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How to make a budget plan for a road trip?

Travel Forums Europe How to make a budget plan for a road trip?

1. Posted by Megahurtz (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

As you may have seen on my Introduction thread I am planning a big road trip in 2013, starting in England, doing a massive loop of Europe. Going as far north as Helsinki, as far west Kiev in Ukraine, and as far south as Barcelona!

Its going to be just over 8500+ miles and take 62 days, planning to try and do it on a budget as much as possible, so cheap Hostels and cheaply bought food (Simple cereals for breakfast, Market/Supermarket Bread/Cheese/Ham etc for Lunch, maybe eat out every now and again).

I will also be going out nearly every night for either a few beers in the local pub to a full blown night (Amsterdam, Berlin, Prauge, Krakow mainly).

Will probably be driving a 1.4 Ford Fiesta or Ford Focus or similar.

If anyone could help me out trying to work out how much it would cost, it'd be greatly appreciated :)

2. Posted by Megahurtz (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Cheeky bump!
Even the most basic help would be great as I have no idea where to start lol :)

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5087 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

You have no idea where to start - yet you do know a massive route in a very short timespan... That seems to be to be the wrong order to do things.

8500+ miles in 62 days means that you'd need to be driving 220+ kilometers every single day; excepting days on the autobahn, you'd be on the road driving from place to place for roughly 3 hours a day. If you stay in each destination for three nights (still far too short to get a decent impression of what most places are like), you'd need to drive roughly 9 hours in the days between destinations; that's a friggin' lot, and will tire you out tremendously.

You'd spend somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1200 euro (?) on gas (probably 2000+ in 2013, if gas prices continue to rise), and should budget at least 65 euro per night for food and accommodation (times 62 makes 4000 euro), assuming you'll spend an equal amount of time in Eastern Europe (where it's cheaper) and in major cities in Western Europe (which would be more expensive).

I'd seriously reconsider your need to do your itinerary the way you've currently planned it. In my experience, it's much more rewarding to focus on a smaller area and explore that in depth, than it is to try to see literally everything; far too swiftly sights start to blur together, and you get the "If today is Tuesday, then this must be Paris" feeling.

4. Posted by Megahurtz (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Hey Sander thanks for your reply :)

Yeah i know it is a short time, and some of the driving days are going to be 9+ hours, but there is two of us so it will be split between wich shouldnt be too bad :)

Thing is, i really want to see each of those places, this is the complete route:

And on the note of i have no idea where to start, i more sort of meant, this early on i cant be bothered to spend hours working out how much each hostel in each place was etc etc, was just after a ball park figure which you've given me :)

And in a way, I think i'd prefer a whirlwind tour of Europe, some places we're staying in for 3 or 4 nights, some places just 2 nights :)

This is sort of a taster tour, as im only 18 at the moment, so i can get a taste of nearly every country in Europe, and revisit it if i really like it later on in life :)

But anyway, thanks for the reply :)

5. Posted by mpprh (Full Member 115 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

A few points :

  • Diesel cars have better fuel consumption
  • Some rental companies have minimum age limits
  • National roads are slow, many fast highways have tolls
  • Traffic will depend on time of year and weather
  • Note that Scandinavian summers are only reasonably certain for a couple of months each year
  • Scandinavia needs studded tyres for up to 4 months per year
  • South Europe is very busy in summer
  • The map doesn't show the route to Barcelona ?

Some more research needed ?


6. Posted by Megahurtz (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

If you scroll down to the bottom of the list of instructions on the left of the page and hit next, you see the final leg of the journey :)

Yeah theres lots more planning needed, thats why im getting it all in early :)

Planning to leave Mid-Late April, so hopefully should see the summer in most places :)


7. Posted by melliset (Inactive 15 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Food and lodging are the biggest road trip budget busters. Plan ahead on eating and sleeping to save money on road trips.

8. Posted by gearheart (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Have you priced a Eurail pass? I'm in the US, so I'm sure pricing is different, but from here, two 2 month continuous passes (covering 21 countries) would cost about the same as you're going to spend on petrol, and it would seem to be so much easier (that's a lot of driving). I know that at 18, the driving is probably part of the adventure, but driving in eastern Europe can be a bit of a challenge (in some areas). And there is something to be said for lowering the stress/fatigue levels so that you can really enjoy the places you visit. A lot of hostels are near the train stations anyway. And the train stations are often convenient to the center of town. Just a thought.

I like your idea of seeing as much as you can all at once. You'll get an idea of where to return in the future when you only have two weeks instead of two months. Soon you'll be knee deep in work and family and you'll regret NOT doing this. Good luck.