We drove away from our old home and left it to its new owners at the end of September 2017. Today is Easter Sunday, April 1st 2018 and we have been on this current adventure for six months. We still have a month to go before we return to Scotland so I’ll save the writing about the highlights of the trip until then. So far we have driven 5000 miles taking in Scotland, England, France, Portugal and Spain.
Several people have expressed an interest in the impact of the GB Pound to Euro exchange rate on the costs of travel, so this seems like a good time to do the maths and tell all about how much we have spent. These figures are only partly helpful to anyone else planning such a trip as there are so many variables. For instance, our van gives us close to 30 mpg, many others give a lot less than that. We buy and eat mostly fresh food and try to avoid processed foods where possible. We are also meat and fish eaters so our food costs are probably higher than most. There is certainly a lot of room for money saving in the grocery bills if necessary. We like to eat out a couple of times a week giving an average eating out cost of about 80€ a week and this includes, coffees, ice creams or indeed anything that we don’t prepare in the van. To some, this will seem outrageously self-indulgent but it’s something we enjoy, it gives us the chance to enjoy local cuisine, meet local people and take a break from cooking. If you want or need to do a trip like this on a budget there is plenty of wiggle room.
Our aim was to live on our pensions without breaking into our capital. We have managed that quite easily due partly to the fact that we don’t own a house at the moment so ongoing house running costs don’t need to be factored in.
So, here goes. The following budget includes the basics of eating, travel, overnight stays, food, fuel, laundry and wifi. Other expenses have been missed out because they are either incidental or individual, such as the costs of feeding and taking care of the dogs or having some work done on the motorhome. We also haven’t included entry fees or other entertainment costs as these vary so much from person to person. If you are budgeting for a trip, I suggest you take the necessary costs into account then add money for pocket money. Now halve the number of clothes you are planning to take and double the pocket money budget and you’ll be about right. 🙂
|Diesel & petrol||965.00€|
|Campsite fees inc. aires||1,463.50€|
|Ferries & car hire||986.00€|
Therefore, monthly outgoings for basics average 1414€ or at today’s exchange rate £1240. This works out at £20 per person per night. Put like that it’s pretty amazing don’t you think? Bear in mind that the longer you are away the cheaper it gets as ferry costs get absorbed into the budget.
Most people could cut the food & eating-out bill by a third or more easily. We didn’t need to do that and chose not to. Our average cost of overnight stays is 8€ per night. This is because we spent about ten weeks of the 26 weeks on campsites. We also choose to use some paid motorhome parking areas and some free ones. If you are on a serious budget you can find many more free nights than we did. In fact, we have met people who have never paid more than 3€ a night. and some who manage to find entirely free stops for their whole trip. Once again, the choice is yours.
What would we do differently another time? We would spend a lot less time on campsites and we would cook more vegetarian food.
So there you have it. You could do a trip like ours in a motorhome on a budget and still have a fabulous time. You can extend your budget to include the things you love to do and still live on a reasonable budget. Many people we met spent a lot more than us. An awful lot more people spent a lot less. The subject of how cheaply you can do this is of endless fascination to motorhomers. Our advice would be to keep a record of what you spend even before you leave home so that you can make a good comparison and then relax a little.