Eurotrip 2019 is officially underway! The plan is to travel to 14 countries including over 30 different cities in a 15 week span. For more info on our itinerary, check out this article from last week! As I did on our 5 month long around the world trip last year, I’m going to keep track of and write about all of my expenses throughout this trip to show that with some smart planning, traveling with just carry-ons, discounted Airbnb gift cards, and credit card reward points, extended periods of international travel doesn’t have to be astronomically expensive and can even surprisingly affordable!
Last year on our 5 month trip I averaged about $37/day in total for all costs associated with our trip. This year since our entire trip will be in Europe which is significantly more expensive than SE Asia, I’m setting a budget of $55/day. That will mean an average cost of less than $2,000/month for me with all expenses included. With that being said, I’m going to be more lenient this year than I was last year so although I’d love to spend less than that each day, I won’t beat myself up if I end up a little higher either.
Madrid was our very first stop on this trip. We spent 3 days and 3 nights here after a long day of traveling from the US. We originally planned to fly into Portugal but found better reward options for Madrid so decided to start there for a few days before heading to Northern Portugal then down the coast. Honestly, Madrid was not even close to one of the stops I was most excited for when booking this trip. We generally don’t like big cities and didn’t have many people recommend Madrid unlike many of our other stops in Spain and Portugal. Despite that, we were pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed our time in Madrid! The city was beautiful with a great combination of parks and amazing architecture. Surprisingly the city was not nearly as expensive as I anticipated either especially for being a European capital.
Stay tuned for Whitney’s next post about all of our adventures on this part of the trip, but for now I’ll focus on the expenses incurred while in Madrid. Keep in mind that all of the expenses that I’ll talk about below are my expenses only, since Whitney and I have quite different spending habits. We split all shared expenses evenly, so I calculate the numbers below with my half of the shared expenses and then my individual expenses.
Accommodations: We found an affordable Airbnb (my referral link which you can use to get $55 off of your first stay!) in a great location in the city close to a subway station. Our hosts were great and the room had everything we needed. We had access to the kitchen as well which helped us save money on food costs by buying some groceries to make sandwiches for a few meals. To be the capital city of Spain, I was happy to find this great Airbnb for only $27/night which was split between the two of us.
- Total for my expenses: $41
Food and drink: Whitney was very excited to try some Spanish wines and I have to admit, red wine has grown on me over the past year. We visited a couple very good restaurants and had our fair share of wine and sangria over this three day span. As I mentioned above, we also got some groceries at a nearby Lidl to make some sandwiches at home to keep costs a little lower. We also were shocked to find that many of the grocery stores sell local bottles of red wine in the $1-$2 range of which we took full advantage!
- Total for my expenses: $35
Transportation: The biggest transportation cost during this portion of the trip was the flight from the US to Madrid which, even though we used Delta Miles (Whitney’s referral link to the Delta Gold card which we used the sign up bonus from to cover these flights) to cover most of it, cost us $59 each in taxes and fees in addition to the 30,000 miles. Besides the flight, the rest of my transportation expenses were from the train to and from the airport as well as daily train rides to get around the city (6 in total). The train was easy to navigate especially with the help of Google Maps. We did have to purchase a re-loadable metro card which was nonrefundable. A bit of a bummer but only a couple dollars so it was worth the investment.
- Total for my expenses: $74
Activities: We walked almost 30 miles around the city in the three days we were there to enjoy the sights. The only activity that we paid for was a free 3 hour tour of the city which was really informative. We tipped the guide $7 each at the end of the tour. We considered paying to go inside the palace but decided against it.
- Total for my expenses: $7
My total expenses for 3 days and 3 nights in Madrid, Spain including accommodations, transportation, activities, and food were approximately $157!
Running total for entire trip to this point (my expenses only): $157
I was really happy with our time in Madrid and could definitely see us making another stop there in the future. It’s a great city that seems safe and affordable overall. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to others for a few days of sight-seeing.
We headed to Porto, Portugal next, so stay tuned for my next update. Keep an eye on the Facebook page where we are posting much more frequently about the trip including our favorite pictures!