Over a year ago, I wrote How Much Does A European Trip Cost, where I advised people to budget PHP 10,000/day of their trip. That estimate was largely based on a 10-day trip my sister and I took a few years ago and included everything from:
- Airfare (Cebu-Manila-KL-Paris-KL-Manila-Cebu)
- Hotels (all double/twin en suites in central locations)
- Sleeper trains: Paris-Venice, Rome-Paris, and Paris-Nice
- Daytime trains: Venice-Rome, Nice-Marseille, and Marseille-Paris
- Ferry trip to Chateau d’If and the Frioul Islands
- Batobus (Paris) and vaporetto (Venice) passes
- Admission fees (Louvre, Orsay, the Colosseum, etc.)
- Food and local transport
…and other miscellaneous stuff. (See: 10 days in Europe: A sample itinerary for France and Italy)
People who actually lived in Europe — ie, people who knew better — told me PHP 10,000/day was too much, but I figured it was a quick, memorable, reasonable rule-of-thumb, and explained:
If I had to describe my travel style, I’d say it’s frugal but comfortable. There are travelers who like to compare trip costs — the cheaper, the better — but I don’t. My personal goal is not to have the cheapest vacation, but to have the best vacation within a reasonable budget, and I tend to be willing to pay a bit more for something if it means I would be happier during my trip.
(Like, you know, centrally located twin en suites.)
But then, this month, I had to write this Rappler article, and I challenged myself to come up with a budget that wouldn’t take an extremely long time or an extremely frugal pre-trip lifestyle to achieve.
So — apologies for the needlessly long intro! — here it is:
As you can see, the airfare gobbles up half the budget and is a lucky, low-season rate at that — you’ll have to keep an eye out for seat sales or periodic low rates to get that price. But it’s entirely possible: I’ve posted about a P23,700 fare and even a P21,500 fare that I found through Skyscanner/Expedia (and which is why I would encourage you to subscribe to this blog HERE to get the latest news and updates). Plus, there are 30-euro centrally located hostels (thank you for the tip Jasmin!) with free WiFi and breakfast, tricks to save on food and still have your fill, and other ways to not spend so much, even in an expensive city like Paris.
- Flight Tips – Piso Sale! How to Get the Cheapest Airfare Deals
- Food Tips – Thrifty eating: How to save on food while traveling
Of course, there’s the valid line of thought that says: you don’t get to be in Paris often, might as well spend more. PHP 50,000 is really just the baseline (and not even the basest of baselines) and you’re absolutely free to spend more if you have more to spend. What this frugal budget tries to prove is that if Paris is really a dream of yours, there’s no reason you can’t make that dream come true. I’ve done it, and you can too.