What is the Cost of Living Indefinitely While Traveling in Europe?

Have you ever considered how much money is required to travel indefinitely in Europe? I recently took a trip to Europe, traveling through five countries over the course of two weeks. I documented the entire trip, including all expenses made while moving from country to country. In this post, I will share the types of expenses you will incur if you were to travel nonstop in Europe.

How to Determine the Cost of Living Indefinitely While Traveling in Europe

“In keeping with the spirit of the website, we will begin by discussing how I gathered and analyzed the data from my trip. I use Chase Bank, and will be exporting the data from there. If you haven’t already read my post on how to do this, you can find it here.

After exporting the data it will look something like this:

For our analysis we will want to clean / organize the data to answer our main question. 

Analyzing the Data to Determine the Cost of Living Indefinitely While Traveling in Europe

To determine the cost of traveling indefinitely with only two weeks’ worth of data, taking into account the different cost of living in each country visited, we need to calculate the average cost per day for each country. We can then use this data to make a forecast and arrive at a final cost.

When cleaning the data, I will add new columns to label the transitions between countries. I will also average out the cost of hotels/hostels over the time I stayed to get the daily rate. To get a true value for the cost of traveling indefinitely, I will delete transactions such as bills (rent, etc.) back home.

To do this, I created a filter in Google Sheets and selected a specific category, then scanned to see if the transaction could have been made in Europe. If not, I deleted that row. I labeled the country in which each transaction took place by sorting the transaction date column from Z to A and identifying the days I spent in each country.

Afterward, I went back through the data and edited the categories to make more sense. For example, I changed the hotel cost from “Travel” to “Stay,” and some restaurants were mislabeled as “Groceries” instead of “Food and Drink.

Understanding the Costs of Traveling in Europe: A Breakdown by Category

I traveled the following 5 counties: 





United Kingdom

Categorized my expenses in the following: 

Food & Drink





Phone Data

Food and Drink Costs While Traveling in Europe: What to Expect

The cost of food and drink varies by country, as it can change significantly. On average, I spent $63.48 per day on food and drink during my travels. 

Spain was by far the cheapest country, averaging $33.08 per day, while London was the most expensive at $86.16 per day, followed by Switzerland.

Hotel and Hostel Prices in Europe: What to Expect While Traveling

As for hotels and hostels, I stayed at a combination of Airbnbs, hotels, and hostels during my travels. For transparency, in Spain (Barcelona) I stayed in a hostel, in Switzerland I stayed in a hotel, and in Germany and the Netherlands I stayed in Airbnbs. 

Again, Spain was the least expensive, while Amsterdam, NL was surprisingly the most expensive at $142.13 per night. I excluded the UK from the chart below because my company provided hotels while I was in London.

Transportation Costs in Europe: What to Expect While Traveling by Train, Plane, Bus, and More

There were many methods used to travel around Europe, such as flying from London to Barcelona or taking the Eurostar from Amsterdam back to London, and using metros to get around cities and trains to travel between cities within Germany.

The cost of my flight from the USA to London was not included in this trip, but it was approximately $2,000. Despite this, transportation within Spain and Germany was the cheapest at $62.66 and $73.94, respectively. 

The most expensive ticket I purchased was the train from Amsterdam to London at $273.45. The airplane ticket from London to Barcelona, including an extra carry-on bag, was $140

Conclusion: How Much Money is Needed to Live Indefinitely While Traveling in Europe

With all this data, we can finally answer the question of what it would cost to travel indefinitely in Europe.

On average, I spent $231.39 per day on this trip, including transportation between countries, meals, drinks at bars, and a little bit of shopping. 

If I were to do this same trip for the rest of my life, I would need to make an average of $6,941.70 per month after taxes, or $83,300.40 annually. If I live to 80 years old, I would need a total of $4,831,423.20.

In invested terms, assuming an 8% annual return, I can manage this with $1,041,255. 

The formula used is: amount needed annually / return rate = total amount to invest.

If you were a millionaire and invested at 8%, you could travel Europe until the end of your days!

Thanks for reading!

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