In 8 weeks I am off to embark on my 1st European experience. Very excited , very concerned about my money .
Ill be doing a two week contiki that is paid for and I am allowing 1000 euros for that time. Then I have 4 weeks to do a bit of "whatever" which i have allocated $2200 euros. Considering that in this time I’d like to spend it backpacking through Western Europe and also down to Spain/Portugal.
I have friends to put me up in UK and Ireland but I am worried that i will be cutting myself short financially.
From experienced travellers - would you say that I will need more money than what I am planning to take?
That's about €80,- per day. For Western Europe, which is generally speaking expensive, I would consider this the minimal budget. Does it include transportation, or you have that covered already?
Thanks for your reply!
I have no transportation arranged after contiki, I have nothing planned - no itinerary or transport, very unlike me but I just don't know what to expect. I hear flights are very cheap once you are there, and I am also waiting to see who i meet along the way.
So perhaps I need to think about having more than $2200 for the 4 weeks after contiki?
The flights can be really cheap but sometimes you should book them a little bit earlier but there are a lot Last Minute trips which are a great deal as well. I think the biggest problem will be the transport because you can find some cheap hostels for accommodation. If you can save another 1000$ I think will be better. If you go with 2200$ will be a little risky but maybe again all right if you find some cheap transport.
I hear flights are very cheap once you are there,
That is wrong.
Flights are only cheap if you book them in advance, preferably from home. There are some last-minute bargains to be had, but don't count on them. Especially not if you are travelling in high season (July/August).
Transport is going to be a major expense in your budget, if I was you I would take a long look at a Eurail pass. You should get this pass before you go. If you shell out for the one-month continious global pass (for 1039 AusD) you'll know that you have most of your transport expenses covered already. You'll still have to pay for inner-city transport and some supplements, but you won't be stuck in say, Amsterdam with no money and no way to get to your flight home from London or Frankfurt. If the global pass continious one month pass is too expensive consider the 10-days-in-2-months pass (for 759 AusD). It will allow you to move on average to another city every 3 days or so and you can always throw in a cheap flight or a long-distance bus ride.
Since you got nothing planned the Eurail pass is really the best way to go.
BTW, where will you go to with the Contiki tour, where will the tour terminate and from where will you be flying home to?
If you give this information we could give you tips for a rough initiary along with some cost estimates.
[ Edit: Edited on 06-Jun-2009, at 11:48 by t_maia ]
Hi T_Maia, cheers for the advice!
I am worried about the transportation now; i suppose I didn't really think about it too much. I did think about a Eurail Pass, they are expensive but I suppose when i think about what I might end up spending on flights once I am there it would work out cheaper right?
The problem is that I am flying into London, and leave 2 days after for Contiki for 14 days and end up back in London. I don't know what to expect after the tour and who I will meet to travel elsewhere with which is why I haven’t made an Itinerary.
I’m thinking now I probably should have some plans and that way people can come with me rather than me tagging along others. I am a little apprehensive about travelling alone though.
I have from the 9th August until the 28th August (back to UK for a festival) to see other cities in Europe. So it's really 3 weeks, and I would like to get to Barcelona, Ireland and possibly back to Paris or Rome as I think Contiki will rush those cities.
What do you think? Risk it and not have transport or an itinerary or be better planned? I think I know your answer
You are right about making your own plans instead of just tagging along.
The way I would do it is to make rough plans. Get an idea what you'd like to do, but keep everything so that you can change your plans easily.
The Eurail pass can be the ideal solution.
Some more tips:
Since you already know you want to see Dublin, I recommend that you look into cheap transport from London to Dublin after your Contiki tour ends. Either a flight or a bus, prebooked to get the cheapest fares.
Then I would fly from Dublin to a place on the continent, whereever there are cheap flights to. See www.skyscanner.net for some ideas - but don't be too excited by all those 5 EUR flights. You need to simulate a booking to get at the final price of a ticket. If you plan to fly with Ryanair make sure you are going really light, their limit for checked baggage is 15 kgs max. Ideally you should have a bag that fits the carry-on regulations of most of the traditional airlines.
If you want to see a bit more of Ireland than Dublin I can recommend the Bus Eireann Bus pass. If you got a Eurail pass you can use it too, but in Ireland the bus network is far more extensive than the train network. So if you got a Eurail pass use this, if you don't have a Eurail pass consider the Bus Eireann bus pass.
Since you only have 21 days and already know that you are going to spent a few of those days in Dublin and Paris you could take a look at the 15 day continous pass (the cheapest one). You could go from London to Dublin, spent a few days in Dublin, then have your 15 day Eurail pass start. At the end of your Eurail pass end up in Paris and then go back by plane to the UK. So prebook 3 things: Eurail pass, transport from London to Dublin and transport from Paris to London. Just a suggestion, of course.
Hey Vig Trag,
Im heading for a tour on Contiki for 33days, and everything is paid for accommodation, breakfast. some dinners, travel and taxes and all I have to pay for is lunch (probably simular to what most offer) and my gf who has been on one before said to average 150 AUD per day incase you want to see extra travel tours or buy a top or shorts, alcohol, lunch etc. Some days you will use that amount and some days you wont..
But she said the tour ppl even suggest it, and my travel agent did too.
Hope it helps, happy travelling love!!
UK regardless if they are putting you up, you dont want to bludge too much and surely at least take them for a meal or something in return, so save some money for something like that too...
I think for 6 weeks all up 6500-7000 AUD is perfecto! - But travelling the distance and wanting to do it, take as much as you can, its a one off experience!