Spending Money

Jan 25th, 2011, 09:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 18
Spending Money

The husband and I are booked for a trip to Europe in December (FINALLY!). We will be gone for 21 days (not including fligth days). We will be doing a land tour so all of our accomodations, transport, and breakfast are included. We also have 11 of our 21 dinners included. Flights have been paid for (ouch!) so the only thing left is spending money...since I have never been to Europe and the last time the husband went he was 14, I'm at a loss for how much to set aside. I have heard as little as $30/day per person and as much as $150/day per person. Obviously everyone has different spending habits but what would a REALISTIC guideline be? We dont want to miss out on important sites or experiences but we also dont want to break the bank either.

We will be visiting London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Venice, Rome, Florence, Lucerne, and Paris..in case this helps.
hartsj9 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I don't think that you will have too much opportunity to spend money if you are on a tour that covers ten cities in 21 days; If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium. But you need not worry about getting the cash ahead of time. Your ATM card will work fine at any European bank's ATM. You can also use your credit card in many establishments, but I believe that American Express is less acceptable than Visa or MasterCard.
Michael is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 10:06 AM
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You're right - this could be vastly different for every person. For the meals that aren't covered by your tour, are you planning to eat at very nice restaurants? Do you want to do sit-down lunches or just "grab a sandwich" sorts of meals? You'll want to plan on some money for water/drinks and snacks, probably.

If you'll be visiting museums and other attractions, are those entrance fees covered by your tour costs?

Those, plus your souvenir habits, are the main things I can think of. I would spend on the lower end (though I'd plan on more than $30/day, at least for the days when dinner is not covered). But someone who eats at nicer restaurants and buys more souvenirs (or more expensive souvenirs) could spend quite a bit more than I would.
jent103 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 10:19 AM
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I was going to make the same point Michael already did. Based on the itinerary, there won't be much time to spend money. Assume entrance fees are also paid for by the tour, you'll just need money for a quick lunch, possibly cup a coffee or glass of wine, maybe some shopping, and dinner for those 10 nights on your own. Without dinner that will probably be closer to the $30 per person. With dinner, probably closer to $100 per person. Again, it all depends on the restaurant, the wine or drinks, and how much you plan on spending on shopping and souvenirs.
MFNYC is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 10:45 AM
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My husband and I usually spend around 100 euro per day for the 2 of us on meals, drinks, and incidentals - some days is more, some less, but that is our average.

We don't go for high end restaurants - usually fairly casual places. In Munich, for example, we are likely to have dinner in a beer garden in good weather - a couple large beers, some brats and pomme frites, maybe a little potato salad. Or maybe small restaurant where we have some roast pork, potato dumplings, and a beer. In Amsterdam we had doner kebab one night and then splashed out and had steaks at an Argentinian place the next night. Probably the most we've ever spent on dinner in Europe is 80 euro for the 2 of us.

For shopping, on a 2 week trip, we probably spend $200 - more if my husband finds a watch to buy or I get some jewelry
november_moon is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 11:57 AM
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haha yes it is a lot of places in a very short amount of time but its the tour that appealed the most to us..this way we get to experience a bit of all our must sees and decide were we would like to go back and experience more in depth.

entrance fees are not covered on our tour (for the most part) and we will definately be checking out some museums and churches. we never buy many souvenirs, usually only for the immediate family..although this is europe and having never been there that could change.

thanks november_moon. that helps. We seem to be similar in the travel styles. some days its a budget days and some days its a plurge day.
hartsj9 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 11:57 AM
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and by plurge i meant splurge haha
hartsj9 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 12:17 PM
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Actually my estimates are pretty generous now that I give it a second thought. You can probably do lunch and dinner for closer to $50 per day per person for a moderately priced dinner and light lunch. Entrance fees vary. Most churches are free, and even some museums are. You can look at the museum websites to get an idea of what things may cost and whether or not you want an audio or guided tour, etc.

If you look at your tour schedule, and see where you have free time to do your own thing, you can do a little research to see what sights you'd like to see, and what the fees may be, etc.
MFNYC is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 12:45 PM
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I took organized tour only once (very long time ago) and if I remember correctly lots of "optional tours" and entrance fees were not included. Also tips for guides & drivers are expected. Major museums are not that expensive anywhere in 5 to 15 euro ballpark. Some cathedrals also charge small admission. As far as dinners go I would budget about 20 euros pp average. Drinks extra. Sometimes it's more some times less.
hkto is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 05:40 PM
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Agree that you won;t need much spending money - since you will be spending much of your time sitting - or napping - on a bus.

For casuale dinners in cafes you can do $25 or $30 per person if you order carefully. If you want Michelin 3* places figure $300 to $400 for dinner for 2.

check out the costs of "optional" tours with your tour group. Doubt you will have time to see many sights other than those on the schedule.

If you want lots of useless tschotkes then plan on spending a lot on souvenirs at the many shopping stops the tour bus makes.

But you don't need to BRING any spending money. Either use your credit card or pull cash for walking around money from your checking account with your bank card at the nearest ATM. This will give you by far the best rate of exchange.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 01:20 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
Good advice.

My wife and I travel overseas enough that we no longer bring back souvenirs, though we do buy clothing and shoes sometimes. You pay for those with credit cards, just as at home. The least expensive credit card is Capitol One, as has been posted many times.

The least expensive way to get cash for minor purchases is to find out which overseas bank machines (ATM here, bancomat there) your bank will allow you to use without fee. Bank of America, for examples, allows free withdrawals from Barclays machines in the UK (but not their branches in Europe) and BNP Paribas in France, where you can get all the euros you need.
Ackislander is offline  
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