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cost per day

I'm trying to estimate the cost per day for my husband and I. We are going to Paris and Italy and I need to estimate so I can know how long we can afford to stay. We will stay in inexpensive hotels that are clean and safe. We will picnic a lot of the time. Of course we will go to some major attractions but not totally busy, busy. We will take trains and buses mostly. Anybody have a good guess for the daily cost of a budget trip in April 2009?
thanks so much,
alycia

Posted by
23472 posts

That is very hard without a lot of good information. But I will give you a ballpark -- $200/day and that is low end. I would budget $300.

Posted by
10344 posts

The cost of your trip is difficult for us to reliably estimate: too many variables. Here's a link to an extensive discussion of estimating trip costs that was had here last year and updated for 2009 http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/9097/your-europe-trip-budget--not-just-for-first-timers.htmlThe single best discussion I've found is the budgeting chapter in Rick's Europe Through the Back Door 2009, where he goes into detail about how he develops a cost of $185/day (that's not per person), not including airfare, for a couple traveling moderately but safely. In that chapter he also includes a schedule of costs of ~$105/day for what he calls "students or rock-bottom budget travelers."But, having presented these figures from Rick's book, I agree with Frank's observation that many travelers, posting here, have admitted that their actual trip costs were higher than Rick's $185/day. And a number of travelers have also reported here that their trips cost them less than Rick's $185/day. But apples to apples comparisons are difficult to obtain. If a person wants their trip to cost substantially less than the average, they need to be realistic and face the fact that they're going to have to give up something. For European travel from the US, it's probably true that: You sometimes get what you pay for, but you won't consistently get what you don't pay for.

Posted by
3313 posts

Kent and Frank give you the definitive answers. The good news is that the Internet and an Excel spreadsheet can help you resolve the answer for your circumstances. Prices for almost everything you need are online - hotels, trains, museum passes, public transit.

Beyond hotels, the true variable is food. If I wanted to stay in Paris for absolutely as long as I could, I would happily buy cheese, meats, bread and wine at the grocery store and picnic as much as I could. I would enjoy kebabs and couscous at prices and quality I can't get here. I just wouldn't eat many sit down meals in restaurants and cafes. It's eating where the costs can vary exponentially. Good luck!

Posted by
1358 posts

You will find lots of questions similar to yours on this page. Scan the previous letters and read the answers you find.

You will see that estimated costs vary by your tastes and needs. Give it some thought and create a spread sheet.

I always use a spread sheet and estimate costs for each day. Include food, travel, housing, entrance fees and anything more you will need.

Posted by
2 posts

thank-you for all your responses, they are helpful. It gives me an idea to start with and I will do more research.

Posted by
23472 posts

Most of the prior points are accurate. You said you are going to Paris and Italy and I assume that means Rome and perhaps Florence. Those are expensive cities. We travel pretty frugally -- two meals a day, 2nd class trains, but we stay near the central city. However, we try to have a nice meal every other evening and enjoy an afternoon break at a sidewalk cafe. We find it hard to keep it much under $250/day. The days of Europe on $5/day, $50/day are long gone mainly do to the declining dollar. I expect the new standard will soon be $500/day. Hate to ask but why are you asking now about a trip budget in less than month.