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Critique My Budget/Itinerary!

Hi everyone, so it looks like my boyfriend and I have nailed down our European itinerary! We removed Italy almost completely and instead have decided to spend the majority of our time in Croatia. We've done our research and we think this is the best decision for us. So, here's our itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Vienna at 8:30am. Drop bags at hotel, explore Vienna.
Day 2: Vienna.
Day 3: Take hydrofoil to Bratislava in the morning, spend day exploring the city.
Day 4: Leave Bratislava first thing for Budapest.
Day 5: Budapest.
Day 6: Budapest.
Day 7: Budapest.
Day 8: Budapest.
Day 9: Flight from Budapest to Dubrovnik. Arrive in Dubrovnik at 5pm, pick up rental car.
Day 10: Dubrovnik.
Day 11: Dubrovnik.
Day 12: Leave Dubrovnik, take ferry to an island.
Day 13: Island.
Day 14: Leave island for Split.
Day 15: Split.
Day 16: Split.
Day 17: Leave Split, head to Krka National Park for the day. Drive to Zadar in the evening from Krka.
Day 18: Zadar.
Day 19: Leave Zadar, drive up to Istria. Do day trips from Pula or stay in Pula for a day then move on to Rovinj?
Day 20: Istria
Day 21: Istria
Day 22: Istria
Day 23: Leave Istria, drop off rental car in Porec. Hope on the bus to Trieste, from Triste take train to Venice.
Day 24: Venice.
Day 25: Leave Venice first thing for Munich. Oktoberfest!
Day 26: Oktoberfest!
Day 27: Recover from Okotoberfest. Tour around Munich for the day, train to Salzburg in the afternoon.
Day 28: Salzburg.
Day 29: Leave Salzburg first thing for Vienna.
Day 30: Vienna.
Day 31: Depart Vienna for home :(

We're still trying to decide on a few things, for example which island to visit on our way from Dubrovnik to Split? And, is it better to take day trips from Pula to explore Istria? Or should we stay a night in Pula, head over to Rovinj for a few days then move on to Porec?

Now, as far as budget is concerned, I am budgeting $8,500/person. This includes all flights, car rental, gas, parking, tolls, food, hotels, shopping, nightlife, public transit, entrance fees for sights, etc. Is this enough? We're planning on staying in 2* hotels and of course we'll try to stay in as many sobe as possible in Croatia. We'd like to picnic lunch when possible and will try to eat in as many local, cheaper restaurants for dinner. I'm budgeting $60/night per person for accommodations (so max $120/night) and $50/day per person for food. Now, of course, Munich during Oktoberfest is much more expensive. We've already booked our hotel at $350/night.

Please critique my itinerary and budget! All comments are much appreciated. Thanks in advance!


Posted by
2081 posts


i will leave your itineary up to others.

but regarding your budget. if you reduce it to $/day, its around 300 USD. Now, what you have to redo is to look at the exchange rates. Some places cost more, some not. i havent looked into the exchange rates for most of the countries you are going to, but the Euro is about 30% stronger than the USD. this is the rule of thumb (ROT) i use. So, if you look at your daily budget in terms of Euros, its about 210 ish USD/day. Doable. Personally, i try to keep my budget to < 200 USD/day.

also, if you overbudget your trip, just save it for the next one.

one other comment about transportation. You can save $$ by buying some of your tickets ahead of time. Others maybe able to give you which ones will save you $$$. but this will lock you into a date/time. If this isnt your style, then you have to eat the additional cost of winging it. just something to think about.

Happy trails.

Posted by
11613 posts

The euro is running at about US$1.40 = €1, maybe US$1.38 = €1.

Posted by
16883 posts

This plan seems sound. It looks like you have time for some daytrips or flexibility around Budapest. The ticket that most benefits from advance-purchase discount is the longest one, from Venice to Munich, sold through DB starting about 3 months ahead. Other train tickets are pretty cheap to buy as you go.

Posted by
4698 posts

A few comments - skip Bratislava. Been to pretty much every place on your itinerary and it pales in comparison. If you go, definitely do not take the hydofoil - noisy, smoky thing and you are stuck inside. Take the bus, if you must.

Istria - Pick one base and make day trips. You will waste time checking-in and checking-out. It is a very small area. We stayed in Porec and were happy with that choice, but Rovinj is beautiful. Try to also visit Piran in Slovenia and Motovun if you can. Have you considered the ferry to Venice, rather than the train?

Posted by
25 posts

Thanks for all your tips and advice everyone! It's much appreciated!

Posted by
1 posts

While in Dubrovnik it is not really necessary to have a rental car unless you are planning to travel outside of the city. You may want to pick up the rental car on the day you are departing Dubrovnik.
Have you considered a multi-city ticket for the airfare? Fly into Vienna and depart from Munich, in doing so the amount of time spent traveling would be reduced and you would have more time to spend in one or two of the cities on your itinerary.

Posted by
162 posts

I would trim a few days here and there from other destinations and include Prague in my trip. You would be crazy to skip Prague if you're going to be in that part of the world for that long. Prague is easy on the budget too.

Posted by
1277 posts

on day 23 I would suggest aquileia, in the 5th century church you can see the amazing mosaic floor.....and there are still archeological teams in the fields doing their thing. you will need the car and a good map to get there. touring the church itself is free, and there are a couple of small cafes on the grounds.