Post # 1
My husband and I want to go to Europe next year around July/August for about 6 weeks. His brother and girlfriend will be living in Edinburgh Scotland by the time we go so we will be able to stay with them for part of it. I am just worried about how much it’s going to set us back! We have enough money saved to go and we will have money left over but i guess i am more worried about our savings being halved by going to europe. This will be our last big trip as a couple before we start to have kids so i guess i feel a bit cautious what if we need that money when we have kids. At the same time i don’t want to not go as this is our last opportunity before kids. I don’t expect to stay in 4 or 5 star hotels but i dont know how i feel about backpacker hostels either. Are B&B’s affordable? We live in Australia so the flights are going to cost us a bit. I would like to go to places like (Scotland, London, Rome, France, italy, Barcelona – basically the ones that are closest together). My husband wants to go to Latvia as his dad is from there. I think that would be the only place we go to that far away and then all the other places would be the ones i mentioned before and a few more maybe.
Is it cheaper to do part of the holiday on a tour? I really have no idea where to start and i really want to keep the costs as minimum as possible which is hard when Europe is so expensive! Any help would be appreciated and even an idea of how many places is enough to see in 6 weeks. I don’t want to have an itinerary that is completely exhausting lol
Post # 2
Hi, so first of all wow this sounds amazing and you should definitely do it before having children! I’m from the UK and most of the places you want to go to will be quite expensive but that doesnt mean its unaffordable. Firstly when looking at flights consider STA travel, its not just for students and they do some really cheap flights, on the front page of the UK site right now they have a return flight from London to Sydney for £589.
My first piece of advice would be to look at interrail passes as a cheap way to get around europe. Try www.interrail.eu and www.eurail.com. If you wanted to see many cities within a few countries this is the cheapest way to go, such as different cities in france, spain and italy where you can travel between all 3 fairly easily. You can buy one month passes that cover all train fares (on most trains not highspeed). If you were looking more at visiting specific cities across europe then flying is the better way to go. Have a look at cheap airlines such as Ryanair, Jet2 and Easyjet as they can have deals on flights from say London to Rome for under 70 Euros. You could even combine rail passes and flights depending on where you wanted to go.
Hotels prices will vary alot depending on cities. The UK can be expensive for hotels so BnBs are a good option, they are usually good quality and much cheaper than hotels which can be near £100 a night. Check out hotels.com and Expedia for rates to make sure first though. Some hostels let you book private rooms with a bathroom and they can be as good as hotels so I wouldn’t rule that out either. I’ve stayed in some good hostels in Europe for under 20 euros a night. As a general rule northern and western europe are more expensive than southern and eastern europe so spain and italy will be a little cheaper than France and the UK.
I personally wouldnt recommend a tour as I think they tend to be more expensive than organising it yourself – plus you have more freedom on your own schedule. BUT if you find a tour that does everything you want to see and looks a reasonable price then go for it. I know people that have done group tours round italy and slovenia for a good price.
Finally, you can do alot in 6 weeks, especially with a rail pass. Depending on what you want to see in each country, I would say 3-4 days per big city i.e Barcelona, London, Paris and Rome. If you wanted to see more of the UK and Scotland I would spend two weeks (including 3 days for London) perhaps starting with Scotland then making your way down the UK through either the Lake District in northern England or the Peak District in Yorkshire before heading south to London and the surrounding areas for day trips to Stonehenge etc… You could also easily spend two weeks seeing France and another 2 weeks seeing Italy but that depends on what you want to see in each place. Personally, I would see Edinburgh and London in one week, fly to Paris- 4 days, fly to Barcelona- 3 days then go by train through the south coast of France and explore Italy before heading home. But thats because I love Italy and have seen all of England so it’s really up to you.
Sorry my message has been so long! I hope some of it comes in useful. I get a bit obsessed when it comes to travelling! Whatever you decide to see you will have an amazing time 🙂
Post # 3
we spent about $100/person/day when we were in italy. from meals to museums to entertainment.
staying for 6 weeks and being with family, you might eat out less, but that’s what we had read you typically spend, and it was pretty close to what we spent.
some days more, some days less, but it pretty much evened out.
Post # 4
thanks for the help 🙂 its the accommodation that will cost us the most so hopefully we can find some cheap B&B’s and reasonable hostels maybe if need be 🙂
Post # 5
We spent about 10k in 3 weeks (not including flights or hotels)
Post # 6
If you want a good 3 star hotel (in a good location, not an unsafe, out of central area place and where you do not need to take the subway/taxi everytime you go out), it will always cost you 80euros per night for a double room with bfast wherever in Europe you are. I think that is what I pay whenever I go to anywhere in Europe. Last February I went to Milan I spent 110euros for a triple room with bfast per night but the hotel was a 2 minute walk from the duomo (the main square). London usually sets me back 80euros per night. Rome I got a weeks stay for a single room at 72euros per night but the hotel is in Piazza di espana. Brussels, I never paid more than 80euros per night. Vienna was around 60euros per night. I always tend to stay nearest to central places so that when I go out in the evening I dont need to take the subway or taxi especially if Im on my own. Also, sometimes if you go to a hotel out of the central area, but is cheaper, you will still end up paying the difference in transport. Trains are not always cheaper. I once took the Eurorail from Brussels to Disneyland Paris for 25euros, Thalys from Brussels to London for 20euros (all highspeed trains so between 1 and 2 hrs) and took a ryanair flight from Bari to Milan for 12euros and Milan to Malta for 40euros. Trains leave/take you to a central place while airports tend to be at least an hour away from the central areas (also no check in, you have to be there only 5mins before train leaves unlike at airports, no luggage limit). But you have to check if the train is a highspeed or not or else the same distance from 1hour could be increased to 5 easily! I dont like hostels where you share a dorm, I have never stayed in one (dont trust my stuff or sleeping with strangers, also dont like sharing a bathroom, most tend to be students and probably will always be loud and drunk) but they are really cheap which could be around 15euros per night. Obviously you will always find cheaper hotels. Some hotels mentioned above, you could also find them much lower, depends on the season and also day of the week. Brussels is much cheaper during the wkend because Brussels accommodates a lot of workers of the EU and everyone goes back home during the wkend.
Post # 7
aquastar: Hello fellow Aussie bee!
I haven’t read through all of the responses, so this may have already been mentioned but have you looked at holiday rentals or self serviced apartments? Basically, they tend to be little apartments or cottages that people own and rent out to tourists, probably because they get more money from that than leasing it out long term. They are way more affordable than hotels and much nicer than other options in simlar price range. Plus there I think you can ‘immerse’ yourself in the cities more and save money as you can cook – bonus! 🙂
We’re looking at going in August ourselves, so that’s how I found them.
Post # 8
It’s hard to say how much money you’d need. It all depends on how nice of accomdations you want, what things you want to see (there can be a lot of enterence fees), and how much you want to eat and drink. But there are ways to keep costs down.
1. Like PP said, check out Eurail and look at the varios pass options. I did a 10 day backpacking trip and getting the rail pass was definitely the way to go. Not only did we use it to go from country to country but also to get around in the countries and cities. While planes are nice, trains allow you to see more of the country. Also, I have no idea how old you are, but if you are <=26 (or 25 can’t remember which), then you can get a student or youth pass (I forget exactly what it’s called) at a discounted rate.
2. Look into renting someone’s apartment or house if you plan to stay in a place for more than 3-4 days. My parents did that and they loved it. Not only is it cheaper than a fancy hotel, but you also have access to a fully stocked kitchen which can help save you money.
3. Don’t rule out hostels! Many will have private rooms with their own bath and they still cost less than a hotel. Also, it’s a FANTASTIC way to meet people. We found HostelWorld to be a great resource. http://www.hostelworld.com/ You can find party hostels and more quiet ones.
Anyway, sounds like a pretty amazing trip – have fun!
Post # 9
i’m guesstimating 5k. my friend backpacked through europe for 5 weeks and that was his budget. staying in hostels, eating local food, not being overly extravagant.
Post # 10
It all depends on what you want to do and how much you’re willing scrimp or spend on the trip. Staying with family for part of the time will definitely help, and if you can be frugal with meals, site-seeing, etc. you could do it for less. I just know my husband and I spent about $5,000 for 10 days in Italy for our honeymoon. We didn’t stay in 5-star hotels, but our hotels were pretty nice, and we didn’t want to worry about our budget for eating out, going to museums, enjoying ourselves, so we set an ample budget – we tracked our spending but didn’t really say no to anything we wanted to do, and ended up spending just under our budget (like, within $100). You could certainly stretch that budget a lot further than we did, though.