Trip Planning: Spending Myself Sick

When I travel, I don’t do it in any semblance of a practical or organized fashion. If a city comes to mind that I want to visit, I book it without any consideration of the price tag, how many days I want to be there, or what exactly I want to see. There are consequences to my actions. I’m in the midst of booking my 3-week vacation in Europe and I am in no uncertain terms, haemorrhaging money.

I’m already at about $3,000 and I still have two more cities to book accommodations in AND put aside money to eat & shop.

Zurich, Switzerland is turning out to be an expensive jaunt. The plane ticket home from Zurich is about $150 less than it was home from Munich, so that negates what I’m spending to take the train between the two cities, but I was horrified at my hotel costs in Zurich. Accommodation is unexpectedly expensive there, which makes me worry about the other costs like food and transportation. I still really want to go to Switzerland, but I also really don’t want it to cost as much as it is.

Ways I’m trying to minimize the damage:

– flights have already been paid with travel savings. Woot!

– pay all deposits on hostels/hotels with side income earned this month

reduce spending this month so I can pay for my train ticket and/or Eurail pass out of my regular paycheque and not dip into travel savings

– use the money I regularly spend on groceries & shopping in June for groceries & shopping in Europe in June!

I really love to travel and feel like this will be a great experience, but I’m choking on the price tag. It’s definitely more expensive than I thought it would be. I’m hoping to minimize how much I withdraw from my travel savings, because the more I leave in there, the sooner I can take another trip ;)

I will keep you posted on the ever-growing total!

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  1. First of all, you are going to have an awesome trip! I am very jealous and can’t wait to hear all about it.
    I also have fallen into the habit of planning a trip first and then totaling everything up afterwards (or even not adding it up because I don’t want to know). Travel is definitely a budget weakness for me.

  2. Mochi and Macarons says:

    I was in Sweden last year and it was similarly expensive. I was crying as I was forking over kroner.

    They are gorgeous cities but I found after a day or 3, there wasn’t much to see once you’ve don’t the power tourist trip.

    You’ll have a great time. They’re also heartbreakingly stylish there.

    • can’t wait! I’m spending about 3 days in each city so I think I’ll be able to catch all the main tourist attractions without burning out… here’s hoping!

  3. I’m so excited for your trip! Haha you’ll have to post pictures.

  4. You are going to have an amazing time! If you don’t mind me asking, are the hostel payments deposits or full balances? I’m asking because if they are the latter, I would like your advice on booking hostels! I will be in Brussels for a week at the end of September and am currently scouting for accommodations. I’m definitely going to stay in a hostel, so it’ll be nice to hear your experience.

    • haha those small ones are just the deposits, the amounts a few lines down for the same cities are the remainder that’s due on my arrival!

      Accommodations are pricey, but I always opt for single private rooms in hostels so I usually pay extra.

  5. Switzerland is super expensive. Even just getting a combo meal at McDonald’s runs close to 15 CHF. On the other hand, the cost of the trains around the cities was pretty average (about 2 CHF for a round trip ticket in Bern) in comparison with other places in Europe.

    Good luck!

  6. I’m not sure which hostels/hotels you’re going through, but when I stayed in Zurich I used hostelling international. Their hostel is a quick train ride out of the main city, but it was well under $100 a night. One nice thing about the Swiss hostels is that not only does the price of most of them include breakfast, some of them actually include dinner as well (great for when you’re low on funds at the end of the trip!)

    I’d take a collasible water bottle with you while you’re in Switzerland as well. There are water fountains all over the city, and the water is better than anything you can buy. Yay freebies!

    • That is a great tip thank you!! I did notice that most of the hostels/hotels include breakfast so that’s definitely part of my accommodations =) dinner would be sweet, I will definitely be out of money by the end lol

  7. That budget is so intimidating but it’s really awesome you were able to save enough to pursue such a cool life experience as this! I hope you post a lot of photos so we can all live vicariously through you :)

  8. Sabrine says:

    Take it from me, I’ve been to Zurich, and it was one of the most expensive cities I visited. It is totally worth it. I had a great time there. If its still open you checkout the former stock trading centre now turned nightclub, great place to dance!

  9. You are going to infect me with the travel bug if I don’t be careful.

  10. Have you looked at Euro rail passes? We go that and it saved us a ton of money.

  11. My husband and I spent three days staying in Zurich last summer at the end of our Europe trip. Zurich was SUPER expensive, much more so than other countries we visited. Exchange rates were particularly bad against the American dollar then. We ate Burger King in the Hauptbahnhof/train station and for two meals it was around $42 American dollars. Crazy. We never quite got over the sticker shock of prices. We felt like we couldn’t afford sit down meals and bought food from street vendors. I’m glad we went to Switzerland, though. We ended up spending a day in nearby Lucerne, which we liked even better than Zurich. There is a charming Medieval city wall with a walkway along the top. And we took a boat ride around Lake Lucerene, which was free with a Eurail pass when we were there. The scenery was beautiful!

  12. I hope you have an amazing trip!

    I used to never really “budget” for my vacations. I mean, I’d save for them, and I kinda knew how much they would cost, but that was it…

    I might be taking a trip to Europe this summer, as well. I’m sure it’s going to be expensive! Keep us posted on the numbers!

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