Table of Contents

How Much It Actually Cost Me To Travel For 3 Months: Complete Europe Trip Cost Breakdown

Thankfully, I meticulously documented every expense during my 3-month trip overseas. Why did I do this? So I could make sure I stuck to my budget as closely as possible. Without a constant source of income, going over budget and living/spending frivolously beyond my means was something I was concerned about.

Luckily for you, this post sheds insight on how exactly I spent my budget over the 3-4 months of travel, including my monetary savings from credit card points as well as sunk costs from flights I never took and rooms I couldn’t cancel. Each country I visited includes a breakdown of costs by accommodation, activities, food, and transportation.

If you happen to be considering an extended trip abroad, I hope you find this cost breakdown useful to better set your expectations. Please learn from my mistakes and deploy some of the money-saving strategies described in this post so you can spend more wisely on your own trip!

This post may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running/pumping out useful and free content.

HOW I TRAVELED IN EUROPE FOR 3 MONTHS WITH UNDER $8,000 - Travels With Elle

Table of Contents

MY 3-MONTH TRAVEL ADVENTURE: OVERVIEW

Where I Went

  • Italy: Reggio Emilia, Parma, Cinque Terre, Bologna, Venice, Florence, Rome, Italian border villages on the Tour du Mont Blanc
  • Czech Republic: Prague
  • Hungary: Budapest
  • Poland: Krakow, Zakopane, Tatra National Park
  • Portugal: Lisbon, Sintra, Porto
  • Spain: Seville, Barcelona, Sitges
  • Croatia: Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Plitvice National Park
  • France: Annecy, Chamonix, French border villages on the Tour du Mont Blanc
  • Switzerland: Geneva, Swiss border villages on the Tour du Mont Blanc

Trip Duration: 105 days, equating to 3.5 months.

How I Did It

Many things had to line up to make this trip happen. I had to:

  • Have no debts or other financial obligations
  • Save enough money to survive without a full-time job for 3 months
  • Not be constrained by rent, car lease, children
  • Find a place to put my car and belongings (this is where my parents’ house came in handy).

With all of these things in place, I took off and had the time of my life!

Want to know more about how it all happened and what it took to get there? Read more about my 3-month Europe trip here.

TOTAL TRIP COSTS

GRAND TOTAL: $9,154.83

As you can see, transportation and lodging made up ~50% of my overall spend in Europe. No surprises here, since flights, train tickets, and nightly hostels/Airbnb’s are very much required for any trip. And since I was moving around quite a bit, these categories added up. Alone, transportation above is showing that it made up only 17% of my out-of-pocket costs–I actually would have spent a lot more on flights, but a lot of it was covered with credit card point. More on that later.

In the chart above, I did not include my guided trek (to give a more realistic expense breakdown of what an “average” 3-month trip would look like), but it is listed in the bullet points and was used to calculate my grand total costs.

Note: The totals here reflect only what I paid in cash, or out-of-pocket expenses. It does not include some of the other additional “expenses” I would have had to pay had I not used my credit card points to help pay for some if the trip.

How I Traveled Europe For 3 Months For Under $8,000 - www.travelswithelle.com

SAVINGS AND SUNK COSTS

Savings

These savings were entirely as a result of travel hacking! I was able to save a good amount of money by using existing credit card points as well as opening up new cards right before my trip to offset some of my travel costs. If you want to learn more about how I was able to achieve this, check out this post here (how I saved up over $10k to travel the world).

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards: 83,000
  • SPG Amex Points: 13,000
  • Barclay Card: 45,832
Free Travel Redemptions
  • Flight – California to New York: $200
  • Flight – New York to Milan, Italy: $400
  • Activity – Colosseum Tour in Rome: $50
  • Activity – Auschwitz Tour: $40
  • Flight – Krakow to Lisbon: $137
  • Accommodation – Lisbon Hostel (4 nights): $113
  • Accommodation – Barcelona (6 nights): $250
  • Accommodation – Dubrovnic (3 nights): $200
  • Flight – Geneva to California: $1200

TOTAL SAVINGS: $2,587

Read More: How I Saved Up $10,000 To Travel The World For 3 Months

Complete Guide To Solo Travel - www.travelswithelle.com

Sunk Costs

  • Airbnb – Milan: $138
  • Flight – Paris to Milan: $73
  • Flight – Krakow to Milan: $72
  • Accommodation – Krakow apartment: $66

TOTAL SUNK COSTS: $349

I had originally planned to go to Paris as part of this trip, but after determining that I could explore Poland for a fraction of the cost, I decided to abort the mission and ended up spending a few days in the Tatra Mountains in Poland. In some other instances such as those Milan flights, I had made plans with my now ex-boyfriend, who lived in Milan. Needless to stay, we separated after I had already booked non-refundable flights through Ryanair.

COST BREAKDOWN BY COUNTRY

USA (New York) – 6 days

Prior to my trip, I had two main travel gear expenses– my new all-time favorite travel backpack, the Osprey Aura 65, and some Europe-appropriate clothing that I was lacking (dresses, light jackets, shorts, etc.)

My 3-month journey abroad began in New York. I was born in New York (moved to California when I was a mere 7-year old child), so with half of my extended family still residing here, I decided to pay them a visit for a couple of days shy of a week. I was able to stay with my cousin, which meant I incurred no accommodation costs. Since New York is one of the ultimate foodie destinations in the USA, most of my budget went towards food. (They literally have everything—many restaurants overseas will open their first US location in NY. You can easily imagine how I blew through so much money.) As gratitude to my cousin for allowing me to stay with him, I also covered some of his meals.

ITALY – 4 WEEKS

Italy was by far the largest portion of my budget since I had stayed for 4 weeks, exploring the likes of Reggio Emilia, Bologna, Parma, Cinque Terre, Venice, Florence, and Rome. For a portion of my time there, I stayed with my friend in Reggio Emilia. He had access to a car as well as a bike that I borrowed to get around, thereby saving me some money on both accommodation and transportation costs.

The accommodation piece was the largest struggle for me here in Italy, since I ended up in some pretty touristy places with limited accommodation options such as Venice and the sea-side villages of Cinque Terre. This was partially my fault as well since I didn’t book early enough like I typically do. And I really, really splurged against my will in Rome when I booked a bed and breakfast for 2 (with the anticipation that my friend was going to join me but bailed). Rome’s accommodation costs totaled $550, ouch.

Read Post  How to Travel with Prescription Drugs
See More: In Photos: Italy

In terms of food, each meal at a sit-down restaurant averaged around $15-20, which was a lot more than food in some of the other countries, as you’ll later see. Italian restaurants don’t really do “takeaway” food, so many times there really wasn’t an option—sit-down restaurant it was. Since I was staying with my friend, I ended up paying for a few 2-3 person meals in order to pay him and his family back for their generosity.

Oh yes, and the sheer amount of coffee I drank here was uncountable. But hey, what’s 1 euro (a simple dig into the pocket—voila! Enough money to get you another shot of espresso). Nevertheless, staying with my friend for a couple of weeks really did help offset some of the day to day expenses in Italy.

budapest bathouse

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – 2 DAYS

My old coworkers had joined me in this leg of the trip, so a lot of costs were shared costs (thereby making it slightly more expensive since we ate more, took taxis instead of trains, stayed in more luxury accommodations, etc.) During our time in Budapest, we did a boat tour, drank a lot, stayed at a very nice Airbnb rental and went to the bathhouse.

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC – 3 DAYS

My old coworkers had joined me in this leg of the trip as well, so a lot of costs were shared, slightly elevated costs. Nevertheless, the food was so unbelievably cheap. Though they had hipster coffee shops and swanky-type bars/restaurants, the prices stayed relatively low. Since our Airbnb was actually located in Old Town, we spent a bit more here than some other rooms would have cost in Prague. Transportation included an overnight sleeper train which was a great experience in itself, to my surprise. It came with bottled water, slippers, toothbrushes, and a breakfast box—for the low cost of $55, it was pretty darn worth it.

POLAND – 9 DAYS

My time in Poland consisted of 3 nights in the Tatra Mountains at a little mountain town called Zakopane, and 6 nights in the bustling city of Krakow. Poland was by far one of the cheapest destinations of my trip, if not the cheapest overall. Beer was no more than $3 per glass/pint, and meals cost under $5-7 regularly. In the mountains, I “splurged” a bit and booked a bed and breakfast (double occupancy room with an amazing free breakfast every morning) for a whopping $25/night. I told you, Poland is so, so affordable.

Read More: 12 Advanced Ways to Save Money When You Think You Are Too Poor To Travel

PORTUGAL – 8 DAYS

Portugal was relatively affordable, though not as cheap as some parts of Central Europe, like I had just witnessed with Poland, Hungary, and the CR. By far, they had the best hostels I’d ever experienced on this trip. Each hostel was extremely affordable while upholding modernity and aesthetics. In each city I went to (Lisbon, Porto), I had a bed in a 3-person room, which cost me less than some of the 6-8 person rooms I paid for on this trip. Food was more of an expense for me here, but hey, Portugal is known to have great food. Since I have a burning love for seafood, I found the need to eat fresh seafood almost every meal with the exception of breakfast.

Seville, Spain - www.travelswithelle.com

SPAIN – 10 DAYS

Spain (Sevilla, Barcelona, Sitges) was nothing short of mind-blowing and awe-inspiring. The food, the people, the vibes, the culture—all of it made for a super splendid time. Lodging costs were low here since I had redeemed ~$150 worth of credit card points for accommodation. The food here was also a large expense, but really, how can anyone deny splurging on food in Spain? I’ll admit, the razor clams, shrimp dishes, squid and paella really got me—take my money! Tapas and seafood for life.

Check out my Spain trip, in photos, here.

How I Traveled Europe For 3 Months For Under $8000 - www.travelswithelle.com

CROATIA – 14 DAY

Croatia was definitely not as cheap as I imagined it to be. Some cities were more affordable than others. With the influx in tourism stemming from the popularity of Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik, while still beautiful, was severely overpriced in my experience. Specifically, the restaurants in the Old Town were very expensive compared to other countries I had visited so far.

My activities costs stayed relatively low, since I mostly hung out on the beaches, worked on setting up my blog (yes, this blog was born in Croatia!), and made a few trips to a few national parks. The one splurge activity here worth calling out—I went to 2 days of Ultra Europe, an electronic music festival that occurs once a year. Totally worth the spend. As the national parks were a bit a ways away from the main cities, transportation expenses added up.

Tour Du Mont Blanc - Travels With Elle

TOUR DU MONT BLANC – 11 DAYS

My 10-day Tour Du Mont Blanc guided tour was only $1,600, which was a complete steal compared to some other name-brand tour companies out there. Nevertheless, I ate well, slept well, and had a blast with my friends (who flew out to join me for this leg of my trip), my guide, as well as all of the eclectic members of my tour group. This was definitely a walk of a lifetime, and for such value! Costs also include an extra night of accommodation at a beautiful alpine resort in Chamonix.

MISCELLANEOUS – MILAN & HOME

This category captures some extra spend that I incurred as I made my way over from Croatia to Switzerland, stopping in Milan for 1 night. A portion of the fees here also went towards accommodation and food while in Geneva for a few days before our Tour Du Mont Blanc guided tour begun. It also includes my flight back to Los Angeles from Geneva, Switzerland (which valued at $1200, but due to credit card points usage, I only paid taxes and fees for).

TRAVEL INSURANCE

If you’re planning an extended trip abroad, you should strongly consider investing in yourself by getting travel insurance. Remember, your medical insurance plan from your home country will more than likely not cover you when you’re traveling internationally. Travel insurance is especially important if you plan to be more active, engage in adventurous activities, or even want to get outdoors. Travel insurance certainly gives me peace of mind whenever I’m traveling for over 2 weeks, knowing I’d be covered if anything went sideways.

I recommend World Nomads for insuring your extended travel adventure. They offer comprehensive packages for ‘standard’ or ‘explorer’ levels, covering anything from bodily harm, lost/stolen bags, and even 200+ adventure activities (this usually needs to be purchased separately anyway). For the Tour Du Mont Blanc, I had to make sure I was covered for Emergency Evacuation before going on the trek. World Nomads has a great customer service team, is considered one of the best options in the market, and is priced very reasonably.

Hopefully, at this point, you have a better understanding of how much it costs to travel for 3 months or longer. I had a few decent savings, but I certainly did not make the best financial decisions 100% of the time on my trip. Everyone’s trip will have different costs depending on varying interests, travel styles, and comfort levels. Good luck on your very own adventure!

How Much Does it Cost to Travel? 3 Months Traveling Europe on a Budget

We know that financial considerations are probably the biggest factor you grapple with when planning a trip. Hard numbers can be difficult to come by, especially when everyone has their own unique travel style and considerations.

The goal of this series is to provide you with real budgets people have used for trips they have actually taken. This could be anything from a long weekend in Miami to 6 months backpacking around South East Asia. It’s our hope that by shining a spotlight on what people are actually spending- and the value they get for it, you will have a better idea of what it really costs to travel.

All of the travel budgets will live on this dedicated page.

If you’re interested in contributing to this series please send me an email using the contact form on the site.

Today’s budget comes from Katie who blogs at The Traveling Spud.

Where did you go?

3 Months of Traveling Europe on A Budget - How Much Did It Cost?

I was traveling Europe on a budget for 3 months! I quit my job to travel for a year and started the first part of my trip in Europe.

Briefly, what was your itinerary?

I explored some countries thoroughly and city hopped a bit as well. My route was: Iceland, Germany 2x, Austria, Slovakia 2x, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Greece, UK, Ireland, Istanbul.

Iceland, Germany, Austria, London and Dublin were by far the most expensive places I went and Greece was the cheapest!

How much money did you spend overall (include plane tickets, meals, activities, accommodation, souvenirs, etc.)?

I spent $5,500 for the whole trip while traveling Europe on a budget.

Read Post  Train travel in Europe

How much did you spend on transportation?

I spent about $500 total on flights. I’m a big fan of using cheap flight sites like Skyscanner to book last minute deals. I also had the flexibility to book on days when other people may not be traveling. I would type in “Everywhere” as my location and see where I could fly for the cheapest. This was one of the keys to traveling Europe on a budget for me.

To start my trip, I took off from San Francisco (SFO) to Reykjavik, Iceland for $200 one-way!

I then spent about $400 on other forms of transportation like buses, cross-country trains, and local buses and trains.

What kind of accommodation did you stay in (hotels, hostels, apartments, couchsurfing etc).

Seeing Slovenia - Traveling Europe on a Budget

My main mode of accommodation was hostels. I also did a few Airbnb’s when I needed to be alone or felt a bit anti-social! I spent anywhere from $8 a night to $50, but most were in the $15-$20 a night range. I also met a few friends along the way who let me crash at their apartments in some of the countries.

What sort of activities did you do?

The Baths in Budapest - Traveling Europe on a Budget

I LOVE free walking tours and I try to do one in every city I go to so I can get a lay of the land. Plus, they are usually just run on tip base so it was a great way to save money while traveling Europe on a budget. I also went to museums, churches, markets, parks and walked around to see a lot of monuments. I didn’t do too many “paid” activities unless it was something that really interested me like a fun day trip or cool museum.

What did you splurge on while traveling Europe on a budget? Was it worth it?

I splurged on a few fancy meals in London. One night I went to the top of The Shard in London with my friend and had dinner and a few dirty martinis. I spent about as much as it would cost me for 4 nights in a hostel, but it was SOOOO worth it!

What did you scrimp on? Are you happy with that decision?

I scrimped on food a lot which was hard because I love FOOD! In Europe, I would try and taste the foods I really wanted to try when I first got to the country and then would attempt to cook at my hostel or Airbnb whenever I could.

Public transportation was key to me traveling Europe on a budget. I took it as much as possible and this saved me a lot. I’m happy with the decision because it saved me money to continue to travel longer!

Did you purchase any special souvenirs?

My Photographs are my Souvenirs - Traveling Europe on a Budget

I didn’t actually buy a single souvenir for those 3 months! This was mainly because I didn’t have room in my suitcase and I just told myself that my photos would be my souvenirs. Plus, I could save money this way. I’m much more psyched about experiences than owning a bunch of knick-knacks anyway. Although if you take me back to Istanbul with an empty suitcase, I will buy the entire Grand Bazaar!

Did you do anything special to save up for this trip?

Yes, I saved up for about a year. I basically looked at what I was spending money on that I could cut out. I cut out getting my nails done, buying coffees, eating out as much and stopped partying as much or just bought cheaper drinks. Another thing that helped a lot was setting up automatic savings in my bank account. At one point I started taking out $200 each paycheck to send to my travel fund and most of the time I didn’t even notice it was gone! This helped A LOT!

Do you have any regrets regarding how you budgeted this trip? Would you do things differently next time?

Traveling Europe on a Budget

I’m pretty proud of how I saved and budgeted for the trip! I had guessed it would cost $6000 for everything after doing my research on what it would cost per day in the countries I wanted to visit. I ended up coming in a bit under at $5,500 so I had an extra $500 to spend on other things. I’d call that a win!

Anything else to add?

Yes! If you’re looking to travel, just remember there will probably always be someone traveling on a smaller budget than you. I couldn’t believe how little money people had and were traveling for longer than me! It’s cool because there are sooo many ways to make money on the road or find free accommodation/food in exchange for work. If you want to travel, do it! I promise it will work its way out while you’re out there and you’ll end up having the money you need. Traveling Europe on a budget is totally doable!

How I Traveled Europe For 3 Months For Under $8,000

Travels With Elle - How I Traveled Europe For 3 Months With $8000

How much does it cost to travel all over Europe for 3 months during peak season? Less than $8,000, you say? YES! It can be done. Read on and I’ll show you how I was able to travel for 3.5 months for under $8,000.

  • how much I spent on my trip
  • which countries I visited
  • how I got to a spot in life where I could take this trip
  • how I saved up money beforehand to fund my trip
  • exactly how I lived while I was in Europe

By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how I was able to travel throughout Europe for 3.5 months and how you can take your own extended trip to any country in the world!

Table of Contents

How Much I Spent On My 3-Month Europe Trip

I kept good track of my costs. I began my trip in late April 2018 with 1 week in New York and completed my trip in August 2018, clocking in at a total duration of 3.5 months and a total spend of around $8,800.

However, there were some extenuating circumstances in my case, namely the fact that I had signed up for a 10-day guided hike called the Tour du Mont Blanc (cost: $1,600).

So for all intents and purposes, I will be excluding these costs from my cost breakdowns below, because I doubt the majority of people reading this post will also shell out the money to do this trek on their 3 month journey abroad (but if you are interested, I would highly, highly recommend it! See my separate post on the TMB here.)

Total spend for 3.5 months in Europe = $7,200

How I Traveled Europe For 3 Months With $8000

On a tour of the Colosseum in Rome, paid for with my travel points!

Summers In Europe Are Not Cheap

I was really worried about how much I had saved because I had never spent a summer in Europe.

Previously, I had only visited Italy in the winter, and Paris/Amsterdam/Bruges in the fall. I kept hearing from everyone that accommodations would be more expensive, attractions would be more expensive, etc etc.

Looking back on it now, I did find the prices to be higher than other seasons, but totally doable. The amazing sunny weather, long summer nights, and warm swimmable beach waters were totally worth it.

Before I get any further into it, I’d like to note that this isn’t a post where I tell you to travel exclusively to Central/Eastern European countries (cheaper countries) to get the most bang for your buck.

Central Europe was definitely amazing and it was significantly cheaper than Western Europe, but I did enjoy a bit of both worlds (most of my time was spent in Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Croatia).

So first off, let me note the countries I visited: Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Switzerland, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Poland.

Among the most expensive were Italy, Switzerland, Italy, and France.

The cheapest countries were Hungary, Czech Republic, and Poland.

How I Traveled Europe For 3 Months For Under $8,000 - www.travelswithelle.com

Where I Went On My 3-Month Europe Trip

Italy: Reggio Emilia, Parma, Cinque Terre, Bologna, Venice, Florence, Rome, Italian border villages on the Tour du Mont Blanc
Czech Republic: Prague
Hungary: Budapest
Poland: Krakow, Zakopane, Tatra National Park
Portugal: Lisbon, Sintra, Porto
Spain: Seville, Barcelona, Sitges
Croatia: Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Plitvice National Park
France: Annecy, Chamonix, French border villages on the Tour du Mont Blanc
Switzerland: Geneva, Swiss border villages on the Tour du Mont Blanc

HOW I TRAVELED IN EUROPE FOR 3 MONTHS WITH UNDER $8,000 - Travels With Elle

Perched up above the Alfama neighborhood in Lisbon, Portugal!

How I Was Able To Take A 3-Month Europe Trip

Many things had to line up to make this trip happen. I had to:

  • Have no debts or other financial obligations
  • Save enough money to survive without a full-time job for 3 months
  • Not be constrained by rent, car lease, children
  • Find a place to put my car and belongings (this is where my parents’ house came in handy).

Getting all of these items in order was critical for a smooth transition.

I had decided to quit my job in April, move all of my stuff from Los Angeles up to my parents’ house in Northern California, and leave my car with my dad. With all this in place, I was free of any financial obligations here in the USA and was ready to take off.

In terms of saving up for the trip, I did a lot of money-related things here and there, some strategically and some very randomly.

Read More: 16 Simple Ways To Grow Your Travel Fund
Read More: 12 Advanced Ways to Save Money When You Think You Are Too Poor To Travel

How I Traveled Europe For 3 Months For Under $8,000 - www.travelswithelle.com

How I Traveled Europe For 3 Months For Under $8,000 - www.travelswithelle.com

What I Did To Save $10,000 For 3 Months Of Travel

Save Money

Yes, I actually saved more than I spent on this trip! Being a naturally frugal person, it really wasn’t too hard for me to save strategically.

Read Post  Where could I stay in Europe & travel to many Countries?

I cut costs where I could and stockpiled money away while I was still employed. From each biweekly paycheck, I would throw $500 into savings or investments, and $100-150 into my travel savings account.

Whatever was leftover was all I had for groceries, gas and frivolous spending for the two weeks.

Earn Money

About a year ago, well before I decided to quit my job to travel, I realized that I wanted to stop feeling guilty about spending my hard-earned money on travel. I was traveling so much already (ie. weekend trips to other states, going on two international trips per year with a full-time job).

I had the grand idea to start an income stream to fund my travels exclusively. I treated it as “extra” money that I allowed myself to spend on whatever I like. It’s a reach to understand the mindset, but it did free me of the guilt of “you should be saving more and not spending it on frivolous things”.

I ended up joining Postmates and Lyft, signing up and participating in a ton of paid focus groups, and becoming my coworkers’ go-to dogsitter/housesitter.

My old company happened to reach out to see if I was available to do part-time remote work summarizing medical records for doctors (6-8 hours/week) and I seized the opportunity. I sold the clothes and shoes I didn’t care about on Poshmark. I told you, it was random.

Whenever I had a couple of free hours on the weekends or on weeknights after work, I would engage in one, maybe two, of the channels listed above. By doing this, I made over $6,500 guilt-free “travel dollars” for my trip.

How I Traveled Europe For 3 Months For Under $8,000 - www.travelswithelle.com

How I Traveled Europe For 3 Months For Under $8,000 - www.travelswithelle.com

Budgeting To Spend Under $7,000

I budgeted to spend approximately $7,000 even though I had well over that amount saved up. Remember, I was still jobless.

Wouldn’t it be nice to end my trip with leftover money so I could afford to live once back in the US— of course!

Before I took off for Europe, I ballparked how much I was allowed to spend each day based on my $7,000 budget. This ended up backing out to about $60 per day, including lodging costs). That meant that including my hostel/hotel for the night, food, and paid attractions, I wasn’t really allowed to go over $60 a day.

Cool, this sounded doable, and it was.

What I Did To Minimize Travel Costs Abroad

Using credit card travel points

The points I had saved up over my years of travel hacking ended up paying for about 20-25% of my trip. It covered my main flights from CA > NY, NY > Italy, Switzerland > CA, and saved me $500 in Airbnb bookings and inter-Europe flights, as well as $150 in attraction costs.

  • Chase Sapphire Reservethe generous welcome bonus offered by this card was key to getting cheap/free travel!

Staying in hostels

For the most part, hostels were my accommodation of choice. There were certainly times when I splurged and went for private B&B’s or Airbnb rooms when I wasn’t feeling social or when I just wanted some peace and quiet.

Not only was I paying $20-40 per night at hostels, but I had a whole community of like-minded travelers within my reach. I found it to be the best, most effortless way to meet new people.

Read More: How To Travel Europe on a Budget: Tips and Tricks

How I Traveled Europe For 3 Months For Under $8,000 - www.travelswithelle.com

Strategizing my meals

Many times, I bought groceries at the supermarkets and cooked breakfast and dinner at the hostel.

Since I wanted to remain relatively healthy in the mornings, my breakfasts consisted of fruit, eggs and oatmeal, which I purchased in bulk. These items don’t cost very much to begin with.

I allocated my lunch meal and snack times for eating out at restaurants, bakeries, food trucks, etc.

More often than not, I would end up getting too full from all the small bites, pastries, and ice cream from snack time, that I didn’t have much of an appetite for dinner (I’d end up getting something small, filling, and cheap to munch on).

How I Traveled Europe For 3 Months For Under $8,000 - www.travelswithelle.com

I’d say I ate out 10% of the time for breakfast, 90% of the time for lunch, and 30% of the time for dinner. Small open-face sandwiches in Prague.. so delicate and delicious.

Walking and public transportation

I really enjoy working out and do it about 4-5 times per week in my normal life.

Since I wasn’t working out abroad, I took any opportunity I could to walk instead of using public transportation. I knew I would be eating whatever I wanted on this trip, so it only made sense to substitute working out with walking.

There were times when the distances were too far to walk, in which case I would take the trains or buses for super cheap.

Honestly, I can only think of 3 instances where I took an Uber or taxi (getting to the airport at 4 am kind of instances)! Walking and public transportation will save you a ton of money!

Couchsurfing

To be honest, I only did this once during the last few weeks of my trip. Only because I wasn’t confident enough to do it earlier in the trip… my one regret! I could have met so many cool people, building long-lasting relationships and saving money at the same time!

Not buying many souvenirs or unnecessary items

I definitely spent some money upgrading my wardrobe a teensy bit while I was abroad (how can you not, these European sales in July are irresistible!) but was constrained by the fact that I had to carry everything on my back.

I only brought back a few gourmet food items for my friends and family, but that was about it. Very little money was used to purchase useless garbage. I had no room, and my personal belongings were already so heavy.

Buying alcohol from grocery stores

This is a great alternative instead of always going to bars.

Pre-gaming (pre’s, as some in Europe would call it) is a thing worldwide because wherever you go, especially in Western Europe, club drinks and bar drinks will cost more than if you were to buy it from the grocery store.

Beer and wine is so cheap there and come in huge portions, so oftentimes I would only need to buy one or two portions and be happy for the night.

Limited the attractions I visited

Of the attractions I did visit, I took advantage of student discounts on entrance fees. I purposefully chose not to enter the majority of paid attractions, and my reasons are three-fold.

First, I’m not all that interested in museums or churches, unless it’s extremely spectacular, right up my alley (such as the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona or the Musee des Arts Forains in Paris), or it’s a castle.

Second of all, I knew I would return to these cities eventually, meaning I didn’t have to knock them all off or cross them off any bucket list of mine.

Thirdly, I didn’t want to spend most of my time indoors when there was an entirely new city waiting to be explored on foot.

I really took advantage of the free walking tours in the major cities I visited. Not only do you learn about the history, food, people, and culture of the city from a local’s perspective, you get some really good exercise!

These tours are tip-based, so they are pretty affordable, compared to the formal paid tours that typically charge anywhere from $30-90.

Among some of the most interesting walking tours I participated in was a free tour all about Gaudi’s works in Barcelona, Spain, and a free night tour about the dark side (murders, ghosts, macabre) of Krakow, Poland.

Read More: 20 Brilliant Travel Hacks That Will Make You An Expert Traveler

How I Traveled Europe For 3 Months For Under $8000 - www.travelswithelle.com

Off-the-beaten-path attractions are often free and equally as awesome.

Limiting the amount of city hopping I was doing

Traveling from city to city/country to country is expensive, both on time and your wallet, even if train travel and budget airline travel exists. Not to mention, it was just so tiring and a huge hassle to pack and unpack.

I slowed down my traveling, spent more time in each city, and ultimately got more out of it.

Of course, there were times when I did splurge. I had many seafood dinners for one in Venice, Cinque Terre, and Barcelona; I booked a double occupancy B&B for 4 nights in Rome; I went to a music festival in Croatia. No matter what I did, I managed to stay within my overall budget. It’s really all about moderation here.

At Ultra Europe in Croatia with my new hostel friends!

I hope this information has helped you gain a deeper understanding of the travel lifestyle of someone who is taking an extended trip rather than traveling for 1-2 weeks. It’s a completely different ballgame!

Travel All Summer In Europe For Under $8000 - www.travelswithelle.com

Marjan Forest in Croatia - www.travelswithelle.com

Lisbon Portugal - www.travelswithelle.com

Sagrada Familia Barcelona - www.travelswithelle.com

Are you heading to Europe soon? Check out my Europe packing guide, full of tried and true gear that I used on my trip!

Source https://travelswithelle.com/budgeting/3-month-europe-trip-cost-breakdown/

Source https://whywaittoseetheworld.com/3-months-traveling-europe-on-a-budget/

Source https://travelswithelle.com/budgeting/travel-europe-3-months-under-8000-dollars/

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