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May be a hard question to answer, but dont bite me!

May be a hard question to answer, but dont bite me!

Apr 5th, 2005, 10:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,305
TexasAggie, I like your attitude. I know that I'd be pissed off at myself if I budgeted a trip and then found that I was a few hundred dollars or more short when it came to payup time! That was the point of my posting.
HowardR is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 11:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 39
I do all my taveling on a budget. I paid $1474 for 2 rd trips from Mia to Rome. We are paying 60E a night for hotel sink only will share a shower and toilet. I have looked at all the sites for site prices ie Colosseum, Galleria Borghese, Vatican, etc. and have entered all cost in both Euros and US $'s.
Transfer, train tickets as we are going to Florence for a week. Of course food, wine, olive oil, stationary, scarves and a piece of nice jewelry for me and my daughter. I anticipate a cost of $4500 US total.
islandgirltime is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 165

The way I see it your total hotel cost is:

4 nights x 160€ = 640€
2 nights x 165€ = 330€
3 nights x 125€ = 375€
1 night x 138€ = 138€

Grand total:1,483€ x 1.34 = US$1,987.22
jet29 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 7
actually, after my last dicussion with the group, i have decided to give hotel splurging a try. i will let you all know later how it turns out.

what advice i can give you michelem4 is that holidays usually get expensive when you start eating out and going in all the attractions or especially *doing day trips*.

-if what you want is an italian experience why not stick to rome?
-try to maximize whats free
-rome is an outdoor museum, you can site see for free
-vatican st peters can be seen for free, dome for few pence
-read up on what outdoor events are happening in rome, special free museum days etc
-limit your travel outside rome to save
-teach your kids italian with a cassette, and make a game of of trying to understand locals etc so they wont get bored (and make you spend money to entertain them)

-read, read,read about rome so you can appreaciate each bridge,church, monument,even the development of the subway,politics etc. you will have so much italian culture to see around you you wont have time for museums.

that is how to experience italy on the cheap and enjoy it.

paperbag is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 12:57 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,467
jet 29
Your calc is the same as mine in my detailed spreadsheet. I just cut and paste bits of that spreadsheet when I originally posted and missed a few parts - as listed above in my post to HowardR.

As this is generating so much interest and at the risk of being accused of being totally obsessive when I create trip plans ;-), here is the complete spreadsheet (or as much of it as will format from Excel into this post). I broke out hotels CLEARLY at the bottom ;-)

And just to state it one more time, my intention was to give the OP a template to use in creating her own budget.

Italy (1€ = $1.34)
Airfare $1,343.20
Train overnight $158.06 120€ Overnight train in 1st class 2 bed compartment

Trains $153.08 114.24 € Rome FCO - Rome Termini (9.50E each), Rome-Naples (EuroStar, 2nd class, 44.22E), Monterosso-Rome (6:31am-10:57am, 2nd class ES, 62.18€ total)

Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento $17.96 13.4€
Naples-Sorrento, Sorrento-Pompeii-Herculaneum, Sorrento-Naples, Sorrento-Naples, (app 3.10€ one way Nap-Sor, app 1.80€ on way to pompei/herculaneum)

Buses/Trains to get to Paestum $22.70 16.94€

Sorrento to Naples - Circumvesuviana, Naples - Salerno by train (5,37€ each), Salerno-Paestum by bus = 3.10€ rountrip each

Taxis $33.50 25€
Sorrento (bus - 1€ each - no taxi), Positano (may have to walk downhill from bus stop), Monterosso (7-10&euro, Rome (10-15&euro

SITA Bus Fares $21.44 16€
La Tonnarella (2), Positano (2), Amalfi (2), Atrani (2) Ravello (2), Positano (2), Amalfi (2) Salerno (2)

Hotels $1,987.22 1483€
160€ Sorrento for 4 nights, 165€ Positano for 2 nights, 138€ Rome for 1 night, 125€ Monterosso for 3 nights

Meals $810.70 605.00€

55€ per day for 11 days (breakfast is included at each hotel)

Cinque Terre Card $34.84 26€
13€ each for 3 day card

Monterosso Beach Fees $46.90 35€
Campania ArteCard - 3 Day $67.00 50€ 25€ each - valid for 3 days, 2 free sights, 50% off all other sights, free circumvesuviana

Herculaneum and Pompeii $38.86 29€Free Admission (2 sights free with Campania ArteCard), transparency book 11€, 2 audioguides total 9€ at both cities

Archaeology Museum $29.48 22€
6.5€ each *50% off from Campania ArteCard, 4€ audioguide each, 7,50€ guidebook

Naples Churches $20.10 15€
Royal Palace (4€ each *50% off from Campania Arte Card, 6€ total 2 audoguides), Capella Sanservo church (5€ each *50% off from Campania ArteCard), Gesu Nuovo church and Santa Chirara church (free)

Paestum $36.85 27.5€
6,50€ combo for museum and site *50% off, 13€ guidebook, 4€ audioguides each

Pompeii Guide (?) $140.70 105€
2 hour tour is approximately 105€

Boat Tour of Amalfi Coast $201.00
Gennaro e Salvatore

Rome - Palatine Hill & Coloseum
$21.44 16€
Palatine Hill and Colosseum combo ticket- 8€ each

Rome - Capitol Hill Museum $21.44 16€
8€ each, 4€ each audioguide

Shopping, Misc. costs
$268.00 200€
wine, olive oil, pottery, chocolate, postcards

TOTAL $5,474.47

Less prepaid plane $(1,343.20)
Less prepaid train $(158.06)
Less cash in hand $(131.72) 98.30 €
Less prepaid sorrento $(245.22)
Less positano hotel (parents pay) $(442.20)
330.00 €
TOTAL to pay $3,154.07

Total on HOTELS
La Tonnarella $857.60 640€
Less: Deposit -$245.22 183€
Albergo California $442.20 330€
Less: Entire amount, parents pay $-442.20 330€
Hotel Villa Steno $502.50 375€
Hotel Oceania $184.92 138€

TexasAggie is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 01:05 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,467
To clarify,
I calc'd how many times we would be riding the SITA buses (1€ each trip) from each location. That is the numbers in parentheses.

Also, on the circumvesuviana, I threw in the max amount of trips we might take before buying the Campania ArteCard that covers circumvesuviana trips.

Just wondering... Michelem4, are you even around?
TexasAggie is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 01:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
TexasAggie, I love spreadsheets, and I love getting detailed info about costs! I've started doing the same thing for my upcoming trip this summer.
WillTravel is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 01:09 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,467
Hi WillTravel,

I love all your posts about Italy, just FYI. You post so much useful info!

I also love spreadsheets... guess that is why I chose accounting as my profession, hehe

I've found that even though we always leave more than enough in the ATM accessible checking account to cover any miscalculations, we've always come within $100 of my forecasts. It's kind of fun for me to check everything after we come back and see how I did with my estimating, though we don't worry about the budget while we are actually over there. Also, I have similar cash flow projections forecasted out for us for 11 months in advance so between my trip budget estimating and my cash flow estimating, we can usually tell if we can afford to make another mid-year trip to Europe far out enough in advance to get good airfare!
TexasAggie is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,940
Everyone travels a different style as you're seeing on this post.

Personally my pre-travel budget looks like:
Airfare $xx
Hotels $xx
Money in my wallet $xx

That's it! I rarely spend on admissions and never take tours. Food, local transporation, extras just come out of my "wallet money".

Since you want a <dollar amount goal in mind> IMO you just make a list of what you/your family plans & wants to see and do.

The replies here are necessarily vague and generalizations because we still don't know how long this trip is, or what all places you plan to visit.
suze is online now  
Apr 5th, 2005, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 165

At last we agree on the hotel figure. Being an accountant myself I was kind of surprised at the original amount you quoted.

As you might have read on this site we are also in the final stages of planning our trip to France this coming June, and obviously using a spreadsheet to budget and control our travel costs. In the early stages of our plans we obviously went into a detailed cost rundown of our trip i.e. hotel, car lease, air fare, food, etc. As you did, and using travel guides and the Internet, we tried to obtain the precise cost information regarding visiting places of interest, parking fees, tolls, gas price (viamichelin or mappy are excellent in that regard) and a budget for gifts and misc.

All this information is contained in our spreadsheet. Upon our return I have no intention of going into a detailed analysis of budget vs. actual cost as I would in my practice, but, as long as the final figure is within range we will be satisfied.

It was very thoughtful of you to provide the Fodors community with such a detailed cost of your trip, and very useful for people who are planning a trip.
jet29 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 05:37 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 633
TexasAggie -I dont feel too bad now seeing you also make detailed calculation for your trips. I had started a similar spreadsheet on Excel to plan for my trip to Berlin-Prague-Vienna-Budapest in July. I listed different currency converter and hotels' price to play around and budgeted money for transportation cost, museum fees, lunches, snacks, and dinners . This gives me an idea of how much room I can play around: ok... I can spend $500 on shopping or whatever as long as I stayed below $100 or so per day on food etc. I actually do this in everything else: christmas shopping, families' birthdays, etc. I love Excel!!
h2babe is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 06:57 PM
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Posts: 8,305
Gee, I never thought my little mathematical observation would serve as an incentive to produce such useful information!
HowardR is offline  
Apr 6th, 2005, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 180
TexasAggie, you sound like a person after my own heart; as I also budget my trip costs utilizing excel and post the actuals on our return.

delvino, CPA
delvino is offline  
Apr 6th, 2005, 05:11 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,630
I usually use suze's style. i budget for all the major fixed expenses (hotel, flight, etc). Usually i book my hotel ahead so there is no variation in expense on the trip.

For the rest, i figure an amount for the day just for "walkinaround" money. When i return home, i book the whole exp in MS Money at the detail level of vacation-lodging, vacation-travel, and vacation-spending money.

generally, most of my expenses are paid in advance of the trip...i do not require a lot of spending money. eating in most places in europe or asia is not very significant as compared to spending money required at home (london).

i travel a lot so i need to keep tabs on all of this or i'd go broke.
walkinaround is offline  
Apr 6th, 2005, 05:43 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 422
"I just want to walk and walk and take in the scene and repeat over and over "I'm in Italy"

LOL - you might want to tuck in a few extra € - because the other members of your family might not be satisfied with just that! Are you traveling with children?
4totravel is offline  
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