How to Travel Across Europe for One Month on a Budget (Part 2 – Itinerary and Budget)

2 more days to 2017 but I can’t seem to get Eurotrip out of my system yet. I hope you all have read my previous post on tips how I traveled around Europe on a budget. This time, I will discuss further about the itinerary and budget breakdown in this post because I know that budget is probably the biggest concern when you are planning your Europe trip. My total expenses for the whole trip was less than $3000 and I could say it was a semi-backpacking style. Why semi? Because I got the best of both worlds. I stayed in nice hotels and dorms but I also slept in the airport. I ate in cafes and restaurants but I also cooked instant noodles on some days. I walked a LOT to save money but I also spent a LOT on shopping. So yes, I guess I could say it’s a semi-backpacking trip. hehe..

I traveled to Europe in August 2016, which was a high season because it was summer. Traveling to Europe in summer has its pros and cons. I like it because I can pack light. I don’t have to stuffed my luggage with thick coats and jackets and to be honest, I have a poor tolerance to cold weather. I just hate it. I’m a beach girl, I would rather stay all day under the sun than covering myself in thick layers of clothing, trying to keep myself warm. But every tourist attractions in Europe will be packed with visitors because everyone is on summer holidays. Most of the hosts on Couchsurfing were not available because they either have guests or going somewhere for vacation. If you are lucky, you can still find available affordable dorms and hostels with good ratings.

The real Italian Pizza will be perfect for today 💁🍕

A photo posted by Greta Clarissa | #LaVidaBella (@greatgretaaa) on

I traveled with my friend Rita. We arrange everything ourselves, from visa processing to the itinerary. Rita was in charged for Barcelona, Switzerland, and Germany while I was in charged for Netherlands, France and Italy. We both discussed and agreed on the places we want to visit and we consulted each other when we found good hostels to stay. Trust me, having a travel mate makes all the planning so much easier since you can divide all the hard work. We applied for our Schengen visa from Netherland’s Embassy in the Philippines through VFS Global because we both were working in Manila. Turkish Airlines just had a massive drop in their flight price from KL to Amsterdam due to suicide bombing happened in Istanbul Airport. We decided to get the flight anyway and made Amsterdam our first and last stop for our Europe trip. Rita, however, decided to stay longer to visit her friend in  Germany and Finland. She later canceled her Finland trip and went to Prague instead.

This is the route of our 25 days Europe trip

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Amsterdam – Rotterdam – Kinderdijk – Amsterdam – Barcelona – Paris – Pisa – La Spazia – Cinque Terre – Rome – Vatican City – Zurich – Interlaken – Grindelwald – Jungfraujoch – Brienz – Zurich – Munich – Berlin – Amsterdam

Schengen Visa Application

We actually just booked the ticket after we got our Schengen visa approved. We gave a ticket reservation instead, with the help of Blue Horizons Travel & Tour for visa processing. It’s totally fine if you decided not to buy your ticket reservation. Remember to tell them up front that you need the ticket reservation for your Schengen visa application. You just need to pay 500 pesos for that anyway. As for the hotel reservation, we booked the hotels that have free cancellation and pay later policy so we can change in case we find better accommodation later on. It’s also compulsory to have travel insurance with minimum coverage provides €30,000 and covers urgent medical expenses and repatriation to your state of residence. We also purchased ours from Blue Horizons Travel & Tour. So here’s the breakdown for visa application:

– Travel Insurance P2500
– Flight reservation P500
– Visa Application P3900
======== Total P6900 or $140


Transportation

I always use Skyscanner and Kayak to find good flight deals. As for intercity transportation, I recommend using GOEURO and Rome2Rio to compare different transportation option. We didn’t get Eurail pass because it was crazy expensive. Mind you, we booked everything only 2 months before our departure. The price is quite high already. So our intercity transportation was a mix of bus, flights, and train ride. We also took long distance night bus to save money. We booked most of our intercity transportation weeks before our departure to save ourselves from a headache during the trip.

1. (Flight) KL-AMS-KL P22,960.15
2. (Bus) Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Amsterdam P473.08
3. (Flight) Amsterdam-Barcelona P4013.25
4. (Bus) Barcelona-Paris P1841.74
5. (Flight) Paris-Pisa P2836.03
6. (Train) Pisa-La Spezia P404.5
7. (Bus) La Spezia-Roma P473.08
8. (Train) La Spezia – Cinque Terre – La Spezia P870
9. (Flight) Roma-Zurich P2748.51
10. (Train) Zurich-Interlaken P1684.46
11. (Train) Interlaken-Grindelwald P535.66
12. (Train) Grindelwald-Jungfrau-Grindelwald P6680
13. (Train) Grindelwald-Brienz P934.91
14. (Train) Brienz-Zurich P1830.38
15. (Bus) Zurich-Munich P810
16. (Bus) Munich-Berlin P1188
17. (Bus) Berlin-Amsterdam P1227.74
======== Total P 51,511.33 or $1040.11

 

Now that we have transportations taken care of, it’s time to find accommodation and set aside pocket money. This is the tricky part because each individual has different needs and preference. What works for me, might not work for you. But you can still play around with your budget and sacrifice comfort to be able to travel more. You can save so much by sleeping in the airport, Couchsurf, cook in the hostel and buy lunch from the Supermarket. The key is to be open-minded, creative and have a low-maintenance attitude. We immediately scratched Couchsurfing from our list after a lot of our request were being turned down due to summer vacations. As for pocket money, the way I budget my money was by setting my maximum daily budget. We both have a credit card but because the limit is very little, we barely used it unless it’s for emergency and shopping. Yes, shopping is part of emergency too. haha I have divided my expenses for accommodation and pocket money per city. So take a look at the details here below.

1. First Stop: Netherlands
Amsterdam – Rotterdam – Kinderdijk

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Accommodation (inclusive city tax)
LLoyd Hotel 3N 128.285
Hotel Rotterdam 2N  61.5
Best Western Plus 1N  40.3
Total € 230.085

Tourist attraction entrance fees
:
  33.5
City transportation: € 77.8
Meal expenses€ 65.65

Total = €407.35
Daily budget = 67

2. Second Stop: Spain
Barcelona

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Do it for the books #Barça #bcn #traveldiaries #jetsetgrets #wanderlust #lavitaebella #travelgram #vscocam

A photo posted by Greta Clarissa | #LaVidaBella (@greatgretaaa) on

Accommodation (inclusive city tax)
Birdhouse 2N  59.44
Tourist attraction entrance fees:  21.9
City transportation: € 18.2
Meal expenses€ 41.25

Total = €140.79
Daily budget = 71

3. Third Stop: France
Paris

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Accommodation (inclusive city tax)
Metropol 2N  52.72
Tourist attraction entrance fees:  24
City transportation: € 32.09
Meal expenses€ 47.24

Total = €156.05
Daily budget = €79

4. Fourth Stop: Italy
Pisa – La Spazia – Cinque Terre – Rome – Vatican City

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Accommodation (inclusive city tax)
Hotel Aurora 2N  52.75
Hotel Marsala 3N  61.5
Tourist attraction entrance fees:  44.7
City transportation: € 39.8
Meal expenses€ 118.2

Total = €316.95
Daily budget = €53

5. Fifth Stop: Switzerland
Zurich – Interlaken – Grindewald – Jungfraujoch – Brienz

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Accommodation (inclusive city tax)
Youth Hostel 2N 98Fr
Hotel Glacier 1N 44Fr
Tourist attraction entrance fees: 5Fr
City transportation: 8.6Fr
Meal expenses22.2Fr

Total = 177.8 Fr
Daily budget = 60Fr

6. Last Stop: Germany
Munich – Bavaria – Berlin

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Some walls are meant to be broken #traveldiaries #wanderlust #lavitaebella #jetsetgrets #travelgram #vscocam #wheretonext

A photo posted by Greta Clarissa | #LaVidaBella (@greatgretaaa) on

Accommodation (inclusive city tax)
Atlas City Hotel 1N 34.5
The Cat Pajamas Hotel 1N 19
Tourist attraction entrance fees: €35.5
City transportation: € 34.6
Meal expenses€ 71.95

Total = €195.55
Daily budget = €49

Aaand to wrap it up, my total spending is around $2,500++  including accommodation, entrance fee, luggage storage, food, intercity transportation (flights, bus, train ticket) and city tranportation (metro, bus, tram, etc). I didn’t include my shopping expenses in the equation because again, each person has it’s own needs, wants and preference. And you know what? with the same budget, you can actually add some more country for a day trip like Belgium, Prague and Austria or other cities too. Rita mentioned to me that she even spend less than $100 in Prague for everything. Too bad we didn’t got a chance to visit these countries together. But what I’m trying to emphasize in this post is that IT IS POSSIBLE TO TRAVEL TO EUROPE ON A BUDGET. You can still eat nice foods, take awesome pictures, enjoy beautiful scenery even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend. We did encounter some mishaps like we missed our bus, we got scammed on the train, but luckily, we were safe. You also need to keep in mind that a month travel in other continents can be extremely tiring. There were nights Rita and I were so tired from walking, we can barely feel our feet anymore. Pack a lot of vitamins and personal medicine for the trip. The last thing you want to happen on the trip, aside from getting robbed, kidnapped and raped, is getting sick. Take it easy the with the travel. I remember we have to take out some places out from our itinerary because we don’t have any energy left to go. What matter is that you get to enjoy every minute of the trip. Hope this post will help you to plan your Europe Trip. Everything that written here is based solely on my personal experience and my honest opinions. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have anything to add. I would love to hear from you!

 

2017 is just around the corner. It’s time to make those dreams happen. Which part of Europe do you want to go?

 

Live to the fullest,

Greta

 

1 Comment

  1. Hi greta
    My name is sovy from indonesia. I am interested to go to europe somewhere in fall 2017. May i ask for your detailed itinerary when in germany and france?
    I am planning to go for about 10-12days, including amsterdam-belgium-france-germany. Oh and btw, have u visited belgium? Is there any good sightseeing in there besides than their chocolate products :)? Thx in advance

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