Almost anyone can agree that traveling to Europe comes with a hefty price but it’s not as expensive as you think. It may sound ridiculous, but think about this… the price you pay for a large frapuccino is equivalent to a hearty breakfast in Rome, two movie tickets can already make you climb Eiffel tower, a new dress or a new pair of shoes can make you travel from France to Italy or/and Belgium to Netherlands. Get my point? 🙂
A year ago, I went to Europe and spent less than ₱100,000. In my previous blog, I shared some tips on how to spend less in Europe. Check Dream Trip Europe for Less than PHP100,000
Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean the quality of your trip is at stake, you’ll be surprised that even small things can make you happy. Finding a box of Italian pizza (super delicious) worth €5 or just simply seeing the lights of Eiffel Tower is enough to make you smile for a lifetime.
Last year, I was able to save a lot because I have free accommodation and some free snacks prepared by my hosts. But even if you don’t have the freebies mentioned, you can still travel Europe for less than PHP100,000. How? By planning wisely.
Strategically allocating your expenses entails a detailed preparation on your itinerary. Let me share the 5 steps:
- SET A BUDGET
Let’s say you’ll travel for 14 days and your budget is PHP100,000. Is that enough to travel around Europe for two weeks? Impossible? Possible!!
- MAKE A LIST OF WHERE YOU WANT TO GO
What’s in your bucketlist? What do you want to see or do? Maybe see the tulip fields in Netherlands or drive a fast car in Italy. Maybe ski in Switzerland or join a cruise in France. Set your list based on your level of interest.
- GET A MAP AND PLAN YOUR ROUTE
Get a map and check what’s the best logical order for your trip. Let’s say the places that you’ve been dreaming of are Italy, Greece, Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Finland.
The 6 countries are scattered all over Europe. Sure, you can visit the places your heart desires but you have to consider the time of your transfers and of course, your budget.
Since Finland is way up north and Greece is way too South, you need to scratch it off first from your itinerary and just promise yourself that you’ll be back in Europe someday to add more check on your bucketlist.
Oh, Italy is in South too! but I think everyone must go to this pizza and pasta land.. so let’s include it in the itinerary, shall we. 😉
So we are down with 4 countries: Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and France
It’s time to fill out the table. How much do you want to spend on meals, tours and transfers, etc?
a. Airfare. You can book a flight ticket to Europe for less than PHP30,000. But let’s budget PHP30,000.
It’s much cheaper if you fly to Malaysia, just wait for seat sales to Kuala Lumpur 😉
b. Travel Insurance. For 15 days you can get travel insurance for PHP 1,100 c/o Malayan Insurance.
c. Visa Fees if you will apply at French Embassy, visa application is PHP3,140 +service fee worth PHP 1,361 = PHP 4,501.
***How to apply for a Schengen Visa? CLICK HERE
High class restaurants are equivalent to delicious meals but will give you pocket holes. A budget food doesn’t mean it cannot blow your tastebuds away. Try to look for local spots and voila! You’ll get a good price for a mouth-watering meal.
Breakfast PHP 150 – PHP 250
Lunch PHP 300 – PHP 400
Dinner PHP 500 – PHP 700
Dessert PHP 150
Since we are “budgetarians”, let’s take the cheapest price. Our total will be PHP 1,100 per day (150+300+500+150).
e. Accommodation Hostels and Airbnb costs around PHP1,500 but would you believe that you can book a dorm hostel for less than ₱1,000 in Europe? Also, most hostels have FREE breakfast, so you can save even more.
Plane or train? Transfers play a crucial role in your budget and your travel time.
From Pisa – Paris, 12-hour train ride could cost you PHP10,260 whereas a 3.2 hour flight to Paris could cost you PHP1,850.
Wonder why sometimes airfare is much cheaper than train rides? It’s because low budget airlines like RyanAir offer discounts all the time. Who would have thought you can travel from one country to another for only €16.66 or PHP883?
But you have to consider also the additional baggage allowance. For Pisa to Paris flight, its €12 or PHP636 for 15KG. So that will be PHP1,519 (€16.66 + €12 = €28.66)
Note that the baggage allowance of RyanAir depends on different flights (ex. Milan-Brussels is €18 for 15KG bag)
You can check other budget airlines too like Easyjet and Vueling.
Train companies like Thalys have discounts too. Paris to Brussels is only €29 or PHP1,537.
g. City Transportation
The fare depends on the travel distance. Since most important landmarks are within the city, here’s the price range of city transfers:
Italy €1.20 – €2.90 / PHP64 – PHP154
Belgium €2.10 – €2.50 / PHP112 – PHP133
Amsterdam, Netherlands €2.90 / PHP156
Paris, France €1.80 / PHP95
Let’s say that you’ll have 5 transfers per day. Two transfers (roundtrip) to your hostel and 3 transfers to hop from one landmark to another (Example: Eiffel Tower to Louvre Museum). Let’s take the priciest transfer which is €2.90 / PHP156. So we’re going to spend PHP780 a day.
But actually, you don’t need 5 transfers because most of the landmarks are walking distance; like in Rome:
Want to know more about traveling in Italy by Train? CLICK HERE
h. Attractions (Museums/Landmarks)
Search for the official website of the museum or monument that you’d like to visit and check the schedule and ticket prices.
Note that museums in Rome are closed every Monday. In Paris, Louvre Museum is closed every Tuesday and Musee D’orsay is closed every Monday.
PS: Museums in Rome and Paris are FREE every First Sunday of the month
Here are some museums and monuments you can visit:
VATICAN STATE (Enclave in Rome, Italy)
Vatican Museums €16
Uffizi Gallery €12.50
Eiffel Tower €11 (2nd floor) €17 (top floor) – rates for 25 years old and above
Louvre Museum ) €17
Musee d’Orsay €12
Van Gogh Museum €17
So let’s say that you’ll spend PHP2,500 per country, it’s enough to visit 2-3 museums and landmarks.
If you’re very thrifty and want to save more, you can just see some attractions from afar like Leaning Tower of Pisa and Eiffel Tower in Paris; you can still appreciate both iconic landmarks even if you’re outside.
Parks, monuments and cathedrals are free to visit.
i. Extra Money
This is for unexpected fees, souvenirs, an extra scoop of gelato or a bottle of beer. Always have a budget for unforeseen events or cravings. Let’s budget PHP600 a day
- PLAN YOUR BUDGET ITINERARY
Now it’s time to plot your itinerary. You can use the trusty excel 🙂
Adjust your itinerary based on your research. For example, move your trip on a Sunday instead of Monday to save some bucks.
Now that you have the details of all your expenses in your Europe trip, let’s summarize the budget:
BOTTOM LINE: Stick to your budget 🙂 We all have different wants – countries to visit, places to see, what to eat, etc. You can always adjust your budget; if you are a foodie, maybe you can lessen the budget for paid sightseeing so you can try more delectable meals or if you like to visit more museums perhaps you can lessen the budget for souvenirs or desserts..
Mobile Applications makes life easier when traveling. Here are some of my favorite travel apps:
XE Currency for exchange rates
Google Translate to help you understand the local language
MAPS.me will help you navigate places even if you are OFFLINE 🙂
All mobile applications below show the best route to take in a specific city or country complete with timetables.
Paris, France RATP and Next Stop Paris (you can use this even if you are offline
Italy Italo Treno
Amsterdam, Netherlands GVB and 9292
Safe travels! 😉