Europe for under 90 Euros/USD$100/AUD$135 for a family of 4 in TOTAL, may sounds impossible but it really isn’t. In fact, it’s not only possible, but it’s possible for mid range travel – no hostels in sight!
This was our budget for our recent 3.5 month trip to Europe and we kept to it everywhere we went except Italy although we could have kept to it there too if we had made some adjustments to how we travelled. We even did this trip in high season – across summer from mid June to late September. Flights are not included. We did not fly much at all though.
I had many people tell us it wasn’t possible or that it wouldn’t be enjoyable travelling on such a budget. I can understand this as I travelled on a similar budget in 2006 with just one other person and it wasn’t very enjoyable. All I seemed to eat was cheese sandwiches (I still can’t eat them!) and stayed in hostels. The problem was, however, that I didn’t do some of the things mentioned below.
I had no such problems this time. The budget was both possible and enjoyable. We still ate out a lot, went where we wanted and had a fabulous time. You just have to keep to some rules to make it work…
The most important key to our success was staying in holiday rentals like the ones on Airbnb. I love a good hotel but they cost so much more money than a holiday rental and a holiday rental is more practical for a family. You can also bargain the price which is something I do a lot and definitely recommend. We just about always get a yes to not paying for the kids or getting a discount for a longer stay.
You can read some tips on how to save money with Airbnb here.
We stayed in 1-2 bedroom apartments in central locations (usually in Old Towns), had internet and a washing machine and usually paid about 35 Euros a night. All the places were great and we had no problems.
The next important rule is to travel slowly. Even the cheapest transport adds up a lot when buying 4 seats. We had many one week stops which helped minimise this cost and we tried to travel within the same region to keep distances and costs down as well.
Travelling slowly also saves money on accommodation. With Airbnb, accommodation is generally cheaper for longer stays. For example, a one week stay is usually about the same cost as a 5 night stay. A one month stay can cost the same as a two week stay. It is an easy way to save a lot of money and is how we could afford a month in Paris.
I definitely do not recommend self catering all the time – you didn’t come to Europe to not try the food! But we would generally self cater breakfast and one other meal a day which helped cut costs. It can be easier with little kids to not eat out all the time anyway.
Some parts of Europe are expensive and some are very budget friendly. Obviously picking a budget friendly destination will make it easier to keep to a low budget. We particularly found the Baltics very budget friendly – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Poland, Slovenia and Croatia also worked out well.
That doesn’t mean that more expensive countries are not possible on this budget – they are. You just need to take into account the first three rules.
For example, we were able to keep to this budget in France by staying in Paris for a month. We found an apartment which only cost us 25 Euros a night thanks to the longer stay.
You may have to think more creatively to get other destinations to work on this budget. For example in London, we stayed with friends. In Scandinavia, we used rule 5…
If you have a reasonably successful travel blog then you can use it to pitch hotels, attractions, transportation companies and tourist boards for travel items in return for writing honestly about it.
I am very careful to keep these interactions to a minimum as they do take a lot of time, time that could be better spent earning money in other ways, and I do not want a blog that is full of sponsored content. Despite the fact that I am always honest, I worry that readers are less likely to trust me if I am never paying for anything myself.
The vast majority of experiences on this site were paid for by us and the businesses involved did not know I am a travel blogger – except when I note otherwise in the articles.
However, using a blog for sponsored travel is a very effective way to be able to afford more expensive destinations and to bring my readers experiences that I couldn’t have afforded otherwise but I think they would love to hear about. For example, when we visited Disneyland Paris or the absolutely amazing family hotel in Croatia.
If you are considering starting a travel blog, check out my article here about how to get started in 15 minutes. I do warn you though, it take a fair bit of effort to get to the point of sponsored travel.
That’s it! That’s how we managed to keep to a budget of 90 Euros a day while exploring Europe. It wasn’t hard and we had a great time doing it. You can read our full European itinerary here.
What’s your budget travel tips?