Spending Money Europe

Old Mar 19th, 2014, 04:20 AM
  #1  
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Spending Money Europe

I posted a topic about 12 months ago in regards to 90 days in Europe nod have since done a lot of reading and have now booked my travels.

Due to some unforeseen problems with my tour if South America I had to reduce the amount of time spent in the UK.

In total I'll be staying:

18 days (with friends in Derbyshire, England)
21 days in Germany
3 days in Krakow ( not very long but I had a very specific list of things I wanted to see)
6 days in Czech Republic (5 in Prague 1 in Czesky Krumlov)
10 days in Austria
10 days in Switzerland
21 days in France
19 days in Italy

This may seem rushed for some but compared to what I originally wanted to do it is vastly toned down.

I'd just like some idea of spending money. Bare in mind that I have already paid for ALL accommodation (all of which include one meal), ALL day trips/tours and have set aside money for ALL rail costs & the few additional entry tickets I'll need.

I'm purely looking for ideas for daily spending money for local public transport, 2 meals and buying things here and there. As far as my spending habits I'm looking to eat mostly simple meals and splurge every now and then on something more upmarket and I don't plan on buying heaps of things to bring home but buying a few good keepsakes.

I have read that €50 should be enough but it doesn't sound like much so I'm not sure.

Cheers everyone
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 04:36 AM
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To some extent, it isn't that different from where you live, probably. How much would you spend in your own country if you were a tourist visiting some city and spent on public transportation and eating out? It's up to you, really, what you spend on food and drinks. If you eat cheaply and simply and not three full meals a day in a restaurant, I think 50 euro should be enough, but if you want to eat a lot or in more expensive retaurants, it won't be. For example, I don't eat breakfast, and sometimes you get that with your accommdations. But if you eat out, you could easily spend 10-15 euro on that in a restaurant/cafe, or at least about 5-10 euro if you are eating simply, even takeout. So right there would make a big difference in your 50 euro a day total budget.

Likewise for drinks. Some people must drink a lot all day and buy expensive drinks from vendors or cafes. Drinks can cost a lot in cafes, maybe 3-5 euro each, so if you have several of those a day, that also makes a big difference in your 50 euro a day budget. I won't buy bottled water unless desperate because I don't approve of what all that is doing to the environment and there is no reason to in any developed country with decent water systems, which is any W European country I've been in. I buy one bottle once and then just keep refilling it from the tap to carry around during the day. I don't do this just to save money (although I don't really want to spend 5 euro a day on water), but because I do disapprove of the waste of plastic bottles and what they do to the environment.

Buying keepsakes is totally within your control as to what you spend. You can obviously buy cheap souvenirs for a few euro or spend a lot of money on stuff.

So I think 50 euro would be enough to survive, but if you want the option of spending more and not watching things so much, count on more like 75 euro a day. What are you planning to do with this budget, not have that much money in your bank account without planning? If so, I would never let my bank account get so low that I could not have enough funds (ever, actually, but definitely if I'm traveling abroad and might need money from the ATM in cash for some emergency abroad).
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 04:42 AM
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Well I almost never eat lunch and my breakfast are included. I rarely buy drinks throughout the day maybe a cup of coffee is about it. Like I said all my accommodation, transport, sightseeing, activities and tours are already paid for and a lot of these include lunch or dinner. This money is purely for spending only. I didn't understand the comment about how much money I have in my bank account?
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 04:49 AM
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Why couldn't you say which meal is included? Is it breakfast or dinner? If dinner is included then E50 is fine. If breakfast is included then you might want to budget a bit more per day.

Food in Krakow, Prague, and Cesky Krumlov will be inexpensive. Wine is expensive in Poland.

You don't say where you're going in the other countries on the continent. Food cost more in cities than in the countryside but you can always find bars or cafeterias for meals. Switzerland is quite expensive.

Avoid soft drinks which are very expensive. Refill your water bottles at the hotels/hostels rather than buying new water bottles every day. Beer is usually cheap. Stopping at cafes during the day, even for a coffee, will increase expenses.

You will want to ensure you eat some fruit and vegetables. These are less expensive in grocery stores and street markets than in restaurants.
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 04:54 AM
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All breakfasts are included, in areas such as Paris, Berlin etc I have booked accommodation that includes a kitchen so that I can make my own meals which like home should be cheaper than dining out so that if I'd like to splurge on somewhere expansive I can. Depending on how much I spend in South America I should have about $100 AUD (60€) a day to spend. It definitely doesn't cost me $100AUD to do the same on an average day here.
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 05:57 AM
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It always costs more money to eat when you travel than what you spend at home. For instance, I can purchase things at large supermarkets when they are on sale and save a lot of money. At home you can buy and store items but when you travel and stay in apartments you need to buy things that you leave when you check out - things you have in the cupboard at home and don't think about. Some of these items would be cooking oil, salt, pepper, any condiments, coffee, tea, milk, etc. In apartments you also need to buy toilet tissue although this is not a major purchase you need to think about this type of thing.

An average day traveling is not an average day at home. What about when the unforeseen happens and you need more money? An example would be that you break something in the rental apartment and have to pay cash to the owner/agent to replace it. You get stuck someplace and need to take a taxi. You're unwell and need to pay for a doctor and medicine.

You asked for information and now you're questioning the advice.
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 06:04 AM
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Thanks for the advice i don't even know why I asked since it won't change the amount of money I have to spend I will just make do with what I have because I can see from the forums people have managed with less.
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 06:04 AM
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BTW - just because you've allotted extra money for the trip doesn't mean you have to spend it. Better to have more for emergencies than to run out before the end of the trip.
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 06:08 AM
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If that's what you have to work with then you'll make it work. Get copies of Let's Go guide books (from your library or on line) and copy down their recommended places to eat. This is a fabulous guide book series for budget travelers. I've used their books for decades and use them today. There's tons of information on traveling well on the cheap.
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 06:17 AM
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I'll have a look for them at the library. If worst comes to worst ill use my credit card or my parents will lend me money I'll just be careful.
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 06:23 AM
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It's difficult because it depends so much on how and where you eat.

Our pattern is to have a continental breakfast in the hotel (we never eat large breakfasts) which often comes with the room, a casual sit down lunch (cafe, pizzeria, sandwich shop) which is about 20 euros per persona and a pleasant sit down winner with wine - which we allow 50 or 60 euros each. So with a snack we assume about 90 or 100 euros per day for food and beverages (water or soft drinks except wine at dinner) each. And in each city we allow one splurge dinner - 250 to 300 euros per couple.

But - if you want to be more casual can have enough food for half that - but then won't be enjoying the dining experience - just stoking food.
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 06:39 AM
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I'll probably splurge on one dinner however will avoid spending large quantities of money on food per day. I hope self catering reduces costs
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 06:45 AM
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We tend to have bigger lunches and lighter dinners. (Sometimes just gelato.) After a long morning sight-seeing, it's nice to sit a bit and refuel. But I think you can eat well without spending as much as nytraveler. No Michelin starred restaurants but still pleasant and memorable dining experiences.

I assume you have at least one ATM card for getting cash -- better two. The ATM card withdraws directly from your bank account; that's why Christina was concerned with your overdrawing. You probably won't want the credit card except for bigger purchases and fancier restaurants. In a pinch, you can withdraw cash using a credit card, but interest starts immediately. Caveat: I'm assuming Australian credit and ATM cards work the same as American ones.

You've exactly 90 days in the Schengen zone. What if something happens and you can't keep to your lockstep itinerary? What if there's some unexpected expense? Say you sprain your ankle and can't walk on it, and have to take a taxi to the train station. All this is to say, you don't have any ease in your budget nor in your itinerary. It would be good to have a little money and a few days just in case.
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 07:07 AM
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As I have written before, at home and abroad, I like a substantial breakfast partly for health reasons, a substantial lunch because it is almost always good value, and a light dinner, usually at home or in my room consisting of protein and salad or vegetable.

In the small US city where I am at the moment, this would cost about $10 for breakfast, about $20 for lunch and about $30 if I ate a simple dinner out or $12 from a deli or a sandwich from a sub shop. I would expect from experience to be able to spend the same in Euros.

Plug these numbers into your trip. It will cost you less if you have lots of meals provided, but x lunches @ 20 euros and the same process for breakfast and dinner will give you a safe figure across the entire whole trip.

Things you may not expect will add up. It often costs a euro to use a toilet or you are expected to buy an espresso at the same price. It costs more in France and Italy to sit at a table than to stand at the bar for food and drink, and it costs more to sit outside on the sidewalk. In Italy and now I hear in some places in Spain, you have to pay a coperta, a cover charge, before you add in the cost of the meal. It won't necessarily tell you on the menu outside.

Americans are used to free refills for some drinks (soft drinks and coffee, for example) and free beds and reduced priced meals for children. Not so in Europe.

Trains have first and second class carriages, and there are cost differentials between them and you get in big trouble if you cheat. Local trains are cheaper than express trains, in general if you go out on your own for a bit.

It can be hard to find someplace to eat or buy food on a Sunday in small towns, especially those off the tourist track, and many establishments close for several hours every day and perhaps one whole afternoon a week. Supermarkets in France have to close at 1:30 on Sundays. Bakeries mostly open on Sunday morning in France for an hour or two so you can buy fresh bread and pastries. Then they close until Monday or even Tuesday. No cheap sandwiches!

I understand that German shopping basically shuts down on Saturdays and Sundays, as it used to do in NZ, but they both may have changed. When most stores are closed, you have to pay through the nose at the ones that are allowed to remain open.

I gently disagree with the poster above that beer is cheap. I take a deep breath in the UK when I drink alcohol that I have not bought at a supermarket. I don't find France much better for beer. I am used to $4 for 12 oz to a pint US of craft ale in the US, though it can quickly climb. Wine is dead cheap in France and Italy in supermarkets and bring-your-own-container shops and not expensive in cafes, a blessing. Croatia had cheap everything but I didn't think the wine was as good as the locals believed, though the beer was cheap and spectacular as was the food mostly.

So you wanted specifics. I hope you stuck around long enough to get these very specific notes and observations.
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 07:28 AM
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>>>Well I almost never eat lunch and my breakfast are included.<<<

Breakfast is often skimpy (drink/croissant), but it depends on where you stay so I wouldn't count that a filling (unless you know each place serves a substantial breakfast).

You will spend more than you think because you will be in touristy areas and major cities(things tend to be higher priced). It's often not convenient to eat at your lodging unless you are staying in the very heart of every location. You are also out walking around all day which burns calories and makes you more hungry.

>>>In the small US city where I am at the moment, this would cost about $10 for breakfast, about $20 for lunch and about $30 if I ate a simple dinner out or $12 from a deli or a sandwich from a sub shop. I would expect from experience to be able to spend the same in Euros.<<<

Actually, it would cost you about 1/3 more because of the exchange rate.

>>>It often costs a euro to use a toilet or you are expected to buy an espresso at the same price.<<<

Train stations, restaurants, etc. will charge for bathroom use. Sometimes you need a coin to enter. Other times there is an attendant to pay.
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 07:46 AM
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Sorry I wasn't clear.

$1 corresponds to €1 which in reality is $1.30, though I am not sure how that relates to the OP's AUD.

So a $10 breakfast is a €10 breakfast, which is a $13 breakfast, but I don't have to add tax and tip in Europe so it the €10 euro/$13 breakfast is not substantially different from the $10+tax+$2 tip you would pay in the US.

That's probably not any clearer!
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 08:26 AM
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You would be hard pressed in some places like really really expensive Switzerland to buy two meals for 50 euros equivalent - to cut costs go to the supermarket and buy take out deli stuff or groceries to picnic or eat in your room.

You cannot afford regular restaurants on 50 euros a day IME.

If you are taking trains between all those places then some kind of Global Eurailpass - you say you have set aside money for rail trips - well if you buy as you go along you will on that itinerary spend hundreds of bucks more than a pass - with which you know exactly how much transportation will cost and pay for it before leaving.

check out these superb sites on European rail travel - www.seat61.com (for railpass prices check out his commercial link to Rail Europe); www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com. If you eschew a pass the only alternative to not spending a fortune as you go along is to book discounted tickets on various national rail sites and you must do this months or weeks in advance to guarantee those limited in number tickets and they are set in stone - typically non-changeable non-refundable.

again like on your other thread some country passes are cheaper than Eurailpasses per day - a German Pass can come out to be about 20 euros a day at a certain level and you can hop any train anytime with very few exceptions. a Swiss Pass can be real cost effective with only a few longish train trips and has so many other things it covers.

If you buy tickets as you go along expect to spend $100 or more for full fare tickets between countries or even within - Frankfurt to Munich itself would cost about $100 full fare - I suggest you investigate what you will be paying on a walk up basis - look at a flexipass where you get X number of days to use over a two-month period - use the pass for long trips and then in a city buy those cheap unlimited urban transportation passes - like in Germany many regions have Lander Cards for 30 euros or so for a day's unlimited travel on regional trains (not on faster trains) and city transports.
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 08:53 AM
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Frankfurt to Munich trains cost 101 euros full price or about $140 for a 3 hour or so trip! The cheapest on the day of travel.
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 04:26 PM
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I added up the cost of all my rail vs passes and reservations fees and buying point to point tickets appears to be the better option
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 04:37 PM
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I think 60 euro per day is just fine for what you need it to cover. If that's what you have, that's what you have, and you can make it work.
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