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  #1  
Old 21 Feb 2010
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Rough budget: Europe per day?

Been a few years since I´ve done any longer tours with a bike in Europe. Last year, me & my girlfriend went to ride the western coast of the US, and parts of the southwest as well. We stayed for 6 weeks, rode (2-up) a DL650, similar to what we have back home, stayed in roadside motels mostly (boy, was I tired of the faceless chain motels after our trip!!) Anyway, she kept a pretty thorough list of all our spendings there, including food, accommodation, fuel (that´s cheap compared to Europe!), tickets to the attractions, national parks, etc. We ate about 50% at the roadside places, another 50% bought from the big supermarkets. Her calculations ended up so that including the both of us, we had spend around 115 USD (about 85 euros by todays exchange rate) per day. This does not include our flights, or other costs (than fuel) related to the bike, like rental, insurance, etc.

This year we plan to do another tour in Europe with our own bike. The plan at this moment is 100% under construction, but it looks like we may spend some 5-6 weeks, preferably after the high season (we would start off early September) and we may head from Sweden and Denmark to Germany, then to North Italy, then Corsica, Sardinia & Sicily, then return via Italy and to Austria, Czech, Poland and maybe the Baltic states (or if it gets cold already, we take a ferry from Gdynia). I´ve been to those Italian islands with a bike in 1997, but never to Corsica. I´m estimating some 10000-12000 kms total on the trip.

We´re a bit short on space, so probably will not take a tent with us. Remains to be seen, if we´ll take our cooking equipment (didnt have it in the US). So we´ll eat in the cheapish places while on the road, and usually buy something from the supermarkets for the evening and next morning.

The ferry costs will naturally be significant, but I´d leave them out of this (as I may be able to get some nice deals with the operators here, and they may possibly be able to help me in the Mediterranean, too).

I´ve done many similar trips in the past, but they were a long time ago, when there was still the Deutsche mark, the French franc, and the Italian lira.... a lot has probably changed during this time. Now I´m wondering, what would be the rough figure per day, that I should use, when budgeting this for 2 people on 1 bike (basically including just food, accommodation & fuel) for 2010? I know the spendings will depend a lot on ourselves, too. What kind of accommodation we will get, how early we´ll start to look up for one, where do we eat, etc (we probably won´t spend many nights in big cities, didnt do that in the US either). And sometimes, when it rains and we´re tired, we will pay extra because we dont want to keep searching for a cheaper option... And some areas in Europe are cheaper than others of course, but we´re likely to travel across both western and eastern parts of the continent, as well as some parts of the south.

So, if we plan to do this in a similar manner as we did our 2009 tour in the States, any educated guesses of the average costs per day, even for some specific regions, or your own experiences of trips into those areas would be welcome!
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  #2  
Old 21 Feb 2010
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euros per day in europe..

if you travel budget, you may run on 100 euros/day plus fuel. but this is the minimum, if you stay in hotels.
camping is less, but this is not surprising..
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  #3  
Old 21 Feb 2010
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You may be right... in 2007. when heading to India, we did travel quickly from Germany to Greece, stayed in 4-5 places on the way there (we went through Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia).... and payed maybe around 40-50 euros per night. And this was mostly in eastern Europe, and it was in mid-October, so definitely not high-season any more!

Maybe I´ll try to look up a place to stay a little longer in Sardinia or Sicily beforehand, it would be nice to stay put for a while, and could also help with the costs a little...

One thing I´d totally forgotten: road tolls. The Italian Autostrada still as expensive as it used to be? Think it cost nearly the same that I had to spend on fuel, when riding an Africa Twin in the past, so I usually tried to avoid using them.... (and BTW, does Switzerland still obligate to buy the sticker for the whole year, even if you only pass by once?)
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Old 21 Feb 2010
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I 'think' you only need to buy the swiss vignette if you use the Motorways. My advice, and my own planned route is to cross from Southern German in the vicinity of Munich (Munchen) over Austria in the vicinity of Innsbruck to north Italy. (I will be going the other way. You can buy a daily vignette for Austria for well under 9 euros, again I think not needed if you do not use motorways.
If you stay off the Toll roads you will just about save enough to pay for cheap accommodation.
If you intend to stay a while at any of the islands, It might pay you to take your basic cooking gear and buy a very cheap tent when you get there. My tent from Le Clerc supermarket is now six years old and cost 15 euros. So it paid for itself the first night I used it. Budget 40-50 euros a night for a room. The really cheap places are usually on the outskirts of cities or major towns.
At that time of year I would go down as far east as you intend and return later by the more western route, as the winter cold comes later in the west. (but not the rain).
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  #5  
Old 21 Feb 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
and BTW, does Switzerland still obligate to buy the sticker for the whole year, even if you only pass by once?
Yes they do. However, you only need a vignette if you need to use the motorways, all other roads are toll-free. Same for Austria - stay away from the motorways and you're good.

I can't help you with your budgeting plans since our way to travel is very different from yours. It also depends on the country you're in - Europe is very heterogene and some countries (Germany, France, the UK, Scandinavia) are more than twice or even three times as much as others (eastern Europe, southern Italy, southern Spain, Greece). We managed to average ~10€ per day in Western Europe without gas by buying food in supermarkets, cooking ourselves and camping wild. A few bucks more if you stay on campsites, and a lot more if you stay in hotels or hostels. Of course you can easily average 100€ per day without gas, too.
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Old 22 Feb 2010
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Yep, surely I´m aware, that the vignette in Switzerland is only needed, if you use the motorways. I´ve often traveled through the country by smaller roads, and especially in the Alps, if the weather is good, it´s actually much better that way - even though it takes a lot more time!

10€ per day in Western Europe... wow you´ve managed to do it cheap! But that cannot include the costs of any transportation, am I right? If we are planning to travel ~300kms each day (naturally we wont travel EVERY day, but as an average), then I think we need to take those costs into calculation, too.
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Old 22 Feb 2010
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Pecha72- The Swiss Vignette is now (since 2009) mandatory irrespective whether you say you will or will not use motorways- no matter how much you point to your gps and tell them you will use minor roads. The Swiss are adamant about this now.
BTW , it is worth noting that the Swiss can check your gps and if they find a radar database on it for their country... they will confiscate your gps until you return the same way and leave.
Average campsite between €20 and €30 a night.
Many now opt for the formula 'so much for the tent and so much for the bike'- In France it is mosty cheaper to use the Formule 1 motel chain - or camp wild if you can/want to.
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Old 22 Feb 2010
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Hi, during my last bike tour (summer 09) we took in the Dolomites and the Alps and were therfore travelling in the countries mentioned. We normally camped in Campsites and ate out in the evenings; our daily costs inc fuel were about 60 Euros. We were in and out of Switzerland 3 times and never bought a Vignette; maybe we got lucky. Andy B
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Old 22 Feb 2010
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I should have said December 09.
It is now in force but as with any administrative proceedure- what one border office does, maybe another a bit further along does not- you could get lucky - or not!
Update for MJ & Pecha
Non Swiss Nationals crossing a border with a powered vehicle will be asked to buy a Vignette - You could get through without either being asked and get lucky. You will still be liable to a fine if you are found to be using a motorway without the Vignette. Police often check on side roads to motorways where you had to use the motorway to get to.
Just think of it as a tourist tax- cheap at the price for the fabulous wild camping you can get to enjoy in that country.

Last edited by Bertrand; 23 Feb 2010 at 09:17. Reason: added info
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Old 22 Feb 2010
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Wait, does that mean that one needs a vignette even if one stays on small backcountry roads? Are there no toll free roads left in Switzerland anymore?
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Old 23 Feb 2010
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^ Exactly what I was wondering also.

And if the answer is yes, and this has changed 2-3 months ago, then their own websites give very little (or at the very least, confusing) info about it.

Apparently it is now called "National road tax and motorway tax":

National road tax and motorway tax (CHF 40.-)

"Contravention and enforcement
A fine of CHF 100.- is charged for driving on first- or second-class national roads without a valid motorway tax sticker or with a sticker which has been tampered"
- anyone care to clarify, exactly what is included on first- or second-class national roads in Switzerland??

There´s also a map "Map of the national roads subject to taxation", (the link, however, claims it is (or perhaps used to be??) "Map of the motorways liable to taxation") but that map seems to be from Sept 2005.
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Old 23 Feb 2010
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Well, the German Automobil Association (ADAC) has this to say:
Quote:
Autobahnen und autobahnähnliche Straßen mit weiß-grüner Beschilderung sind gebührenpflichtig.
Which translates to motorways (Autobahnen) and motorway-like roads (autobahnähnliche Straßen) with white/green signposting require the vignette. This pretty much coincides with what the Swiss refer to as "first- or second-class national roads".
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Old 23 Feb 2010
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... so, how about this "rough budget" (for 2 people, 2-up on 1 bike):

- Accommodation average per day
(no tent, no free camping, but trying to look up places early afternoon, and sometimes find cheaper places & make reservations online)
55 EUR (total)

- Food average per day
(eat out 2-3 times a week, the rest bought & cooked by ourselves - maybe we will take our cooking equipment with us)
20 EUR (per person) --> 40 EUR (total)

- Fuel average per day (the bike uses about 5 litres / 100kms, averaging 300 kms per day)
20 EUR (total)

- Road tolls average per day
(not buying any vignettes, unless we have to...! And there wont be any tolls on our way in Scandinavia, Germany or the Baltic states - in fact the only country, that we may do longer distances on the tollways is Italy)
5 EUR (total)

- Others (like entrance tickets to the attractions, pay for parking, etc)
10 EUR (total)

Plus on top of that, of course we´ll need to keep the bike maintained & insured, buy tires, get many expensive ferry tickets, maybe even fix the bike.. and if we are not careful, even pay parking or speeding tickets (hope not!)... and this does not include any costs, if we go partying, buy souvenirs, etc., so naturally we will need to have some extra in store for these.

But for simply those everyday spendings only, it might look to be around ~130 euros per day (~4550 euros for 5 weeks, and ~5500 euros for 6 weeks, total for 2 people). 65 per head per day on average. Any comments, if that could be in the ballpark or not? Or something, that is clearly missing from this calculation?

I know it´ll depend a lot on our personal choices. And we won´t be able to keep to that budget every day, but I´m hoping, that we will be able to do a little bit cheaper sometimes, so then the average would (hopefully) be thereabouts...

But naturally this is just guessing, and I´ll have to make the trip, and then I´ll be a lot wiser about this...
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Old 23 Feb 2010
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If you could camp for 10 days out of that 5 weeks you could save 500 off the total cost. Which is why i suggested buying a tent along the route if you proposed to stop anywhere for a few days. It is cheaper (in france) to buy a tent for the night, eat out and throw away the tent in the morning than using a hotel/BnB without food.
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Old 24 Feb 2010
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if you use 'Municipal' campsites in small towns, at for ~10euro per night, versus ~30uro minimum for cheap motels ...
well, after 10 nights you have saved about 200euro

easily enough to splash out in many resteraunts and celebrate!
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