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Money Tip

The Very Subjective, Oversimplified and Unscientific Budget Formula

Important Notes:

  • We always advise you have access to backup money in case of emergencies or unforeseen issues.
  • Geography matters! Prices in every city are different. This is an oversimplified formula for backpackers with a healthy mix of high to low priced cities. For instance, if you are spending most of your time in more expensive places (Northern Europe, Switzerland or the UK) add €20. If you are spending most of your time in the Balkans, Poland and other cheaper more Eastern regions, subtract €20.

This Formula Assumes:

  • You will use cheap public transportation and no taxis.
  • Plane tickets are already paid for.
  • International credit card and debit card fees are accounted for.
  • City-to-city tickets and/or rail pass costs are accounted for.


Start With a Base of €85 Per Day.

add & subtract accordingly

1. Eat

  • – 15 if you will buy your food at grocery stores or on the street
  • – 10 if you will buy more of your food at a grocery store or on the street, but sometimes at a cheap restaurant
  • DO NOTHING if you will sometimes buy food at grocery stores and on the street, but also eat at cheap restaurants
  • + 10 if you will eat most meals out at cheap restaurants and on the street
  • + 20 if you will eat most of your meals out at cheap and moderately priced restaurants

2. Sleep

  • - 15 if you will have mostly free lodging via camping and Couchsurfing
  • DO NOTHING if you will stay most nights in cheap dorms at hostels
  • + 20 if you will be mixing it up with hostel dorms, hostel private rooms and a cheap hotel once in awhile
  • + 40 if you will always have a private room – hostel or cheap hotel

3. Drinking

  • – 20 if you never drink
  • – 10 if you will almost always drink at your hostel a few nights a week and typically do not go out
  • DO NOTHING if a few nights a week you will go out to a bar
  • + 10 if you will drink most nights at a bar
  • + 20 if you will drink most nights at a bar and go to clubs every once in awhile
  • + 30 if you will drink out almost every night and go to clubs

4. Sites, excursions and activities

  • – 15 if you will only ever go to free sites and no excursions or activities
  • – 10 if you will rarely pay for a site unless it is really important
  • DO NOTHING if you will pay a little bit every day for a site here and there
  • + 10 if you plan on going to sites, museums and other attractions that cost money some days
  • + 20 if you plan on going to more expensive sites and excursions a few times a week
  • + 25 if you plan on going to most sites, take excursions, purchase concert and event tickets


To Sum Up
At its cheapest, your budget is €20 a day. This is not advisable and almost always unattainable. Things come up and they cost money. The most expensive outcome is €200 per day. This is very comfortable, but still considered a budget trip because even with this budget, eating at expensive restaurants and staying at expensive hotels is unfeasible.

What do you think? Comment and let us know your budget tips!