If you are wondering how much it cost to travel Europe for 90 days doing van life, then find out in this blog post where we break down our 3-month budget.
We want to share with you how much our 90-day van life road trip in Europe cost us, in hope that this will be helpful to anybody who is considering their own van life trip and wondering what the cost implications are.
For us, our 90 days of travel around Europe was van life travel, and this cost would be totally different for somebody who is going to backpack Europe for example, so this costing is specific to van life travel.
This budget would be different for people travelling to different countries and travelling at different speed, but hopefully this can help to give a rough idea of the cost to travel Europe for 90 days.
What is the cost to travel Europe for 90 days?
In total, the cost of our whole trip was £7402.79
We have written a previous blog post for how much we spent on 1 month of travel – How much does it cost to travel Europe for 1 month? if you would like to check this out.
We also created a YouTube video to discuss this in further detail, if you would like to also have a look at this –
Monthly Breakdown of Travel Costs
The breakdown of our second month of travel can be found below:
|Month 2 Monthly Expenses||Month 2 – £|
|Lottie Pet Insurance||10.41|
|Music Subscription (Spotify/Apple Music, Etc.)||9.99|
|Miscellaneous (park fees, gifts, etc)||68.68|
The breakdown of our third month of travel can be found below:
|Month 3 Monthly Expenses||Month 3 – £|
|Lottie Pet Insurance||10.41|
|Music Subscription (Spotify/Apple Music, Etc.)||9.99|
|Miscellaneous (park fees, gifts, etc)||107.65|
Our second months budget covered the end of our travels in Italy, Slovenia and Austria.
Our third month budget covered Germany, Switzerland and back to France.
What was our monthly budget for van life in Europe?
Our rough budget for each month was around £2500, so we are really pleased to see that we have stuck within our budget for this trip.
We have managed to do everything that we wanted, we have splashed out on some attractions and have managed to save money by not eating out too much and cooking our own meals in our van.
We travelled so fast we even managed to travel to several countries that we hadn’t even planned to do!
You will see that the budget has reduced quite a lot in the third month compared to the first, and I think this is because we learnt more as we went along about how and where we could save money, and also, we were so excited in our first month that I think we naturally spent more money anyway as we were getting used to everything.
We also slowed down our travel towards the end of the third month and were a lot more stationary than we were in the first month, so this too helped us to save money.
Everybody’s monthly budget will be different, so it’s important to work out your own finances and give yourself a monthly budget to stick to, we found this really helped us to manage our finances.
Accommodation and Campsite Costs
1. Campsite Fees
Campsites in Europe range from basic to luxurious, with prices varying accordingly.
The average cost per night for a campervan pitch ranges from £15 to £40.
To keep costs down, consider using free or low-cost camping options such as Aires or wild camping where allowed.
2. Wild Camping
Wild camping is an affordable alternative to traditional campsites. However, it’s important to research local regulations and seek permission from landowners when necessary.
In some Scandinavian countries, like Sweden, wild camping is legal and even encouraged.
Food and Dining
1. Cooking in Your Campervan
Cooking in your campervan is one of the best ways to save money while travelling.
Stock up on groceries at local markets or discount supermarkets and cook your meals in the van. This can dramatically reduce your food expenses.
2. Eating Out
While it’s essential to experience local cuisine, dining out can add up quickly.
To keep costs low, opt for street food, cafes, or budget-friendly restaurants. Additionally, make sure to take advantage of lunch specials or daily deals.
1. Fuel Prices
Fuel prices vary across Europe, with some countries being more expensive than others.
Keep an eye on fuel prices and plan your route accordingly. Make sure to fill up in countries with lower prices and use fuel-efficient driving techniques.
2. Tolls and Vignettes
Many European countries have toll roads, and some require a vignette (a sticker placed on your windshield) to use their motorways.
Research the requirements for each country and factor these costs into your budget.
Sightseeing and Attractions
1. Prioritise Your Must-See Attractions
To manage your budget effectively, prioritise your must-see attractions and day trips and allocate funds accordingly.
Many cities offer discounted attraction passes or free-entry days to help you save money.
2. Free and Low-Cost Activities
Europe is full of free or low-cost activities, such as museums, parks, and walking tours.
Incorporate these into your itinerary to save money while experiencing the best of each destination.
Can I travel Europe in 3 months?
Yes, you can, if you are from outside of the Schengen countries then that allows you 90 days to travel around Europe without any restrictions.
If you are reasonably fit and have a good sense of adventure, then it is certainly possible to travel to Europe in 3 months.
Of course, you will need to plan your trip carefully in order to make the most of your time and see all the highlights that Europe has to offer.
What is the best time of year to travel to Europe?
There is no single answer to this question as the best time of year to travel to Europe can vary depending on where you are going and what you want to see and do.
However, in general, the shoulder seasons of Spring and Autumn are typically considered to be the best times of year to visit Europe.
The weather is usually milder during these months, which makes for more pleasant travel conditions.
Additionally, there are often fewer crowds during the shoulder seasons, so you may have an easier time getting around and seeing the sights.
Obviously in these seasons you aren’t guaranteed the weather, so it all depends on what you want from your travel experience.
How do I plan a trip to Europe?
When planning a trip to Europe, specifically van life travel, there are a few things you will need to take into consideration.
First, you will need to decide where you want to go and what you want to see. Once you have a general idea of your itinerary, you will also need to consider your budget and make sure you have enough money saved up to cover all of your expenses.
You will need to think about whether you have everything that you need for e.g., is your vehicle road worthy, do you have all of the equipment and everything you would like to take with you in your van, have you got travel insurance, is your passport valid, do you know the full multiple entry visa requirements for the country/countries that you plan to go to etc …
Planning Your European Adventure
1. Creating a Budget
When planning a 90-day trip across Europe, it’s essential to consider the overall cost of travel to Europe.
Your budget should include transportation, accommodation, food, attractions, and other miscellaneous expenses.
A rough estimate for a 90-day trip ranges between £5000 to £10,000 depending on your travel style and destinations.
We use a Monzo travel card to help us budget our trips, and we’d highly recommend these to any travellers, the card has so many benefits.
2. Choosing Your Route
Planning your route is crucial for managing your travel costs.
Opt for a mix of popular cities and lesser-known destinations to balance the expenses.
Exploring off-the-beaten-path locations can lead to unique experiences and help you save money.
3. Timing Your Trip
The time of year can greatly impact the overall cost of your trip.
Travelling during the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) can help you save on accommodation, attractions, and even fuel prices.
If you are thinking about travelling to Europe, then these are just a few things to keep in mind.
Of course, there is much more to planning a successful trip than what is discussed here, but this should give you a good starting point.
If you are planning to take your dog with you to Europe, then there are extra things you will need to plan and consider. We have written a blog post all about taking your dog to Europe to help you – Europe Travel With A Dog – What Do I Need To Know?
Preparing Your Campervan for a European Adventure
Before setting off on your 90-day journey across Europe, ensure that your campervan is ready for the trip. Proper preparation is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience.
1. Maintenance and Safety Checks
Perform routine maintenance on your campervan, including oil changes, brake checks, and tyre inspections.
Ensure that all lights are functioning correctly, and replace any worn or damaged parts.
Gather all necessary documents, such as your driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance, and any required permits for travelling in Europe.
Familiarise yourself with the driving laws of each country you plan to visit.
3. Comfort and Convenience
Equip your campervan with essentials for a comfortable journey, including bedding, cooking supplies, and storage solutions.
4. Emergency Kit
Assemble an emergency kit containing first-aid supplies, a spare tyre, tools, and a reflective vest.
Additionally, include a list of emergency contacts and relevant phone numbers for each country on your itinerary.
Making the Most of Your 90-Day European Trip
Maximise your enjoyment and experience during your 90-day adventure by following these tips:
1. Embrace Slow Travel
Instead of trying to see everything in a short amount of time, embrace slow travel.
Take your time to explore each destination, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy a more authentic experience.
2. Connect with Locals
Connecting with locals can enrich your travel experience and provide valuable insights into each destination.
Make an effort to learn a few basic phrases in the local language and engage with people you meet along the way.
3. Document Your Journey
Keep a travel journal or blog to document your experiences and memories.
Take plenty of photos and videos, and consider sharing your journey with friends and family through social media.
4. Stay Flexible
While it’s essential to plan your route and budget, remain open to new experiences and spontaneous adventures.
Be willing to adjust your itinerary if you discover a hidden gem or receive a local recommendation.
European Regions to Explore
Europe is a diverse continent, offering a variety of landscapes, cultures, and experiences. Consider including the following regions in your 90-day European campervan adventure:
1. Western Europe
Western Europe is home to iconic destinations such as Paris, London, and Amsterdam.
While these cities can be more expensive, there are plenty of ways to save money and enjoy the region on a budget.
2. Southern Europe
Southern Europe boasts beautiful coastlines, delicious cuisine, and a warm Mediterranean climate.
Explore countries such as Spain, Italy, and Greece for an unforgettable campervan adventure.
3. Central Europe
Central Europe offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.
Visit destinations such as Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic for a mix of charming cities and picturesque countryside.
4. Northern Europe
For a truly unique campervan experience, consider exploring the rugged landscapes of Northern Europe.
Countries such as Norway, Sweden, and Finland offer stunning scenery, outdoor activities, and the opportunity to witness the Northern Lights.
Eastern Europe can be a much less expensive region of Europe to travel compared to other parts of Europe.
Saving Money on Campervan Essentials
To further reduce the cost of your 90-day European campervan adventure, consider the following money-saving travel tips:
1. Shop at Discount Supermarkets
Purchase groceries at discount supermarkets, such as Lidl or Aldi, to save money on food costs.
These stores often offer a wide range of products at lower prices than traditional supermarkets.
2. Invest in a Camping Card
Consider purchasing a camping card , such as the ACSI Camping Card, which provides discounted rates at participating campsites across Europe.
This can help you save significantly on accommodation costs throughout your trip.
3. Use Free Wi-Fi
Make use of free Wi-Fi at cafes, libraries, and other public spaces to stay connected and avoid costly roaming charges.
Alternatively, consider purchasing a local SIM card or a portable Wi-Fi device for a more reliable connection.
4. Travel With Others
Travelling with friends or family can help reduce costs by splitting expenses such as fuel, tolls, and campsite fees.
Plus, shared experiences can make your trip even more memorable.
5. Save on Water
Refill your campervans water tank at free water points or public taps, which can often be found at petrol stations, supermarkets, or rest areas.
This can help you save money on bottled water and reduce plastic waste.
Balancing Popular Destinations with Lesser-Known Gems
To make the most of your 90-day European adventure, strike a balance between visiting popular tourist destinations and exploring lesser-known locations.
This approach allows you to experience the best of Europe while keeping costs manageable.
1. Alternative Destinations
Consider visiting alternative destinations that offer similar experiences to popular tourist spots but are less crowded and more budget-friendly. For example, instead of the French Riviera, explore the beaches of Portugal or Croatia.
2. Exploring Local Culture
Take the time to explore local markets, festivals, and cultural events to gain a deeper understanding of each destination. These experiences are often more affordable and provide unique insights into the local way of life.
3. Seek Local Recommendations
Ask locals for recommendations on affordable attractions, restaurants, and activities. They can often provide insider tips on hidden gems and budget-friendly options that may not be widely advertised.
4. Mix City and Countryside Experiences
Combine city experiences with time spent in the countryside, where costs are generally lower. This allows you to enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life while also appreciating the tranquillity and natural beauty of rural areas.
Essential Apps and Resources for Your European Campervan Adventure
To help you plan and navigate your 90-day European campervan trip, consider using the following apps and resources:
1. Google Maps
Google Maps is an essential tool for planning your route and finding points of interest, such as campsites, petrol stations, and supermarkets. Download offline maps for each country you plan to visit to ensure you have access even when you’re without Wi-Fi or mobile data.
Park4Night is a popular app for finding campsites, motorhome parking areas, and wild camping spots throughout Europe. The app features user-contributed information, including reviews, photos, and GPS coordinates.
CamperContact is another useful app for finding campervan-friendly accommodations across Europe. The app includes detailed information on campsites, services, and facilities.
4. XE Currency
XE Currency is a useful app for converting currencies and tracking exchange rates throughout your journey. This can help you manage your budget effectively and avoid unexpected currency conversion fees.
If you’d like to know more about the best motorhome apps, you can check out our blog post here – Best 13 Motorhome Apps UK For Ultimate Vanlife 2023
Staying in Europe for Longer: A Guide for UK Travellers
Many UK travellers dream of spending an extended period of time exploring Europe, immersing themselves in its diverse cultures and breath-taking landscapes.
However, since the UK’s departure from the European Union, British citizens must now navigate new rules and regulations to stay in Europe for longer durations.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the process of obtaining long term visas and what UK travellers need to know about staying in Europe beyond the standard 90-day period.
Understanding the Schengen Area and 90-Day Rule
The Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and border control at their mutual borders.
This allows for passport-free travel within the area, making it easy for UK travellers to visit multiple countries during their trip.
However, the Schengen member states impose a 90-day limit on stays within a 180-day period for non-EU citizens, including UK travellers.
If you wish to stay in Europe and the Schengen area countries for longer than 90 days, you’ll need to apply for a long term visa or residence permit for the country you plan to spend the most time in.
Keep in mind that the requirements and application processes vary depending on the country and type of visa.
Long Term Visas: Types and Requirements
There are several types of long term visas available to UK travellers, depending on the purpose of your extended stay in Europe. Some common long term visa options include:
- Work Visa: If you plan to work during your extended stay, you’ll need to apply for a work visa. This typically requires a job offer and sponsorship from an employer in the destination country.
- Student Visa: If you plan to study in Europe, you’ll need to apply for a student visa. This requires acceptance into an accredited educational institution and proof of financial resources to support yourself during your stay.
- Family Reunification Visa: If you have family members living in Europe, you may be eligible for a family reunification visa, allowing you to join them for an extended period.
- Retirement Visa: Some European countries offer retirement visas for individuals who can demonstrate a sufficient and stable income to support themselves during their stay.
- Freelance or Self-Employed Visa: Certain countries offer visas for freelancers or self-employed individuals who can demonstrate a stable income and the ability to support themselves without relying on local employment.
Applying for a Long Term Visa
The application process for a long term visa varies depending on the destination country and type of visa. Generally, the process involves the following steps:
- Research Visa Requirements: Thoroughly research the specific visa requirements for your chosen country and type of visa. This may include documents such as a valid passport, proof of financial resources, health insurance, and a clean criminal record.
- Prepare Application Materials: Gather and prepare all required application materials, ensuring they are complete and accurate. Some documents may need to be translated or certified.
- Submit Your Application: Submit your long term visa application to the appropriate consulate or embassy. This may require an in-person appointment or an online submission, depending on the country’s requirements.
- Attend an Interview (if required): Some countries require an interview as part of the visa application process. Be prepared to discuss your reasons for wanting to stay in Europe for an extended period and provide any additional documentation requested.
- Await Approval: Once your application has been submitted, you’ll need to wait for a decision on your long term visa. This process can take several weeks or even months, so be sure to apply well in advance of your planned departure date.
Tips for a Successful Long Term Visa Application
Plan Ahead: Begin researching and preparing for your long term visa application well in advance of your planned departure date. This will give you ample time to gather the necessary documents, complete the application process, and address any issues that may arise.
If obtaining a long term visa is not possible or feasible for your situation, there are alternative ways to extend your stay in Europe beyond the standard 90-day limit:
1. What is the cheapest way to travel Europe?
The cheapest way to travel Europe is by using low-cost transportation options, cooking your meals, staying in budget accommodations or wild camping, and taking advantage of free or low-cost activities.
2. How much money do you need per day to travel Europe?
On average, you’ll need between £60 to £150 per day, depending on your travel style, destination, and accommodation choices. Budget travellers can get by on less, while luxury travellers will require more.
3. Is it safe to travel Europe in a campervan?
Yes, it is generally safe to travel Europe in a campervan. However, it’s essential to research local laws and customs, practice safe driving, and take precautions to secure your belongings and campervan.
4. Can you park a campervan anywhere in Europe?
While there are many places to park a campervan in Europe, it’s essential to research local regulations and seek permission from landowners when necessary. Wild camping is legal in some countries, but not in others.
5. How do I plan a campervan route through Europe?
To plan a campervan route through Europe, consider your budget, interests, and desired destinations.
Research each country’s regulations regarding campervans and wild camping, and plan your route accordingly.
Be sure to account for fuel costs, tolls, and vignettes, as well as campsite fees and accommodation costs.
If you are considering your own van life trip but are worried about the costs, if you have the budget, we say just do it!!
You will not regret it, and everybody’s budget will be different, so hopefully you can look at our budget and see where you might be able to save money or what you may want to spend more on.
In our opinion, material things don’t matter, and there’s nothing we would want to spend our money on more than the amazing experiences we get and memories we make through our van life travel.
In conclusion, the cost to travel Europe for 90 days in a campervan depends on your itinerary, travel style, and the countries you visit.
By carefully planning your route, accommodations, and activities, you can create an unforgettable European adventure without breaking the bank.
With a little research and flexibility, you can make the most of your trip and create lasting memories.
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to leave a comment on this blog post, we would be happy to help where we can!
Keep up with our full-time van life travels over on our YouTube channel! If you enjoy our videos, please give us a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel 🙂 – Three As A Bird – Vanlife Travel – YouTube
You can take a look at some of our other van life posts which include lots and lots of hints and tips on all things van life here – Van Life – Travel Information, Hints, Tips and Advice
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I love everything about travel, from seeing new places, learning about new cultures and trying new foods! I believe that travel is one of the best forms of education you can get, I have learnt so much about myself and about the world from travelling all over. Travel is something I feel so passionately about, and I love the fact that we are now lucky enough to have this opportunity to do what we love as much as we can, it’s a dream come true.
Before we started travelling, I worked in local government in administration. I had been in this job for several years and had reached a complete brick wall where I was so fed up, but didn’t know what else to do. The only thing I knew that I wanted to do was to travel, and had wanted to do that for many years.
There were hundreds and hundreds of places on my wishlist that I wanted to go to, and I knew that going on a weeks holiday maybe twice a year if we were lucky wasn’t going to cut it.
After being in lockdown due to the Covid pandemic, and working from home staring at the same 4 walls every day, 2021 seemed like the perfect time for us to take the risk to finally do what we had dreamed of for so long.
It was a hard decision to completely change our lives, but so far it has been the best decision we have ever made!