Costs

Trip Costs 2013/2014

So, how much have my European Trips cost?

Well, before I left  in 2013, I calculated how much money I may need. I did a lot of research of other people’s trip costs and then adjusted the costs for one person. Adam and Sophies website “europebycamper” was a big help.

I was lucky to find the perfect motorhome that was well within my budget. The cost included fitting an LPG gaslow system (LPG gas is incredibly cheap and quite easy to find in Europe. Just make sure you have the right adapters), full service, MOT and one year road tax. Plus additional equipment such as a microwave, melamine crockery, bedding, electrical inverter (for powering laptop), vehicle maintenance equipment and fluids, safety equipment, electrical cables, water hoses and levelling ramps.

Insurance was also much less than I anticipated, though policy prices varied significantly. In the end I took out my insurance with Comfort via the Motorhome Facts website. This was limited to less than 6 months travel and less than 8,000 miles. (I actually did 7,272 miles in 2013/14 and 5,689 miles in 2014/15)

Then I calculated how much I thought I would spend during the 2013/2014 trip:

Budget (£) 

Actual (€)

fuel

1500

1441.09

food

1200

1209.47

eating   out

600

469.1

repairs

1500

633.57

campsites

1000

425.83

aires

300

236.84

sightseeing

300

341.01

comms

200

201.99

books/maps

100

170.35

Ferry

150

134.55

LPG

100

73.03

tolls

50

82.8

parking/bus

50

81.45

laundry

?

117

 £                            7,050.00

 €                              5,363.93

Note that I planned my budget in £ while the actual spend was in €.

The original plan was to travel for 6 months but in the end I returned after only 5, meaning that I spent just over €1,000 a month or €37/£32 per day.

Also, I forgot to account for laundry costs. I hate washing clothes and during winter, a washer and dryer are quite necessary.

Although I didn’t eat out in restaurants very much, I did spend quite a lot of money on local produce – wine, cheese, meats and jam.

I was lucky not to have to spend much on repairs for the Motorhome but I would suggest that it is wise to have a healthy repair budget as you never know what might go wrong. Some other travellers that I met had costly and time consuming problems with their motorhomes.

I didn’t spend as much money on campsites and aires/sostas as I had anticipated, discovering that there were many aires in France that were free and stumbling across some secret Spanish spots for wild camping.

My communications budget included a mobile phone SIM card for each country and a “Domino” in France which gave me mobile internet service. However, in Spain and Italy I relied on cafes with free wifi to update my blog.

I should have budgeted more for sightseeing and for bus/train transport to access the larger cities. However, I don’t feel that I missed out on anything and I actually found the smaller villages and surrounding countryside much more interesting and relaxing.

I generally avoided toll roads and my main spend here was returning to France from Italy where I was covering the same ground and speed / relaxation was more important.

Trip Costs 2014/2015

Before leaving for another 5 months, I made sure that Trixie was in good health by having a vehicle service and MOT, as well as a habitation check. Also, I discovered that she was still sporting her original tyres and I definitely wanted some new ones to ensure no problems while abroad. This all cost about £600 but was well worth it because I had no problems while away. I saved some money on road tax by declaring Trixie as SORN while she was in storage.

Because I decided to start my trip in northern Spain, I paid a premium to catch the ferry from Portsmouth to Santander. The 24 hour journey was £360 for me and Trixie and that included the cheapest cabin available and a 10% discount. I came back on the DFDS Dieppe to Newhaven route which is only 4 hours and great value for money at only £54.

I spent very little on accommodation this year, spending hardly any nights on campsites and frequently using free Aires or wild camping spots. Fuel was also much cheaper this time so I spent less than anticipated.

The biggest cost, along with fuel, was food – both eating in and out at restaurants. But one of the main reasons I travel is to enjoy the wonderful local products and the fabulous wine.

In Spain and Portugal I bought a cheap Vodafone dongle for internet access which accepted both country’s SIM cards.

Once again I avoided the toll roads, with the exception of the Pont Du Normandie at Le Harve. I was also unlucky to find myself on an automatic toll road in Portugal which I was unable to pay in country. Although I had email communication with the private company at the time, I haven’t received a charge or a fine.

  Budget (€) Actual (€)
fuel 1500 902.8
food 1200 1219.73
eating out 500 552.78
repairs 1500 0
campsites 1000 97.45
aires 300 107.3
sightseeing 400 372.7
comms 200 189.64
books/maps 100 72.034
Ferry 400 522.32
LPG 100 70.96
tolls 50 6.3
parking/bus 100 43.7
laundry 100 82.74
€7450 €4240.454

 

Trip Costs 2015/2016

Each year I seem to be getting better at budgeting and this year was cheaper than ever.

Using a Three SIM card with roaming at no extra cost was very useful and I bought a ‘Smartish’ phone to enable me to access the unlimited internet that Three offered me. This was particularly useful when looking for places to stay the night on http://www.campingcar-infos.com/index.php.

Budget (€) Actual (€)
fuel 1500 929.18
food 1200 909.04
eating out 500 422.86
repairs 1500 0
campsites 500 129.8
aires 300 101.6
sightseeing 400 212.7
comms 200 142.9
books/maps 50 13.7
Ferry 600 494.09
LPG 100 64.69
tolls 50 0
parking/bus 100 87.25
laundry 100 85
€7,100.00 €3592.81

 

Trip Costs 2016/2017

I knew this year would be expensive following the result of Brexit which had a devastating effect on the Euro exchange rate. I also planned to take several ferries to enable me to visit Greece and Sicily which would add to the cost.

Once again I used Three roaming for great value mobile internet while travelling. The only disadvantages are that it does not allow you to call local numbers and if you use it for too long they may cut you off. In Germany I actually bought a Vodafone SIM card which offered  similar roaming features and got me through the Czech Republic and Austria.

My biggest cost this year was undoubtedly fuel, due to the high cost in Italy (average €1.40 for diesel) and the length of time that I spent there. I tried to offset this by finding free places to overnight and eating out very little. Sightseeing in Sicily also proved to be quite expensive but luckily in Greece they offer reduced rates at all site between 1st November and the 1st March.

  Budget (€) Actual (€)
fuel 1500 1231.31
food 1200 1030.79
eating out 500 529.37
repairs 1500 0.5
campsites 500 170.36
aires 300 166
sightseeing 400 330.7
comms 200 126.48
books/maps 50 59.02
Ferry 600 673.13
LPG 100 85.475
tolls 50 112.5
parking/bus 100 98.52
laundry 100 96.3
€7,100.00 € €4710.50

 

 

2 thoughts on “Costs

  1. Cheryl

    Hiya. I see you had a Gaslow system installed in your motorhome, did they put the filler point inside your gas locker or was it on the outside? If it was on the inside, did you have any problems filling up, especially in France.

    Reply
    1. A Nomad Post author

      Hi Cheryl,

      They fitted a filler cap into the outside of the locker door so I didn’t have to open it to fill. No problems filling up anywhere. Just make sure you have all the relevant adapters because the garages are unlikely to have them.

      Reply

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