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Travel Budget, Money Matters, Financial Talk Mom, can I borrow ten grand?! Gimme yo mastercard! How the heck can I pay for my trip?! Ideas for making money. How much dough do I need?

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Old 03-22-2006, 06:00 PM   #1
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Hello everyone, I'm a first time poster here. Got the majority of the info I need just from reading old posts. You guys are amazingly comprehensive. Bravo!


How much do you use public transportation in European cities? Can one easily just walk everywhere? I'm budgeting $5 a day assuming some days I'll be heading far away, and some days I'll just be hanging out. But, if most cities are walkable, I could stand to save some cash. And lose some weight come to think of it...

Any advice is appreciated.

Some more general info on the trip(s) I am very tentatively planning:

Europe part 1
September to November
Florence - Venice - Athens - Meteora -Greek Islands - Venice some more - Rome - Florence - Siena- Cinque Terre - Nice - Avignon - Barcelona - Valencia - Madrid

Part 2
March '07 to September '07
London - Dublin - Belfast - Cardiff - Glasgow - Paris - Mont St. Michel - Bruges - Amsterdam- Stockholm - Helsinki - Tallinn - Krakow - Berlin - Prague - Cesky Krumlov - Budapest - Vienna - Salzburg - Munich - Then whatever seems best after so much travel.

Planning on staying in hostels and doing the bread & cheese routine. I'm a cheap date so booze shouldnt kill me too much. Except in Prague, heh heh.

I've budgeted $14,500 for 9 months of travel, including plane tickets, buses, a pack, insurance, etc. I can make that much if I really really try... I hope.

Wish me luck as I explain this whole plan to my parents! (I'm 20 and want to take a year leave of absence from school to do this. College can be very disillusioning, especially for a theatre major, or illuminating, depending on how you look at it)

Anyway, this post is getting long so greetings, and it's a pleasure reading about everyone's time overseas!

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Old 03-22-2006, 07:12 PM   #2
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First of : WELCOME !

Now, business.

You have a super project before you noodleroni ! And since you're on a tight budget, you won't have the choice but do your accounts just about everyday. You have chosen cities where the cost of travelling is high, so my one special advice would be to head east when you think money could lack. And Eastern Europe is a wonder to discover, especially beyond Hungary.

Have you broken down your budget ? Amount for the plane ticket, insurance, etc ? If so, what is the average daily amount for food+lodging+local transport+activities left ?

Here's an idea of cost per day (+ my personal average, and I was on a tight budget):
One day in Western Europe = $75 (my budget : $55)
One day in Hungary = $40 ($22)
One day in Romania/Bulgaria = $25 ($15)

As far as public transportation is concerned, most cities offer day and week fares, so the longer you stay, the better you pay. I was in Western and Eastern Europe in 2000-2002, so I'll let others give you the actual fares, but I'd guess that $5/day would be enough. (It's only a few cents in E.E. by the way).


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Old 03-22-2006, 08:30 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice atchoum. Indeed... my route is pretty West-heavy. I was originally planning on using the Busabout loops, to make travel planning easier, but the dates and the cities dont quite match up. So my west heavy itinerary could definately use some eastern additions. Anyone have any suggestions? I don't really know Tallinn from Bratislava at this point, and travel websites are much less detailed once you cross into the ex-Soviet bloc.

Tentative Budget

Plane: $1178, (2 flights, got a $589 Boston/London round trip estimate from STA, realistic?)

Bus: 3 busabout loops + greece and london connections: $1517
(I'm traveling a month after busabout stops running however, and loops dont go past prague :-(

Hostels: $6000 ($22 a night estimate)

Activities: $1000, (I figure I'll have my fun, and then just go to state funded museums and pretty parks and whatnot)

Daily Transport: $1350 ($5 a day)

Food: $2700 ($10 per day??)

Insurance: $300-$400 (really rough guess)

new shoes: $80-$100

Pack: $200

3- 1GB SanDisks for Camera (I like pictures!) $210

Total: approx $14600

gah, might have to trim a month off this thing. Transportation really kills you...

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Old 03-22-2006, 08:35 PM   #4
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Well, maybe more than a month. Heh, I'll just stay in Bulgaria for $15 a day until they start asking me for a visa.

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Old 03-23-2006, 02:21 AM   #5
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hi and welcome to TPunk!!! your trip sounds amazing. Quite the adventure you have planned. My only difference would be that my fun cost would be higher, and I wouldn't take busabout. why not get a rail pass? it runs all year round. either way you're gonna have the time of your life!!! enjoy

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Old 03-23-2006, 02:40 AM   #6
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You can keep that month if you spend more time in eastern Europe - it's amazing, cheap, beautiful, and changing fast. As a theatre type, you'll love the operas, ballets and plays you can go to - incredible quality and TOTALLY off the wall - in places like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and for a pittance. Front row seats at ballet/opera premieres run around $25 in Lithuania, normal seats can be had for $2-$5. And these are state run and professional companies. You'll be amazed.

Since budget is an issue, I'd limit time in London, Paris, Stockholm and Helsinki in particular (Venice is going to be $$$s too) and make a slow swing south from Tallinn, through Riga, Vilnius (I'm biased, we lived there for two years, and loved everything about it - you'll find millions of posts in the eastern Europe section - and there's a theatre museum) and from there take the bus to Krakow. Poland is so much more than Krakow, however, so I'd give yourself time to check out the rest of the country, too. I've had two ten day visits to Poland over the years, and it's not nearly enough to do it justice.

Transit in eastern Europe is dirt cheap, and cities like Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius are all enormously walkable - compact Old Towns ranging from the medieval to the baroque. And bus fare is about $0.30 in Vilnius, just to give you a ballpark. Likewise, hostel accommodations are extremely cheap.

If you're going to be in a city for any length of time, it's definitely worth looking into the transit passes, as they really do pay off.

Going in the off season, you may pay less for accommodations, but you'll have to make sure you have seriously warm clothes with you...

I'm a bit confused by your schedule - are you going home from Nov to Mar 07? Or will you be studying somewhere, or ...?

Keep us posted as your plans develop, and feel free to ask anything you can think of - you have questions, tpunk has answers!

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