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How much did my trip cost?

Thursday, December 26, 2013 @ 09:36 pm from United States United States
I was curious how much my 6 months in Europe cost me so I totaled up all my expenses (that I was diligently keeping track of at clearcheckbook.com) and came up with some interesting stats.

I was in Europe for a total of 173 days (June 27 - December 17, 2013). I visited thirteen different countries, some of which cost more than others, but to make this easier I'm not going to break this down by country but instead give overall averages. The total for my time in Europe, including flights to and from, was $11,508.40. Not too bad!

If you take the flights to and from Europe out of the equation it drops the total down to $10,803.45 which is just under $63 per day. This includes lodging, travel, food, drinks and sightseeing.

To break things down further I spent:
  • $704.95 on flights to and from Europe
  • $2,358.87 on travel within Europe
    • $1,223.04 on trains
    • $350.12 on buses
    • $785.71 on intra-Europe flights
  • $2,651.32 on lodging. Actual cost is slightly higher since I had to pay cash for some

When I was first planning this trip I was estimating about $75/day at the high end and I came in below that which is pretty impressive. I cooked at the hostels very regularly which helped cut the costs down. I felt like I was traveling pretty normally. I wasn't super cheap with everything but I wasn't paying to go into every church, castle and museum in every city I visited. I stayed at a few hotels and did a couple overnight buses and trains but the majority of my nights were spent in hostels.

If you're planning on a long term trip in Europe, you can definitely get the above costs down if you need to. In Spain and Germany, car sharing is a huge thing. There are several websites that hook up travelers with drivers and the costs are usually cheaper than buses or trains. Couchsurfing is also a way to cut down lodging costs. While staying at hostels is nice for the solo traveler, if you're traveling with someone else finding apartments or cheap hotel rooms can sometimes be cheaper than hostels.

The things that most helped me cut my costs down were cooking my own food and staying at hostels. If you can't deal with hostels and need to stay in hotels regularly, plan on spending about 2-3x each night (assuming you're a solo traveler). Also, take advantage of hostel breakfasts. If you're shameless and cheap you can make a sandwich or two with the free breakfast food and eat that for lunch.

Notes: A lot of my daily purchases were made with cash. I didn't actually track every cash purchase but I did record the ATM withdrawals which are included in the grand totals above. Also, I used some airline miles to buy my return flight. That return flight only cost me $54 in taxes.
John Lennon Wall. #prague #europetrip2013
Atomium in Brussels. #brussels #europetrip2013
River Corrib walk in Galway. Another beautiful day! #europetrip2013
I had gelato here last time I was in Rome. It was just as good this time. Over 150 flavors to choose from. #gelato #rome #europetrip2013
Florence. #florence #europetrip2013
The Victory Column. #berlin #europetrip2013
Manarola from a different angle. #manarola #5terre #europetrip2013
I was tired of feeling hungry at night. Pasta with chicken, asparagus, garlic and spices with some garlic bread. Super easy to make and cheap too. #dinner #pasta #europetrip2013
Berlin Wall. #berlin #europetrip2013
Leaning tower of Pisa. #pisa #europetrip2013

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Where I've been:

Good Evening… Planet Earth
All the countries I visited on this trip (in yellow).

What's this about?

Traveling is something I've loved doing for as long as I can remember. I've been lucky enough to travel out of the US a few times but never longer than 2 weeks at a time. I decided that I should go see the world and experience all it has to offer. I booked a one-way ticket to Dublin, Ireland to depart on June 26, 2013. After I get to Europe I'll let serendipity take hold and see where I end up. No schedules and no itinerary… just go with the flow. That's as close to a plan as I'm making.

Who am I?

My name's Brandon O'Brien and I'm a travelholic. Before this journey I've been to 11 countries and put over 17,500 miles on various motorcycle trips through the USA and Canada. I'm a self-employed web developer so I'm fortunate enough to be able to work anywhere there's an internet connection. That's what truly made this experience possible.

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