements go wrong, must lay over dur to weather, etc., and any other problem that may arise). Then there is always tipping on cruises, extra drinks, more wine than you anticipate, etc, and don't forget VAT, exit taxes, parking fees (high in Europe), and a lot of stuff you may not think about.
Aug 24th, 2001, 09:09 AM
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Last May my husband and I flew round-trip to Frankfurt for $400 each (from Priceline.com), stayed with friends for 7 nights and ate only breakfast with them. All of our lunches and dinners we ordered one entree and split it which was plenty of food (in Germany). The only time anyone raised an eyebrow when we did this and asked for an extra plate was in St. Imier, Switzerland.

We did lots of shopping and shipped most of it back ahead of us, rented a Mercedes for the whole 17 days (about $1,000 plus gasoline), stayed 3 nights in Bern, 4 nights in a wonderful guesthouse in Pflach, Austria for only $55 per night including breakfast (only 15 miles from Neuschwanstein), 2 nights in Strassbourg, and the last night with our friends. We had thought we could do the whole trip for $4,000, but we did shop more than we'd planned, and spend a total of less than $5,000 including airfare and the purchase of 36 rolls of film and the processing of the same. (We have friends who spent more than that going to Orlando for a couple of weeks)
Aug 24th, 2001, 09:42 AM
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OK---everyone can quote a " gee whiz" example of budget travel. My friend Ed and I did 2 wonderful weeks in southern Italy and Sicily two years ago for about $3500 including EVERYTHING. My wife and I did 13 days in Ireland this past year for about the same total including a car--but that was a real special airfare. There are always the exceptions . However, on average, a 2 week trip in Europe will cost you somewhere between $4000 and $7000 depending on your style. I usually budget about $5200 and seldom miss that mark by more than 5%. [ see above ]
Aug 24th, 2001, 12:36 PM
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If you are looking for a cheaper way to travel, you might want to think about tours.

Since tour groups buy in bulk, they can get cheaper rates. Don't limit your thinking of tours to being cramped in a bus with 40 loud Americans, many tour companies are seeing the light and offering "do it yourself" tours. On those tours, the company books your airfare and hotel, they give you a half day orientation tour and then just have a tour guide around to answer questions and steer you in the right direction. For example Globus offers a do it yourself week in London for $900 including airfare, hotel & some meals (that price is way off season, but you aren't going to swim in the Thames, are you?)

Other budget ideas are to use hostels or bed & breakfast type places and skip restaurants in favor of buying bread & cheese in grocery stores.
Aug 24th, 2001, 01:55 PM
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So Jason, let me guess. You asked hoping the answers would make you feel less bummed out that you are no longer living in the greatest country? What do you miss most?

For the record, I'm going to Italy end of Sept. 4 days rome, 3 florence, 4 venice. Hotels, air, breakfasts daily, eurostar tix and transfers total approx. $2,100/per person.
Aug 24th, 2001, 08:53 PM
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i too am amazed at all these figures. we started planning a 15 day trip to london and paris for 5 about 3 months ago. thru the net and using many suggestions found here we were able to trim our original figures of $2500 per person for just air/trains/hotel to about $1400 per person. the difference is used for extras and meals and spending money. we have 2 double rooms and 1 single all at 3 star or better hotels.

airfare $545 coach
eurostar $170 1st class (london-paris& return)
london hotel $378 (7 nights 3bed eff apt comfort inn suite)
paris hotel $425 (single 6 nights)
or $275 (double per person)

now we have added a couple of things about $38 for both cities metro and museum (buying when we get there), a day trip for about $70 per person in england. metro/train for day trips in france about $30.

just about everywhere we are going are covered under the metro/museum passes. we are figuring about $100 per person extras on admissions.

all of our breakfasts are included with hotel so we are figuring about $25 dollars a day for food with one or two nice meals out. 14 days @ 25 per day about $350 per person. i have actually done both cities on about $20 a day myself because i am not a big lunch eater. i would save my $$$ for a nice sitdown meal at a moderate restuarant each evening.

spending money: i never include this in the original budget because it's personal. if you are a souvenier junkie and shopper it's gonna be more. if not less. here's were your budget is blown. my first trip to europe was an escorted tour 16 days in uk. my spending money was blown the first week. i ended up phoning home. i will never be caught in europe with too little spending money again. depending on how much you like to spend on souveniers i would allot at least $300-400 a week per person just to be safe.

so our trip:

single double
air 545 545 nonstop return
euro 170 170 1st class return
hotel 378 378 london 7 nights
hotel 425 275 paris 6 nights
totals 1518 1368

meals 350 350 @$25 per day
daytrip 100 100
met/mus 38 38
extras 100 100 for extra admission
spend 350 350
total 938 938

totals 2456 2306

i should be an online travel agent at these prices.

Aug 25th, 2001, 01:02 AM
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Most people who write to this forum are from the US. As I'm an Australian I'm always looking for replies from Australians as the answers would relate more to my situation. I have three questions:
1.I'm contemplating a 3 month trip about August next year to the UK taking in England, Scotland and Wales and some European countries. Has anyone from Australia been for this length of time and if so, roughly what did it cost you overall. I realise there are lots of variables, but I'm just looking for a guesstimate.
2. I'm also considering whether to take my mother-in-law or not. I'm 54 and she's in her late 70's and we're the best of friends, but I do know it will alter the trip for me considerably. I'm wondering if anyone has travelled with an elderly relative and what their experiences were.
3.One of our daughters lives in London so I think it would be best just to organise the flight to and from Australia and then book all travel from London. Do you agree?
Aug 25th, 2001, 01:31 AM
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Maggie & Mimi,

It's true I asked this question for a specific purpose. I wanted to know how much money I was saving by travelling in Europe by living in Europe and not my favorite country (homeland). If I were still living in the USA I would never think of travelling to Europe like I am doing now. Travelling with the kids isn't as much fun as travelling without them but it is the only way we can do it right now. We still get to see all the "cool" things and experience a different culture. We are currently running around Europe, but at a much slower pack than Y´all. A week in May, a week in June, a week in July, a week in September, a week in October, a week in April, a week in June, etc.... The thing I miss most about not living in America is the fact that I'm not "home". It's too hard to explain. Thanks you guyzis, guys, y'all!
Aug 25th, 2001, 05:29 AM
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On another thread regarding budget, I think Elvira and Bob the Navigator gave the best answers. Elvira spoke in terms of 'wiggle room' - i.e. over what items can one expect to exert control. Elvira believes, and I agree, that airfare and ground transportation are not items that one can control too easily; prices float daily, even hourly, with market demand. Not to mention that we don't all set out to Europe from the same place! In contrast, there's a lot of 'wiggle room' with respect to hotels and food.

There is no such thing as average cost of ground transportation, since my idea of a trip is moving to a new spot every 2 days; I'm a 'nomad' kind of traveler. In a week, I'd travel 700 miles and have 3 hotel reservations! Others are 'homesteaders' who will spend much less on this item, because they want to explore one place in depth, or because like you they have young children. Incidentally, as one poster indicated, apartments aren't practical for us 'nomads' because they usually are rented by the week.

Bob's answer is also very wise, because what is 'average' varies by the category of hotel and dining that one chooses. I particularly liked Bob's idea of extending the star system to ground transport and food.

As far as food is concerned, we are 'grazers' - we eat small meals throughout the day. Is this average behaviour? It probably isn't, so our food costs can't be taken as average, even within a given category. Then there are the 'sitters' who prefer a plate lunch (one eaten in a restaurant) versus the 'picnickers' who eat lunch in every conceivable place imaginable, but never at a table! The latter is generally cheaper, 'on average'.

When comparing costs of trips, some people include things like medical and cancellation insurance, film and film development, and even factor in the cost of guide books and maps! The answer 'not that much' doesn't satisfy me in this category; last time around we spent about US20 per day to cover these things.

This variation is why I think Bob's answer is the best. And by the way, our trip costs were pretty well predicted by his low end scenario. (Good work,Bob!)

Aug 25th, 2001, 06:26 AM
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We usually budget $1700 - $2000 per week, per couple. That includes airfare from our western state, budget hotels, meals, sites, museums, etc. From that figure, we decide season, location, etc. Sometimes we change the above factors to fit the budget, and that's okay. We have a wonderful time wherever.

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