Budgeting for your European holiday can be one of the most important aspects of your trip planning. Whilst we'd probably all like to fly business class and stay in the very best accommodation, realistically it's not going to be possible for most of us, so having a clear idea of what you can afford is a necessity.

Euro notesImage © vipman4 / Dollar Photo Club 

As I've mentioned before, I like to pre-book as much of my trip as possible and pay for it all before I leave home. This way any money I take with me (or load onto a pre-paid travel money card) is spending money and I'm not going to be dipping into it for larger expenses like accommodation, train tickets, etc.

If you plan on taking a fully-escorted coach tour or a cruise, your package price will include the majority of your expenses like accommodation, transport, some meals and sightseeing, however for those doing an independent itinerary, it may help to set yourself a budget for each destination you visit to help you plan the overall cost of your trip.

Some European cities (London and Paris are just two examples) are very expensive so you may need to make some exceptions to your budget or stay a little further from the city centre than you would normally prefer to.

It's also worth considering a different style of accommodation to what you'd usually choose - for example an apartment might work out cheaper than a hotel with the added bonus of giving you cooking facilities.


Spending money

Again, the amount of spending money you need will depend on the type of holiday you are taking. For an independent holiday you'll need to allow for meals and drinks, sightseeing that you haven't pre-booked, fuel if you are renting a car, shopping and souvenirs, etc.

Allow yourself a weekly budget with a little bit extra for emergencies or that 'once in a lifetime' gondola ride in Venice, a theatre ticket in London or a special meal out that you hadn't initially thought you'd want to buy.

The following simple budget calculator is a good start to helping you work out an overall budget for your European holiday.


  Price per adult Price per child Total cost





Accommodation ($ per week x number

of weeks)


Car/motorhome hire or leasing


Rail passes



Other transport (ferries, flights within

Europe, etc.)





Pre-purchased sightseeing



Passport & visa costs



Weekly 'living' budget (food, fuel, entry

fees, local transport, internet, etc.)


Travel insurance


Kitty - for those 'must haves' you hadn't

planned on!


Grand Total


The following articles will give you an indication of what to budget for a 4 week holiday in Europe: