MONEY! and other things backpacking related


Hi All,

I know this topic has been done to death and everyone has a different answer.


I am travelling to Europe in December and am there for 10 weeks, 3 of which I am on a tour for and 7 of which I am travelling independently through Germany, Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, and Turkey.

I am targeting at this stage 8k to spend and have drawn this conclusion as follows:

24 days of tour = $1920 (based on 80 AUD a day for any food not covered and misc expenses)
Optional Extras = $800 (have allowed to do everything aside from ski diving and skiing at this stage as I have done them before)
7 weeks of travel = $4550 (Roughly 95 AUD per day to include everything such as hostels, food, souvenirs.)
Train Pass Global = $ 730 (every day within one month, extra flights etc budgeted for)

Have I gone too lightly?

Should I be looking to save more.

Any help and advice on cutting costs / where to spend more time would be greatly appreciated.



Hi Courtney,
I backpacked thru western europe back in 2010, for 6 months, and did everything on $10,000 AUD (including $2000 flights) I didnt do a tour like you did tho. It doesnt hurt to save a lil extra. Like you i used a rail pass, but trains run late and connections get missed, next thing you know your sleeping at a train station cos you didnt budget for the un-forseen. Food and most things in general are pretty cheap in europe, book hostels that supply breakfast (this normally only includes bread and butter, sometimes cereal, but it better then nothing) If you havent already, get yourself a Lonely Planet 'Europe on a shoestring" this was my bible while travelling and is filled with valuable info. They are cheaper on ebay, unless LP has a 2 for 1 sale and you buy a couple of books. I purchsed plenty of food from fruit and veggie shops, its cheaper and is healthy. But youll find food in the shopping centers are cheap in comparison to australian prices. Packet pastas, noodles etc are great as they take lil space and are easy to make. Just make sure you budget for reservation fees with the rail pass, some are free, most are 2-10 euros, i tried to get a o/n train from paris to barcelona, was gonna cost 70 euros just for reservation.
When i budgeted, i budgeted for everything, like, if i was to do every touristy thing in a city, i made sure thats how much i had to spend for that day/stay.

hope you enjoy your trip!


I would break your budget amounts down into local currency, while it looks good on paper as you have it, $80AU is about $66EU at the moment which is good, but it’s not a lot.

You can do it on the cheap, if your happy to do that it’s all good, but I would look to take as much as you can (or at least have access to it). The last tour I did I average $100EU per day. In saying that, I did everything that came up, went out most nights, spent a lot eating out etc.

The last thing you want to do is run short, or spend a night sleeping on a park bench because you’ve been delayed somewhere and can’t get a train until the next morning.

Better to come back with money left over than come back early because you’ve run out (or miss doing things because you don’t have the money available).

Buying food at supermarkets out of major tourist areas will save you $$$, some places are dirt cheap (Spain) while others are expensive (Switzerland). If you are getting food out, head back off the main streets and touristy areas, the further you get away the cheaper it gets. In Barcelona for instance we found a tapas bar a 10 minute walk down a few back streets and ally ways, the food was the best we had in spain and also the cheapest. While on tour, avoid buying food at service stops, food at these stops is generally over priced. If you drink, spirits are usually cheap from supermarkets (1L of decent burbon was $10EU, vodka and other drinks were similar, wine could be had for a few dollars a bottle in most places) - extremely cheap compared to here!, if your out Beer is generally the cheapest…


Also, just remembered… if you know what your itinerary is, and have planned where your going and what dates, you should book accomm online before leaving. I did this thru and didnt have a problem. Last thing you wanna be doing in searching for a bed, in winter, and missing out on all the sight seeing to be done. This way you can shop around, and be sure you got the best price at a nice hostel, not some scabby backpackers on the out skirts of town. I dont know how hard it will be to find accomm that time of year, but for me personally, I liked the peace of mind knowing when I pulled into a town, I could checkin, dump my bag and go explore!