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How To Spend Three Weeks In Europe For Price of an iPhone – Guide To Backpacking Through Europe

There’s been rather a lot of speak recently about how individuals get more satisfaction from experiences than from “stuff”.

And this received me considering as I was staring at the 256GB version of the iPhone XS Max in my on-line buying basket — which rang as much as a good $1,359.85 with tax.

Would a 6.5” Tremendous Retina custom OLED show display with 458 pixels per inch and dual 12MP rear cameras convey me $1,359.85 value of happiness?

What if that $1,359.85 was used for travel? Certainly I might get more happiness from that.

So I made a decision to place my savviest price range journey expertise to the check by trying to plan a three-week trip round Europe for the worth of a brand new iPhone XS. And to make things even more difficult, my itinerary would include some of Europe’s most popular cities.

In fact, this shall be a really frugal trip and there can be only a few “luxuries” but I was sure it will still be a fulfilling adventure.


  • No Free Lodging. There might be no sleeping in parks, practice stations, and so forth.
  • Should Eat Actual Food. We’ll persist with consuming low cost meals and making meals however there gained’t be something excessive like eating ramen noodles and plain pasta daily.
  • No Hitchhiking.
  • Solo Travel. Individuals traveling together can typically save by splitting lodging but for this problem, I’ll finances for solo journey.
  • Must Visit Widespread Cities. Yes, we might save rather a lot of money by spending three weeks within the middle of Bulgaria however I would like this to be more practical.
  • Must Do Some Cultural Actions. You travel to Europe to expertise the culture so I can’t get monetary savings by doing nothing all day. So I’ve to finances in a number of paid cultural activities in each city.
  • Must Embrace Roundtrip Flights To Europe. To maintain issues fascinating, we’ll embrace roundtrip flights from NYC to Europe.



  • NYC To Paris: Might 7th.
  • Paris: Might 8th to 14th
  • Rome: Might 14th – 22nd
  • Barcelona: Might 22nd to 28th
  • Barcelona to NYC: Might 28th

$1,359.85 for 21 days equals about $65/day.

Choosing The Travel Dates

Your journey dates will play into your journey prices — notably flights and accommodation.

For this itinerary, I selected to journey in Might because it is a little earlier than the peak of the vacationer season but the weather is good. Mid-March and April are also good travel months — particularly in southern Europe.

Finances Tip: The absolute least expensive occasions to travel are traditionally November and January via early March.

Booking Flights To Europe

cheap flights to Europe

My Roundtrip Airfare: $313

  • NYC to Paris on Might 7th: $126
  • Barcelona to NYC on Might 29th: $187
    • TOTAL: $313 (including tax)

I initially discovered my crazy low cost flights from an affordable flight deals publication referred to as Scott’s Low cost Flights — which sends day by day flight deal e-mail alerts.

A number of of the current deals from Scott’s Low cost Flights

The offers from Scott’s Low cost Flights often solely last for a day or two so you need to be flexible sufficient to jump on the tickets shortly.

I’m based mostly in NYC so I get the posh of getting access to quite a number of low cost transatlantic flights but I’ve seen lots of low cost transatlantic flights from different cities as properly.

That stated, I understand not everybody can rating as many low cost flights as I can but I still needed to cover how I seek for low cost flights in this part as you need to use the identical techniques I exploit.

How I Search For Low cost Airfare To Europe

Lately, once I’m looking for my flights, I mainly flip to Google Flights.

Google Flights is good because you possibly can simply put “Europe” as the destination and it offers you a ton of flight options (see the photograph above).

We put out budget travel skills to the test to see if we can travel Europe for three weeks for the price of a new iPhone.DEPARTURE FLIGHT: NYC to ParisCheap Flights | Barcelona to NYCRETURN FLIGHT: Barcelona to NYC

I spent rather a lot of time in Google Flights making an attempt numerous travel dates to see which provides one of the best/least expensive tickets. After about an hour I narrowed it right down to a roundtrip flight for $313 — which is an wonderful deal.

Price range Tip: Airfare can change drastically from at some point to another so that you may need to poke around to get the perfect worth.

Price range Tip: You don’t need to fly in/out of the same airport. Typically it’s cheaper to fly into one airport and out of a special one (which is what we did on this itinerary).

Price range Tip: Take note of to the flight occasions as a result of some may need loopy long layovers or bizarre quirks.

Finances Tip: Many low cost flights are primary financial system — which suggests carry-on baggage solely. You possibly can all the time pay for a checked bag however it can typically value $60 every method.

Finances Tip: After discovering the flights in Google Flights, search the same dates in Momondo as typically they will discover cheaper tickets.

Transportation Within Europe

On this journey, our locations shall be Paris, Rome, and Barcelona. I used to be capable of finding tickets for these two flights for a complete of $40.

These three cities are pretty distant so it makes probably the most sense to fly. I might take a practice however it will take a lot more time and it might be costlier.

My Complete Flight Costs: $40

  • Paris to Rome: $20
  • Rome to Barcelona: $20

FLIGHT: Paris to Rome for $20Cheap Flight | Rome to BarcelonaFLIGHT: Rome to Barcelona for $20

Normally, I favor touring via Europe on the practice and I’ll virtually all the time take it if the journey takes lower than about 5-6 hours. For extra details about traveling by practice, take a look at our Full Guide To Practice Journey In Europe.

Finances Tip: Use Google Flights, Momondo, and Skyscanner to search for airfare within Europe.

Price range Tip: Attempt reserving early to get one of the best airfare deals.


Cheap hostels in Europe

Complete Lodging Prices: ~$470

  • Paris: $150 (6 nights)
  • Rome: $176 (Eight nights)
  • Barcelona: $144 (6 nights)

We have a tendency to stick with hostels or Airbnb leases once we journey. Because the finances is tight for this trip, my aim was to keep accommodation beneath $25/night time.

Our low finances primarily dominated out renting an whole Airbnb house (until we needed to remain far outdoors the town). Nevertheless, there are a very good quantity of well-rated hostels that value underneath $25/night time in every of the cities.

By the best way, we solely selected hostels that acquired at the least an Eight/10 score on Hostelworld to ensure we weren’t staying in full dumps.

We also discovered a handful of personal rooms for lease on Airbnb that ran from about $22-$35/night time.

Let’s take a look at what we present in every metropolis.

Paris Lodging Costs (6 Nights)

Journey Dates: Might Eight – 14

Fashionable Hostel – $25/night time ($150 complete)

Le Montclair Hostel – $29/Night time ($174 complete)

Paris is one of the costliest cities in Europe — particularly in relation to accommodation so it’s exhausting to seek out anything very nice for an inexpensive worth.

We discovered that the typical worth for a highly-rated hostel in Paris is round $32-$38/night time by way of Hostelworld. The Fashionable Hostel and Le Montclair hostels both acquired fairly good evaluations and have been priced around our $25/night time aim. The Fashionable Hostel is a bit cheaper because it’s situated a bit outdoors central Paris.

I also looked at personal rooms on Airbnb however nothing really fit the $25/night time price range.

Rome Lodging (8 Nights)

Travel Dates: Might 14 – 22

Hostel Lodi – $22/night time ($176 complete)

Very similar to Paris, Rome’s lodging isn’t low cost. Nevertheless, hostels are typically so much nicer in Rome so a minimum of your money gets you better quality choices. The typical worth for a well-rated hostel in Rome is round $26-$32/night time by way of Hostelworld however the Hostel Lodi was only $22/night time (they usually get nice evaluations).

Should you’re trying to lease a personal room in an Airbnb you must anticipate to pay $29-$40 the most cost effective options.

Barcelona Lodging (6 Nights)

Travel Dates: Might 22 – 28

Urbany Hostel – $24/night time ($144 complete)

Now let’s take a look at the all the time fashionable Barcelona. First of all, Barcelona has a ton of wonderful hostels (many of which have a. 9.5+/10 score) and these highly-rated hostels average $28-$38/night time by way of Hostelworld. We discovered the Urbany Hostel for $24/night time however for a bit of more we might have stayed a the highly-rated Sant Jordi Hostels Sagrada Familia ($27/night time).

In the event you’re in search of just a little more privacy, you will discover personal rooms for lease on Airbnb for around $22-$35/night time.

Meals and Drink

Cheap Food in Europe

We ended up budgeting round $304 over the span of 21 days — which is about $14.50/day for meals. But, let’s bump this as much as $350 since food costs could be a little tough to accurately nail down so our new price range is round $16.75/day.

Maintain Studying To Get A Day-By-Day Value Breakdown.

At this level, we’ve spent a total of $823 — which covers roundtrip flights, transportation inside Europe, and accommodation. So, out of our complete $1,359.85 price range, we now have about $537 left. This leaves me with round $25/day for food, points of interest, and different incidentals.

Clearly, with my finances, eating out is possible… but I’ll should be very sensible about how a lot I spend on meals.

Price range Tip: Spend time researching quality however reasonably priced locations to eat since you’ll be able to shortly blow your price range on dangerous food — especially when you’re hungry.

Finances Breakfast Ideas:

In basic, once I journey my breakfast tends to consist principally of a free hostel breakfast (if out there), primary grocery retailer/farmers market food (fruit, yogurt, granola, nuts, and so forth.), and the occasional espresso + pastry (which should not often value over $2.5 complete). Subsequently, a max every day breakfast price range is never over $Three.

Finances Lunch &#zero38; Dinner Ideas:

Your least expensive lunch/dinner choice will consist of meals purchased on the grocery store. It’s pretty straightforward to throw a meal collectively for beneath $5 in case you stick to bread, lunch meat, cheese, and a bit of fruit.

Tip: I like to recommend buying your recent produce from either farmer’s markets or produce vendors because the stuff at grocery stores often isn’t that nice.

Relating to ready food, it’s not too troublesome staying beneath $10/meal. For instance, a filling kebab and fries will run you round $6, a nice ham &#zero38; cheese sandwich on a top quality baguette is round $5, takeaway pasta costs around $5, and falafel sandwiches value around $7.

Many eating places could have a hard and fast worth lunch or dinner particular which can value anyplace from about $10-$15.

Coffee, Alcohol, &#zero38; Different Drinks Price range Ideas:

Caffeine junkies will need to persist with espresso. For those who order at the bar, an espresso will not often value more than $1.20.

Not surprisingly, alcohol will destroy your finances so grocery retailer beer and wine is basically the one approach to drink without spending a fortune. That stated, you’ll be able to typically find a respectable glad hour deal.

By the best way, ordering soda in a restaurant is universally costly in Europe so it’s not value it.

Paris Food Costs

Common Day by day Breakfast Prices:

  • Crossant: $1.15
  • Ache au Chocolat: $1.30
  • Espresso on the Bar: $1.15
  • Quiche or Savory Tart: $Four-$6

Common Day by day Lunch &#zero38; Dinner Prices:

  • Kebab with Fries: $6
  • Ham and Cheese Crepe From Road Vendor: $5
  • Ham and Cheese Baguette Sandwich: $5.50-$7.50
  • Falafel Sandwich: $7.50
  • Savory Crepes (From a Restaurant): $Eight-$12.50
  • Neapolitan Type Pizza: $10-$12
  • Pho: $9-$11
  • Ramen: $9-$10
  • Reasonably priced Traditional French Meal: $10-$16

Finances Friendly Paris Restaurant Examples:

  • L’As du Fallafel: The place for falafel in Paris. See On Google Maps.
  • Creperie des Arts: Wonderful place to grab a crepe to-go. See On Google Maps.
  • Grenier au Pain: Superb baguettes, sandwiches, and different baked goods with a number of places. See On Google Maps.
  • Le Petit Vendôme: Famous for his or her takeaway sandwiches for around $9. See On Google Maps.
  • Urfa Dürüm: Recent and attractive Kurdish sandwiches. See On Google Maps.
  • Bouillon Chartier: Previous-Faculty French restaurant founded in 1896 with very reasonably priced costs and good quality. Where else are you able to get a steak au poivre with pommes frites for about $13. See On Google Maps.
  • Café de l’Industrie: Neighborhood gem with reasonably priced French meals. See On Google Maps.
  • Burger &#zero38; Fries: In-N-Out-esque burgers and fries for underneath $10. See On Google Maps.
  • Pizza Rossi: Excessive-quality Neapolitan-style pizza for underneath $10. See On Google Maps.

Day by day Food Costs Breakdown:

  • Day One
    • Croissant & espresso: $2.30
    • Ham and Cheese Baguette Sandwich: $
    • Falafel Sandwich: $7.50
  • Day Two
    • Pan au chocolate & espresso: $2.60
    • Grocery retailer picnic: $Four
    • Kebab with Fries: $6
  • Day Three
    • Grocery store breakfast of yogurt, fruit, and so on: $Three
    • Ham and Cheese Crepe From Road Vendor: $5
    • Grocery store picnic & bottle of beer: $6
  • Day Four
    • Random fruit and nuts from the market: $2
    • Ham and Cheese Baguette Sandwich, Eclair and Drink combo: $Eight.0
    • Baguette with cheese and fruit from the grocery retailer: $3.25
  • Day 5
    • Espresso: $1.20
    • Random grocery store stuff: $5
    • Confit de Canard: $18
  • Day Six
    • Random things from the grocery retailer: $4.75
    • Pizza: $9.50
  • TOTAL FOOD COSTS: $93.10 (~$15.50/day)

Rome Food Costs

Average Day by day Breakfast Prices:

  • Cornetto: $1.20
  • Maritozzo: $2
  • Espresso: $1.15

Average Day by day Lunch & Dinner Costs:

  • Panini: $5-$7
  • Low cost Takeaway Pasta: $4.50-$6.00
  • Two Slices of Pizza: $5-$6.50
  • Crispy Battered Cod Fillets: $6
  • Roman-Fashion pizza: $9-$11
  • Kebab with Fries: $6
  • Burger: $9-$10
  • Two Scoops of Gelato: $2.20-$Three

Price range-Pleasant Rome Restaurant Examples:

Day by day Meals Costs Breakdown:

  • Day One
    • Espresso: $1.15
    • Takeaway Pasta: $Four.50
    • Random Grocery Store Food: $5
  • Day Two
    • Espresso: $1.15
    • Two Slices of Pizza: $5
    • Kebab: $4
    • Beer at Sidewalk Cafe: $5
  • Day Three
    • Espresso: $1.15
    • Panini: $5.15
    • Grocery Store Meals: $4.25
  • Day 4
    • Maritozzo: $2
    • Takeaway Pasta: $Four.50
    • Takeaway Pasta Again: $5
  • Day Five
    • Random Farmers Market Lunch: $6
    • Gelato: $2.50
    • Aperol Spritz: $Three
    • Meat, cheese and bread picnic: $6
  • Day Six
    • Pizza Slices: $6
    • Gelato: $3
    • Kebab: $5
    • Random Grocery Retailer Stuff: $2.25
    • Grocery Store Beer: $1.5
  • Day Seven
    • Cornetto: $1.20
    • Takeaway Pasta: $Four.50
    • Panini: $5
    • Fruit: $1
    • Grocery Retailer Beer: $1.5
  • Day Eight
    • Espresso: $1.20
    • Panini: $5
    • Grocery Store Picnic: $5
  • TOTAL FOOD COSTS: $107.50 (~$13.50/day)

Barcelona Meals Costs

  • Café con Leche: $3-$3.50
  • Espresso: $1.80-$2.20
  • Ensaimadas (Breakfast Pastry): $2.20
  • Churros/Porras and Scorching Chocolate: $3.50-$4.5

Common Every day Lunch & Dinner Costs:

  • Stirfry Takeaway: $9
  • Kebab: $Four-$5
  • Slice of Pizza: $Three.25-$4
  • Takeaway Burger: $6.50-$8
  • Sandwich: $Four-$6.50
  • Hotdogs: $3-$6/each

Finances-Friendly Barcelona Restaurant Examples:

Our Every day Food Prices:

  • Day One:
    • Breakfast Pastry: $2.20
    • Takeaway Burger: $6.75
    • Grocery Retailer Picnic: $5
    • Grocery Retailer Beer: $1.5
  • Day Two:
    • Churros and Scorching Chocolate: $Four
    • Sandwich: $5.25
    • Dim Sum Tapas: $Eight.75
  • Day Three:
    • Stir-Fry Takeaway: $9
    • Random Grocery Retailer Food: $6
    • Tapas &#zero38; Drink: $12
  • Day 4:
    • Farmers Market Picnic: $6.75
    • Pizza: $4.25
    • Grocery Store Beer: $1.5
  • Day 5:
    • Espresso: $1.20
    • Kebab: $4
    • Random Grocery Store Food: $5.75
  • Day Six:
    • Breakfast Pastry: $1.50
    • Sandwich: $5.25
    • Low cost Turkish: $5.25
    • Random Grocery Store Food: $Four.75
  • TOTAL FOOD COSTS: $102 (~$17/day)

Sightseeing and Cultural

Cheap things to do in Europe

At this level, there’s about $225 left within the price range for sightseeing and other cultural issues. That is solely about $10/day so it is just actually attainable to do a paid attraction about each different day.

My itinerary ended up costing around $120 for points of interest and sightseeing — primarily as a result of there are a couple of free museum days in Barcelona. Subsequently, I might have added a number of extra issues while nonetheless sticking to the price range.

See Under For A Price Breakdown:

Europe is full of superb museums, sights, and other cultural points of interest and most of them have an entry charge. That stated, after accommodation, flights, and food, we don’t have that much cash left. Subsequently, we’ll need to be picky about what we do and hunt down methods to seek out free things.

We’re additionally big followers to free strolling excursions (we often tip around $5 to the guide). Alternatively, we also love the Rick Steves Free Audio Self-Guided Walking Tours.

Paris Sightseeing Prices

Instance Sightseeing Bills in Paris:

  • Musée d’Orsay: $16
  • Louvre: $19
  • Free Strolling Tour: $6

Paris has a crazy number of museums and other paid points of interest — they’re a bit costly so I chose to only go to a number of issues because the finances is tight. That stated, Paris is a ravishing metropolis so merely enjoying the streets, architecture, parks, and ambiance is sufficient to maintain your days crammed.

Price range Tip: All of the key museums are free on the first Sunday of every month.

Our Favourite Paid Points of interest in Paris

  • Louvre: $19
  • Musée d’Orsay: $16
  • Centre Pompidou: $15.75
  • Eiffel Tower: $12-$29
  • Montparnasse Tower Remark Deck: $20.50
    • The Montparnasse Tower additionally has a flowery bar referred to as the Le Ciel de Paris. Cocktails are around $19-$22.50 every however the view is nearly the identical as the Statement Deck — and you get a drink. Snagging a window seat is easiest in case you visit within the early afternoon.
  • Château de Versailles: $22.50

Our Favourite Free Points of interest in Paris

  • Tuileries Backyard
  • Luxembourg Gardens
  • Exploring Montmartre & The Sacre Coeur Church
  • Père Lachaise Cemetery
  • Canal Saint-Martin (tons of young individuals hanging out and consuming by the canal on summer time nights)
  • Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
  • Rue Mouffetard (famous meals market road)
  • Bastille Farmers Market (largest farmers market in Paris. Sunday mornings.)
  • Parc Monceau
  • St-Ouen Flea Market
  • Arab World Institute Rooftop (free entry and nice city views)

Rome Sightseeing Costs

Instance Sightseeing Expenses in Rome:

  • Colosseum, Roman Discussion board And Palatine Hill: $16
  • Galleria Borghese: $17
  • Free Walking Tour: $6

We’d be perfectly comfortable spending our whole journey to Rome strolling the streets and eating our weight in gelato and pasta.

Price range Tip: Vatican Museums, Borghese Gallery, the Roman Discussion board, Caracalla Baths, and the National Gallery of Trendy Artwork are free the last Sunday of each month.

Our Favorite Paid Points of interest in Rome

  • Colosseum, Roman Discussion board And Palatine Hill: $13.50-$16
  • Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel: $24
  • Galleria Borghese: $17

Our Favourite Free Points of interest in Rome

  • St. Peter’s Basilica (however you possibly can pay to visit the dome)
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Exploring the Trastevere and Testaccio Neighborhoods
  • Spanish Steps
  • Pantheon
  • Piazza Navona
  • St. Peter’s Square
  • Villa Borghese Gardens/Park
  • Janiculum Hill (romantic metropolis views)

Barcelona Sightseeing Prices

Example Sightseeing Expenses in Barcelona:

  • Sagrada Família (a must-visit attraction): $19.50
  • Museu Picasso: $0 (Free every Thursday from 6 pm to 9.30pm)
  • Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya: $0 (Free each Saturday after Three pm.)
  • Park Güell: $11.25
  • Free Strolling Tour: $6

Barcelona is legendary for its Artwork Nouveau architecture (a lot of which was designed by Gaudi) in order that’s an amazing free factor to take a look at. You possibly can tour most of Gaudi’s buildings however entry is fairly costly. But, if nothing else, you need to 100% visit the Sagrada Família.

Our Favorite Paid Points of interest in Barcelona

  • Sagrada Família (a must-visit attraction): $19.50
  • Park Güell: $11.25
  • Museu Picasso: $13.50 (Free each Thursday from 6 pm to 9.30 pm)
  • Fundació Joan Miró: $14.75
  • Museu Nacional d’Artwork de Catalunya: $13.50 (Free each Saturday from Three pm to close)

Our Favourite Free Points of interest in Barcelona

  • Las Ramblas Pedestrian Stroll
  • Chill On One of Barcelona’s Wonderful Seashores
  • Parc de la Ciutadella
  • La Boqueria Coated Market
  • Take pleasure in The Artwork Nouveau Facades All through The City
  • Poblenou Neighborhood Road Art


Our objective finances was $1,359.85 and we ended up spending round $1,293 — which suggests we barely squeaked by with about $66 to spare.

  • Roundtrip Airfare: $313
  • Flight Prices Inside Europe: $40
  • Accommodation Prices: $470
  • Food Costs: $350
  • Sightseeing Prices: $120
  • TOTAL COSTS: $1,293


I’ll be trustworthy — traveling for 3 weeks on this price range is doable nevertheless it definitely isn’t straightforward and also you’ll should make some sacrifices. You’ll need to restrict your cultural points of interest and there might be lots of occasions the place you’ll need to spend a lot extra on meals, desserts, and drinks.

I also acknowledge that I used to be able to find low cost airfare to Europe so your ticket could be nearer to the $650-$900 range — which suggests this problem gained’t be potential for everybody.

I might have also picked cheaper destinations and that might have opened the price range up fairly a bit. For instance, visiting Japanese Europe (cities like Berlin, Prague, Krakow, and so on.) would have dropped meals and accommodation prices considerably.

Wanting again, I also observed that my food regimen wasn’t that nice so that you’ll need to add in a couple of more veggies and healthier food choices into your weight-reduction plan because you’ll really feel rather a lot higher.

But, sure, with a bit planning and sacrifice it is potential to spend three weeks in Europe for the worth of an iPhone XS.

P.S. Yo Apple, wanna send me one of them fancy iPhones?

P.P.S. Hey Google, wanna send me one of them fancy Pixel phones?

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