Backpacking Money Matters
The introduction of the Euro in 1999 has eliminated much of the hassle of converting currency while backpacking between countries.
However, it has also driven up the cost of travel in some previously inexpensive places.
Always look out for deals such as cheap airline tickets, discount youth travel cards, hostel package deals, and bundle rail passes such as the Eurail pass that can end up being much cheaper than buying a series of individual tickets.
The amount of money you should budget per day varies greatly based on 3 things:
1. Where you want to go.
2. What you plan to do.
3. Your style of travelling (budget vs luxurious).
In general, prices are much higher in Western Europe. If you plan to spend the majority of your time there, you should plan on spending in the €50 to €70 per person per day range. (See the currency converter for current rates). However, if you are planning to spend your time in Eastern Europe, where the prices for accomodation and food are much lower, about €20 - €30 should be adequate. A trip that encompasses both Western and Eastern Europe will require a budget that falls somewhere in the middle, as the higher prices in the west will be offset by the lower prices in the east. Of course, the more money you have, the longer you can travel and the higher the standard of living you will enjoy along the way. You don't have to be cheap when travelling, just smart.
If money is of concern while on the road, and for most backpackers it will be, you can always save money by opting to camp instead of staying in a hotel. Another great way to save is by making your own meals where possible, instead of always eating out. Travelling is all about experiences. Pick what's important to you. Be thrifty where you can, so you can splurge on something memorable!