How much money should one have on hand? | Travel/Culture hacking | Forum
August 7, 2011
So, this is my first post here – to that end, hi all! Apologies if I missed any introduction thread.
I just had a quick question to put out there in regards to travelling and budget. Naturally this is a question that appears to be often bandied around, but it always appears to get truly mixed replies. In a nutshell, I'm wondering how much money I'll truly need (not counting flights) to survive for 3-6 months out in Europe. I'm only really planning on being in two or three countries – Germany, France, and Spain. And potentially, I may just stay in Germany. I do want to be around the main cities like Berlin and Hamburg for a bit – which I understand will make my trip more expensive. That said, I'm also willing to work… but don't want to rely solely on this to survive (not to mention I have no idea if I'd be able to find work or not in the major cities, especially without being a German citizen… and with aiming to head off toward the end of the year, as winter begins over there. Delaying it a couple of months isn't entirely out of the question, though).
Has anyone made a similar trip and able to share their experience of costs? I'm not venturing over to throw loads of cash away at resorts and so on, but I don't want to be ducking from one couchsurfing host to the next every single night either! I can imagine that while rewarding as it might be to meet all those people, it's potentially impractical for so long a period (not to mention exhausting!). And I want a feel of what it's like to actually live there, for that matter!
If anyone has any thoughts or insight on this, let me know, it would be greatly appreciated.
August 3, 2011
First of all, good luck to you!
Second of all, if you're looking to an alternative to Couchsurfing (although perhaps Benny or others could share some insight on extended Couchsurfing stays), might I interest you in this site? It's at http://www.airbnb.com. My friend and I used it when we went to Rome in June. We didn't want to stay in a hotel because we wanted to get more of the local flavor staying in a neighborhood. It's a site where people rent out rooms and/or entire private apartments and there's often something in pretty much any price range for a given city. (In fact, if you're really interested and are so willing, I can "refer" you online and get some credit, haha.) Now, I don't know how keen most hosts would be on having an occupant for several weeks or more, but if you are planning on visiting a few different cities and/or countries, I would highly recommend this option!
Of those three countries, I have spent the most time in Germany and I find it to be a very livable country. It is my understanding that of its major cities, Berlin is one of its least expensive. If you really are looking to hunker down and stay somewhere for awhile--especially in accomodations where you can keep groceries and cook for yourself--then I don't see why you couldn't get by on 20-40€ a day, depending on what type of activities you're looking to do.
August 7, 2011
Thanks for the reply! I'll have to look into that airbnb site some more, looks interesting. The activities I'm mostly interested in pursuing are simply seeing sites for free (wandering the city and all), talking to locals, and so on. No skydiving, adventure trips, or anything like that – so I'm hoping that will keep my costs down. ;) 20-40 Euro sounds quite manageable! That would be excluding accomodation costs though, I imagine? I'm happy to try and pursue some kind of short term shared housing as well.
I think I'll have to look into what I need in order to potentially work over there soon, as well. Also looking into the link Benny posted in one of the other threads, for teaching English – just the weekend course, for certification. I imagine it'd be of limited use for Germany, per se, but potentially useful to have up one's sleeve as one moves about Europe, I imagine… hmm.
August 3, 2011
20-40 Euro sounds quite manageable! That would be excluding accomodation costs though, I imagine?
Hmm. Well, when I initially wrote, I was thinking in terms of that number being separate from housing. But let's think through this--let's say you rent a furnished room for somewhere in the 300-400€ a month range. (And I'm really guessing here on whether that is a realistic number.) But that would put you in the 10-15€/day range for accommodations. If you're keeping some groceries in said rental property and getting a monthly bus/light rail pass and sticking mostly to the free activities, then I think it's still possible to get by on 20-30€ a day on top of the housing. Some days may cost more or less than others, of course, but it could all even out.
Do you factor in transportation as part of your daily costs? Perhaps you could stay somewhere in Germany as your "home base" and then make trips to other places on inexpensive flights via Air Berlin/Easy Jet/Ryan Air/etc.
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