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How long can I stay in Eastern Europe on a Budget of $10,000?

I've been to Central Europe many times but never to Eastern Europe. I'm wanting to go on an impulse once and a lifetime trip to Eastern Europe this March. I'm 21 and want to travel alone. I want this trip to be one where I can discover myself and who I am. So I'm wondering how long can I travel on a budget of say $10,000 for expenses while I'm there. I've already set aside my money for airfair and transportation. I'd prefer to be rather nomadic and just get up and leave when I want, so as of now I'm not planning on making any reservations for any hotels. I'm not a fan of hostels, so please take that into consideration. Other than that I'm rather frugal. So any answers and advice from my fellow Rick Steves disciples are welcome! Thanks so much!

Posted by
14399 posts

The designations "Central" and "Eastern" have been debated here more than once - everyone has a different opinion on which countries are included in which areas.

Soooo, let us know which countries you've been to and which ones you're thinking of going to, so we can be helpful.

Posted by
1829 posts

If you wanted to live like a small holdings farmer in western Ukraine you could probably do well for ten years. Same for eastern Bulgaria. Romania and Hungary would be about seven or eight years. Some of these people live on twelve hundred dollars or less per year. For ten thousand dollars you could live like a prince for five years, and that would include a maid.

Posted by
11266 posts

Assuming you are traveling on a US passport, remember that you can only stay in Schengen countries for a total of 90 days in any 180 days. Some Eastern European countries are part of this area, and some are not. More information about which countries are in Schengen, here:

You should also look at the Thorn Tree section of Lonely Planet's website, as it is more geared to your situation:

Posted by
16866 posts

I think that six months makes a nice trip to Europe, provided your mix of countries in and out of the Schengen zone allows you to stay that long. Sleeping and eating are a major portion of your budget; see related tips at Rick Steves' Eastern Europe guidebook says that students and tightwads can eat and sleep for an average of $50/day ($1500/month); this book covers large and small cities in Czech Rep, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Croatia; traveling further east does usually get cheaper. Instead of hostels, rooms in private homes are a good budget choice. Rick's book lists some, web sites like AirB&B could be a resource, or arrive in town while the Tourist Information Office is open in order to use their room-finding service.

Posted by
85 posts

$10,000? That sounds like plenty for a nice long stay in Eastern Europe.

The major categories are accommodations, internal transportation and meals. Even if you are on the go and staying at decent places you should be able to budget $100/day and do quite well. If you go slower, eat cheaper, stay at less-expensive joints in smaller towns (compared to the major cities), then you could easily cut that down. 18 weeks at $ is about ten grand. There is also the flights there and back which I don't know if you are including in your budget or may have already purchased.