As you know, in September 2015 Elle and I went travelling around Europe for 31 consecutive days. Overall the trip wasn’t cheap but it wasn’t extremely expensive either. In total I believe the entire trip cost around £4000 for both of us. But, that includes flights and hotels to backpacks and clothing. In this post you’ll find out exactly how much and what we spent our money on in order for a successful trip.
The standard price of a 1 month continuous interrail ticket is £422 per person, but the company often have limited offers of up to 15% off. We waited until this offer was available; with this offer we were able to purchase two tickets for the price of £718 (£359 each) saving us £126. In fact, the limited offer of 15% off is available now until the 31st December. Click here to go directly to the website.
The Global pass enables you to travel in up to 30 countries in your chosen time period, we chose the 1 month continuous pass to get the most out of the experience and to explore as many countries as we could.
When you’re travelling country to country for a long period of time you need to pack light and efficient, but there are essentials that are a MUST. Obviously these all cost money, so here is the breakdown of our travel essentials;
- Backpack – Your backpack is your most prized possession when travelling. It will contain your valuables and you’ll be wearing it for long periods of time. You need to choose a backpack that is right for your body shape, one that is comfortable and won’t cause problems in the future. You need a backpack that provides you with easy accessibility. It is advised to purchase a backpack no bigger than 60L, as you don’t want to overpack. There are many things to consider when finding the right backpack which is why prices range for £30-£100+, we paid around £50 each for our backpacks. (£100)
- Sleeping bag – A sleeping bag is crucial for an interrail trip. You will be sleeping on trains, maybe camping and in a few hostels you will need one to save money rather than paying a bedding fee. Our sleeping bags were around £10 each. (£20)
- Comfort Accessories – There are many things you need to consider to ensure your comfort whilst travelling. Ear plugs for nights in noisy hostels or on trains. An eye mask for when you need to sleep in lighted areas. A travel pillow for planes and trains. You can buy packages online that include all of the above. We bought ours from eBay, the package included an inflatable travel pillow, multiple ear plugs and an eye mask. (£10)
- Hiking shoes – You will be walking around for long periods of time and you need shoes that are comfortable and practical. For a decent pair of hiking boots you’re looking around £25 each, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to be comfortable. (£50)
- Safety – Safety covers all angles, first aid kit to combination locks to money belts. A basic first aid kit will do the job, you will need plasters/bandages, pain killers and tablets. Combination locks fight off the pursuit of pickpockets. In many European countries this is a problem, better to be safe than sorry. We are thankful we had our combination locks when we were targets of pickpockets. On a similar note money belts are a must, keeping your money discreet and close to your body to avoid being robbed. All of the above you can find online or in many retail stores. (£30)
- Toiletries – Similarily to going away on a short break you’re likely to buy the mini shampoo and conditioner, mainly because it puts you into holiday mode when you see these products. But in terms of travelling, these items are great to put you on for the first few days until you buy more. Taking these with you is one less thing to stress about when you first start your trip. A travel towel is great, they are compact, lightweight and quick drying. They are a little pricey but definitely worth the money. (£40)
- Universal adapters – Essential. Unless you aren’t taking anything electrical with you, but in this day and age I’m certain that wouldn’t be the case. You can buy these in poundland, take 2-4 of these with you in case you lose or damage one. (£5)
First of all, there are ways you can save money instead of staying in fancy hotels or pricey hostels. You can sleep on night trains, go camping or try out couchsurfing. (For those who don’t know what couchsurfing is, you sleep at a local’s house free of charge. It really is as simple as that).
Although we did Couchsurf in one country, which was a great experience, we mainly stayed in hostel dorms. Some hostels offer breakfast, wifi and bed sheets included in the price, and tours and events at discounted rates. European hostels widespread and vary in price per night. In Scandinavian countries prices skyrocket, you’re looking at £9+ per night, per person.
Breakdown of our accommodation
Sweden 1st – 4th – City Backpackers (£131)
Denmark 4th – 5th – Copenhagen Downtown (£51)
Germany 5th – 7th – Happy Hostel (£60)
Czech Republic 7th – 9th – Plus Prague (£21)
Slovakia 9th – 10th – Downtown Backpacker’s Hostel (£24)
Hungary 10th – 12th – The Hive Hostel (£50)
Croatia 12th – 13th – Youth Hostel Zagreb (£22)
Slovenia 13th – 17th – Youth Hostel & Penzion Bledec – (£69)
Italy 17th – 20th – Camping Village Jolly (£53)
Switzerland 20th – 22nd – Couchsurfed (Free)
France 22nd – 25th – Friends Hostel (£90)
Belgium 25th – 27th – Boomerang Hostel (£42)
Netherlands 27th – 1st – Amsterdam Hostel Leidseplein (£155)
During our trip we only took two flights, one on our way there and one on our way back. Our first flight was from London Stansted to Stockholm Skavasta at 8.20am. We flew with RyanAir on our way out and with Easyjet on our way home. The one way flight to Sweden for both of us was just short of £50, and the one way flight home to Manchester Airport was £52.
Another thing you have to consider is transport. You may think that you don’t need to think about this as your interrail pass covers your train use. Yes, this is true but sometimes you may need to pay an extra fee for night trains, or you may need to use a tram or local bus. Transport also includes taxi and train fare used in England in pursuit of your trip.
For us, we had to get a taxi to Letchworth train station after midnight, then a train to Cambridge station and sleep there for a few hours, then get the train to Stansted. The taxi was just over £10 and the train was £70. We rarely used public transport whilst we were travelling as we mainly walked to save money. In total we spent no more than 50 euros which is the equivelant to £43. When we got back to England, we had to get the train from Manchester airport to Leeds which cost £21 for both of us. We then had to get the bus from Leeds city centre back home which was another £5 each.
Your spending money covers a lot, food, souveniers, admission, emergencies, you name it. You need to be wise when planning how much spending money you should take. We’ve read many tips about how much you should take, it averages around 15 euros per person per day. It may not seem a lot and some days will vary. You’ll find that you may go over, which is why you will also need spare emergency cash. I will say this now, we did not take nearly enough as what we should have. We didn’t plan for the hiccups that occurred and we lost valuable money through no fault of our own. Currency exchanges whilst you’re abroad are significantly lower than when you’re in the UK, and you can easily be scammed. Overall we had around £2000 spending money, and it would have been helpful to have an extra £500+.
Bring money for ‘extras’ this could include events, laundry services, extra night at a hostel etc. We found that we had to borrow money from family to keep us going, even though you budget, there are situations that can occur that you haven’t planned for. Halfway through our trip we had to borrow around £300 to keep us afloat. But this helped greatly towards paying fees or even getting food.
Adding all of the above together, in total our month long trip cost £4297 altogether.