I think we all want to know...how much does it cost to vacation in Europe? While the answer is, of course, unique to each individual given all the factors involved in travel (e.g., distance to destination, lodging location and preferences), I decided to come up with a list regarding how I personally save money and stay creepy…
1) Do not buy new travel gear—it is a waste of money
Today we have more opportunities than ever to use social media, our CGT Society facebook group, secondhand travel stores, and other websites, such as Craigslist and Facebook (which have been most useful for me). Even REI has a discounted section in the back: make sure you ask!
- CREEPER TIP: Swapping gear can mean swapping creepy stories and dark places. Always keep a Moleskine before and during your trip to jot down tips and places to share with others.
2) Book your room through Airbnb
You can reserve a room or an entire apartment for as little as $50 a night. Ensure that you read all the reviews and find a location that is central to all your destinations. Great amenities to seek include free wifi, shampoo, and breakfast!
- CREEPER TIP: Search the room images for old creepy buildings in artist districts. I love staying near old cemeteries as well.
3) Book your trip during an off season and celebrate a random holiday creeper style
Paris in the early spring and late winter is beautiful. When I traveled there in spring 2015, the experience felt more local and genuine, there were fewer lines to museums, and most attractions were cheaper. When we were in Italy, we toured right after Italy's “vacation week” in August had ended and just before typical vacations in the UK and US commenced. We were able to stay on the Amalfi coast at a luxury hotel for half the price. We lived like royalty - I think this is where the celebrities vacation and we got it cheap!
- CREEPER TIP: Valentine’s Day in the catacombs was insanely cool and very romantic.
4) Book your ticket through a travel agent
If I would have booked my tickets directly through the airline on my last trip, I would have spent $3,100.00 per ticket; however, using an agent, I was able to purchase each ticket for $800.00 a person into Charles de Gaulle Airport. If you insist on booking yourself online, make sure you browse in private mode to turn off any cookies that can track your searches. I was also speaking to a real person instead of being put on hold, and working through a travel booking website which can be really stressful right before a big trip.
- CREEPER TIP: Ask your travel agent about any odd days or rituals that may happen during your trip or get them to dish up any odd history. If it is a good travel agent, more than likely he or she has seen it all.
5) Pre-plan your destinations that have online pricing, such as museums and galleries
Some cities offer passes, such as Rome, which offers the "Roma Pass." You can get an idea of cost before you travel and decide what you want to see ahead of time. Sometimes the city passes are not worth it and do not include major destinations. Also, note that these passes do not have updated hours, so check the actual website or building for details (a lesson we learned the hard way).
- CREEPER TIP: Make sure you connect with me or our CGT Society Members on Instagram for a list of music venues, bars, record stores, oddity shops, thrift boutiques etc.
6) Set a casual daily budget
We were not crazily strict about this, but it helped to pace ourselves. If I knew I was going to go bananas at an antique skull store, for instance, the next day I would scale back on other purchases.
- CREEPER TIP: Did you fall in love with a “real” human skull at Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen? Chances are they are full of shit: the older generations usually hate the young riffraff tourists, so know that you are usually getting charged to just go away. Do not buy, and talk with a local society member.
7) Check the conversion rates and rates of neighboring countries
If you have a bucket list of places, perhaps you can wait on France and travel instead to Hungary. When we went to France, the conversion rates were awesome.
- CREEPER TIP: Once in awhile you can get good rates for vinyl. What is unpopular in Paris may be popular in the US (sorry folks I am not talking top 40 shit, I mean the good stuff punk/metal/hardcore music). Since you are already paying for the “shipping,” you can find some gems. Just double-check online prices first to verify that you are getting a great deal.
8) Cook your own meals and eat street food in un-popular neighborhoods.
Shopping, prepping, and cooking meals while traveling is so fun. If you are using an Airbnb, you most likely will have a kitchen. Take this opportunity to cruise the awesome markets and grab fresh produce, local meats and cheeses, and a bottle of wine and head back for an amazing dinner. After a week or two of traveling, staying in to enjoy a meal is really quite refreshing.
- CREEPER TIP: Buy the weirdest looking stuff and go to the ODDEST markets for the bizarre packaged candies/goodies. Shopping in out-of-the-way places is crazy fun, and I love bringing weird shit home to my friends as gifts.
9) Do not eat in the city centers
Travel outwards and find the smaller alleyway places where the locals dine. Do not buy bottles of water and snacks from little tourist carts or gift shops; instead, just take a trip to the local grocery store.
- CREEPER TIP: I loved buying street food, then taking it to a cool creepy destination such as an old church crypt or courtyard to enjoy.
10) Do you have to board your pets? Need a house sitter?
I use rover.com instead of boarding. You can use their search engine to find someone who would be a great fit for your budget and your pets. More than likely, your furry friends will enjoy the experience so much that they will even forget you are gone! Another great option is that you can offer your living space to traveling friends and have them watch your pets in return.
- CREEPER TIP: If you have your friends watch your pets while you are away, bring them a unique, creepy souvenir to say “thanks.”
So how much does it cost to Travel for 1 week in Europe!?
Here is my week breakdown for Europe...
$4k-5k - not including Switzerland or London, those are pretty pricey (Please note, this is my own personal expense budget, yours can vary)
Ticket: $800-$1300 (if you use an agent or find an online deal)
Room: $80-150 a night (if you use Airbnb) $1,000/week
Food: $60-$100 a day (this is not exact) $700/ week
Transportation per week: $300 (This is if you are taking big EuroRail trips ex. Munich to Florence)
Museums: $50-$100 per day (+/-) $700/ week (I LOVE Museums so I upped it here)
Day Trips: through Viator etc: $100-$200
Tattoos, Zara, and Mango: just kidding...kinda.