Vivek, you’ve been talking about why you did the trip, and all of that extra philosophical stuff that we don’t care about. We know that you had a wonderful time. Let’s get to the elephant in the room. How much did it cost you?
Umm, I think it was fairly alright. I never really had a budget for my trip. I also overestimated the amount that I would spent and then just to use up the Euros from my forex card, paid 2% extra as conversion rate in all Scandinavian countries for more than half of my time 1. Plus I could’ve saved …
Ahem, HOW MUCH did it cost you?
Around 165000-170,000 Indian rupees or 2125 euros ( 1 euro = 80 Indian rupees, roughly)
Yes, that was the cost of spending 6 weeks. Well, apart from whatever hit that takes on your career :P
This is where I spent my money:
Couchsurfing – 27 nights
Hostels – 2
Camping – 9 (4 at music festival + 5 wild)
Bus – 1
Total nights – 41
Money spent – 44 euros :-)
Buses – 2317 kms, 162 euros
Ferry – 21 euros
Train – 149 kms, 36 euros
Rideshare – 1415 kms, 72 euros
Hitchhiking – 1300 kms, Free :-)
Total distance – 5181 kms
Money spent – 286 euros
There are two main reasons why this trip is cheap. Firstly, there is barely any accommodation cost. 2 nights at hostels were the only place where I spent money. Second, I did not have a rail pass. It’s 600 euros for a month long rail pass. Plus, it’s still not free to travel even if you have one. You need to pay money over top for reservations. People assume you need a rail pass when travelling in Europe, but that’s not the case.
I had to spend 240 Euros for flight tickets to Paris from the north of Norway. I also had to spend around 70 euros in buses for my last two days in Lofoten Islands in Norway. This was money that I had to spend because I ran out of time. I would’ve preferred to hitchhike but it’s more time consuming. It’s always time vs money, and I chose to spend money to get a few more days to see stuff. If I had 2-3 weeks more, it would’ve been pretty much the same cost overall.
I had to get expensive mobile internet because French people are bums and don’t speak English (sorry, no offence). It’s cheaper to get a local sim card in each country (or even survive without a sim), but it was hard conveying your message to shopkeepers in Paris, that you wanted something with internet and validity. I ended up buy a sim from Orange that works in all Schengen countries. 40 euros, 2 weeks validity for sim; 21 euros every 2 weeks for recharges.
335 euros for music festival tickets to see my favorite bands play live. I saw around 32 bands play live and had 6 days of live music on the trip.
I didn’t eat out at restaurants but cooked my own food on most days, since I had a kitchen at my Couchsurfing hosts. The most expensive thing I ate was a 13 euro burger in Copenhagen. At the same time I was never hungry or never had the motive of being frugal on food. I always left extra food at my Couchsurfing hosts and/or cooked for them.
So that’s it. When you’re travelling everything apart from flight tickets is up to you. It can be as cheap as you want it to be. I met a guy whose average cost was 1.5 euro/day in Norway. A girl whose spent around 50 euros every two weeks. Travel, Acco, Food are your three main levers and you try to cut down costs in whichever way you can. And the longer you travel, the cheaper it gets :)
- Denmark, Sweden and Norway have their own currency, separate from Euro. My forex card can have multiple currencies, but if you try to pay with a different currency there’s a 2% extra charge. Since I had too many Euros left on the card, it made sense to use them instead of recharging with other currencies, since all the Euros left on the card depreciate by 5% every year, with no interest. ↩