europe travel

Travel Expense Report: 4 European Countries, Fall 2019

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Every time I travel, I track my expenses and share them with my readers. I write a travel expense report for each trip to help me analyze my own expenses while on the road, and also to be transparent with my readers about how much I really spend.

As I learn more about saving money while traveling and become better at this lifestyle, we’ll see how these expense reports change!

This fall, I went to New York City, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, and then came back home to Nashville. So, I visited 4 cities in 4 countries outside of the USA. I managed to do all of this in 2 weeks, because I needed to get back within that time frame!

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Here’s the budget and prepaid expenses I laid out for this trip ahead of time:

the budget + prepaid expenses: transport

Transport
RouteMode of TransportMiles TraveledCost
Nashville to
New York
Flight764$89
New York to
Paris
Flight3,635$184.89
Paris to
Brussels (with a layover in Lille)
Train209$37.88
Brussels to
Amsterdam
Train132$45
Amsterdam to BerlinFlight358$64.84
Berlin to
Paris
Flight522$88.17
Paris to
New York
Flight3,635$184.89
New York to
Atlanta
Flight760$103.30
Total cost of
transport
$797.97

The best part of writing this table was seeing how little I spent on my flight from New York to Paris. I bought a roundtrip ticket on a super saver fare through Air France, with whom I had a wonderful first experience.

I will say that booking the roundtrip, which I never do, caused me to spend a little more than I like to on my flights within Europe. Those EasyJet flights were much higher than I’d usually spend!

But, I was operating with a tight time frame and had no other option for this trip. As you can see, living on a one-way ticket is the more affordable option if you’re traveling long-term!

accommodations

Accommodations
LocationType of
accommodation
Number of
nights
Total costCost per night
New YorkHilton Hotel3$0$0
ParisBoutique Hotel (Found on Airbnb)1$116.11$116.11
AmsterdamHotel Boat (Found on Hostelworld)4$241.85$60.46
BerlinHostel2$61.09$30.55
ParisBoutique Hotel (Found on Airbnb)2$194.08$97.04
AtlantaMarriott Hotel1$0$0
Total cost of
accommodations
$304.16

Considering I went to Amsterdam and Paris, two of the more expensive cities, I did well on accommodation expenses. I would have saved more had I chosen to stay in hostel dorms instead of private rooms and small hotels, but I prefer the privacy for personal and safety reasons.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to spend anything on the overnight stays in New York and Atlanta due to hotel points!

on-the-ground expenses

Activities
LocationActivityCost per person
New York9/11 Museum$26
AmsterdamVan Gogh Museum$20.81
AmsterdamAnne Frank House$11.50
AmsterdamHeineken Experience$23.36
BerlinBerlin Cathedral$8.00
ParisMarmottan Monet Museum$13.41
Food~$190
Souvenirs~$25
Metro tickets$75.30
Activities, Food, +
Souvenir Total
$393.38

This is where I definitely could have saved. Because I didn’t stay in any Airbnbs, I didn’t have kitchen access like would have otherwise. This put my food spending at a high. But, at the same time, I wouldn’t have been able to carry leftovers with me because of the fast pace of my trip. That would have resulted in wasted food.

Although some of the museums and experiences I had were costly, they were worth it. I’m completely okay with spending my money on experiences instead of stuff.

Now, for the main event! Let’s add it all up…

grand total: $1,495.51

I’d say this is a middle-of-the-road cost for two weeks in Europe. The most expensive parts were getting to and from the USA, getting flights within Europe to make it back for the return leg of my Paris roundtrip, and the cost of visiting the Netherlands.

I certainly felt the difference between Amsterdam and Berlin! Food, museums, and especially lodging were much more affordable in Germany for this trip.

In the future, I’ll revert back to Airbnb travel when I’m in a more expensive area like Western Europe. Sure, I love eating out just as much as the next person. But, going to restaurants takes up too much of my travel expenses.

In total, I’m not upset at how much I spent on this trip. Especially considering I got to tick off two new countries, and I visited one of the most expensive cities in the world!

. . .

I hope this travel expense report helps you see how much travel can cost. It helped me visualize where I saved and where I splurged, so I can adjust for next time and see what happens!

Where are you going next?

*Cover photo by Léonard Cotte. Thanks, Léonard!

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Travel expense report
Background: Berlin Cathedral
Text: How Much it Costs to Travel in Europe

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