Initial budget: 14 days at $1206 ($86/day, $43/person/day)
Actual cost: 18 days at $1006 ($56/day, $28/person/day)
The initial budget was a serious WAG because despite heaps of research, we really had no idea how much things would cost. Lodging ended up being far less expensive but we made up for some of that with meals/alcohol as we tried the local flavors. Otherwise, though, the category estimates were higher than actual costs but not too far off. Maybe 15 years of accounting and project management are worth something after all?
Here's the breakdown with some details...
pie chart not to scale
- Lodging: $473 - dorm rooms at hostels averaging $13/person/night, and a private room in Białowieża for about the same cost.
- Transportation: $193 - this includes buses and trains between major cities, trams and buses within major cities, and transportation to tour excursions (in Poland's case, the bus to/from Auschwitz - $13/person). This does not include our plane tickets to Warsaw ($490 each) which are included in our overall running cost per day.
- Groceries: $110 - our guess is that half of this cost is peanut butter.
- Meals: $103 - includes trying local foods, lunches on the go, countless train station coffees, and a few "first" and "last" night celebratory meals in cities.
- Tours: $65 - major expenses included the tour for Białowieża National Forest ($11/person) and the free walking tour guide tips ($6 * 3 tours). Otherwise, nominal costs to climb a church tower for panoramic views and that sort of thing.
- Alcohol: $46 - beer is cheap but yeah, we will start paying attention to this. Or not. If we keep up our other frugality (except for not skipping must-see touristy places!) this is just fine.
- Gear: $3 - clothes for our upcoming Czech farm stay.
- "Misc": $14 - a large part of this cost is public toilets, which typically cost $0.30-$0.50. If we forgot the coffee line item for Canada, we definitely forgot Jen's gerbil-sized bladder and the WC line item for Central Europe. Otherwise we don't have great documentation on what this entails but at less than $1/day we aren't so worried about it.
- Gifts: This blog is still your gift. And you're still welcome.
- Cities visited: 6, technically speaking (Warsaw, Wroclaw, Krakow, Białowieża, Zakopane for 15 hours, and Katowice for 60 minutes en route to Krakow)
- National parks visited: 1 (Białowieża National Park)
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites visited: 5, technically speaking (Old Town Krakow, Historic Center of Warsaw, Białowieża Forest, Auschwitz Birkeneau, Centennial Hall in Wroclaw which we saw from the outside)