Before the trip, my dad made the accurate estimation that we could travel on $60-80 US a day. We ended up making it on about 68 dollars a day, not including two flights and a train ride. In total, we each spent about $1,816.
Here's a rough summary:
- Barcelona hostel: Sant Jordi Alberg (per person, per night) — $49
- Madrid hotel: Hotel Europa (Thanks, Dad! He hooked us up with a free stay at his friends' hotel) — Free!
- Lisbon hostel: Traveler's House (per person, per night) — $30
- Round-trip plane from Seattle to Spain — $900
- Train from Barcelona to Madrid (per person) — $157
- Plane from Madrid to Lisbon (per person) — $43
We each withdrew about €280 ($400 US) from ATMs over the course of the trip to cover all our daily expenses. So that's about $35 per day.
We cut down on daily costs by being cheap with food. We would grab a snack of yogurt, fruit, or cheese from the grocery store for breakfast. We would pick up something like cheap sandwiches for lunch. Snacks consisted of fruit and veggies from produce stands and the occasional ice cream cone. We would usually sit down for dinner at a rather cheap restaurant, usually spending about $8-12 each.
Being card-carrying students cut museum costs down sometimes as much as $5. At Madrid's Royal Palace, for instance, showing your student card let you pay $7 instead of $12.50.
I have to admit that being a female at bars and clubs helps a lot. I don't think we ever had to pay for our own drinks. On more low-key nights, we would pick up a decent bottle of wine from the grocery store for just $5, and go out to share it while chilling in the town square. (Such public drinking is accepted over here.)
We hailed cabs on a couple nights to get back to our hostel when it was too late and dark to walk back safely. Otherwise we used the cheap subway, buses, and trolleys. Tickets for these forms of public transportation are usually just about $2.
Thanks to my dad, we got tours from four local guides for free, a free dinner, and a free fado concert.
We were very cheap here and there, but always comfortable. It was a happy medium between living on nothing but peanut butter (like my brother's friend did on their Eurotrip) and the way I travel with my parents.
About This Entry
You are reading "Budget Overview: Two Young Women, Three Cities, Ten Days", an entry posted on 30 July 2009 by Jackie Steves.