In the last couple of weeks as more and more people have found out about my getaway, the topic of cost as been raised quite a few times. People have asked how can I do this without overspending, so I’ve done a quick breakdown of costs which I’m estimating will come to £3,000 total over the two months.With this trip, bear in mind I’m not going to blow money on fancy restaurants and shopping along the Champs-Elysees. The only frivolous thing I can think of right now is trying my luck in a couple of casinos in Monte Carlo – a far cry from the pier arcades of Brighton?
This was the first thing I looked at sorting once I had built out my itinerary. The Interrail Global Pass gives you continuous travel throughout Europe for thirty days, and as a second class passenger this costs just £488 (plus £10 coverage), roughly £16 a day. I’m also making the most of taking night trains where you save money on accommodation costs, sleeping or blogging away as you’re whizzed to a new location. Granted, if you want an actual bed for this experience it’ll cost you but I’ve proven to myself time and time again that I can sleep just about anywhere!
Flights added a small cost of £45; I’ve a one-way ticket to Bergen, Norway and got in early so it was cheaper. I’ve yet to book my return flight, mainly because I can’t commit to where or when I’ll be flying back from, even if I have a pretty clear idea now that it’ll be Paris to Edinburgh, I don’t want to have it set in stone.
Total cost: £543
Every one of my twenty-five hostels and hotels are booked up. I blitzed this in the evenings after work and my method was to find the cheapest and then find the cheapest that look clean and friendly. I’ve stayed in a few hostels before, mainly in Canada and some actually have more charm than hotels. In Tofino, Vancouver Island, I stayed in a four-bed room in a cabin right on the lake. Bliss.
My favourite hostel I’ve got lined up comes in early in the trip when I visit Copenhagen, Denmark. Urban House looks like the perfect place to be social, serves craft beer and even has a tattoo parlour! Along the way, I’ve got six hotels to spend a few nights in. Why pick hotels over hostels when on a budget? Well, sometimes I got them for a nearly identical price, sometimes the location was just better and I want to be near the train station in each location as I’m arriving and leaving at random times. In the case of Monte Carlo, I couldn’t even find a hostel!
On average, it’s costing me £17 a night, taking into account I have free accommodation in Scotland as I come to the end my trip.
Total cost: £1,015
Keeping track (Train pun??)
From the beginning I’ve kept an Excel spreadsheet of costs so I’m on top of my expenditure and know how much I can spend on different aspects of the trip. It’s a great way of not blowing everything in one place and realising if you’ve spent too much somewhere, you can make it up somewhere else. Travel and accommodation were always going to be the costly bits, but they’re also the most important and the basis of a good trip in many ways.
Now I’ve got everything sorted that I absolutely need to before I go (apart from travel insurance and a phone deal – need to dedicate an evening online for this!), I’ve allocated myself £1,500 spending money, to spend on whatever makes sense at the time. Tours, admission, food and the Monte Carlo casinos will be where the main chunk goes but ultimately, I’m not too obsessed with sticking to my £3,000 budget. Sure, I’ll keep track in my Excel spreadsheet but at the end of the day, if an opportunity or experience is too good to pass up and I have to spend some dollar, I will.
Expected total cost: £1,500