After paying for your roundtrip plane tickets, there are other expenses you will need to face. The hard fact is that Europe can get really expensive if you don't plan your trip well. It is really difficult to slum it out in Europe unless you're prepared to sleep in train stations and parks every night and face the dangers that come with them. You need to preserve your sanity and health as much as your money and you will have a better time if you choose your spending battles wisely. It is not a good idea to live entirely on crumbs while you're on vacation, so always bring a little extra cash for an occasional treat.
If you intend to cross the continent, you will need to set aside money for bus and train passes. Eurail and Busabout tickets can save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run and will cost anywhere between $400 and $700, depending on the area you want to cover.You will need travel insurance and most veteran travelers will never travel without it. If you get sick or in trouble abroad, the payment for the premium will pale into insignificance compared with the medical bills or expenses you will incur later on. Basic travel insurance costs depend on how long you will be abroad and the coverage you choose can range from $35 to almost $500.You will also have to shell out money for a Schengen (European) visa so you can travel in most European countries without having fear of immigration officials.
If your passport is about to expire, you will need to get a new one which can cost you about $60.Many people worry about getting immunizations, but they're really not necessary when traveling to Europe. There are recommended vaccinations which you may have already had, like vaccines against polio or tetanus. You may consider booster shots for Hepatitis A and B, as well as anti-rabies shots.
A round of vaccines can cost you between $50 to a hundred dollars.The amount you will spend on equipment will depend on what you want to take with you. Experts recommend forking out more money for a sturdy and decent backpack or suitcase, as well as buying good-quality walking shoes. Beware of poor quality gear that will fall apart in unexpected temperatures or stuff that is too sensitive for rough travel (some digital cameras).
Expect to pay for a good camera, a pair of hiking shoes/boots, pocketknife/Swiss knife, flashlight, a jacket and medicines. You can expect your expenses for gear, tickets, passes, passport and visas and insurance to easily amount to $1800.The countries that you will visit have their own standards of living, which can affect the prices of their accommodation, food and transportation. It is a good idea to research in the various Europe guides to survey the prices that you will be expected to pay once you're there. In general, the cheapest European countries to visit and stay in are generally still those in the Eastern bloc but they include Turkey, parts of Spain, Slovenia, Romania, the Netherlands, Macedonia, Croatia and Bulgaria. You can spend between $35 to $50 a day and still have a good time.
In contrast, the most expensive countries (more than $70 a day) would be Switzerland, Norway, France, Germany, Britain, Denmark, Austria, Estonia and Iceland. The major cities in any country are expected to be more expensive than the rural areas. Staying in one place a little longer is a good idea if you want to save money.
You can usually get discounts for stays that last a week or more and weekly transport passes are cheaper than the daily ones.It's very important to keep a running track of your budget and resist the urge to depend on your credit card. The good news is, if you have prepared and researched enough, you will most likely end up saving a lot of money and still get a really good European experience!..
Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Europe Vacation.
By: Michael Russell