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PLEASE HELP ME OUT---PEOPLE HERE ARE SCARING ME REGARDING PRICES IN EUROPE

PLEASE HELP ME OUT---PEOPLE HERE ARE SCARING ME REGARDING PRICES IN EUROPE

Mar 7th, 2001, 12:31 PM
  #1  
Tushar
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PLEASE HELP ME OUT---PEOPLE HERE ARE SCARING ME REGARDING PRICES IN EUROPE

HEY GUYS,

I am going to Belgium for 3 months and my company is booked me into a hotel which is bloody well charging me 550$ per month...so half of my stipend is goooone. I will be left with just 450$ to please my appetite and my 'senses'.

How does belgium compare with other countries like Switzerland (which I have heard is very costly) and Germany (which is very cheap). Would I be able to move around (see places) and eat well??

Help me out please.

Tushar.
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 12:48 PM
  #2  
Gina
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Tushar, are you talking about U.S. dollars, Australian dollars, or another type of dollar when you say they're charging you $550 per month? In any case, either way $550/month for accommodations sounds like a bargain to me in just about any modern European city. If it's Australian dollars, that's *really* cheap.

Switzerland is indeed very costly, but I wouldn't say that Germany is "very cheap," based on my experiences there. I haven't been to Belgium so I can't say, but it's my understanding that the most affordable countries in Europe are those in eastern Europe; Spain and Portugal are also very affordable. Really don't know how Belgium compares with those.

Again, if you're talking about American dollars, then that leaves you with about $100/week for food, etc. That's under $15 a day, which isn't much. I don't think the cost of your accommodations is unreasonable, unless you're staying in a slimy fleabag dive, but the overall stipend (is that all the money you'll have for that period of time?) seems a mite low to me.
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 12:58 PM
  #3  
Jim Rosenberg
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Good points. Perhaps the company feels that if you are being lodged at company expense and presumably paid for your work, then the other portion of your "stipend" goes toward the same groceries and incidentals which you would be paying for out of your own funds if you were at home. Granted, I've heard of more generous arrangements. On the other hand, if I was offered the same opportunity, I'd take it.
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 01:02 PM
  #4  
Art
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$550 / month sounds very reasonable to me. When I was traveling in the US up to two years ago, I used to pay more than that for 4 nights. Your company may be a little stingy on the stipend, BUT don't forget the tax benifits and the opportunity of being in Europe for a much longer period than most of us are able to do.
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 01:11 PM
  #5  
wes fowler
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Brussels is an expensive city. Since it first became NATO headquarters and is now a key city in the European Union swarming with politicians and bureaucrats, the cost of living has risen dramatically. As evidence, hotels drop their rates up to 60% over weekends when the bureaucrats go home. Once outside Brussels and major tourist cities like Bruges and Ghent, you'll find prices extremely reasonable.
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 01:46 PM
  #6  
mauld
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Unless you were planning on eating out each night at expensive tourist restaurants I'd say you'll do fine! One of the first things I do when I get into a European city is find the local grocery store (Monoprix, Tesco, Champion etc) and pick up local foodstuffs. Also, since you will be there for an extended period of time, I'm sure you'll become acquainted with 'local' restaurants and cafes. You have an opportunity to get to know the real places, not just tourist haunts.
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 01:49 PM
  #7  
Thyra
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Do you HAVE to stay in this hotel simply because your company booked you? Since you have to pay it out of your own stipend, I would look into finding an apartment or house swap, someplace with a kitchen so that you can prepare you own meals and save even more money.
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 01:53 PM
  #8  
Steve Mueller
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As far as moving around is concerned, train tickets in Belgium are not very expensive (in part, because nothing in Belgium is that far from anything else in Belgium). You should easily be able to visit easily accesible places like Ghent, Antwerp, Brugge, Dinant, and the coast.

Belgium, and particularly Brussels, gets written off by a lot of participants in this forum as uninteresting, but I have always found it to be one of the most enjoyable countries in Europe. The Grand Place in Brussels is one of the great sites of western Europe. Brugge is like a medieval Disneyland, which causes some people to hate it and some people to love it - but, whatever you do, don't miss it.
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 03:02 PM
  #9  
Andrea
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I don't understand this post, as US$550/month is dirt cheap for lodging in any major W Eur city and in the US; that is about the price of a hostel in Europe, certainly not expensive at all. And if that is some currency worth more than the US$, than the leftover $450 is a lot more money, too. I don't understand the problem here at all--the company is paying for your lodging, which includes utilites etc, so you have over $100 a week for food and entertainment and sundries. I don't spend that much on myself at home and I live in an expensive city, although I don't eat out much, that is true. Also, you would have those expenses at home coming out of your pocket, so that may be the reason for that amt, it could be some estimated difference in expenses. I don't think you have a problem myself, but I don't understand your point of view--you think $550 a month for lodging is very expensive but $450 for food is a pittance. Some could argue your company does not owe you entertainment in your free time; I know that depends on your level, if you were CEO or somebody important, they would, but I have never known anybody at a low-level paying job who goes on international business jaunts.
 
Mar 7th, 2001, 06:03 PM
  #10  
You've
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Where are you staying in Belgium? Anywhere near Ieper, next door to the pig farms? Can't be Brussels for 550$/month. Couldn't find a studio apartment in any city in the US for that price, not even a real sleazy hotel is that cheap. Go find another job!!
 
Mar 8th, 2001, 12:57 AM
  #11  
HELLO
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HELLO ALL,

I WANT THIS MESSAGE ON THE TOP.
 
Mar 8th, 2001, 04:26 AM
  #12  
pricey
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When I first your note, I thought "Yeah, $550 a day is a bit much for a hotel, $350 is about the max my company will pay"

And then I thought, "What the hell kind of company are you working for that put's you up in a hotel for $550 a month!"

I've never heard of anything so absurd. Is your company a not-for-profit or volunteer organization.

Sheesh.
 
Mar 8th, 2001, 04:28 AM
  #13  
pricey
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After re-reading Tushar's post, I can't help but think that he's trolling.

550 a month is less then $18 bucks a day. Can't be real.

Of course if it's February it's $19.64 a day, so that's not bad.

 
Mar 8th, 2001, 05:23 AM
  #14  
troll sniffer
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I smell a troll, too. Have you ever heard of paying for things out of your own pocket??
 

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