We get asked a lot how much we spend on a trip like this and the long answer is, it really depends. I think you are asking because you are trying to guess how much you would spend, or make an estimation if such a trip is even feasible for you. The reality depends on many factors, type of vehicle, speed of travel, distance per day, luxury of accommodation and type of meals you will have. To help you budget I now share our expenses of our time in Europe.
To help you estimate if you will spent more or less than us here are our statistics:
- 2 people
- 2 motorcycles, avg 25km/L petrol
- 8949 kilometers
- Average of 90 km/day
- Half of the time we camp
- We cook 75% of the time
There will be many factors to take into consideration when estimating how well these expenses relate to your situation. I will break it down to the most important ones now.
Number of people: Traveling with less will make the total amount required less, but on average you will spend more traveling solo mainly on accommodation. Not all places will charge half when staying on a campsite or hotel. More people make things cheaper on average because you can split the costs.
Type of vehicle: Traveling by bicycle will be cheaper because there is no fuel costs (some extra food maybe) involved and vehicle repairs will be cheaper. A car will consume more but can carry more people. This also influences the types of accommodation because I feel there are more camping spots available when you can sleep in your car/van vs a ground tent.
Speed of travel: Traveling faster is more expensive and traveling slower is cheaper on a per day expense. With a motorized vehicle traveling faster will increase the percentage of fuel in your daily budget, your accommodation expenses and your food costs. Mostly because a hotel or appartment takes less time to find and set up then a tent and after a long day of driving/riding you will experience that the motivation to cook quickly dissapears.
Take those concepts into account when looking at our data and comparing it to your situation.
Now that is out of the way let’s discuss the numbers. In total we
- spent €4296,51,
- rode 8949 kilometers
- in 99 days.
Although I think this is not really helpful so let’s break it down into more useful categories and blocks.
One way to look at the data is to summarise how much we spent per day. Our average is €43,40 per day (excluding insurance and the big shipping sections). Some countries are expensive and some are cheaper, however this chart is heavily influenced by where we got petrol. Some of these places we only stayed for 1 or 2 nights. If it happend that we didn’t need to fill up then a country can be extremely cheap while putting a heavier burden on its neighbours.
So here is the same graph with the data split into the different categories we use.
You can see that there are places we only got petrol and nothing else. I included the time we spent, the amount of kilometers we traveled and our average travel speed to give you an indication of how it affects things.
But in general we can conclude that certain regions are more expensive than others.
Not surprisingly, the north of Europe is quite expensive compared to the rest. We cheated a little with Central Europe because we stayed in Vienna for three weeks at Jojo’s moms house so we didn’t spend much while we were there.
Now looking at the countries we stayed at for a longer time, making the data more reliable, you can see that there is still quite a difference. Here your first conclusion could be that Norway is not that expensive at all and that you are never going to Italy because it is so bloody expensive (except for petrol). Again, the long answer is more complicated then the short one. The type of accommodation for these places is very different, therefor giving a wrong idea of the general costs. As you can see in the numbers below, we mainly camped in the north, where we stayed in apartments or hotels in the south. Simply because they were more affordable there and sometimes it made it easier to visit the towns/cities we wanted to see.
Per category per day
On average we spent €43,40 per day divided over several categories. Some of which did not apply to our journey through Europe, for example visas, so I’ve excluded those from the next graph.
Another completely different way to look at things, and also the last, is at the spending per kilometer which was €0,48/km. It’s not one I use very often because it’s hard to guess upfront where as the categories you can make some estimations on the costs by googling a lot. We stayed roughly on the same budget while moving through Europe until we hit our holiday destination of Italy. Our last stop before a different world, so we took it upon ourselves to enjoy the food and the scenery, but mostly the food, as much as possible.
Excluded from the overview
What I have excluded from the averages is our health insurance, Dutch phone number bills and the big ticket shipping. We decided to stay registered in the Netherlands meaning we have to keep our health insurance running. This was €295 per month for the two of us, adding an additional €9,67 per day to the budget. We did not get any travel insurance for Europe since most of the costs of things that could happen are covered by the health insurance.
The beauty of phone usage in Europe is that nowadays we can use our data plan from home in any other European country. Meaning we did not cancel our old subscriptions but rather kept them so we could use the internet to look up our next move. Costing us about €52,74 per month, adding €1,73 to our daily expenses. Looking back I’m happy we kept the phone numbers, but for longer journeys, especially outside of Europe in our case, it’s usually more affordable to change your subscription into a prepaid (keeping your number) while traveling and buying local sim cards and prepaid data. This is also our approach for our time in Africa, except changing our subscriptions into prepaid because we will only be away for 6 months and in that case it was not really worth it for us.
I did include the shipping that happend between the countries in Europe, like the ferry from Germany to Sweden, all the small ferries in Norway, the ferry from Finland to Estonia and the ferry from Albania to Italy. However I excluded the shipment from Italy to Israel since it was a 5 day trip over the Mediterranean sea, which doesn’t really belong to any of the countries for the purpose of my overview. However, I know most of you will want to know how much we spent on it so here is the total costs, including port fees in Israel. Not that expensive if you look at the costs per kilometer!