Right after I finished my so-called ♠ 77 Days of Euro Trip ♠ in the end of 2016, a lot of people were asking me about my ♥itinerary, ♦budget, and ♣expenses for the whole 2.5 months. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I should share about the budget and expenses – as I know these 2 things can really depend on HOW you want to travel… but I guess I’ll just talk about it anyway – cause obviously I’m here to share my PERSONAL experience.
So either you think my itinerary, budget, and expenses make sense or not, that’s okay. I think everyone should plan their own and one can’t just copy someone else’s. Therefore, please note that the content of this article is just for reference. It is not a recommendation. You might get inspired, or you might not. At least you get an idea of how I’ve done my travel.
♥ Itinerary ♥
Below I’m outlining my journey from 12 September to 27 November 2016, along with the transportation used to get from one city to another 😀
12 | Bangkok, Thailand ⇒ Helsinki, Finland (by plane [Aeroflot] via Moscow, Russia)
13 – 17 | Helsinki, Finland
18 | Day trip to Tallinn, Estonia (by ferry [Eckerö Line – M/s Finlandia])
19 – 20 | Helsinki, Finland
21 | Helsinki, Findland ⇒ Stockholm, Sweden (by ferry [Viking Line – M/s Mariella]*)
22 | Stockholm, Sweden
23 | Stockholm, Sweden ⇒ Copenhagen, Denmark (by bus [FlixBus]*)
24 – 25 | Copenhagen, Denmark
26 | Copenhagen, Denmark ⇒ Hamburg, Germany (by bus [FlixBus]*)
27 – 30 | Hamburg, Germany
1 | Hamburg, Germany ⇒ Amsterdam, Netherlands (by bus [FlixBus]*)
2 – 3 | Amsterdam, Netherlands
4 | Amsterdam, Netherlands ⇒ Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands (by train [NS Sprinter] to Beverwijk, Netherlands + local bus to Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands)
5 | Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands
6 | Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands ⇒ Amsterdam, Netherlands (by local bus to Beverwijk, Netherlands + train [NS Sprinter] to Amsterdam, Netherlands)
7 | Amsterdam, Netherlands ⇒ The Hague, Netherlands (by bus [FlixBus])
8 | The Hague, Netherlands ⇒ Antwerp, Belgium (by bus [FlixBus])
9 | Antwerp, Belgium ⇒ Paris, France (by bus [FlixBus])
10 – 11 | Paris, France
12 | Paris, France ⇒ Les Herbiers, France (by train [TGV] to Angers, France via St. Pierre Tours, France + friend’s car to Les Herbiers, France)
13 | Day trip to Nantes, France (by friend’s car)
14 | Les Herbiers, France ⇒ Paris, France (by friend’s car to Cholet, France + train [TGV] to Paris, France via Angers & Le Mans, France) ⇒ Zürich, Switzerland (by bus [FlixBus]*)
15 – 18 | Zürich, Switzerland
19 | Zürich, Switzerland ⇒ Prague, Czech Republic (by bus [FlixBus]*)
20 – 21 | Prague, Czech Republic
22 | Prague – Czech Republic ⇒ Vienna, Austria (by bus [FlixBus])
23 | Vienna, Austria
24 | Vienna, Austria ⇒ Bratislava, Slovakia (by bus [FlixBus])
25 | Bratislava, Slovakia ⇒ Budapest, Hungary (by bus [FlixBus])
26 | Budapest, Hungary
27 | Budapest, Hungary ⇒ Zagreb, Croatia (by bus [FlixBus])
28 | Zagreb, Croatia ⇒ Ljubljana, Slovenia (by bus [FlixBus])
29 | Day trip to Bled, Slovenia (by local bus)
30 | Ljubljana, Slovenia ⇒ Florence, Italy (by bus [FlixBus] to Trieste, Italy + train [Regionale Veloce] to Venice, Italy + train [Frecciargento] to Florence, Italy)
31 | Florence, Italy
1 | Florence, Italy
2 | Florence, Italy ⇒ Barcelona, Spain (by plane [Vueling] via Bologna, Italy**)
3 – 9 | Barcelona, Spain
10 | Barcelona, Spain ⇒ Valencia, Spain (by train [Euromed])
11 – 12 | Valencia, Spain
13 | Valencia, Spain ⇒ Granada, Spain (by bus [ALSA])
14 – 15 | Granada, Spain
16 | Granada, Spain ⇒ Lisbon, Portugal (by bus [ALSA]*)
17 – 19 | Lisbon, Portugal
20 | Lisbon, Portugal ⇒ Barcelona, Spain (by plane [TAP Portugal])
21 | Barcelona, Spain
22 | Barcelona, Spain ⇒ Helsinki, Finland (by plane [KLM] via Amsterdam, Netherlands)
23 | Helsinki, Finland
24 | Helsinki, Finland ⇒ Rovaniemi, Finland (by train [VR InterCity] via Oulu, Finland)
25 | Rovaniemi, Finland
26 | Rovaniemi, Finland ⇒ Helsinki, Finland (by train [VR InterCity] via Oulu, Finland)
27 | Helsinki, Finland ⇒ Bangkok, Thailand (by plane [Aeroflot] via Moscow, Russia*)
* = Overnight
** = The airport in Florence had weather issue, so all the passengers were transferred to the airport in Bologna (by bus) to take the flight from there
4 Countries in BLUE range = Northern Europe
6 Countries in PURPLE/PINK range = Western Europe
3 Countries in GREEN range = Eastern Europe
5 Countries in RED/ORANGE range = Southern Europe
All countries I visited are part of Schengen area, except for Croatia. However, you can visit Croatia if you have a valid Schengen visa with Dual Entries or Multiple Entries.
Total days traveled: 77
Total countries visited: 18
Total cities visited: 26
♦ Budget ♦
I had planned this Euro Trip since long time ago. As an Indonesian passport holder, it’s not that easy for me to have a long trip in Europe. If you are coming from another third world country as I am, I know you’ll totally get what I mean 😉
First, I will need to get a visa (in this case, Schengen visa). I can’t just book a flight ticket and go. For sure I can’t just be like “Alright, I’m gonna fly to Europe and not sure when I’ll be back, so see you when I see you, guys…” and all sort of traveling style like this. I wish I could! But well, different nationalities have different conditions, eh? Just deal with it.
To get the visa, I will need to have enough savings. To have enough savings, of course, I need to save up! And so I saved up for 1.5 years. I saved 4,000,000 IDR or about 278€ every month. In the final month,
I had saved 72,000,000 IDR or about 5,000€ for the trip.
This amount is to cover: return flight tickets, visa, travel insurance, accommodation, transportation, meal, attraction entrance fees, souvenirs… basically EVERYTHING.
For the visa application itself, I wasn’t sure how much money was required. I applied from the Embassy of Finland in Jakarta, and seems like they did not state exact amount of money for the requirement anywhere in their official website. Due to this, I just referred to the amount required by Embassy of Netherlands, where Indonesians normally apply Schengen visa through, which was 34€ per day. Yes, it’s not true that they require you to have the minimum of 50,000,000 IDR in your bank account for Tourist Visa no matter how many days you’ll be traveling in Europe – in case you’ve heard this rumour. This seems to be the requirement set by travel agencies, but not by embassies. Embassies set daily fund requirement. So if you plan to travel, let’s say, only for 2 weeks, you can count by yourself how much money is required for your visa application. Of course, it would be much wiser if you have more than what’s required – just to be safe. According to the length of my trip, I would only be required to have 77 days × 34€ = 2,618€ in my bank account. I prepared 5,000€ as I mentioned earlier, which is almost double.
♣ Expenses ♣
Here I broke down my expenses for visa, travel insurance, return flight tickets, accommodation, transportation (inter city), and miscellaneous/other 🙂
Schengen Tourist Visa (valid up to 90 days)
obtained from Embassy of Finland – Jakarta, Indonesia
= 900,000 IDR
AXA Travel Insurance – Schengen (for 77 days)
covering up to 30,000€ medical expenses in the Schengen zone
= 1,331,393 IDR
Return Flight Tickets
Aeroflot (Bangkok, Thailand ⇔ Helsinki, Finland via Moscow, Russia)
= 44,573 RUB
= 9,449,577 IDR
To be honest, half of the trip, I didn’t have to pay for accommodation – thanks to my dear ♥FRIENDS and FAMILY♥ who invited me to stay in their houses/apartments in Europe. I also did Couchsurfing twice. The rest, I stayed in hostels, guest house, hotel, and Airbnb accommodations.
Check the PDF file here: accommodation-in-europe-by-misha-johanna
Total expenses for accommodation
= 8,219,049 IDR
I booked using HostelWorld for all the hostels. I love their app!
For the remaining 8 nights that are not covered in the accommodation table, I spent them in overnight public transportation.
Transportation (Inter City)
Below is the inter city transportation expenses table. Kindly note that ( ⇒ ) refers to one way and ( ⇔ ) refers to return trips.
Check the PDF file here: inter-city-transportation-in-europe-by-misha-johanna
Total expenses for transportation (inter city)
= 16,605,180 IDR
I’m really sorry that I don’t have the detailed breakdown for my other expenses including in-city transportation, meals, attraction entrance fees, souvenirs, etc – just because I didn’t take notes for every single purchase I had for this expense category. BUT! I can give you examples so you can estimate the price range.
♣ For in-city transportation, Northern and Western European countries tend to be more expensive than Eastern and Southern European ones. Examples:
• 1-day pass in Helsinki, Finland (Northern Europe) = 8€ / ± 115,000 IDR
• 2-days pass in Amsterdam, Netherlands (Western Europe) = 12.50€ / ± 180,000 IDR
• 1-day pass in Prague, Czech Republic (Eastern Europe) = 110 CZK / ± 4€ / ± 58,000 IDR
• 10-trips ticket (I used it for 3 days) in Valencia, Spain (Southern Europe) = 8.35€ / ± 120,000 IDR
♣ For meals, I’d say “The more south you go, the better the food, the cheaper the price!” One dish in a restaurant in Northern or Western European countries will cost about 20+€ / ± 285,000+ IDR per person. Whereas in Eastern or Southern European countries, you can have 2 meals with the same amount! Spain is my favourite when it comes to dining out. There’s a lot of restaurants with set menu (appetizer, main course, dessert, and wine) that only cost 10€ / ± 142,000 IDR – how awesome is that?!
♣ For attraction entrance fees… 🙂 I believe you can just Google it, one by one. It really depends on which attractions you wanna visit. Some attractions are also free to enter.
♣ For souvenirs, personally, I collect fridge magnets. I bought at least 2 magnets from each country I visited. The prices vary from 1€ / ± 14,200 IDR to almost 10€ / ± 142,000 IDR. The cheapest magnets I bought were the ones I found in Tallinn, Estonia. They were only 1€ / ± 14,200 IDR each. The most expensive one was the magnet I bought in Zürich, Switzerland – it was 7€ / ± 100,000 IDR.
When I was hosted by my friends and family, they often cooked for me – or let me use their kitchen to make something for myself. Some of them also drove me around, and in smaller cities I preferred to just walk instead of using public transportation. Thanks to them, again, I saved quite a lot for meals and in-city transportation…
By the way, I normally have more details for this miscellaneous expenses in the other blog posts for each city. So, feel free to browse my blog around! 😉
In IDR/Rp. (Indonesian Rupiah) Visa, Travel Insurance, Return Flight Tickets, Accommodation, Transportation (Inter City) = 36,505,199 IDR Other Expenses = ± 28,494,801 IDR Total Expenses = 65,000,000 IDR [round up]
In EUR/€ (Euro) Visa, Travel Insurance, Return Flight Tickets, Accommodation, Transportation (Inter City) = 2,506.35€ Other Expenses = ± 1,993.65€ Total Expenses = 4,500€ [round up]
♠♠♠ ♠♠♠ ♠♠♠ Additional Note ♠♠♠ ♠♠♠ ♠♠♠
I’m actually lucky enough that I didn’t have to quit my job to be able to travel for 2.5 months. All my work is done online and my boss gave me permission to do a workation = working while on vacation – this is the term we use in where I work. I did take a 3-week leave, though – but the rest, I just managed my time to do my tasks and travel around every day. If you pay careful attention on my itinerary, you’ll see that I have the highest mobility in October – and that’s when I took most of my leaves.
Also, cause I kept my job, I didn’t have to spend all my savings. I withdrew cash several times during the trip from my salary account, and just used my savings to pay the credit card billing. In the end, I only spent half of my Euro Trip savings, and my total expenses were even lower than what I had prepared – as you can see from the calculation.
‘Leaving everything behind’ before embarking for a long trip is not a trend for travellers from Indonesia, or I believe, many other third world countries. Even if we have enough money to do so, we are often limited by the visa regulations (please note that I’m referring to traveling to first world countries here). Embassies need to know whether the visa applicants have something back in our country that will force us to come back home – or not. It could be our job, our own business, a spouse, etc. I think the main reason is that they just don’t want to risk receiving illegal immigrants who are not returning to their home countries after arriving in the country of destination.
So yeah, in this modern era, there’s a lot of ways to travel! You can take either paid or unpaid leave… study abroad… join a volunteering program… or just get a job that will require you to travel! Basically, just make it happen 🙂
Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me here 😀
Thank you so much for reading! xxx