Nov 02 2012

Counting the pennies…

Ruidera, Spain

So, there is much discussion always about budget.  There is also very little information about what other travellers have used once on the road.  And to be honest, it also will differ vastly from one traveller to another, dependant on preferences, activities etc.  (All costs below are per day for both of us.)

So far, we have been on the road – give or take – for 3 weeks.  We have also, hopefully, passed through the most expensive countries on the trip.  Hopefully.

Our biggest expense, as to be expected, is fuel.  The fuel prices have steadily been decreasing – with the UK being the most expensive so far, followed very closely by Sweden and Norway.  Enough said, Mr Chancellor.

Germany ranged from 1.52 EUR to 1.42 EUR (£1.23 to £1.15)
France and Spain have each ranged from 1.45 EUR to 1.35 (£1.16 to £1.08)
We saw 1.22 EUR in Andorra (£0.98)

So, due to the large distances travelled to escape the weather (we have travelled 2.500 miles already), we are averaging £30 in fuel per day.  This is the largest portion of our daily budget at the moment, and we look forward to this decreasing as fuel prices continue their decline, and we charge across the countries less.

Other travel related expenses – ferries primarily – have also driven our budget up.  So far, aside from the ferry from UK to Denmark, we also had a ferry from Denmark to Sweden (alternate was toll bridge) and then Norway to Germany (alternate was 800km drive).  While we do have another ferry to come, this impact should decrease.  We have been avoiding toll roads through France and Spain:  the alternate roads are in just as good condition, if somewhat more winding, and do allow more scenic views and chances to stop.  It has been well worth it.

We have been doing very well on food – also noticing the decline in prices as we head south.  Although we did start with some food in the larder, we have been topping up in each country as we go along.  We are currently coming out at £10 per day.

Camping has been remarkably reasonable.  This has ranged between 12 EUR per night to the most expensive being 18.50 EUR (£10 – £15 per night).  And I have to add that these campsites put UK campsites to shame.  The facilities have been fantastic – no roughing it here!  Showers, washing up, toilets and some with internet thrown in.  There are even electric plugs for a few luxuries – such as hairdryer and curling tongs!!  We did splash out one night in a youth hostel (Avignon, France), but also had a few nights with family in Oslo, so this evens out.

So, at the moment we are a bit higher than our £50 per day budget we have set ourselves for the trip.  However, we are reasonably sure that this will decline as we head south.


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  1. Kevin

    Don’t forget when you enter Africa you’ll be able to wild camp some of the time and so save on the camp site fees! Not that they are that expensive anyway, but nevertheless it will bring the average daily cost down further. Coupled with lower fuel cost it all adds up. Great blog post, keep them coming.

    1. African GirlChild

      Kevin – yes, wild camping will help too! We fully intended to try wild camping in Europe where permitted, but with it being so chilly at night, we decided that access to a warm shower was vital. Camping has been more reasonable than in the UK, and we have been pleasantly surprised at the facilites available for the costs. Slower travelling in Africa should also lower our per day costs … I need to still estimate a per kilometer cost and see how / whether that changes over time. Do keep following! rgds African GirlChild

  2. Ifor B

    How can I tell that there might be a business analyst in the car! How many spreadsheets get produced per day to track different parameters?

    Everything in Africa will be peanuts compared to travelling in Europe, so I wouldn’t sweat it too much. Just enjoy the journey and if Oyvind whinges about money, just buy jewellery. The more whinging, the more jewellery. The whinging will stop soon enough!

    It sounds as if the trip is going great guns so far and I’m still hugely jealous and planning my own mini version. All the bet and keep us all updated!

  3. tuggy

    oh yes it will get a lot cheaper down here………

  4. Grant Strydom

    Sounds exciting. Keep all the analysis up and there will no gap in your work experience!! Enjoying the blog. Good luck for Africa.

  5. Ian

    It is good to be able to read your blogs again after our interupted internet connection but all is well again!

    So keep on posting

  6. Tom McGuigan

    Hello you two, thought I’d drop by to let you know that we’re all out here following progress.

    Tell me, do you know if you can add a counter to blogs like you can to websites? Not too late as you’ve a ‘little further’ to go before journey’s end, so better late than never. Could prove interesting.

    1. African GirlChild

      Great idea Tom! I’ll get right onto it.

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