Travel Forums Europe Budget

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1. Posted by jazzG (Budding Member 2 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!


It will be my first time traveling to Europe in January . I am taking a 15 day tour with my husband for our 10 year wedding anniversary. I would like any recommendations on approximately how much money we should consider taking on this trip. Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you in advance.

2. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 448 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Europe is a continent made up of 50 countries.

If by 'Europe' you mean the EU, that is made up of 28 countries which are part of the continent of Europe.

All European (and all EU countries) are different, not only in their laws and culture and (usually) their language but also in their cost of living. Costs can and do vary considerably from country to country.

In order to give you any valid ideas about your potential budget we really do need to know which countries you intend to visit on your trip to the continent of Europe.


[ Edit: Edited on 11-Jul-2018, at 13:14 by leics2 ]

3. Posted by jazzG (Budding Member 2 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Ahhh right! ☺️

The tour will begin in London, we’ll then go on to Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany.

Thank you

4. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 835 posts) 21w 1 Star this if you like it!

Okay, a 15-day tour beginning in London, then on to Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. Now by "tour" do you mean you are going on an organized tour or you are touring on your own? If on your own, how do you plan to travel, rental car or public transportation? If you are going on an organized tour, do they provide meals and entrance fees, etc.?

Six countries in 15 days leads me to suspect you are going on an organized tour and you won't have much time in any of the six countries. If the tour includes most of your meals and entrance to sights, you really only need to take enough money for souvenirs, tips to tour staff and the occasional extra meal you'll have to buy.

If, on the other hand, you are planning to do the 15-day tour on your own and renting a car or using public transportation, we'll need to know where you want to go in these countries, and I would probably suggest you consider cutting down the number of countries you plan to visit because you have to factor in transportation time no matter how you plan to get from place to place. Since you can easily spend a week in London and a week in Paris, that's 14 days right there. Certainly three days is about a minimum for a major city in Europe. Think about that and what you enjoy doing. For instance, if you plan your own tour, you may not want to visit a city at all if you enjoy national parks, outstanding scenery or small villages.

Think about this and come back and share your thoughts with us and we'll see what we can do to help you.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you have a wonderful anniversary trip and congratulations on 10 years!

5. Posted by Dabs (Budding Member 6 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

As I understand your question to be how much money should you bring to Europe, the answer is not much if you have credit and debit cards. I usually only bring about $100US with me in case by some stroke of bad luck my debit, credit and spare credit cards stop working. Check with your credit and debit card issuers to find out what the foreign transaction fee and withdrawal fee, for me my credit card is always the preferred method of payment as there is no foreign transaction fee and no per transaction fee. My debit card has a 3% foreign transaction fee and a $3 charge per withdrawal so I just take out enough for small purchases.

You will also want to notify the card issuers that you will be going out of the country since it will seem out of the ordinary for you.

The countries you've listed have three different currencies, London is on the £ (pound), Switzerland is on the franc and the rest are on the € (Euro). You will not want or likely be able to use the different currencies in the other countries.

6. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 448 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for clarifying the itinerary.

How much you'll need on a daily basis really does depend on whether you are taking an organised tour or travelling independently. None of the countries you'll visit are 'cheap' with Switzerland and the UK being the most expensive. Capital cities, especially their historical centres, are always more expensive than elsewhere and, of course, anywhere which is visitor-popular is more expensive too.

How much you'll actually spend also depends on your own preferences and choices. I'm a late-middle-aged solo female traveller...and 'mean'. When I travel I always book accommodation with breakfast and, in the countries you're visiting, I budget for around 50 euro per day to include food, drinks, local transport (bus, Metro) and entrances. I mostly walk, don't need lunch because I have a big breakfast, eat in pubs/bars, only have one alcoholic drink and usually spend around 30 - 40 euro per day max. Other people spend much more.

As Dabs says, many visitors do primarily rely on their cards, both for ATM withdrawal and for paying bills. You will, however, always need at least some local currency because not everywhere accepts cards, especially for purchases of lower value.

Card info:

  • Visa and/or Mastercard are by far the most widely accepted card logos in Europe (the whole continent, including the EU countries), with American Express being much less commonly accepted. It's useful to have more than one card logo (e.g. a Visa card and a Mastercard), just in case.
  • Make sure you know the charges your card provider/s will add on (it may be cheaper to pay in cash) and make sure your card provider/s knows in advance that you will be travelling abroad.
  • Chip & PIN technology is the norm within the EU and across much of the rest of Europe. 'Swipe & sign' is regarded as old-fashioned though the facility is still available in most places which accept cards. You can't swipe & sign with automatic machines such as ticket machines.
  • It's best to use bank ATMs to withdraw cash. Some ATMs, especially non-bank ones, may make charges (on top of any your card provider may levy). They should make these charges clear before you even begin the transaction.
  • Try to use ATMs when the bank is open, just in case your card gets 'swallowed' by the machine. It's so much easier to sort things out if the bank is open! :-)

And, obviously, stay alert when using ATMs. Keep an eye on who's nearby and, if you feel uncomfortable, go somewhere else.

  • In some visitor-popular places you may be offered the option to pay in USD. Imo, it's best to always pay in the currency of the country (GBP for the UK, Swiss francs for Switzerland and euro for the other countries). If you're offered the option to pay in your own currency you can be sure the exchange rate won't be in your favour: the exchange rate is set by the seller.


7. Posted by Stefmuts (Budding Member 136 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Ok so the itinerary is clear but what what else, are you on an organized tour or do you need money for hotel/hostel and transportation, if organized are meals included? What level of comfort are you looking for, 4* hotel or airb&Bb, restaurant diner or mc Donald's ;)
Most payments can be done by creditcard throughout Europe, check if you can use your debit card in ATM's in Europe don't bring too much cash money, starting in London I would get some pounds up front so I don't need to look for an ATM right away, and maybe some Euro's.

8. Posted by natnatroswell22 (Inactive 36 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

You better choose the countries with the same money currency to prevent hassle and nuisance.

Post 9 was removed by a moderator
10. Posted by itravel1 (Budding Member 7 posts) 21w 1 Star this if you like it!

Keep in mind you are on an anniversary! You might prefer to splurge just a little...? Entry to sites and museums are generally 10-30 per person, three or four of these per cities adds up. Being from California, you probably would like to sample and compare wines while people watching from your patio chair in a bistro in old town, 10-50 a bottle. I'm sure there will be at least one or maybe several nice dinners to celebrate your years together, easily upwards of 100 to bank-breaking numbers. Simple souvenirs for yourselves, family, friends, plus plus plus.
You could bring as much as you can afford and still not have enough or just enough to make it by and all would be fine. Think about things that you want to see and do, get some ideas for a budget and then maybe leave yourself a couple extra.

I generally budget myself 100 per day after accommodations. this figure works well most times but I find in bigger cities and more expensive countries, which you have a few, 200 per day works better. But that's just me and everyone is different and makes and spends money differently.

Enjoy your trip! Europe is beautiful!

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Jul-2018, at 08:45 by itravel1 ]