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    • NomadicMatt

      I went through your expenses and as I said in the post, there are plenty of ways to cut down your costs if you don’t eat out, drink, or go to attractions. You didn’t do any of those things or if you did, you didn’t write about them. So cutting that out would cut your budget in half. Realistically though the vast majority of travels don’t do that.

  1. Michael Tyson

    Another hugely effective way to cut down on the main expenses of travel – accommodation and transport – is to either camp or rent/buy a motorhome. Because we wanted to travel slow and for a long time we bought a motorhome, which works out to be more cost effective than renting after about the 3 month mark. Italy cost us an average of €35 per day. Although not in Europe, we wintered in Tunisia for about $19(US) per day. We often free camp to save on accommodation costs but even when we do stay in caravan parks it’s a lot cheaper. At the moment we’re in England and are paying £6.50 per night. A couple of friends of ours are touring on bikes with a tent and they also frequently free camp.

    As you mentioned Matt, the GFC means now is the perfect time to travel in Europe. When we bought our motorhome we calculated how much money we saved by buying it at that time compared to 1 year ago – $5000 (US). If we had’ve bought the motorhome now we would have saved almost $9000.

    Another outside-the-box kinda way to do it cheaper is to house-sit – look after someone’s home while they’re away on holidays. We spent 11 months rent-free in Australia when we were saving up to travel.

    It’s not for everyone but after traveling in a motorhome I do think I’d ever do it any other way.

    • NomadicMatt

      As I said above, if you cut out accommodation and don’t eat out, you can drastically cut down your costs. However, most travelers don’t want to cook every meal and stay in hostels so which I would say yes, a motor home and camping are cheap, most travelers want to stay in hostels so my budget includes all of that.

  2. Sharon M

    Yes, now is the time to go to Europe, with a weakened Euro and GBP. Thanks for providing a realistic budget for someone who wants to be frugal, but doesn’t want to skimp on the the experience either!

  3. Shawn

    50 to 70 Euros still sounds expensive. One trick is to drink tap water and raw food, it really makes a difference. Many restaurants do like that a salad only with tap water is ordered but why pay for bottled water when the tap water i drinkable.

    Well the traveling the Balkans is still cheap and with totally beautiful landscape.

    Bosnia is an excellent country to travel.

    So Matt do you couchsurf, I haven’t read any posts concerning your experience?

    Also House sitting, if you have the time, can work out great if your interested in a region. Right now there are over 20 house-sitting situations available in France and more in Spain.

  4. May

    59 days = Euro 4,317 = US$5400, so about $2700 per month.

    It’s high, but not too bad, considering you were moving around and going out to eat.

    Good article.

    • NomadicMatt

      It could be done a bit cheaper but underbudgeting always gets you in trouble….in the past, I’ve thought “naa, I can do it cheaper” and then something has come up and my budget is blown. I say pack half as much stuff and take double the amount of money!

  5. Rob

    Whilst I haven’t been backpacking around Europe yet, my parents travel a lot and they mentioned to me France is getting very expensive now. 8Euro for a beer seemed average, not just hotels but also pub prices. Whereas Spain it’s still 2-3Euro for the same thing.

    I think you just need to be clever with your budget, 70Euro is a nice amount to work off, but I feel Europe could probably be done comfortably on 50Euro a day still.

    To Singaporean in London – London is one of the best connected places in Europe, it’s not too hard or expensive to get too compared to anywhere else, again, it depends a bit on research and being clever. There are a few ways to get to mainland Europe and back to London for £10, you just need to keep an eye out for offers.

    England can be cheap, I’m writing this on free wifi on a greyhound to London from Portsmouth which is costing me £1 each way. The price of a shot of coffee in some places!

  6. Alan

    “In 59 days of traveling, I spent 4,317 Euros, which averages out to 73.17 Euros per day.”

    So precise! Maybe you should join me on my next cost-of-living assignment. How are you finding the prices in NYC?

  7. Caroline Makepeace

    It’s been a few years since I traveled Europe so I can’t say much about the cost now. When I went it was really popular for Aussies/Kiwis/Saffas to tour the Europe trail in campervans. It was a lot of fun as so many of the vans followed a similar path so it was like a summer long traveling party. I travelled with 4-6 girlfriends. We rarely paid for night’s accommodation, as you would often find free camping, a lot of the time in poll position on the beach. The campervans that were there got together and cooked and drank alcohol from the supermarkets. It was a ton of fun and super cheap. Definitely not everyone’s cup of tea though as it was ultra budget- but geez did we have a good time! Our campervan died along the way, we had to move to public transport and after a day we’d had enough and bought another van from some departing Aussies at the nearest Portugese campsite. You just couldn’t beat the freedom and fun of the van travel!

  8. ayngelina

    I really want to go to Spain at the end of my RTW but I just don’t think I can afford it. In Central America I’m spending about $1000 a month without much scrimping but it looks like the cost would double in Spain.

  9. Sheryl

    I was traveling quite a bit in Western Europe for the past couple of years and I think 70 euros a day is a reasonable budget. With this budget, one can have more choices on sightseeing activities and even have the occasional night outs with nice dinner.

    I’d like to add that young adults below 25 or 26 can usually get 10-30% discounts on trains. It’s also good to check for discounts and promotions on the websites of train companies because you may get a ticket for half the price.

  10. Alex

    Kind of an extension of the couchsurfing tip but… milk every connected you have! I’m heading to the UK soon for a wedding and my bank account is shaking in its boots. But I have no shame, and if you ever mentioned that you had a cousin who had an exchange student from Wales… I’m asking for the email and trying to add another city to my itinerary. Its heartwarming how many people do want to help, and I’d do the same when travelers come my way

  11. Ed

    Much of Europe is way overrated and far too expensive anyway. And in many places they really don’t like Americans, so they will try to insult you as much as they can. Chile, Peru, New Zealand, Australia are all very nice places to visit with a lot to see and do.

  12. JonesAbergs

    I hate to rain on anyone’s parade but personally I find the whole “weak euro, wohoo, great deals to be had on travel”-argument kind of silly.
    Generally over here in Europe we pay a lot more for pretty much everything. So even if the exchange rate is more favourable than it was a couple of months or a year back, odds are people coming over from across the pond will still feel that it’s expensive. Sure you may save a hundred or two but taking into account the total cost of the visit (probably a couple of grand) that is not really a significant amount. Sure it’s something but not really worth celebrating over. If you can afford a trip to Europe (or in my case the US) a couple of hundred saved is merely a drop in your financial ocean.

    • NomadicMatt

      I think your argument that in order to travel to Europe you must be rich, is not true. Many people come over on tight budgets and a few hundred dollars is a lot of money to them. While it may not be to you, it is to other people and it is to those people that I say “Go now!” because they can’t afford to spend a lot so the weak Euro helps them out.

  13. Tom

    Westrern Europe is overrated. I enjoy doses of Europe, don’t get me wrong. But it’s difficult to enjoy it on a budget. Gondola rides, museum tickets, monument climbing and the like add up to 100’s per week. And that’s without eating or sleeping. Which means no gondola rides, museums or monument, but then why go to Europe?

    You get WAY more bang for your buck pretty much anywhere else in the world.

  14. Kim

    Matt, does your backpack count as a carry-on on Ryanair or the other cheap carriers? I’ve flown them before and really gotten nailed because I had to check a bag.

  15. Marie

    This is incredibly informative, even for those who already travelled in Europe. Planning a trip can be really overwhelming and forgetting small details is easy, especially budget wise.

    If you travel light and easy, you will be able to save hundreds of euros, either to keep for your old days or to extend your trip.

    Thanks for your input!

  16. NomadicMatt

    As I said there is a range. I think you could do it on as low as 50 but it depends on how budget you want to be. There’s way to lower the costs by using couch surfing, cooking meals, etc.

    • lakshay

      i have no problem cooking meals ( maybe 1 time a day) but how can i do that?
      if i couch surf , will the host let me use his kitchen or is there other options/?

      i havent done couchsurfing before, so what are things i should if i go to host house for first time.. some tips to make him feel that i am not a freeloader

  17. Vanessa

    This was a helpful article for me! I have finally mustered up the courage to plan a long-term trip. I’m deciding between teaching english, or just saving up and going about for a bit, first. Either way, your website will be a go-to for me on tips, advice, and know-how. I appreciate your time and knowledge and perhaps one day to have a blog of my own that people will want to read! Thank you Nomadic Matt 🙂

  18. Dale Moore

    Hi there, just making sure does this include or exclude a eurail pass? I’m thinking of budgeting 60 euros a day with my eurail ticket already booked but the rand is so so very weak at the moment (luckily a fair bit of my savings are in pounds)

  19. Jace

    I traveled through all of scandinavia (including iceland) and then 10 other central and western European countries. Total, including flights to AND from Europe (from USA), I spent between 18-21 USD per day. I camped or stayed with people I met along the way. Never used couchsurf and only payed to sleep twice (one hostel in Iceland and one in Hungary). We ate out probably 3 times a week, otherwise bought food from supermarkets. Hitchhiking was our transportation. In the 90 days we were there, we hitched over 7,000 miles. FREE. most of our friends and places to sleep came from those who picked us up. Our actual cost of living per day was under 10 USD if you take out the flights and gifts we sent home along the way. I should add that we also were sober and vegetarian (meat and alcohol can be pricey) so that was to our advantage 🙂

  20. Ryan Biddulph

    Not bad Matt on the 10-20 Euros a night in Greece in Spain. Hopefully at reputable spots 😉 The more I travel the less I spend because I see; places are much less expensive than folks claim. Gotta see ’em in person and experience spots and judge for yourself.

  21. Molly

    I’ve been following your blog for a long time and love your great info. I just want to comment on your advice for taking free walking tours. Travelers should be aware that the people offering free tours are often not certified tour guides and may have no training at all or authority to give tours. Most countries have tour guide training programs and tour guides have to follow the guidelines. Just do some research and try to use a certified guide! Thanks!

  22. Carina

    Hello Matt!!

    Thank you for the information. Although I’m european and I usually take two-day trips within the continent, I didn’t know that you can camp in someone’s backyard! That’s a wonderful way to stay in a country.
    Europe can be cheap if you know (as you said) how to move within the countries: flights can be so expensive or very very cheap (I’ve travelled to Alghero with return flight from Barcelona for just 10€). Also accomodation is easy to find.

    Thanks again for the info, have a good day.


  23. Purvi Kamaliya

    This was the problem I encountered during my recent trip. While heading on a budget I had planned all expensive western countries. But this guide literally helped me. Thanks

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