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Our 3 month Europe trip budget breakdown

24 Nov, 2023

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Eva Mitchell

On the 30th May 2023, we flew into Bologna, Italy to commence our one year of world-wide travel. We had always dreamed about enjoying an Italian summer so made sure to prioritise this once-in-a-lifetime experience in our 3 month Europe trip budget. We consider ourselves to be budget but comfortable travellers who are always looking for a bargain but tend to stay in private rooms while traveling as we appreciate having our own space, we are happy to splurge on the odd bucket-list activity, our favourite way to get around is via public transport and we don’t mind spending a little more to sample the local food and wine when it’s worth it. 

Since the COVID pandemic, the cost of travel has generally been increasing, along with everything in the world at the moment! This has made it difficult to get an accurate idea of how much money we would need in order to travel Europe during peak season in 2023. Everything we read told us it was going to be more expensive, but exactly how much more was the question? We didn’t want to be travelling on a backpackers budget but we also couldn’t afford to be staying in glamourous hotels and dining at restaurants every night. We were looking for real-life budget breakdowns from people who had a similar travel style to us, that happy medium. And to be honest, we couldn’t find much, which is why I have collated the first 3 months of our travel costs in Europe in the hopes it will give you a rough estimate of how much a 3 month Europe trip costs for budget to mid-range travellers like us. 

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Our 3 month Europe trip budget has been broken down into costs for each country and then broken down further into the cost of accommodation, transportation, food & drink, paid activities and other expenses in each country. In the end, we paid just under $10k AUD per person to travel Europe in the summer peak season for about 11 weeks.

Key Information

  • Travel Dates: 30th May – 13th August 2023 (10 weeks + 6 days)
  • Total spend as a couple: $19,102, Total spend per person: $9551
  • Insurance cost: $91/pp/month

Flights between each country are excluded from the total costs in our 3 month Europe trip budget breakdown to give a more accurate daily cost estimate per person. The total cost of the international flights from Italy to Greece to Turkey to Hungary that were excluded from our budget breakdown came to $392/pp.

All costs in this article are stated as the total amount we paid PER PERSON and are expressed in $AUD unless otherwise stated within the article. 

It’s important to note that we rarely purchase souvenirs as we just can’t physically carry them around for a year and postage back home is insanely expensive. What we do purchase frequently is local beverages which can add up over time. Travelling as a couple saves us money as we can share the cost of accommodation and we split food items often, especially at lunch time. 


3 month Europe trip budget breakdown: Italy

Total: $4575 pp for 33 days

Places we visited: Bologna, Florence, Pisa, Sienna, San Gimignano, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Rome, Bari, Alberobello, Ostuni, Marche Region, Naples 

Accommodation: $2257 pp

The cost of accommodation in Italy was the highest out of the countries in our 3 month Europe trip and used up half of our Italy budget. Our accommodation in Italy mostly consisted of a mixture of Airbnb’s, hotels, a 4 day house sit and a cute Trulli in Alberobello, Italy. When booking accommodation in Italy during the summer season, I would highly recommend booking as far in advance as possible. This will give you the best chance to secure properties at a reasonable price.

Most of our accommodation in Italy was booked via booking.com or Airbnb.


Italy Accommodation we loved:

Alberobello: A Due Passi dal Centro – Trullo:

A unique stay in a traditional trulli. This was one of our favourite stays in Italy in the fairytale-like town of Alberobello. 

Siena: Albergo Bernini: 

Rooms are basic but clean and tidy. The view from the shared balcony is stunning, we found it to be the perfect place to sit and enjoy a bottle of a local Super Tuscan wine.  

Florence: Casaldo’s Rooms

A beautiful, clean room in a peaceful location just 20 minutes walk to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.  

Bologna: Zio Toto

The perfect apartment to relax at with cooking facilities and a washing machine which were both useful. This apartment is very close to the bus stops that take you into the centre of Bologna and a supermarket is 5 minutes walk away.  

Greve in Chianti: Anima Franca Bed and breakfast

A clean and tidy room with an outstanding breakfast selection included in the price. There were board games available to play and the owner kindly lent us an umbrella to walk into town in the rain. 

Transportation: $384 pp

In Italy, inter-regional public transport is frequent, organised and affordable which is why Italy had the cheapest transport cost per day in our 3 month Europe trip budget breakdown. During our time in Italy, we mostly got around by using trains and buses. There was one occasion where we hired a car to get to our house sit in the rural Marche region. 

Our total cost of transportation in Italy includes intercity transport and local transport but excludes  the flight we took from Australia to arrive in Italy.

Check out the article below on how we managed to fly to Europe used Qantas Points to fly to Europe for only $723/pp!


How to Book Cheap Flights to Europe using Qantas Points in 2023

Paid Activities: $526 pp

Italy has so much to offer in terms of paid and free activities. We wanted to make the most of our time in Italy, so would do at least one activity each day. Some of our main paid activity costs included five days cycling around Tuscany with wine tasting, visiting the incredible ancient city of Pompeii, partaking in multiple free walking tours that we conveniently booked through Guruwalk, an Italian cooking class, five days in the Cinque Terre where we brought walking passes to hike between the colourful towns and visiting many historical attractions & museums. 

Here's a tip:

Radical Storage was a lifesaver when we needed to store our large suitcases while we were cycling the rolling Tuscan hills. It only cost us 5€ a day to store our luggage! Use our discount code to get 5% off when you use Radical Storage. 

couple running in Sahara Desert

Food & Drink: $1312 pp

Surprisingly, food was very reasonably priced in most of Italy. We mainly ate street food and cooked our own lunch and dinners when we had access to a kitchen. Occasionally, we would have a sit-down meal at a modest restaurant and always tried our best to avoid tourist traps with high prices for not so good food. 


Most mornings we started the day with local baked goods and a coffee from a nearby bakery or café (it helps that Italy does both of these so well 😋). The two things we splurged on the most were daily gelatos and Italian wine, both of which we could never get sick of! Being on a lower budget did mean we got a little sick of eating pizza and pasta constantly as these were always the most readily available and budget friendly meals in Italy. 

Here's a tip:

Make your own caprese salad at your accommodation with high-quality fresh local ingredients you can easily source from the local market or supermarket. All you need is tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and olive oil with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. 


Other: $85 pp

There were a handful of additional costs that we had to pay for while travelling Italy. When we first arrived in Italy, we set up our cellphones with new sim cards and a plan from Iliad which cost $33 each, and then $17 per month for continued use around European Union countries. While visiting the Cinque Terre, we got caught in pouring rain, so I purchased a classic bright yellow tourist poncho to keep dry at a premium price, obviously for the style. There were a multitude of toiletry items that fell into this cost category such as sunscreen, which by the way can be shockingly expensive in Italy! We tried to scout out cheaper bottles of sunscreen where we could and purchase local brands. 


3 month Europe trip budget breakdown: Greece

Total: $859 pp for 7 days

Places we visited: Mykonos (only for a few hours), Paros, Naxos, Athens 

Accommodation: $238 pp

With only one week in Greece, we stayed in three places that were all basic small-scale hotels.

Affordable Greece Accommodation we enjoyed:

Athens: B21 Residence

An affordable, modern hotel room close to the city centre and public transport links. 

Naxos: Maria’s Residence

A clean and tidy room with basic kitchen facilities. Maria was kind enough to gift us with produce from her garden.  

Transportation: $236 pp

Our transport budget in Greece includes ferries  between the islands, car hire for a day in Paros, and trains and taxis in Athens (including one expensive Uber to collect a new phone Tim had purchased way out of town). The daily transport cost in Greece ended up being the most expensive of all countries in our 3 month Europe trip budget breakdown. Why was transport the most expensive in Greece? Because we were moving reasonably long distances between each location in a short space of time. Had we stayed for longer on each island, our daily transport cost could have been significantly reduced. 


The EasyJet flight from Italy to Greece that cost us $265 is excluded from this summary.

Paid Activities: $80 pp

There are so many activities you can do for free in Greece like swimming in the crystal clear Mediterranean and strolling through the dreamy whitewashed towns on the islands. The main activities we paid for during our week in Greece were wine tasting in Paros, Acropolis entry in Athens and a romantic outdoor sunset movie night in Paros.


Food: $232 pp

Our diet in Greece consisted of a whole lot of gyros, which are absolutely delicious! We did splurge on a romantic sunset dinner on the beach in Naxos one evening with the Mediterranean lapping up at our feet.

For breakfast, we brought supplies from the supermarket to eat at our accommodation. A tasty breakfast option you will find in pretty much every Greek supermarket and convenience store is these uber cheap packet croissants that are actually pretty tasty for the price. We couldn’t decide what flavour to get one morning, so ended up with 9 croissants to sample! Those 9 have pretty much out us off since though. 


Other: $21 pp

The main miscellaneous costs in Greece were doing our laundry, replacing our phone glass screen covers and purchasing a new phone cover.

Tim’s phone took a dip in the Mediterranean while we were in Greece and was unresponsive after that so he had to purchase a new phone. I haven’t included the cost of his new phone in this budget breakdown as I hope no one else has to buy a new phone in while you travel! 

3 Month Europe Trip Budget Breakdown: Turkey

Total: $2432 pp for 21 days

Places we visited: Istanbul, Goreme (Cappadocia), Antalya, Kas, Fethiye, Pammukale, Ephesus, Izmir (rest night only), Cannakale

Accommodation: $795 pp

Our favourite accommodation in Turkey was staying in these incredible cave hotels in Goreme. Apart from that, we generally stayed in small-scale hotels with one night in a private room at a hostel in Antalya. 

Turkey Accommodation with a great value to quality ratio:

Goreme, Cappadocia: Adora Cave Suites

Staying in a cave hotel room in Goreme is a must! This was our favourite stay in all of Turkey! This hotel has a viewing deck where you can cosy up to watch the hot air balloons float overhead in the morning or enjoy a drink while the sunsets in the evening. The Turkish breakfast spread was very generous and delicious.  

Istanbul: Ora Bella Hotel

A great hotel that is walking distance to Galata, our favourite area of Istanbul.   

Transportation: $245 pp

We flew from Istanbul to Cappadocia and then used the local busses to make our way back to Istanbul via the Turquoise Coast and Cannakale. We reluctantly used taxis a handful of times but otherwise trams and buses were our main form of transport within each town or city.

Here's a tip:

Use public transport when possible as Taxi Scams are rife throughout Tur

Our Turkey budget does not include the flight from Greece to Turkey which was unexpectedly very expensive however, the cost of the flight was subsidised with a $450 AMEX travel voucher we received for having an AMEX Platinum Credit Card which helped reduce the upfront cost to only $251. 

Paid Activities: $818 pp

Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia was the one bucket list activity we splurged on while travelling Turkey. The hot air balloon ride cost us a whopping $947 ($474 each) for a 16-person basket with Royal Balloons, which is one of the most reputable hot air ballooning companies in Cappadocia. This was the biggest activity cost in our 3 month Europe trip budget but we both thought it was worth every single dollar for such an incredible bucket list experience! 


A unique activity we did in Turkey was treating ourselves to a hammam which I would highly recommend doing at least once if you visit Turkey, you will come out feeling sparkling clean.  Our Turkey itinerary was packed with lots of activities including an Istanbul Food Tour, Horseback riding in Cappadocia, 12 Island boat tour in Fethiye, a visit to Troy, Ephesus, Pammukale & Hierapolis, beach chair hire for our relaxing beach day, our DIY ANZAC tour including ANZAC Museum entry, a taxi to ANZAC cove and Chunuk Bair.

Food: $455 pp

Out of all the countries we visited, Turkey was the kindest to our 3 month Europe trip budget, with the average daily cost of food per person a mere $21.50. The key contributor to keeping our food budget low in Turkey was the fact that most accommodations included a full Turkish breakfast which was usually enough to see us through to dinner with the odd snack. For lunch and dinner, we ate a mixture of street food and at low-cost local Turkish restaurants. To give you an idea on the price of food in Turkey, we spent on average of $5 each on dinner excluding drinks. Some days we only spent a few dollars for a takeaway style dinner and the odd night we spent closer to $12 each when we had a sit-down dinner. When we were in Turkey the daily temperatures were between 30°C to over 40°C the majority of the time which meant we spent money purchasing chilled bottled water daily while we were out exploring.

Here's a tip:

Make sure to try a grilled fish sandwich in Karakoy, Istanbul. Our favourite one was from this little blue stand that has a few seats you can sit at or just eat your sandwich on the go. Trust me, these fish sandwiches are too die for!


Other: $70 pp

Costs such as doing laundry, purchasing toiletries, mobile data and buying appropriate clothing, like a head scarf, all fell into the other category of extra expenses during our time in Turkey. 

Here's a tip:

Mobile data is ridiculously expensive in Turkey compared to the rest of Europe. Luckily Airalo pulled through with an affordable eSIM deal that provided us with excellent coverage in Turkey. Get 5% off your first purchase with Airalo here.

Tim got scammed on the first day we arrived by a man pretending to help him purchase a tram ticket. Luckily it only cost us $6 so no big deal, but it did put a dampener on the start of our Turkish holiday. By the time we reached Kas, we were over 2 months into our travels and Tim was in serious need of a haircut. He splurged a cool $16 on a sweet cut from the local Turkish barber.

3 month Europe trip budget breakdown: Eastern Europe

Total: $1685 pp for 14 days

Places we visited: Budapest, Vienna, Linz, Halstatt, Prague

Accommodation: $691 pp

Our accommodation in Eastern Europe consisted of hotels and self-contained apartments. We found that the quality of accommodation was high for the price we paid in Austria and Budapest. In Prague, we stayed in the P&O hotel just out of the city centre, it was super basic, had cheap beds and no temperature control so I probably wouldn’t stay at a P&O hotel again unless we were really desperate. 

Check out this unique apartment that we loved in Budapest.

Eastern Europe Accommodation we loved :

Vienna, Austria: Vienna Cube Apartments

A modern, clean studio apartment for an affordable price in Vienna with a basic kitchen set up. Located a short 5 minute walk to the closest metro that goes directly into the city centre.  

Budapest, Hungary: The right choice studio apartments

We loved staying in this cute loft style apartment for 4 nights. The kitchen was easy to work with and the apartment was a 2 minute walk to the closest metro and tram stops.   

Transportation: $308 pp

For our Eastern Europe leg, we took the metro and buses within the cities and used Flixbus and trains to move from one city to the next. In order to visit Halstatt in a more affordable manner, we hired a car from Linz for a day trip using the Amovens app. 

The cost of our Wizzair flight from Istanbul to Budapest that cost us $268 is not included in this budget breakdown to give you the most accurate daily cost to travel in Eastern Europe.


Paid Activities: $232 pp

When we were planning our 3 month Europe trip budget, we picked one main activity to do in each place we visited in Eastern Europe. Our favourite activity in Budapest was bathing at the iconic Szechenyi Thermal Bath. In Austria, we spent our money on a day trip to Halstatt including the return scenic ferry from the opposite side of the lake and entry to the Natural History Museum in Vienna. Taking a beer bath in Prague is an absolute must-do, I would highly recommend it for a laugh and some supposed ‘health benefits’ from the beer ingredients added to the bath. We also participated in walking and cycling city tours in Eastern European country we visited. 

 Book the beer bath we did here.


Food: $447 pp

We mainly ate street food, takeout, grabbed supermarket supplies for picnics and cooked our own lunch and dinners when we had a kitchen. Most mornings we would have muesli and yoghurt for breakfast. Food was surprisingly expensive in Austria but much more reasonable in Prague and Budapest. We paid $36 for a coffee each and an apple strudel to share at a coffee house in Vienna. Needless to say, we didn’t purchase any more coffees in Austria apart from a cheeky McDonald’s latte when we were in desperate need of a caffeine hit! 


Other: $8 pp

The only extra cost in Eastern Europe for us was a load of laundry. 

Average cost per day ($AUD) per person

ItalyGreeceTurkeyEastern Europe
Food & Drink$40$33$21.50$32
Overall Cost Per Day$136.50$122.50$118$120.50

Please note that flights between countries and travel insurance costs are NOT included in the average daily costs in the table above.

Top Tips for keeping your 3 month Europe trip budget in check

1. Book accommodation and flights in advance: Travelling Europe during peak season can work out to be much more expensive if you book last minute. If you are travelling on a similar budget to us, you will find that there are more options to select from when you book early that will be clean, tidy and cost effective. I would recommend booking accommodation a minimum of 3 months in advance but ideally 6 months in advance to secure the best deals. 

2. Choose countries to visit that have affordable transport links between them: We made this mistake when we created our 3 month Europe trip itinerary. It turned out that flying from Greece to Turkey is expensive despite them being so close together! Make sure to check out Skyscanner for cheap flights, Omio for affordable train routes and Flixbus for cheap bus tickets around Europe when you are planning your 3 month Europe trip itinerary.

3. Choose affordable alternatives: In Greece, we decided to skip Mykonos and Santorini as both these islands are known for being incredibly expensive and in my opinion are overhyped. Instead, we visited Paros and Naxos which were just as nice, if not better because there was less crowding creating a more relaxing environment. 

Are you planning on travelling for more than 3 months? Check out How to start planning one year of travel to kick start your travel plans. 


10 Easy Ways To Save Money For Travel (2023)

Is 10K a reasonable amount for a 3 month Europe trip budget?

Yes, $10k per person is plenty to be able to enjoy a European Summer. You could easily spend more or less on activities, accommodation and transport depending on what you are comfortable with, compared to what we did however we found $10K AUD per person provided us with a comfortable trip in Europe during peak season.

Keep in mind that we were travelling as a couple, which incidentally helps to reduce travel costs. We didn’t go to the cheapest countries in Europe during the first 3 months of our travels and knew that Italy was going to be the most expensive. However, we were happy to pay slightly more to be able to experience Italy in Summer. 

Want to make your European trip even more affordable? Why not consider house sitting while you travel. Here is how to get started with Trusted Housesitters.

If you found this 3 month Europe Trip Budget breakdown useful, have any questions about a particular category in the budget or if you want us to publish more budget breakdown articles, feel free to let us know in the comments below. 

Safe Travels 😊 

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A word from the authors

Eva and Tim are the creators behind this world-class travel finance blog.

In 2021 they decided to travel the world for an entire year and begun implementing savings strategies to achieve their goal of long-term travel. By May 2023, they quit their jobs to embark on their year-long adventure, sharing their invaluable practical and achievable savings, planning and travel tips they learnt along the way/with the aim to help others Make Cents of Travel.

You can find Eva & Tim on Tiktok, Facebook and Instagram as Make Cents of Travel.

About Us

Hello, Hola, Ciao! We are Tim & Eva, a couple of kiwis who have spent the last few years saving for and planning our epic year-long adventure around the world. Our goal is to inspire fellow wanderlust souls (just like you!) to Make Cents Of Travel by sharing our experiences and strategies we used to turn our dream of long-term travel into a reality.


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