On the 26th of November 2017 Jay and I set off on the overnight ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam, in our Hymer B544 motorhome Iggy, with our good buddy DM. We’d worked hard and saved harder for six months, and estimated we had enough money to last us for about 20 weeks, and then we’d have to come back and start working again for the next tour.
Our plan was to drive south through Belgium, France and Italy and arrive in Sicily just a few days before Christmas. We’d spend about a month there then catch a ferry to Greece and make our way gradually homewards through Bulgaria, Serbia, Austria and Germany.
Everything was going fairly well budget wise until our 6th day in Greece. If you follow Just Another Anima you’ll know that’s the day we found a 12 week old Greek puppy abandoned, frightened and alone, in some bushes outside Olympia. We finally got her out of the bushes, but by then she’d won our hearts and became the fourth member of our little travelling family.
Not knowing how much everything was going to cost to bring her home, and worried about unexpected vets fees, we decided to cut our tour short. Passports, shots, waiting times and six weeks later we returned with her via Italy and France – five weeks sooner than expected – but with a heck of a story!
So how much did it all cost? Let’s have a look at the costs including Mission Puppy in a bush Rescue!
As you can see rescuing Marley ate a huge hole in our budget at 21% of our total costs of €5,520.62. That was a pretty extreme situation though! So I’ve done some figures for the trip with the Marley costs taken out which you can see below. This gives a much clearer picture of the normal costs – animal rescue missions aside!
Let’s Break it down a bit more:
We were away for a total of 15 weeks and spent €4,361.21 on –
- Supermarket – As you can see this was our highest cost at €1,138.45. A whopping 26.1% of our total.
This heading covers all our grocery and day to day household purchases. Not just supermarkets. It includes: Street markets; corner shops; roadside stalls; wine shops etc.
This does include our beer, wine and spirits.
We could make big savings in this area, but we like to try out local produce and things we don’t see at home and do splurge a bit on the old groceries and local tipples.
Our average weekly spend in this category was €75.90 for this trip. Roughly £66.70 at the average exchange rate of £1 = €1.138 that we had on the trip.
- Diesel – No surprise that Diesel was our second biggest expense.
25.3% of our total costs and an average weekly cost of €73.49 or roughly £64.58 in UK money.
We drove 5, 918 miles there and back again and averaged 28 mpg. Nice one Iggy!
- Public Transport – At €800.29 ( £703) Public transport was third on our costs list due entirely to a lot of ferries on this tour!
- Eating Out – We do love eating out and are quite proud of ourselves that we managed to limit this to an average €36.92 per week. A measly £32.44 British pounds or £16.22 per person. This category includes everything from our blow out New Year’s Eve dinner in Ragusa to take away coffees or the odd sneaky Italian gelato. And it was all delicious!
- Gas – We have a Gaslow LPG system fitted in Iggy which we use for heating, hot water and cooking. And also for the fridge when we’re not on electric hook up – which is almost always.
We left the UK and drove south in sub zero temperatures and met some snow on the road down, meaning our heating was on 24/7. (As we did coming back too).
Most of the time in Italy and Greece it was pleasant to warm during the day, but it could get a bit colder at nights so the heating was often on for an hour or two in the evening.
Even so our average weekly gas cost for the 15 weeks was only €9.76 ( £8.58).
We love our LPG!
- Sites – Sites includes any overnight stop where we had to pay to stay there and accounted for just €143.60 for
12 nights at Private Sostas in Italy
1 night at a Marina Aire in Greece
1 night at a paid municipal Aire in Belgium.
- Other – includes gifts and any other purchases that didn’t fit in any of the categories and were too small for their own, separate category.
The table below shows all our average weekly costs in Euros.
As you can see we spent an average of €290.50 per week. That’s €41.50 each day. Or £36.47 per day in British money.
It seems amazing to us when we look at all the places we visited on that Tour. All the things we saw, all the ancient footsteps we followed. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Vatican, Ancient Rome, Pompei, Mount Etna, treading behind legends like Julius Caesar and Vincent van Gogh. For Six thousand miles – Fifteen weeks – Five countries – and only £18.24 per person per day.
We think it’s a bargain.
How about you?
(p.s. These figures do not include annual costs of motorhome insurance, MOT, road tax or any other costs we incur in the UK. The costs detailed for “Iggy” are for essential repairs or van items needed while on Tour.)