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How much do your European trips usually cost you?

How much do your European trips usually cost you?

Old Mar 21st, 2006, 07:31 AM
  #21  
rex
 
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We intentionally tried to take a look at what comfort level we could buy last year, spending "50 (euro) per day" (per person) - - in France and Spain (we didn't think it very relevant to try to do this in some more obscure other parts of Europe). The trip report can be read at http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34640631 (and yes, I'm embarrassed that I never got around to finishing all the external geocities links I envisioned... and embedded, in this trip report).

This was focused on lodging and meals, and we were very pleased with the value we got for this modestly priced trip. It was a VERY short trip (6 days, five nights, sleeping in Europe), so we were not able to amortize our airfare costs (which were VERY inexpensive... about $300 per person) over a trip of longer duration.

And the "50 per day" intentionally did not (could not possibly) include our car rental (and tolls and fuel) - - that added about 40 euro per person per day. You might cynically say that our "50 per day" is meaningless when we chose locations totally unsuitable for travelers who do not have a car.

We had no preconception of what would be the budget for "discretionary" expenditures - - shopping, attractions, etc. - - as it turned out, we did buy one piece of art (under 100 euro), and splurged on one exorbitant tourist "attraction"... an air tour over the castles of the Dordogne at 65 euros per person (for twenty minutes in the air).

Still, that totals a bit under $2000 (USD) for one couple for five nights (six, if you include the transatlantic overnight flying eastbound to Europe)... thus $333 to $400 per couple per night. We were pleased with it, consoidering that it was a very impulsively planned trip, and it's still WAAAYYY less than the income loss of taking that time off.

Or figure was reached by using extraordinary economizing, at one level... air/lodging/meals... and reasonably carefree spending on discretionary items. On a fifteen day trip, perhaps we could have dropped the per night cost to as low as $200-275.

I don't understand your omission of the air travel cost in your calculating the per day cost of your trip. That was just like "money", IMO... saved... in a "hidden bank account". I think your figure should be, therefore, more like $400-450 per day.

Compared to spending every day (of a vacation) at the public library, and eating peanut butter sandwiches, sure... it's somewhat expensive.

But as I indicated on a different thread, there are much more expensive things - - and some may seem to provide questionably comparable value.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 07:39 AM
  #22  
 
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This may need an update for airfare in 2006, but it still is close for 3 levels of travel:
Italy Travel Budget for 2005


Independent travel to Europe continues to become even more popular with American tourists, and it seems that Italy has become everyone's favorite destination. This phenomenon is certainly not difficult to understand for those of us who have learned to savor BELLA ITALIA.

During the past seven years I have been fortunate to have planned more than 150 personalized itineraries for independent travelers to southern Europe - most of them to Italy. Understandably, one of the first questions I get from a prospective client is about the projected costs. My quick answer is the obvious one, " that depends on you and your preferred travel style". As we delve deeper it becomes clear that the style choices of would-be independents can vary widely; from youth hostel backpackers to luxury five star jet-setters. We will ignore these extremes for now and concentrate on the more mainstream middle ranges.

Here are some assumptions for our hypothetical itinerary:

This is a 14-day [13 night] itinerary to Italy for a couple during the shoulder season months of April, May, Sept. and Oct. These are the best months for travel to Italy.
Flying into Milan or Venice and out of Rome, or vice versa, with the purchase of tourist class tickets, hopefully from a consolidator. The airfare is a big variable.
The 2-star budget assumes rail travel. The rental cars include all insurance and mileage, and are for a ten day rental period. Car choices are compact/manual [3-star] and mid-size/auto [4 star].
The prices quoted assume an exchange rate of one euro=$1.33. I would add 10% to the accommodation prices if you plan to spend all of your time in the major art cities.
THIS BUDGET IS STICKER SHOCK TO THOSE OF US WHO HAVE TRAVELLED OFTEN TO ITALY OVER THE PAST TWENTY YEARS. THE CULPRIT IS THE VALUE OF THE DOLLAR THAT HAS DECLINED 40% IN THE PAST THREE YEARS. I USED TO BUDGET $5000 FOR OUR TRIPS, BUT NOW $6600 FOR OUR MAY TRIP TO SICILY.

Now that we have our parameters set let's go ahead and plan our budget. Remember, this is for planning purposes only and is really controlled by you. You may decide to blow the budget on Murano glass, Florentine leather, or Bellagio silk. But, I do feel this to be a realistic estimate of expenses for a typical itinerary in 2005.

TRAVEL EXPENSE ITEM 2 STAR 3 STAR 4 STAR
AIRFARE - 2 PEOPLE 1600 1600 1600
RAIL TICKETS - 2 PEOPLE 350 N/A N/A
CAR RENTAL - ALL INCL. N/A 655 1040
* PETROL N/A 160 200
* TOLLS N/A 50 50
TOTAL TRANSPORT $1950 $2465 $2890
HOTELS & INNS - 13 NITES 1500 2400 3500
FOOD & DRINK 1050 1400 1900
TOURISM COSTS 300 300 500
GELATO & CAPPUCCINO 150 150 200
MISC. EXTRAS 150 150 200
DAILY LIVING TOTALS $3150 $4400 $6300

TOTAL TRIP COSTS: $5100 $6865 $9150

Let me emphasize that these cost projections are merely estimates and will vary widely based on seasonal variations and desired destinations. The fact is that some couples will have a great two-week adventure in Europe and spend less than $3500, while others may let an upscale tour company make the decisions for them and end up spending $10,000.

Is it worth it? You bet it is! Independent travel in Europe is not for everyone but it is my passion. After more than twenty creative sojourns, most of them since 1985, I cannot wait to begin planning my next adventure. That is precisely the reason that I enjoy doing it for others. It is like a crossword puzzle for me - so satisfying when it all comes together.



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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 07:41 AM
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Sorry about the tabs--hopefully you can read it.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 07:46 AM
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Our European trips average about
$4600(Canadian)(per couple) INCLUDING airfare, car rental, lodging and food
and incidentals (like admissions) for a 2 week trip. However we stay at B&Bs, guesthouses, pensions and other (relatively) cheap accomodation, most of which include breakfast. We also try to stay outside of large cities (accomodation is generally substantially cheaper in the countryside).
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 08:33 AM
  #25  
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Our 1-week trip to Paris and London a year ago (March 2005) cost $1600pp

------------------------------------
Author: yk
Date: 03/13/2005, 12:09 pm
Cost of trip

I am using
€ 1 = $1.34
£ 1 = $1.93

Per person:
Plane ticket + Eurostar $594
Hotel
Paris (4 nights) $211
London (3 nights) $191
Transportation
Paris (1 cab ride, 1 boat ride, metro) $65
London (2 cab rides, Tube, train to Sevenoaks, Gatwick Express) $59
Paris Opera Garnier concert $26
Museums
Paris (Carte Musee, guided tours, audioguide) $94
London (exhibition tickets, audioguide) $41
Food
Paris (4B, 5L, 3D) $265
London (2B, 1L, 1D, 1 tea) $62

Grand Total $1608 per person

Obviously, the above does not include souvenirs, which I bought very little except chocolates and museum books. Just museum books alone I spent about $125 (not including the £34 Caravaggio catalog that I ordered online yesterday).
--------------------------------

In Jan 2006, a 10-day trip to London + Belgium (plus 2 days in NYC) came out to about $2400 (does not include NYC expenses).

Plane ticket (DFW-LGA, JFK-LHR, BRU-DFW) $784
Eurostar London-Brussels $94
Hotels $617 (I'm traveling alone, so hotel costs are higher than splitting it with someone else)
Others (food, museums, daytripping train tickets) $690
Opera ticket in London $240
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 08:37 AM
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We're looking at a total of about $3750 not including airfare for 21 days in Italy inc a stopover in Zurich and a night in London for 2 of us. We're flying business class for free (or relatively - airport fees/taxes) on United because of FF miles.

We're renting apartments for the big stays in Venice, Positano and Rome which worked out very well for us on our last trip. On our last trip we rented a car for 9 days and only had one train travel segment. The biggest sticker shock so far for us has been the train fares and car service fees. I was expecting a lot less for some reason. We split a lot of the fees with my parents on our last trip so I guess it didn't seem like as much money as it does now. It looks like it's going to run upwards of $1200 but we are travelling a lot of km and we have a lot of transfers.

The depressed dollar isn't helping much either. In 2003 we got about a 1.23 Euro for a dollar. It's going to be inversed now if we're lucky. The last trip cost us about $2700 for about 17 days including our portion of the car.

We don't spend as much when we're on vacation as we do at home. Typically we eat for less than SF Bay Area prices and we don't eat at the fancy restaurants anyways. Also we do a lot less buying than at home so I'm not figuring day-to-day expenses to be higher than what we'd normally spend at home over the same period.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 08:44 AM
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Everyone's idea of their perfect European vacation is different of course.
For my upcoming 3 week France visit, I have spent $8oo for my share of large Villa on seacoast French Riviera for 2 weeks, $300 my share of car for about 2 1/2 weeks (mini van) and $300 my share of large apt in Paris. Plus $100 trip insurance, and luckily my ff mile airfare at $40 or so.
~$1600, all prepaid and now just have to consider "running/eating/gas money plus a few modest hotels on trip to coast and back to Paris.
No doubt the fact that this is a trip of 4 travel friends makes it much more reasonable.
We also tend to eat nice lunches and cook for dinner which is our choice as we all love to cook. We shop at local village markets and fix a light "supper" of what we find to go with the great local wine and candlelight on the terrace.
I would not change this trip as we have it set up now if I won the lottery next week! Our trips are exactly what we want them to be and perfect for us.
May all be as lucky!
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 08:52 AM
  #28  
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cadillac, I think you bring up a good point. When people say their trip is costing a certain amount, they often fail to deduct how much they are NOT spending during that same period at home. I'm not sure how many of us figure our daily expenses are actually less when traveling than at home, but certainly if you're looking at your total cost you should be deducting what you would be spending at home.

For example last year we spent much of the summer at home in Florida for the first time in several years. We immediately noticed the increase in our electric bills (AC) to be about $200 a month more when here than away. Add in things like cancelled newspaper subscriptions, or even vacation plans on your phone or cable if you're gone long enough, deduct the gasoline costs you're saving by not commuting daily, your morning Starbucks, and the cost of your home groceries, eating out, and other entertainment, and the total can be quite surprising.

I won't argue that point about getting 123 euro to the dollar in 2003. That sounds very high to me, but maybe I just missed that month.
 
Old Mar 21st, 2006, 09:02 AM
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At least if you're below 50 years of age, a campsite and a tent, would be the best option. Great fun (cool and nice, helpful people with a similar attitude. 10-15€ per night will be sufficient (off peak season). No need to be scared, just give it a try!
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 09:07 AM
  #30  
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<< ...I won't argue that point about getting 123 euro to the dollar in 2003. That sounds very high to me, but maybe I just missed that month... >>

You're right - - never happened.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=USDEUR=X&t=5y

...shows the tale of the tape...

About 1.17 in summer of 2001; never as high as 1.00 in anytime in 2003, nor since.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 09:10 AM
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Neopolitan,

I think I may have been guilty of waxing nostagically about the good ol' days of 2003I'm not exactly sure were I got that number from. I've been using as a comparison during the entire 7 month planning phase for this upcoming trip as well.

After talking to my parents and looking at the EU/USD historical charts I guess we got right around $1.05 in 03. I feel a lot better now about today's exchange rate than I did before posting.

One good thing about spending 21 days in Europe. I won't have to buy a gallon of gas or spend money on US bridge tolls. Also my wife won't be able to stealth shop as easily as she does when she's stateside


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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 09:15 AM
  #32  
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"At least if you're below 50 years of age, a campsite and a tent, would be the best option."

What are the rest of us, invalids who need wheelchairs to get around? Camping may not be my choice, but I'm certainly not too old to do so if I wanted!!


Rex, thanks for the clafication. I was being overly polite with my suggestion that I may have missed "that month".
 
Old Mar 21st, 2006, 09:22 AM
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>What are the rest of us, invalids who need wheelchairs to get around?
Sorry. I meant to say 85. My apoplogies to the (tent) campers over 100. You're great!
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 09:23 AM
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Do'h and it was 2002 (not 03) when we went. Scary part is that I'm in charge of the finances at our house.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 09:25 AM
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My first trip, 2 weeks in August to Ireland and England in 1996, cost me about $2200 (for me alone) including airfare, rental car for 3 days in Ireland, bus fare out to Somerset, a week long seminar about 'getting in touch with magical Britain', food, 4 days hotel in London and 3 days B&Bs in Ireland. (it was part of a BA fly-n-drive package) Average cost per day per person: $146

My next trip, 2000 August, my boyfriend (now DH) and I flew to London, rented a car, had B&B vouchers through AAA, and drove to Scotland, Wales, and back to London. Total cost including everything, about $4000. Average cost per person per day $133 (we were on a tight budget and ate groceries/sandwiches for most meals)

Next trip was Ireland, a week in April 2002 for me, DH and my parents. Dad paid for the airfare ($400 each) and had a time share for the lodging. We rented a full-sized car, and meals/etc. was about $50 a day per person. Average cost per person is hard to say, as I don't know how much his time share was worth.

Next trip was August, 2005, two weeks in Leeds and London for me and DH. This was our delayed honeymoon, so we sort of splurged (for us) and got 4* hotels. Rented a car for a week, drove around Yorkshire, then turned in the car and hung around London, with an occasional day trip out to Salisbury. Total cost including everything: $8576 (I figured out the total when I did my taxes!). Average cost per person per day: $268.

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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 09:28 AM
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Forgot to add.. going to Ireland with two girlfriends this summer. Airfare, car rental and B&Bs already booked. Total cost of those items (including travel insurance) will be $4927. That's $109 a day each. We have breakfast covered at the B&B, so lunch and dinner figure another $30-35 a day each, so not even $150 a day each. Of course, the other girls are on a tight budget. I could splurge more, but I have fun at budget travel
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 09:42 AM
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2003: Italy (one week)Rome, Florence, Venice. Overnight Ferry to Greece (one week)Athens, Olympia, Tolon. 3 Day cruise to Mykonos, Rhodes, Patmos and Kusadasi, Turkey. Airfare Atlanta to Rome (conn at CDG), Athens to Atlanta (conn at CDG) All hotels, transfers, airfare and breakfast. About half of the dinners. $2600.00

2004: London (one week) Kensington Close hotel near Kensington High tube station, Eurostar to Paris one day and back, Regular train to Liverpool (Adelphi hotel - grand dame past her prime)one day, regular train Liverpool to Glasgow. One week in Scotland including Oban, Mull, Iona, Skye, Inverness, St Andrews and Edinburgh. Roundtrip Atlanta to Gatwick (Glasgow to Gatwick on return). All breakfasts and several dinners. 14 days total $ 2400.00

2005: Spain, Portugal and Morocco (one week Spain and Portugal - Madrid, Avila, Salamanca, Coimbra, Fatima, Lisbon, Sevilla, Granada) and one week Morocco (Fez, Marrakesh, Casablanca, Rabat, Tangiers). Ferry back and forth across Straight of Gibraltar. All breakfasts, transfers, most dinners. Roundtrip air Atlanta to Madrid (conn in MIA). 15 days $2100.00

2006: Going to Australia. Qantas vacation package includes 4 days Sydney, 4 Days Cairns, 2 Days Alice Springs, and 2 days Ayers Rock. All airfare domestic and international for $2200.00 (Haven't left yet - going in May)

Keith

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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 11:13 AM
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Our last trip - 16 days in Belgium. Germany and Prague totaled approximately $12,000 for 2 - for hotels, meals/snacks/drinks, car rental/gas, one day train ride, site entrances, a couple of walking tours and misc walking around money. We buy modest souvenirs ($50 each for 3 parents and 2 kids).

This does;t include airfare - we used miles. And we don;t count shoppping for ourselves - since we don;t buy souvenirs - only things that we would really like to have - and would probably buy anyway.

We do moderate hotels, mostly moderate restaurants (but one splurge in most cities) but do rent an upscale car because we both enjoy driving fast cars fast.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 11:30 AM
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I'd like to let you guys know what I spent on my German vacation this past Christmas but the bills are still coming in...
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 11:36 AM
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You could have done so many nice things with that money. You just gave it away for... Now don't start complaining about the exchange rate...
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